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Understanding a Common Birth-Defect Virus


Sep 22 2016


11:45 am - 1:15 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Birth-Defect Virus

Understanding a Common Birth-Defect Virus

A Conversation with Kathleen Muldoon and Sallie Permar

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is the most common viral cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States. It can cause permanent disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, mental and physical disabilities, seizures, and death. CMV can cause symptoms at birth or months or years later, and it is found all over the globe. However, very few women are counseled about the virus by their OB/GYNs, who themselves sometimes are not aware of the widespread nature of the virus and its potentially devastating impact. With the recent international focus by public health officials and policy-makers on the Zika virus, cCMV researchers, medical practitioners, and activists are working to raise awareness of risks and prevention of cCMV and support for research for vaccines and treatments. Dr. Kathleen Muldoon, Ph.D., and Dr. Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., will lead us through a discussion of cCMV. What is it? How can it be prevented? What is its impact on families and communities? What are common misunderstandings? What are the latest developments in the search for vaccines and treatments? The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Brian Southwell.

Free and open to the public. Light lunch served. Sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics.


Kathleen Muldoon

Midwestern University

Dr. Muldoon received her PhD in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Anatomy at Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ, where she teaches anatomy and embryology to medical and allied health students. Dr. Muldoon maintains several distinct areas of scholarly research. She…...

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Sallie Permar

Duke University

Dr. Permar is a physician scientist focusing on the prevention and treatment of neonatal viral infections.  She leads a research laboratory investigating immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens, namely HIV and cytomegalovirus (CMV), using human cohorts and nonhuman primate models.  Dr. Permar has made important contributions to…...

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Brian Southwell

Brian Southwell is Director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in the Center for Communication Science at RTI International. In addition, Dr. Southwell is an Adjunct Professor at Duke University, where he teaches social science courses. He also is Research Professor (of Mass Communication) and Adjunct Associate Professor…...

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