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WHO appoints Burnet Institute researcher to top post

Burnet Institute

09 December, 2011

Professor John Reeder (far left) with the Centre for Population Health working group heads.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Margaret Chan has announced the appointment of Professor John Reeder as the new Director of the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).

Professor Reeder is currently co-head of the Burnet Institute’s Centre for Population Health in Melbourne and will take over the Geneva-based position in February 2012.

TDR is the United Nation’s leading research programme on infectious diseases of poverty, executed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO.

It identifies new or improved tools and strategies, and helps build research capacity and leadership in the countries where the diseases occur. For example, many of the drugs and strategies for the treatment of diseases such as leprosy, malaria and onchocerciasis (called river blindness) were developed in partnership with TDR.

Professor Reeder said he was delighted to be appointed to the position.

“TDR is an important organization that has made a difference in the lives of many people in low and middle income countries,” he said.

“And is now changing in the context of the current global health landscape. I am excited to be leading this programme and taking forward a new strategy and plan.”

Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb said the appointment is outstanding recognition of Professor Reeder’s leadership ability and international standing in global health.

“His appointment will do much to strengthen the global effort to address infectious diseases of the world’s neediest populations,” Professor Crabb said.

“While Professor Reeder will be based in Geneva, he will maintain ongoing ties with the Burnet Institute as an Associate.”

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Burnet Institute

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