Former Center for Disease Control and WHO Doctor To Speak At UTD On Poverty’s Role in Terrorism
Dr. Joseph McCormick Will Discuss Impact of Long-Term Poverty

Dr. Joseph McCormick, who spent years in war-torn nations such as the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leona in Africa, will speak on “Ignorance and Poverty – The Roots of Terrorism: the Challenges of the 21st Century” on Nov. 30 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The lecture will be free and open to the public.

McCormick, who is the MD Assistant Dean and the James H. Steele Professor at the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health and former assistant to the director of the Division of HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will discuss the roles of discontent and anger, sparked by inequity, in rebellion and warfare. McCormick will present how using new technologies as part of an investment in global education and health to benefit the poor is critical to long-term peace.

“What McCormick has done for public health over the past 25 years is nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, UTD vice president for research and graduate education, whose office is cosponsoring the lecture along with the university’s School of Social Sciences. “Very few people understand the results of long-term poverty and warfare more acutely than McCormick, and I hope that his passion for improving health care for the impoverished will inspire others.”

McCormick’s experience with both the horrific conditions of the impoverished and the violence that can result is extensive. He spent eight years working on fighting outbreaks of a variety of fatal and highly contagious illnesses in Zaire, Brazil, Sierra Leone and the Sudan as part of the Division of Viral Diseases for the CDC. Upon his return to the United States, Dr. McCormick became Chief, Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral Diseases at the CDC, and rapidly attained the rank of Medical Director (Navy Captain). He was director of the Biosafety level 4 laboratory at CDC for 8 years, and inaugurated the current BSL 4 facility at CDC.

McCormick also served as director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. During this period, he also became involved in the study of HIV/AIDS in Africa, leading the original team that established the Project SIDA in Kinshasa, Zaire. He later led the team that established the Project RetroCi in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Recently, McCormick’s activities in viral hemorrhagic fevers and major contributions to the science and epidemiology of emerging pathogens have been aired on television, newspapers and periodicals and in several books for the lay reader. Dr. McCormick is a member of several scientific organizations and has published more than 180 scientific publications involving co-authors from over 20 different countries.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].