HOUSTON - (Oct. 7, 2013) - Barbara E. Murray, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, has become the 2014 president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Murray began her term as president on Oct. 4 at the annual meeting of the IDSA, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in San Francisco. The meeting is called IDWeek.
The IDSA has approximately 10,000 members and its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health and prevention of infectious diseases. It was founded in 1963.
Murray’s research is focused on understanding what makes antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs tick and developing new treatments for them. Superbugs threaten to reverse advances made by infectious disease researchers in the last century
Herbert DuPont, M.D., holder of the Mary W. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in the Medical Sciences and director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas School of Public Health, a part of UTHealth, described Murray as a “national leader” on antibiotic resistance and microbiology, and the importance of enterococci as human pathogens.
DuPont, a past IDSA president, added that Murray as IDSA president has the opportunity to help lead the country in important areas designed to control emerging infectious diseases and reduce the enormous burden of antibiotic resistance.
As a child, Murray experienced the effect of infectious disease firsthand. At the age of 4, she was hospitalized for polio. Later as a medical student, she traveled to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Colombia, where she saw that clinicians spent a considerable amount of their time treating transmissible diseases.
Murray graduated with a degree in mathematics cum laude from Rice University in 1969 and was first in her graduating class from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 1973. She spent six years training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She later spent six months at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand.
Murray joined the UTHealth Medical School faculty in 1980 and is now the director of the Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens and holder of the J. Ralph Meadows Professorship in Internal Medicine. She has been the director of the Infectious Diseases Division since 1995.
Murray, whose research receives support from the National Institutes of Health, has approximately 300 peer-reviewed publications. She writes for Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, the online text UpToDate, and Mandell, Douglas and Bennett's Textbook of Infectious Diseases. She also has written reviews for The New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Reviews in Microbiology.
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