Alumni Lead Way in Developing Drugs, Technology

University of Washington alumni from a wide range of disciplines have made a huge impact on drug development and delivery in Washington and worldwide. Here is just a sampling of alumni who are making a difference.

Donald Baker, ’60, transformed the vision and mission of the UW by taking academic research into the field of medical imaging, and commercializing it to the benefit of people worldwide. With his work that made ultrasound imaging feasible, Baker became an entrepreneur who led bioengineering to the forefront of the health-care industry. His work has saved millions of lives by significantly improving the accuracy of diagnosis of disease.

Daniel C. Chang, ’86, directs headquarter operations for Seattle-based Health Alliance International, which seeks to improve access to health care in poor countries by strengthening health systems in prenatal care, HIV treatment and malaria control.

Walter H. Curioso, ’05, an affiliate assistant professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the UW School of Medicine, and his colleagues set up a system combining cell phones and the Internet to create a confidential, real-time surveillance of side effects for a medication given to female sex workers in three areas of Peru. The drug, metronidazole, treats certain vaginal infections.

Christopher J. Elias, ’90, is president and CEO of PATH, a Seattle-based nonprofit agency that works in 70 countries, providing assistance in technologies, maternal and child health, reproductive health, vaccines and immunization, and emerging and epidemic diseases. He was the UW School of Public Health’s 2010 Distinguished Alumnus.

William H. Foege, ’61, worked with the Centers for Disease Control to eradicate smallpox worldwide. During his tenure at the CDC, he helped to identify the causes of toxic shock syndrome and Reye’s Syndrome in children. He is former executive director of the Carter Center of Emory University.

Amber Pearson, ’08, ’10, received a travel grant from Puget Sound Partners for Global Health to perform a bacterial assessment of drinking-water sources in pastoralist communities of Southwest Uganda. She says, “Ninety percent of water sources are surface water in these communities. When land was privatized, everyone dug their own water body on their property for their family and cows. To gather rain water, they put the water body in at the lowest point, so everything drains into it.”

Jill Scott Law, ’08, associate counsel at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, supported the legal implementation of the newly launched International Health Regulations (IHR), a legally binding instrument on 193 countries designed to manage transnational health threats, during an internship with the World Health Organization. With a team of lawyers and health professionals, she helped to develop a “tool kit” to help countries fulfill their responsibilities under the IHR.

Wayne Quinton, ’59, is considered a pioneer in the field of bioengineering. He founded one of Seattle’s earliest biotech firms, Quinton Instruments, and has been an innovator in medical devices ranging from treadmills to cardiac diagnostic equipment. He was the UW’s 2009 Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus.

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