R. Bradley Sack, MD, ScD ’68, ScM ’60
Global Achievement Award
Professor Emeritus of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Sack is one of the world’s leading experts in the epidemiology, ecology and treatment of cholera. Since 1962, he has held faculty appointments at the Bloomberg School and the School of Medicine.
As a Johns Hopkins postdoctoral fellow at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Calcutta, India, he worked with Charles C. Carpenter, a Johns Hopkins professor of medicine, to demonstrate that the cholera death rate, ranging from 25 to 50 percent without therapy, could be reduced to less than 1 percent with intravenous therapy.
Dr. Sack returned to Calcutta from 1968 to 1970 as resident coordinator of the Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Research and Training, where he and Dr. Nathaniel Pierce, a Johns Hopkins professor of medicine, developed oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for treatment of cholera and other diarrheal diseases, thus replacing much of the need for intravenous therapy. ORT, a solution of glucose plus electrolytes, is considered one of the most revolutionary public health discoveries of the twentieth century.
In 1968, Dr. Sack’s lab discovered enterotoxigenic E. coli, the most frequent bacterial cause of childhood diarrhea in the developing world. He has contributed to additional long-term collaborative epidemiological studies of children’s diarrhea in Lima, Peru (1961) and with Dr. Mathu Santosham on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation (1971).
From 1977 to 1985, Dr. Sack served as Chief of the Division of Geographic Medicine at the School of Medicine. He also founded the JHU International Travel Clinic in 1985.