The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa sickened over 13,000 people and killed over 4,800. Health workers from around the world are attempting to halt this deadly disease.

On November 19th, Microbes After Hours featured two of these health workers, Dr. Joseph Fair and Dr. Michael Callahan, who have extensive experience with the virus, including direct field work during the current outbreak.

They discussed the virus, the response, and potential solutions during a talk, followed by a Q & A with the audience.


Dr. Joseph Fair is virologist, specializing in viral hemorrhagic fevers, and seasoned public health professional with extensive experience conducting high-impact public health and research programs in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eastern Europe (FSU). He is an adviser for Foundation Mérieux and was a founder and former Vice President of Metabiota, Incorporated, where he initiated and developed a 30 million dollar research and development portfolio.

While at Metabiota he personally responded to outbreaks of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Sierra Leone and Liberia, serving as the US Interagency Coordinator in West Africa. Recently, he was a consultant at the World Health Organization headquarters in Sierra Leone responding to the current Ebola outbreak.

Having trained under Nobel Laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, and virology CJ Peters, Dr. Fair has traveled the World looking for pathogenic viruses in their endemic settings, and is considered a subject matter expert in emerging infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan African and public health program implementation.

Dr. Michael Callahan is the President and Chief Medical Officer of Unither Virology, and a practicing tropical and disaster medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Callahan has worked for 19 years in disease outbreak response under U.S. Federal Charter Rescue Medicine, Rapid UK, the World Health Organization and prior to 2005, under the UNHCR. His global outbreak response deployments include Ebola, Marburg, H5N1, SARs and H7N9. He was awarded the 2008 DARPA Achievement Award for his technologic breakthrough in the rapid, large scale manufacture of emergency vaccines and infectious disease countermeasures. He has a wide range of biodefense experience, advising both senior government officials from the State Department to Department of Defense, as well as academic intuitions on nonproliferation, drug & vaccine development and technology transfer toward combatting emerging infectious diseases and bio threat agents.

Dr. Callahan will speak to his most recent deployment in support of clinical surveillance of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and beyond.

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