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 brought the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report to CDC. Learn more about Dr. Langmuir and Epidemiology at CDC.
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, was invited to give this year’s esteemed Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture at the 68th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is 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.
She discussed the early days of the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and how she intervened as a physician after recognizing symptoms of lead poisoning in her patients. From her initial suspicions, Dr. Hanna-Attisha began delving into research, as well as engagement with parents, the media, and government officials. Her powerful presentation detailed her personal and professional evolution from pediatrician and researcher to public health advocate.
Her new bestselling book What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City is a riveting account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of activism and hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for our children.
Dr. Hanna-Attisha is founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint, Michigan. As a pediatrician, scientist, and activist, she has testified twice before the United States Congress, was awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America, and named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis and leading recovery efforts. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and countless other media outlets championing the cause of children in Flint and beyond. She is also a founding donor of the Flint Child Health and Development Fund (flintkids.org).
Dr. Hanna-Attisha is currently an associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where she earned her medical degree. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit as chief resident. She received her bachelor’s and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan.
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.