Global Health Chronicles

Dr. Olen Kew

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Global Health Chronicles
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0:38 - Background and education

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Partial Transcript: So I am going to start with getting you, Dr. Kew, to tell me a little bit about your background before you came to CDC and how you came to work here.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew discusses his educational background and how he became interested in working at CDC in the laboratories.

Keywords: D. Brenner; F. Murphy; J. Nakano; J. Obijeski; laboratory strains; Legionnaire’s disease; M. Hatch; nucleic acid chemist; physical biochemistry, genetics, and virology; polio lab; protein chemistry; R. Rueckert; smallpox eradication; Swine flu; W. Dowdle

Subjects: Amish; CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]; NPR [National Public Radio]; United States; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin-Madison

6:07 - Early days and polio vaccine strains

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Partial Transcript: Do you want to talk about some of the early pioneers at this point, since you mentioned Jim Nakano?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew gives a review of the discovery of the poliovirus, the roots of the polio vaccine, and how this influenced the field of immunization.

Keywords: A. Macnamara; A. Sabin; Albert Sabin curve; C. P. Li; CDC Montgomery; D. Bodian; E. Popper; epidemiologist; F. Burnet; H. Koprowski; inactivated vaccine; iron lungs; J. Salk; J. Youngner; K. Landsteiner; LSc 2ab; M. Schaeffer; N. Nathanson; Rancho Los Amigos, California; Sabin series; Salk-Younger curve; Salk-Younger series; type 1 attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine; wild virus

Subjects: Afghanistan; CDC; China; IPV [inactivated polio vaccine; Nigeria; OPV [live-attenuated oral polio vaccine]; Pakistan; polio; United States

17:08 - CDC’s early involvement with polio.

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Partial Transcript: How did CDC--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—get involved with polio in the first place?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew describe a personal story on the early IPV vaccine, how CDC’s quick response to the Cutter incident put CDC’s work on polio “on the map” as well as the creation of an agency to regulate vaccines.

Keywords: A. Langmuir; Atlanta, Georgia; C. Dauer; Cutter Laboratories; J. Nakano; J. Younger; N. Nathanson; New York City; Washington, D.C.

Subjects: CDC; Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research; Cutter Incident; Eisenhower administration; FDA [Food and Drug Administration]; National Center for Health Statistics; NIH [National Institutes for Health]

26:32 - Vaccine-associated paralytic polio

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so why don’t we move on to immunization itself, and how those program. Started?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains the existence of VAPP and its association with the oral polio vaccine, the legal issues that arose surrounding its use, oligonucleotide and nucleotide fingerprinting, and the role VAPP played in the development of the National Injury Compensation program.

Keywords: A. Nomoto; A. Reyes; A. Sabin; B. Nottay; C.P. Li; D. Henderson; E. Wimmer; F. Sanger; global eradication; H. Cox; H. Koprowski; J. Obijeski; Lederle laboratory; Nobel laureate; nucleotide sequencing; oligonucleotide fingerprinting; poliovirus sequencing; Reyes v. Wyeth; U.S.-Mexico border; W. Dowdle; Y.F. Lee

Subjects: developing world; England; Mexico; molecular biology; National Vaccine Injury Compensation program; OPV; PAHO [Pan American Health Organization]; VAPP [vaccine-associated paralytic polio]

41:26 - Evolution of CDC laboratories

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Partial Transcript: So later, as techniques became more modern, what equipment did you get that made a difference in modernizing the lab?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains the evolution of laboratory techniques at CDC and how the labs and epidemiologists began to work together.

Keywords: Amish outbreak; automated equipment; B. Foege; Bureau of Epidemiology; Bureau of Labs; C. Li; craftsmen; Epidemiology for State Services; equipment budget; GID [Global Immunization Division]; L. Schonberger; M. Schaeffer; mainframe computer facility; molecular techniques; polio eradication; radioisotope; robotic equipment; specialized plastics; W. Dowdle

Subjects: Alberta; Amish; British Columbia; Canada; CDC; Cutter incident; live attenuated oral vaccine [OPV]; National Center for Infectious Diseases; Netherlands; Ontario; Pennsylvania

49:22 - Eradication

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Partial Transcript: So, speaking of polio eradication, tell me about how that began at CDC and how it evolved.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains how CDC laboratories developed new methods for poliovirus identification making the laboratories more efficient, working with PAHO to establish a laboratory network to help provide documented evidence that the wild virus was completely gone helping to eradicate polio in the Americas.

Keywords: A. Hinman; A. Sabin; Addis Ababa; B. Keegan; B. Sergeant; Brazilians; C. de Macedo; C. de Quadros; D. Henderson; D.C.; District 6900 Rotarians; dot blot hybridization; F. Pinheiro; F. Robbins; G. Keegan; J. Nakano; M. Galindo; M. Pallansch; Maiduguri, Nigeria; Moscow; Naval Air Station Atlanta; oligonucleotide fingerprinting; Pacific coast; Pakistan lab; polio eradication; PolioPlus; Portland; Public Health Advisor; radioisotope waste; Rotarians; S. Cochi; St. Petersburg; TAG [Technical Advisory Group]; vaccine virus; W. Dowdle; Washington, D.C.; wild virus

Subjects: Americas; CDC; Certification Commission; Congress; Cuba; Ebola; England; EPI [Expanded Program Immunization]; Ethiopia; Latin America; Los Alamos Labs; measles; Mexico; National Laboratory; PAHO [Pan American Health Organization]; Philippines; Rotary International; rubella; Soviet Union; U.S. Navy; United States; VAPP; Zika

56:56 - Rotary International’s involvement

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk a little bit more about Rotary International and their relationship with the polio eradication?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains how Rotary International’s significant involvement helped support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative providing vital resources, volunteers and advocacy and in addition talks about Public Health Advisor Bob Keegan’s extraordinary support.

Keywords: A. Sabin; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; B. Keegan; B. Sergeant; bike ride; District 6900 Rotarians; G. Keegan; M. Pallansch; Maiduguri, Nigeria; Moscow, Russia; Naval Air Station Atlanta; Pacific coast; Pakistan lab; Portland, Oregon; Public Health Advisor; S. Cochi; St. Petersburg; W. Dowdle; Washington, D.C.

Subjects: Congress; Ebola; England; Ethiopia; measles; Philippines; PolioPlus; Rotary International; rubella; Soviet Union; U.S. Navy; Zika

69:30 - Working environment

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Partial Transcript: It’s a great story. So, talking about Bob and collaboration and cooperation, you have to tell us about Mo’s pizza.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew looks back at some of the interesting ways CDC and partner organizations have collaborated and operated.

Keywords: B. Aylward; Chattooga Lake; D. Klaucke; Geneva; GID; J. Lee; L. Anderson; L. Martin; M. Pallansch; Mo’s Pizza; NIP [National Immunization Program]; P.J Haley’s; R. Sutter; retreats; S. Cochi

Subjects: CDC; India; West Africa; Western Pacific region; WHO

76:37 - 21st Century Outbreaks

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Partial Transcript: So what do you think the reason was for some of the outbreaks after 2000?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew discusses how geopolitical issues affected immunization team’s efforts in eradicating polio in the early 21st century.

Keywords: Afghan brothers; Afghan Taliban; anti-vaccine rumors; communication; Helmand province; immunization; Kandahar province; Karachi, Pakistan; literacy; militancy; militants; Pashtun brothers; skits; tribal group; vaccinators; vaccine; vaccine-derived polio outbreaks; VDPVs [vaccine-derived poliovirus]

Subjects: 9/11; Afghanistan; Central America; China; Christian countries; Congo; Egypt; Haiti; Hispaniola; India; Latin America; Madagascar; measles; Minister of Health; Muslim countries; Nigeria; northern Nigeria; PAHO; Pakistan; Philippines; polio; PolioPlus; Taliban; WHO

90:00 - Other partner organizations

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned the World Health Organization and Rotary International. Are there other organizations that you worked with that are working on the same problem of polio eradication?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew discusses other organizations that play a role in the fight for global polio eradication, the creation of the Global Laboratory Network and the help of the CDC Foundation.

Keywords: A. Sabin; Africans; B. Hull; C. de Macedo; C. de Quadros; Detroit; E. de Silva; F. Pinheiro; global laboratory network; Global Specialist Lab; Heroes for Polio Eradication Fund; J. Andrus; J. Olive; M. Pallansch; Mumbai lab; Nigerians; P. Hatch; reference lab; Rio de Janeiro; Rotarians; Specialized Labs; subregional reference lab; V. Gammino; W. Gates; W. Tomori

Subjects: African region; Bill and Melina Gates Foundation; CDC; CDC Foundation; Europe; Georgia Tech; Global Polio Laboratory Network; Harvard; India; Japan; LabNet; Latin America; Nigeria; PAHO; Regional Reference Laboratories; South Africa; Task Force for Global Health; Trinidad; UNICEF [United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund]; United Nations; WHO; World Health Assembly

100:37 - Personal accomplishments/colleagues

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Partial Transcript: So I think you’ve been sort of modest about what your role has been and the techniques you developed that helped with polio sequencing. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains how his work at CDC would not have been possible without the support of a lot of smart colleagues and the advantage knowing where the virus is coming from and how it is moving.

Keywords: A. Sabin; blot hybridization; C. Li; F. Robbins; F. Sanger; fingerprinting; imported virus; indicator communities; indigenous virus; Islamabad; J. Enders; J. Youngner; PCR [Polymerase Chain Reaction]; polio sequencing; population immunity; reservoir community; reservoirs; T. Weller

Subjects: Americas Regional Certification Commission; Arabian Peninsula; CDC; Indonesia; Latin America; Nigeria; Nobel Prize; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Somalia; Sudan; West Africa; Yemen

112:08 - Vaccinators heroes

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk about some of them, maybe not by name, but how they died?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew touches briefly on the dangers faced by frontline vaccinators in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Keywords: attacks on vaccinators; B. Keegan; exertion; heart attack; land mines; organized and systematic; overt attacks; survivors

Subjects: Nigeria; Pakistan; Pakistan Technical Advisory Group

114:05 - Key players

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Partial Transcript: We probably need to wind up pretty soon, but I wanted to give you a chance to mention other things that we haven’t touched on that you wanted to be sure to include, either people or incidents or things that you think are important to know.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew discusses his current and former colleagues in the polio eradication initiative.

Keywords: B. Burkholder; B. Foege; B. Kim-Farley; C. Burns; C. Maher; Copenhagen, Denmark; E. Durry; G. Lipskya; Geneva, Switzerland; GID; H. Jafari; J. Andrus; J. Lee; J. Wenger; London; M. Pallansch; P. Patriarca; Paris; S. Cochi; S. Wassilak; W. Dowdle; W. Orenstein

Subjects: Afghanistan; Cambodia; Caucasus; CDC; Central Asia; China; Eastern Europe; Europe; Global Polio Laboratory Network; India; Laos; Newly Independent States; NIP; Pakistan; Philippines; polio; Somalia; South Korea; South Sudan; Soviet Union; United States; Uzbekistan; Western Europe; Western Pacific region; WHO; Yemen

129:22 - Global eradication probability

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Partial Transcript: Maybe we should end up with what you are doing next year and what your thoughts are on the prospects for global eradication.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kew explains the steps necessary to be able to consider a disease eradicated, and the problem of containment of that disease.

Keywords: C. de Quadros; civil wars; collapse of public health infrastructure; containment of poliovirus; Islamabad; J. Olive; population immunity; vaccine

Subjects: Americas; Ebola; France; India; PAHO; Pakistan/Afghanistan TAG [Technical Advisory Group]; smallpox; Syria; University of Washington