Dr. Michael Osterholm
World Authority on Pandemics and Bioterrorism
Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). He lectures worldwide, has appeared on Oprah, and is the author of a bestselling book, Living Terrors. An engaging speaker, he demystifies the science and contextualizes the risks—speaking plainly about how to prepare, react and operate through pandemics.
Osterholm is the director of the NIH-supported Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance within CIDRAP, a professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and the Council of Foreign Relations.
Dr. Osterholm is the Principal Investigator and Director of the NIH-supported Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and chairs the Executive Committee of the Centers of Excellence Influenza Research and Surveillance network.
Previously, Dr. Osterholm served for 24 years (1975-1999) in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the last 15 as state epidemiologist and chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section. While at the MDH, Osterholm and his team were leaders in the area of infectious disease epidemiology. He has led numerous investigations of outbreaks of international importance, including foodborne diseases, the association of tampons and toxic shock syndrome (TSS), the transmission of hepatitis B in healthcare settings, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in healthcare workers. In addition, his team conducted numerous studies regarding infectious diseases in child-care settings, vaccine-preventable diseases (particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B), Lyme disease, and other emerging infections. They were also among the first to call attention to the changing epidemiology of foodborne diseases.
Dr. Osterholm has been an international leader on the critical concern regarding our preparedness for an influenza pandemic. His invited papers in the journals Foreign Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Nature detail the threat of an influenza pandemic before the recent pandemic and the steps we must take to better prepare for such events. Dr. Osterholm has also been an international leader on the growing concern regarding the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons targeting civilian populations. In that role, he served as a personal advisor to the late King Hussein of Jordan. Dr. Osterholm provides a comprehensive and pointed review of America's current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times best-selling book, Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe.
The author of more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters, Dr. Osterholm is a frequently invited guest lecturer on the topic of epidemiology of infectious diseases. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals and is a reviewer for 24 additional journals.
Dr. Osterholm has received numerous honors for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Luther College; the Pump Handle Award, CSTE; the Charles C. Shepard Science Award, CDC; the Harvey W. Wiley Medal, FDA; the Squibb Award, IDSA; and the Wade Hampton Frost Leadership Award, American Public Health Association. He also has been the recipient of six major research awards from the NIH and the CDC.
Preparing for the Next Pandemic
In his talks, Osterholm discusses the potential human, social, and economic consequences of a flu pandemic, and the preparations that need to be made to meet this threat. He provides concrete examples of some of the steps that have already been taken to prepare, and what other measures governments and companies, such as yours, should explore. "As businesses develop pandemic preparedness plans, they need to cut through a 'fog' of uncertainty about exactly what pandemic influenza will look like and how their companies will be able to respond to it." Osterholm, brilliantly and not without a little humor, cuts through this fog.
Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe
America is one killer organism away from a living nightmare that threatens all we hold dear...
A deadly cloud of powdered anthrax spores settles unnoticed over a crowded football stadium... A school cafeteria lunch is infected with a drug-resistant strain of E. coli... Thousands in a bustling shopping mall inhale a lethal mist of smallpox, turning each individual into a highly infectious agent of suffering and death...
Dr. Michael Osterholm knows all too well the horrifying scenarios he describes. In this eye-opening account, the nation's leading expert on bioterrorism sounds a wake-up call to the terrifying threat of biological attack—and America's startling lack of preparedness.
He demonstrates the havoc these silent killers can wreak, exposes the startling ease with which they can be deployed, and asks probing questions about America's ability to respond to such attacks.
Are most doctors and emergency rooms able to diagnose correctly and treat anthrax, smallpox, and other potential tools in the bioterrorist's arsenal? Is the government developing the appropriate vaccines and treatments?
The answers are here in riveting detail—what America has and hasn't done to prevent the coming bioterrorist catastrophe. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, Living Terrors presents the unsettling truth about the magnitude of the threat. And more important, it presents the ultimate insider's prescription for change: what we must do as a nation to secure our freedom, our future, our lives.
- Politics First Look: Power Forward, the New Book by Former Obama Aide Reggie Love
- Cities Science and the City: Charles Montgomery Builds a Better Way of Life
- Diversity The Beauty & Diversity of Muslim Life: Bassam Tariq Speaks at TEDGlobal
- Environment Capitalism vs. the Climate: New Speaker Naomi Klein Takes on Global Warming