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February 2, 2006

Celentano Receives Honorary Doctorate from Chiang Mai University

HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and David Celentano

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn presents an honorary
doctorate to David Celentano.

David Celentano, ScD, MHS, PhD (Hon.), a professor and deputy chair of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in health sciences from Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presented the degree at commencement activities January 25, 2006. Four Thai scholars also received honorary degrees.

Over the past 15 years, Celentano and colleagues developed and implemented a collaborative research program with the Research Institute of Health Sciences, which is a joint venture of all of the health sciences faculties at Chiang Mai University. The collaboration is a key scientific international resource in HIV/AIDS research. It is a member of all the principal National Institutes of Health (NIH) research networks, including the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the Pediatric and Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Groups. Over 15 faculty from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine participate in these NIH-funded research projects, which seek to reduce the further transmission of HIV through a variety of prevention strategies. Through the Fogarty Epidemiology of AIDS International Training & Research Program, Celentano and colleagues have also trained over 400 Thais in HIV/AIDS at Johns Hopkins University and at in-country seminars.

David Celentano and Pongsak Angkasith

David Celentano is congratulated
by Dr. Pongsak Angkasith, president
of Chiang Mai University.

Also director of the Bloomberg School’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program, Celentano holds joint appointments in the departments of Health, Behavior and Society, International Health and Environmental Health Sciences. His research integrates behavioral science theory and research with epidemiology, in the study of behavioral and social epidemiology. In the past, he has worked on and directed numerous HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease investigations and preventive interventions. He and his collaborators demonstrated that a behavioral intervention with young Thai men led to a seven-fold reduction in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and halved the HIV incidence rate.

Celentano is the principal investigator of two additional NIH-supported studies in Thailand that focus on interventions to influence the association between opiate, methamphetamine and other drug use on HIV infection rates. He said that he hopes these interventions will harness indigenous peer networks to increase risk reduction.--Kenna L. Lowe

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.