E. Robert Burns Lecture

The Dr. E. Robert Burns ’61 Endowed Biology Lecture was established in 2016 by Dr. E. Robert Burns ’61 to bring a prominent speaker to the Hartwick campus to share ideas about emerging topics pertinent to the field of biology.

2019 Inaugural Lecture

Dr. Burton Wilcke ’69 presented: “Global Health Challenges: The Role of Laboratory Science”

Laboratory systems are an essential component of any communicable disease surveillance, prevention and control program, whether at the national, regional or global level. Laboratories serve to confirm clinical diagnoses, provide information to report cases of specific diseases, and monitor progress with respect to disease control. Major global disease threats occurring over the last few decades that have been and continue to be dependent on laboratory services include HIV/AIDS, food-borne illnesses, SARS and Ebola virus disease. For laboratory systems to operate effectively they must address the need for quality assurance, safety, and data reliability. Laboratory systems that support communicable disease surveillance and control include clinical, public health, animal, food and environmental laboratories, and thus are part of a much needed “One Health” approach to disease surveillance globally.

Dr. Burton Wilcke ’69 is a consultant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). He is the recently retired chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences at the University of Vermont.


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