Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture
The Langmuir Lecture is the preeminent public health lecture in the United States. First given in 1972, this lecture continues to be a highlight of the annual EIS Conference. The lecture is named for Alexander D. Langmuir, MD, MPH (1910–1993), a public health visionary and leader who established the Epidemiology Program at what was then called the Communicable Disease Center in 1949; he remained as CDC’s chief epidemiologist until his retirement in 1970. Notably, Dr. Langmuir founded EIS, established national disease surveillance for the United States, and led the development of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report at CDC. Learn more about Dr. Langmuir and Epidemiology at CDC.
CDC is honored to announce this year’s Langmuir Lecturer, Atul Gawande, MD, MPH. He will deliver his lecture at the 2024 EIS conference on Wednesday, April 24, from 1:40–3:10 pm ET. Presentation details will be provided on this page and on the event platform soon.
Dr. Gawande became Assistant Administrator for Global Health at USAID in January 2022. He is a renowned surgeon, writer, and public health leader. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, he was a practicing general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He was founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He also co-founded CIC Health, a public benefit corporation supporting pandemic response operations nationally, and served as a member of the Biden transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. From 2018-2020, he was CEO of Haven, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase healthcare venture.
In addition, Atul was a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and has written four New York Times best-selling books: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the winner of two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.
Langmuir Lecture Archives
Donald Warne, MD, MPH, delivered the 2023 Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture on April 26, 2023, focusing on Engaging Indigenous Communities to Promote Health Equity. He discussed the impact of historical trauma and policies marginalizing Indigenous peoples in the United States on public health inequities. Dr. Warne encouraged the audience to acknowledge pervasive crises, practice therapeutic communication, foster a judgment-free environment, prioritize self-care, and recognize the importance of truth in achieving equity. Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, is a distinguished physician and scholar specializing in Indigenous health, education, policy, and equity. He co-directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health and serves as the Provost Fellow for Indigenous Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, he established the first Indigenous health-focused MPH and PhD programs in the United States or Canada and has received numerous awards for his contributions to social justice and leadership, including the Helen Rodríguez-Trías Award for Social Justice from the American Public Health Association and recognition as one of The Explorers Club’s 50 People Changing the World in 2021.
New York State Commissioner of Health, Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, delivered the 2022 Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture, Undoing the Racial Patterning of Health, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. In her talk, Dr. Bassett discussed the history of public health and some of the many connections between racism and health trends in the United States. She touched on the unequal burden of the COVID-19 pandemic among certain racial and ethnic minority groups, especially in Black communities. Throughout her more than 30 years working in public health and healthcare, she has spoken widely about the adverse effects of structural racism on the overall health of our population.
During the EIS 70th Anniversary virtual webinar, Former CDC Director William H. Foege, MD, MPH chronicled the history and function of the EIS program while speaking about his work as an EIS officer in Colorado from 1962-1964. Dr. Foege also discussed his experiences as chief of the Smallpox Eradication Program in the 1960’s in West and Central Africa, underscoring the importance of the EIS program and how EIS officers were instrumental in successfully eradicating an infectious disease for the first time in human history. He also highlighted EIS program’s invaluable role in response efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the crucial need for preparedness against future pandemics.
No 2020 Langmuir Lecture lecture given due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of the EIS Conference.
The 2019 Langmuir Lecturer for the 68th Annual EIS Conference is Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, a dynamic physician, scientist, and public health activist who helped uncover the Flint Water Crisis and lead recovery efforts. During the Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture on May 1, she instantly captivated a room full of conference attendees while many more watched online via live stream. Dr. Hanna-Attisha first recognized the understanding of history as crucial to moving forward, “just as the naming of this lecture is an opportunity to reflect on Dr. Langmuir and the foundation he paved for all of us to do this work.” She attributed several public health heroes as her most inspiring influences from whom she learned to be a fierce advocate in the midst of powerful interests and to be passionately and humbly involved in her community despite where that may lead.
The 2018 Langmuir Lecturer for the 67th Annual EIS Conference is Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. His lecture, “Better Health Through Better Partnerships,” aligns with his commitment to maintain strong relationships with the public health community and forge new partnerships with non-traditional partners, including business and law enforcement. He oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 600 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world. Dr. Adams has pledged to lead with science, facilitate locally-led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems, and deliver higher quality healthcare at lower cost through patient and community engagement and better prevention.
The 2017 Langmuir Lecturer for the 66th Annual EIS Conference is Dr. Sandro Galea, the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Galea is both a physician and epidemiologist. He was named one of TIME magazine’s epidemiology innovators and has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for the Social Sciences. He has published over 600 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 10 books and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Dr. Galea served in numerous other academic and leadership capacities. Galea’s lecture addressed “Moving from Epidemiology to Quantitative Population Health Science.”
The 2016 Langmuir Lecturer for the 65th Annual EIS Conference was Dr. Margaret Hamburg, an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine. Most recently, as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, she was known for advancing regulatory science, modernizing regulatory pathways, and globalization of the agency. Before this, Dr. Hamburg was founding vice president and senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Other positions have included Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (HHS), Health Commissioner for New York City, and Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
Jeff Dean, PhD, a Google Senior Fellow, presented the 2015 Langmuir Lecture. Dr. Dean helped develop Epi Info as a high school and college student. He spoke on “Large-Scale Machine Learning and Its Application to Public Health.” See Epi Info™ Museum for key events in the history of Epi Info™ statistical software.