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Volume 9, Number 16Space holderApril 22, 2005
photo of William Foege
William Foege

University of Michigan Gives Global Health Medal to William Foege

The University of Michigan has awarded its first Thomas Francis Jr. Medal in Global Public Health to William Foege, affiliate professor of epidemiology at the UW, for his role in eradicating smallpox. The award, which carries a $50,000 prize, honors and supports sustained efforts to combat vaccine-preventable disease.

Foege, a 1961 UW School of Medicine graduate, pioneered the targeted containment and vaccination model that has become the standard of care for controlling outbreaks of emerging disease. By determining likely routes of disease transmission, travel patterns, and familial relationships, Foege and his colleagues proved that targeting these critical areas helped to contain the spread of smallpox more effectively than mass vaccination.

Foege was presented with the Francis medal April 12 during the University of Michigan's 50th anniversary celebration of the announcement by Thomas Francis Jr. of the effectiveness of the Salk polio vaccine.

Foege has been director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and executive director of the Carter Center, both in Atlanta, and a senior medical advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is now a fellow.

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