Stephen Luby
Research Deputy Director for the Stanford Univ. Center for Innovation in Global Health; Prof. of Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University

Handwashing Promotion in Low Income Countries: Progress, Barriers and Research Questions

Numerous studies demonstrate that regular handwashing with soap and water removes environmental contaminants and improves health. However, in settings where diarrhea is a leading cause of child death, handwashing with soap is uncommon. This session will explore why this seemingly simple intervention has been so difficult to implement and critically review research areas that could contribute to broader uptake of this lifesaving practice.

Dr. Luby earned his M.D. degree from the University of Texas--Southwestern Medical School at Dallas.  His previous positions include directing the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh; conducting research and teaching epidemiology at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan; and working as an epidemiologist in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Luby is best known for his work demonstrating the impact of hand washing on disease reduction in low-income countries, characterizing the epidemiology of Nipah virus transmission in Bangladesh, and explicating the importance of unsafe injections for transmission of hepatitis C in low-income countries.

His primary research interests are in developing practical solutions to environmental problems that directly impact human health in low-income countries. His ongoing work includes 1) projects to understand the process of emerging infections, especially henipaviruses and influenza viruses, and developing and evaluating interventions to reduce pandemic risk; 2) assessing the health impact of strategies to improve water, sanitation and hygiene with particular attention to interventions that are applicable at scale; and 3) reducing the adverse environmental and health consequences of brick manufacturing in Bangladesh.

You are invited to stay for a reception following the forum.