Samuel Stanley Jr., M.D., vice chancellor of research at Washington University in St. Louis, has been named an Ambassador in Research!America’s Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research. Stanley is now one of 50 of the nation’s foremost global health experts who have joined forces to increase awareness about the critical need for greater U.S. public and private investment in research to improve global health.
“Increased U.S. investment in global health research will not only help improve health conditions in impoverished countries, it will help to prevent the emergence and spread of diseases that can endanger Americans here and abroad,” Stanley says. “Put simply, it’s a matter of national security.”
Stanley directs the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, funded by a $35 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The center, headquartered at Washington University, supports basic and translational research focused on countering threats from bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases throughout the Midwest. It draws on the expertise of scientists from a range of disciplines – infectious diseases, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, structural biology and virology among them – to understand more fully the way the body responds to both viral and non-viral infections and to develop more effective treatments.
Stanley is an expert in the biological mechanisms cells use to respond to infectious agents such as parasites, bacteria and viruses. His own research focuses on a protozoan parasite named Entamoeba histolytica, a protozoan parasite that causes 40 million cases of dysentery annually and is the second leading cause of death from parasitic disease worldwide. He has had long-running and substantial research support from the National Institutes of Health.
Stanley will work to raise the visibility of global health research through the news media and in meetings with policy makers, opinion leaders and the public. One of his central messages will be to stress the importance of effective collaboration among the nation’s government, industry, academic, patient advocacy and philanthropic research sectors.
“Investing in global health research is the smart thing to do for America and the right thing to do for the world,” said The Honorable John Edward Porter, chair of the Society’s Advisory Council and Research!America board chair. “Dr. Stanley has personally seen the value of saving lives and protecting health around the world, and his insights will help bring this important story to more Americans.”
The Society, named for The Honorable Paul G. Rogers, a former Florida Congressman and renowned champion for research to improve health, was established in 2006 by Research!America with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In its first two years, the Society’s Advisory Council—which includes three Nobel Laureates—selected 51 of the nation’s leading scientist advocates to serve as Ambassadors.
Research!America is the nation’s largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, it is supported by 500 member organizations that together represent the voices of more than 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org for more information.
Washington University School of Medicine’s full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.