Dr Don Francis

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Dr. Donald Francis is currently doing research to develop a vaccine for HIV at Genentech, Inc. In February of 1992 he retired after 20 years in the U.S. Public Health Service. At the time of his retirement he was the Centers for Disease AIDS Advisor to the State of California and Special Consultant to Mayor Art Agnos in San Francisco. In the latter capacity he served as the Chair of the Mayor's HIV Task Force. Dr. Francis is a Californian having done his undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his M.D. from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Science from Harvard. Before beginning his work on AIDS, Dr. Francis was involved in epidemic control around the world. He was instrumental in eradicating smallpox from Sudan, India and Bangladesh. He was also on the front line of the cholera epidemic in Nigeria in the early 1970's and the Ebola epidemic in Sudan in 1976. Dr. Francis also did some of the early developmental work on the hepatitis B vaccine, both in the United States and in the People's Republic of China. He began his work on AIDS in 1981. He was one of the first scientists to suggest that AIDS was caused by an infectious agent. As director of CDC's AIDS Laboratory Activities, he worked closely with the Institut Pasteur to prove that HIV was the cause of AIDS. He was also one of the earliest scientists to realize the impact HIV would have on the United States and has been an indefatigable advocate for a logical public response.

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