Magic Bullets and Smoking Guns, Flying Pigs and Sitting Ducks

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Anne Schuchat '80, the assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service, reflects on more than two decades at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Immunization has saved millions of lives, but vaccine controversies abound. Tackling today's public health scourges requires preparing for the unexpected and adapting to change. In the 2011 McCabe Lecture during Garnet Weekend, Anne Schuchat '80, the assistant surgeon general of the United States Public Health Service and director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, reflects on more than two decades at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Schuchat, a one-time Swarthmore philosophy major, joined the CDC in 1988. In her career, she has headed the CDC's anthrax response team after 9/11, the World Health Organization's team in China during the SARS outbreak, and the 2009 H1N1 response. Her work has also included meningitis vaccine studies in West Africa and the prevention of infectious streptococcal disease in children.