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David Dowdy Named Recipient of B. Frank and Kathleen Polk Associate Professorship



The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named David W. Dowdy, MD, PhD, ScM, as the recipient of the inaugural B. Frank and Kathleen Polk Associate Professorship. The endowment supports junior faculty within the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology who show great potential for future contributions to public health.

Dowdy, who is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, received his MD, PhD and ScM degrees from Johns Hopkins. He is a board certified internist whose work merges expertise in classical epidemiology, economic evaluation, infectious disease modeling and public policy.

Dowdy is an emerging leader in modeling the impact and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic interventions for tuberculosis (TB). His modeling and economic work has been published in The Lancet, PLoS Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dowdy has advised the World Health Organization in crafting policy related to TB diagnostics, and he was recently named to the eight-member steering committee of the TB Modeling and Analysis Consortium sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also serves as the director of the modeling core for the National Institutes of Health-funded TB Clinical Diagnostics Research Consortium.

"David Dowdy is a rising star in the infectious diseases community," said David D. Celentano, ScD, MHS, Dr. Charles Armstrong Chair in Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. "He exemplifies the qualities that set Frank Polk apart — hard working, a team player, energetic and committed to science and his patients. David’s work on the intersection of tuberculosis and HIV will no doubt propel the newly funded Center for AIDS Research at the Bloomberg School on a trajectory that would have made Frank Polk proud.

The B. Frank and Kathleen Polk Associate Professorship honors the legacy of B. Frank Polk, a brilliant researcher and compassionate humanitarian who directed the AIDS outpatient clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also helped to establish an AIDS hospice at the Joseph Richey House in Baltimore. In the 1980s, he founded two major cohort studies — the Study to Help the AIDS Research Effort (SHARE) and the AIDS Link to Intravenous Drug Experience (ALIVE) — both of which are still active today. Polk dedicated himself to using innovative, creative approaches to solving clinical problems with epidemiological methods.

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or