NAME: Nahid Bhadelia, J99, F04, M05
CURRENT POSITION: Doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Boston Medical Center; director of infection control at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory.
RECENT HONORS: The 2016 Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award and the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
REPEAT VISITOR TO: Sierra Leone, where she has completed several medical tours to help fight Ebola.
WHAT SHE KNOWS FOR SURE: Epidemics like Ebola are “only disastrous because of vulnerabilities in the health care system”—including those that result from poor policy decisions like bans on travel, which often leave health workers in the field shorthanded and without protective clothing and other crucial resources.
WHAT SHE WORRIES ABOUT: “Almost every year now we have a new human pathogen. It is a combination of climate change and the economic conditions that require people in lower socioeconomic communities to take advantage of the natural resources around them, in habitats we’ve not been exposed to before, such as deep forests and jungles. A huge number of viruses are still undiscovered, and the farther we push into these new environments, the more likely we are to encounter them.”