2008 Keynote Presentation
Robert G. Webster, PhD
Rose Marie Thomas Chair
Department of Infectious Diseases St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
A native of New Zealand, Webster received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Microbiology from Otago University in New Zealand. In 1962, he earned his Ph.D. from the Australian National University and spent the next two years as a Fulbright Scholar working on influenza in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Webster’s major research focus is the importance of influenza viruses in wild aquatic birds as a major reservoir of influenza viruses and their role in the evolution of new pandemic strains for humans and lower animals.
During most of his career Webster has been Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds, one of only five such collaborating centers in the world. His curriculum vitae contains over 500 original articles and reviews on influenza viruses, and he has trained many scientists who now contribute to our understanding of the evolution and pathogenesis of influenza.