April 18, 2017
Timothy Ford, Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, recently gave the keynote address at the University of Wisconsin’s annual Global Health Symposium held on Tuesday, April 4, at the Madison campus. The annual event is sponsored by the university’s Global Health Institute, which is dedicated to improving health in Wisconsin and across the world through research, education, and service.
Ford’s keynote address was titled “Global Issues in Water and Health,” and covered the global burden of waterborne disease from contaminated water, that despite our technological advances over the past century, is still largely driven by lack of basic hygiene, sanitation and access to clean water. Ford also discussed much needed research on improving surveillance and predictive models for outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics - together with better diagnostics and community engagement to address endemic water quality concerns.
Ford has worked across the world, making the epidemiological links between contaminated water and global infectious diseases. He has worked on water quality projects from India, Russia, and China to the Crow Reservation in Montana. Ford earned his Ph.D. in aquatic microbiology from the University of Wales and completed post-doctoral training in environmental microbiology at Harvard University, where he later served as a faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health. He subsequently took over the leadership of the Microbiology department at Montana State University, where much of his work focused on water quality and health of tribal communities.
After serving in senior administrative roles at the University of New England and Shenandoah University, Ford joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in January, 2017. He is rebuilding his water and health program, and is helping building a consortium for environmental health equity. He’ll be moderating a panel discussion on the topic at the SPHHS Dean’s Symposium on Health Equity and Environmental Justice on April 25.