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Epidemiologist Syed Ahsan Raza has been looking at several different epidemics and associated cancer viruses in multiple countries.

He explains

  • What an epidemiologist does and how that helps physicians treat more effectively,
  • How he and his colleagues and have worked to eliminate neonatal tetanus and what still needs to be done, and
  • What trends he’s found in different populations for the human papillomavirus and the cancer viruses hepatitis B and C and how that will help designate resources.

Syed Ahsan Raza is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a Cancer Prevention Research Institute (CPRIT) fellow.

At the outset he explains some misconceptions about epidemiology and then describes what he and fellow epidemiologists do and how their work helps medical workers fight pandemics. He says it is all about studying epidemics—not treating the diseases, but studying the spread and looking for insights and predications that people who are treating can use for more effective methods.

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He then describes some of his research.

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He started looking at neonatal tetanus in graduate school, which significantly affects infant and maternal mortality. He explains that the umbilical stump acts as a vehicle of delivery of the bacteria because of the unhygienic delivery practices in some areas. The spores that cause it are widespread so it can’t be eradicated, but rather eliminated.

He describes some of the measures to achieve this elimination like vaccines and even inexpensive clean birth kits.

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He tells listeners how much more needs to be done. He also talks about his work with cancer viruses like the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B and C, describing the population studies he’s done across the globe, patterns he’s identified, and how this will help medical personal target certain areas.

For more about him, see his profile at

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