Seth Berkley
President, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
01:23

Seth Berkley's Advice for the Young

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Fix the healthcare system, first, then enact community change.

Seth Berkley

Seth Berkley, President and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, is a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and international health. The author of over 85 publications, the opening line of one of his articles encapsulates his life's work: "History will not judge HIV/AIDS kindly...the harshest words will be reserved for how the world responded, or rather failed to respond, to the epidemic."

Prior to founding IAVI in 1996, Dr. Berkley was the Associate Director of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Berkley is also an adjunct Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and an adjunct Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in Internal Medicine at Harvard University. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and for the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. He sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards and has consulted or worked in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He is also an opinion leader, speaking frequently on health technology, development, AIDS and international health. In his words, "It is long past due to add HIV/AIDS to the list" of eradicated diseases.

Prior to founding IAVI in 1996, Dr. Berkley was the Associate Director of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Berkley is also an adjunct Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and an adjunct Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in Internal Medicine at Harvard University. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and for the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. He sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards and has consulted or worked in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He is also an opinion leader, speaking frequently on health technology, development, AIDS and international health. In his words, "It is long past due to add HIV/AIDS to the list" of eradicated diseases.

Transcript

Seth Berkley:  I’ll start off by saying first we should fix the healthcare system in the United States and second, that if we’re going to have people and ask them to go out and serve, whether it be in poor communities, whether it be to go into research, we’re going to have to make sure that they’re not burdened with so much debt that it’s not plausible that they do that. So those are solutions that are beyond my scope of solving but need to be solved and they are a great crisis. Not only is that a crisis, the number of young people in America that are going into the sciences, that are getting serious and trying to research careers but at the same time, we’ve had a double whammy because of homeland security and issues concerned with visas and all that, we’ve had less influx of people coming to study in America and that’s been the gravy train that has kept the labs humming and all the research being done. So I have grave concerns about our competitiveness in the future if we don’t focus on better math and science education, allowing people to take these careers and making them viable and making sure that the best minds in the rest of the world are continuing to come here to work. Without that, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep up. There’s a lot of other countries that would like to be the leaders in that and are working hard at it.


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