GVN Center and Member Spotlight
Carlos del Rio
Emory University School of Medicine,
Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology
Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, USA
What are you and your institution currently working on regarding COVID-19?
At Emory we have been very active in COVID-19 research. Some of this research was classical “bench to bedside” that has resulted in an excellent neutralizing antibody test to the basis for the ACTT-2 study that tested the effect of baricitinab. We also have been active sites in other ACTT studies like ACTT-1 that led to the approval by the FDA of Remdesivir and have been very involved in COVID vaccine research as one of the two sites that did the Moderna Phase 1 study, and as participants in the Moderna, Jansen and Novovax phase 3 studies. Personally, I have been an investigator in all these studies as well as in other COVID-19 studies through the CoVPN (COVID-19 Prevention Network). To update clinicians and public health workers about ever changing information on COVID-19, I have written seven Viewpoints in JAMA, a clinical update in the New England Journal of Medicine and organized a webinar series called COVID19Conversations with the National Academy of Medicine and the American Public Health Association. In addition, I have given hundreds of media interviews with CNN and other media outlets and have continued seeing patients with COVID-19 in the Emory Infectious Diseases consult service at Grady Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
Carlos del Rio, MD is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady. He is also Professor of Global Health in the Department of Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. He is also co-Director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit and the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit. Dr. del Rio is a native of Mexico where he attended medical school at Universidad La Salle, graduating in 1983. He did his Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases residencies at Emory University. In 1989 he returned to Mexico where he was Executive Director of the National AIDS Council of Mexico (CONASIDA, the Federal agency of the Mexican Government responsible for AIDS Policy throughout Mexico), from 1992 through 1996. In November of 1996 he returned to Emory where he has been involved in patient care, teaching and research. Dr. del Rio was Chief of the Emory Medical Service at Grady Memorial Hospital from 2001 – 2009 and Chair of the Department of Global Health from 2009 – 2019. Dr. del Rio’s research focuses on the early diagnosis, access to care, engagement in care, compliance with antiretroviral and the prevention of HIV infection. He has worked for over a decade with hard-to-reach populations including substance users to improve outcomes of those infected with HIV and to prevent infection with those at risk. He is also interested in the translation of research findings into practice and policy. His international work includes collaborations in the country of Georgia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya and Thailand. He has also worked on emerging infections such as pandemic influenza and was a member of the WHO Influenza A(H1N1) Clinical Advisory Group and of the CDC Influenza A(H1N1) Task Force during the 2009 pandemic.
Dr. del Rio is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA) and was a Board member and Chair of HIVMA and is now the Vice-President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). He is also the Chair of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. del Rio is Chief Section Editor for HIV/AIDS for NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases, Associate Editor for Clinical Infectious Diseases and member of the editorial board of Journal of AIDS and Global Public Health. Dr. del Rio has co-authored 30 book chapters and over 500 scientific papers. Among his many honors are the James H. Nakano Citation received in 2001 and awarded by the CDC for an outstanding scientific paper published in 2000; the Emory University Marion V. Creekmore Achievement Award for Internationalization; he was selected by the “Atlanta Magazine” as one of the 55 most influential foreign born Atlantans in 2007 and in 2020 as one of Atlanta’s “500 most powerful leaders”. In 2013 Dr. del Rio was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and in 2020 was elected as Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine.
About the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine
The Emory Division of Infectious Diseases in nationally-known as a leader in infectious diseases and HIV care and research. The division has 72 full time faculty that work in various research areas including microbial pathogenesis, virology and immunology, epidemiology, diagnostics and vaccine development. The Division research programs received over $88 million dollars in external funding last year, leading all the divisions and departments in the Emory University School of Medicine.