Looking at the Changing Landscape of Pediatric Neuro-HIV

It is a relatively rare occurrence for a physician, even over the course of a career, to witness the evolution of a disease from a universally fatal condition to a chronic but potentially manageable one. Dr. David Bearden, Assistant Professor in Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester, has done just that. From his earliest work with HIV in the US as the acute epidemic was waning to subsequent research and clinical care conducted in Botswana and now Zambia, Dr. Bearden’s perspective offers unique insights into the HIV epidemic across time and geography. Check it out as part of our “Global Stuff You Should Know” series.

Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen Birbeck is a neurologist who divides her time between the US and Africa. Her US academic home is the University of Rochester where she is the Rykenboer Professor of Neurology and Research Director for the Strong Epilepsy Center with adjunct appointments in the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Public Health. Her additional skills in epidemiology, health services research, and tropical medicine are brought to bear during the 6-months annually she spends in Africa where she serves as Director for the Chikankata Epilepsy Care Team in rural Mazabuka, Zambia, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Zambia and a consultant for the Paediatric Research Ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Gretchen’s research programs are aimed at identifying opportunities to prevent or ameliorate the medical and social morbidities of common neurologic conditions in low-income, tropical settings with the ultimate goal of developing successful interventions feasible for scale up and broad implementation. She has been recognized as an Ambassador for Epilepsy by the International League against Epilepsy, a Global Health Research Ambassador by the US Paul Rogers Society, a National Outreach Scholar by the WK Kellogg Foundation and a Leader in Medicine by the American Medical Students Association.

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