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Donald Henderson, MD

  • Professor - Emeritus

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Pier IV Building, Suite 210; 621 East Pratt St
Baltimore, Maryland 21202


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Donald A. Henderson, MD, MPH '60, LHD '94 is presently a Resident Scholar at the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Center for Biosecurity was originally founded in 1998 as the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The Center was established to increase national and international awareness of the medical and public health threats posed by biological weapons. Immediately after the 9/11 attack, Dr. Henderson was appointed as the government's first Director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. He continues to serve as senior science advisor to the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Henderson is a Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor and Dean Emeritus of the School, with a joint appointment in the department of Epidemiology. He is also Professor of Medicine and Public Health of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He rejoined the Hopkins faculty in June 1995 after five years of federal government service in which he served initially as Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President (1991-1993), and later as deputy assistant secretary and senior science advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services.

From 1977 through August 1990, Dr. Henderson was dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He came to Hopkins after directing the World Health Organization's global smallpox eradication campaign (1966-1977). Dr. Henderson was instrumental in initiating WHO's global program of immunization, which has vaccinated 80 percent of the world's children against six major diseases and has as a goal the eradication of poliomyelitis.

Honors and Awards

Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002); the National Medal of Science; National Academy of Sciences' Public Welfare Medal; the Japan Prize; Edward Jenner Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine; Honorary Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics; member of the Institute of Medicine and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Honorary degrees from 17 universities and awards and decorations from 15 nations, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.

  • Surveillance, smallpox, eradication,biodefense, biological weapons, bioweapons, bioterrorism, anthrax, polio, influenza.
  • Henderson DA, Borio LL, Grabenstein J (2007) Smallpox and monkeypox. In: Plotkin S & Orenstein W (eds) Vaccines. Philadelphia: W.B.Saunders Company.(in press)

  • Henderson DA (2007)The use of surveillance in the eradication of smallpox and Poliomyelitis. In M'ikanatha N, Lynfield R, Van Beneden C, de Falk H. Infectious Disease Surveillance. London: Blackwell Press (in press)

  • Miller M, Barret, Henderson DA (2006) Control and eradication. In: Jameson DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al. Disease control Priorities in developing countries. New York:World Bank and Oxford University Press. 1163-1176.

  • Toner E, Waldhorn R, Maldin B, Borio L, Nuzzo J B, Lam C, Franco C, Henderson DA, Inglesby TV, O'Toole T (2006). Hospital preparedness for pandemic influenza. Biosecur and Bioterr 4:207-217.

  • Henderson DA (2005) Smallpox: from eradication to resurrection. Nova Acta Leopodina 344:111-116.