Julie Jacobson, MD
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, U.S.
I am very honored to be considered for a Councilor position in service of ASTMH. I have been a member and active participant in ASTMH for my entire professional career. It has been a foundational piece of my work providing opportunities for learning, collaborating, building ideas, and sharing new findings and challenges. My interactions with ASTMH started with my work in vaccines and viral infections, primarily viral arboviruses. Now with my focus primarily on neglected tropical diseases, I am deeply involved with parasites and a whole different aspect and community within ASTMH. This has led me to understand that ASTMH has many communities and stakeholders that are part of this society that all have varied needs and strengths to offer moving forward. As a Councilor I hope to build on this experience to help support ASTMH to achieve its mission and vision as the largest and most influential tropical medicine society globally. This is a huge responsibility and opportunity. I look forward to learning more about how ASTMH functions as an organization and the current and future plans to achieve its goals. Looking ahead, I hope that we can explore ways in which we can support the various members and their work and how we can learn across geographies and disease areas. In doing this, there may be a role for embracing new technologies and outreach strategies to improve the sharing of scientific evidence, fostering career development, supporting advocacy, and expanding membership including non-US membership. ASTMH has a unique role and I think there are more opportunities to work with partner organizations towards shared goals in different disease areas. I look forward to exploring these opportunities and others with my fellow Councilors.
Summary of Volunteer/Member Roles in ASTMH
I have organized and participated in many symposia and sessions as part of the ASTMH meeting. As selection of the sessions are as follows but cover both the viral vaccine preventable diseases, disease elimination/eradication, and the NTDs. Outside of sessions I have arranged many meeting that have built on the ASTMH meeting initiating the meeting which is now the COR-NTD meeting which currently managed by the NTD support Center at the Taskforce for Global Health.
Specifically, with the management of ASTMH, I participated in the ASTMH Nominating Committee in 2014 and have reviewed submitted symposia as part of the selection process for special sessions supported through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Symposium: Japanese encephalitis: Defining Disease Burden and New Tools for Diagnosing Disease
- Symposium: Japanese encephalitis: The challenges and successes of disease control and disability assessment in the developing world
- Late Breaker Poster Presentation: Measles vaccine immunogenicity after coadministration with live attenuated Japanese encephalitis vaccine shows equivalence to that of measles vaccine given alone
- Symposium: Disease eradication with the forgotten diseases: the NTDs and their progress towards the finish line
- Symposium: Race to 2020 and NTD Elimination: Will We Make It and What Will It Take?
- Symposium: London Declaration on NTDs: What Next?
Julie Jacobson currently supports activities and investments working toward the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on the Neglected Tropical Diseases Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A physician with training in clinical tropical medicine and applied epidemiology, she is now the Initiative Lead for Guinea worm eradication, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis elimination. She has worked on the Global Health team for over 9 years supporting research and delivery related activities and played a formative role in the development of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Team at the foundation. She was part of the creation of the London Declaration on NTDs building a new innovative partnership to support achieving the WHO 2020 targets for ten neglected diseases and is the first and current Chair of their governing body, the Stakeholders Working Group.
Prior to the NTD team, Julie worked with several other program areas at the foundation ranging from disease specific work in areas like dengue to helping establish the maternal immunization scope of work and supporting the initiation of activities around what is now integrated delivery.
At PATH she was the former Scientific Director of Immunization Solutions and Director of PATH’s Japanese encephalitis (JE) project. During this time, Julie helped accelerate the control of JE in endemic countries by improving data on the distribution of JE, the development of an improved vaccine and diagnostic tests for JE, and countries’ integration of the JE vaccine into immunization programs. Ultimately this program supported the first Chinese vaccine ever to be pre-qualified by WHO and procured by GAVI. While with PATH’s Children’s Vaccine Program she supported the start of GAVI and the Vaccine Fund as part of a small team. Beyond routine immunization she was responsible for prioritizing and designing field activities for new vaccines including HPV, yellow fever and rotavirus.
Prior to joining PATH, Dr. Jacobson worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer working in Disaster Epidemiology responding to natural disasters. In this capacity, she worked in disaster epidemiology and conducted needs assessments for disaster victims, evaluated national surveillance systems, and evaluated the health impact of earthquakes on displaced persons. Dr. Jacobson has worked clinically in the US, Latin America, and Africa.