Armenian Medical World Congress Welcomes Prominent Infectious Disease Experts

Daniel Stamboulian and Claire Panosian Dunavan

LOS ANGELES—Infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death in developing countries, killing one in three people worldwide.  Prevention and treatment can vary from simple, cost-effective measures like an insecticide-treated bednet or a vaccine to life-long anti-viral treatment for HIV/AIDS.

In the case of HIV/AIDS, the African continent has the highest disease burden since Africa currently has two-thirds of all people living with HIV worldwide.

Malaria, an age-old mosquito-borne scourge, kills approximately 660,000 people each year, primarily children under the age of five.  About 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, followed by South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.  Despite recent strides in malaria prevention and treatment, anti-malarial drug resistance is a growing problem.

Other global threats to child survival include upper respiratory infection and diarrhea as well as dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus.

At the other end of the spectrum, adult deaths due to respiratory infections can be mitigated by new and improved vaccines as well as diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, but the rising global tide of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is creating new challenges.

“With the globalization of economies and the escalation of commercial travel, the interaction among people of different origins has increased, and with that the potential for the transmission of old and new infectious diseases,” says Alex Jawharjian, PharmD, MPH, Scientific Committee member and co-chair of the Pharmacy Programs at the 11th Armenian Medical World Congress.

Daniel Stamboulian, MD, Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases at Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales (UCES, University of Social and Entrepreneurial Sciences); Voluntary Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami; and Honorary Professor at Instituto Universitario CEMIC, will be presenting on “New Facts in the Prevention and Treatment of Adulthood Infectious Diseases,” at the 11th Armenian Medical World Congress in Los Angeles on July 4.

“Adulthood vaccinations, especially against influenza and pneumococcal infections, are extremely important and effective in preventing infectious diseases,” says Dr. Stamboulian.

Dr. Stamboulian received his medical degree and his specialty degree in Pediatrics from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After completing a postdoctoral training in infectious diseases at USC, he returned to Buenos Aires to begin his practice in the field of infectious diseases and played a leading role in research and teaching activities at different hospitals and institutions there.

Dr. Stamboulian is the founder of the Pan-American Association of Infectious Diseases (API) and co-founder of the Argentine Society of Infectious Diseases (SADI).  In addition, Dr. Stamboulian is the founder and Chairman of the non-profit research and education organization FUNCEI (Fundación Centro de Estudios Infectológicos) in Buenos Aires.  Within FUNCEI, he has led numerous academic, research and teaching programs, including the Post-Residency Fellowship Program in Infectious Diseases.  In 2001, he founded FIDEC (Fighting Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries), a non-profit organization based in the United States, that aims at promoting a regional and multidisciplinary approach for the prevention and management of infectious diseases.

Throughout his career, Dr. Stamboulian has received numerous awards.  He was twice awarded the “Bicentennial Medal,” both as a prominent member of the Armenian Community in Argentina and in recognition of his work as a medical consultant for the Ministry of Health of the City of Buenos Aires.  In 2011, he was pronounced “Prominent Figure of Science” by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires.

Claire Panosian Dunavan, MD, FIDSA, DTM&H (London), Past-President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  She will be discussing the “Global Health Equity in Infectious Diseases: the Case of Malaria,” at the July 4th symposium.

“Malaria not only kills, it holds back human and economic development,” states Dr. Panosian Dunavan.  “Tackling this disease is now an international imperative.”

Dr. Panosian Dunavan received her education at Stanford University, Northwestern University School of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  In the 1980s, she became Chief of Infectious Diseases at LA County-Olive View Medical Center and later moved to UCLA’s main medical campus, founding UCLA’s Travel and Tropical Medicine Program and later co-founding UCLA’s Program in Global Health.  Throughout her career, she has been a clinician, a global health policy consultant, and a popular professor on the main UCLA campus.  In addition, she has frequently worked in developing countries as a consultant or visiting faculty member.

Panosian Dunavan’s second career as a print and broadcast journalist includes six years as a national editor, reporter, and co-anchor for Lifetime Television.  In 1997, her interview with a dying physician won an international “Freddie” Award.  In 2000, with her husband Patrick Dunavan – an 8-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker – she produced a television program on hepatitis B which has reached 300 million international viewers.  In recent years, she has written regularly for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Discover magazine, and Scientific American among other popular publications.  Since 2009, she has also written a weekly syndicated column called “The Infection Files” which currently runs in print and online in multiple southern California newspapers, reaching an estimated audience of 1.5 million.

For more information or to register for the 11th Armenian Medical World Congress, visit our website at www.aamsc.com/congress.

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