“Antibiotic resistance and epidemics of known and emerging infectious diseases will be (and already are) some of the biggest problems to address now and in the future.”

Deborah Dean MD, MPH ’86 is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at UCSF, founder and executive director of Children’s Global Health Initiative (CGHI), and Senior Scientist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). Dean leads CGHI’s mission to enable sustainable global health for children and their communities through education, training, clinical care, and translational research. She is a prolific scientist with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and numerous NIH, NSF and CDC grants, and holds patents on vaccine constructs for chlamydiae and POC diagnostics.

Public health dream team

Dr. Larry Brilliant MD: He was part of a pioneering team sent out by the WHO to eradicate small pox in Asia, and ever since he hasn’t stopped making contributions that impact public health. I would want him on my team for these reasons but also because he has an open mind and thinks on his feet.

Sibella Kraus: CEO and Founder of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE). Public health goes hand-in-hand with healthy food and sustainable agricultural practices. Unless we have good nutrition and know how to grow organic food and how to educate people about both, we will fail miserably.

Richard H. Thaler: Nobel Recipient in Economics. If we have learned anything over the last couple of hundred years, it’s that healthy economies can support public health and enable populations to flourish. But understanding economics and what drives people and countries to do what they do with their money is a whole other thing. Richard would bring an understanding of what the right approach needs to be to have people invest in public health so that humankind has a future.

Ram Prasad Kandel MPH: A farmer, then gurkha soldier and then health care worker, Kandelji knows at a glance what is needed at the community level to improve local public health. His compassion and wisdom and quick insights are what are needed on any dream team to solve difficult health care problems in the next 75 years.

A change to one U.S. policy that would transform public health

I would change our immigration policy. Immigrants provide a unique perspective on all aspects of life. As the world has become smaller and the diversity of infectious and emerging diseases has become larger, public health transformations will likely come from a melting pot of sources that most definitely will include immigrants.

Theme song while at Berkeley

“Like a Rolling Stone” by The Rolling Stones—if you stop moving, you gather moss in your brain and become ineffective.

You might also like:

Maria S. Gomez: Health activist who builds better futures for the DC area’s underserved
Bonnie Duran: Health advocate who combines cultured-centered and evidence-based interventions to create innovative treatments for indigenous communities
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Powerful innovator of precision public health with a lifelong mission of improving the human condition