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News Release
Mobile, Ala. (November 22, 2006)
Contact: Kristen Dreaper, (251) 461-1509

USA College of Medicine Grad Featured on PBS’ NOVA science NOW


Dr. Terrence Tumpey, a 1997 doctoral graduate of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will be a featured expert on the PBS television show “NOVA science NOW,” airing Nov. 21, 2006, at 7 p.m.

As senior microbiologist with the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tumpey has reconstructed a strain of the Spanish Flu that killed an estimated 20-50 million people worldwide in 1918. By unlocking the secrets of what has been referred to as the deadliest pathogen in human history, Tumpey and his colleagues seek to better understand pandemic flu outbreaks and to advance preparedness efforts.
“By identifying the characteristics that made the 1918 influenza virus so harmful, we have information that will help us develop new vaccines and treatments,” said Tumpey. “Influenza viruses are constantly evolving, and that means our science needs to evolve if we want to protect as many people as possible from pandemic influenza.”
“NOVA science NOW” will present this groundbreaking research, using clever animation to illustrate the genetics of the lethal flu virus, how it infects us and how it spreads.
In addition, Dr. Tumpey will answer your questions about the 1918 flu that are posted by Nov. 22 to Answers to selected questions will be posted on the website Nov. 27.
Previously, Tumpey worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a microbiologist in the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers in 20 years of research on pathogenesis and immunity. Earlier this year, the CDC presented Tumpey with the 2006 Shepard Award for Outstanding Research Paper, and the British medical journal Lancet gave him its Lancet Award for the top scientific paper of 2005.
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Date last changed: November 28, 2006 2:06 PM