J.V. Irons Keynote Address

The J.V Irons keynote address is named in honor of J.V. Irons, Sc.D., whose career with the Texas Department of Health (now known as the Texas Department of State Health Services) spanned 41 years.  Dr. Irons, who received his degree from the University of Indiana, served as Director of the Bureau of Laboratories for the last 25 years of his distinguished career.  His leadership influenced and molded the laboratories' services more than that of any other individual.


Dr. Irons authored or co-authored more than 90 scientific or professional publications and contributed to 5 reference texts on microbiology and public health.  He was an active member of many professional public health and scientific organizations.  Among these was the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in Lima, Peru where he served as a temporary advisor.  Dr. Irons received a citation from the Peruvian Department of Health for his contributions to that country's smallpox eradication program.  He improved smallpox diagnosis in Peru by enhancing fertile egg membrane culture techniques.


Indiana State University presented Dr. Irons with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1963 and he received the George Caldwell Award in Pathology from the Texas Society of Pathologists in 1968.  In 1973, the keynote address of the Southwest Conference of Diseases in Nature Transmissible to Man (now known as the James Steele Conference on Diseases in Nature Transmissible to Man) was named in his honor.

Listing of Past JV Irons Keynote Speakers   





James H. Steele, DVM, MPH, UT School of Public Health, Houston, Texas

A Look into the Future


Robert Kokernot, MD, Chairman, Dept. of Preventive Medicine, Texas Tech School of Medicine

Tribal man as an Epidemiologist


A.B. Rich, DVM, Director of Veterinary Public Health, Texas Department of Health

History of the SW Conference of Diseases in Nature Transmissible to Man


H.H. Malherbe, PhD, SW Foundation for Research and Education

Emergent Viral Zoonoses


Charles LeMaistre, PhD, Chancellor of the University of Texas System, Austin, Texas

Things Visited Upon People


John  Scanlon, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas

The Future of Tropical Medicine


James Moulder, PhD, Professor of Biology, University of Chicago

Can Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Be Studied in a Single-Cell Model


Charles Shepard, PhD, Chief, Leprosy and Rickettsial Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

The Evolution of Evolving Infectious Diseases


Allan Barnes, PhD, Chief, Vectorborne Disease Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins



Charles Lankford, PhD


University of Texas, Austin

What is Cholera?


William McCulloch, DVM

Director, Center for Comparative Medicine, Texas A&M University

The Human Animal Bond


Peter  Schantz, VMD, PhD, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

Current Concepts in Toxicaral Larva Migrans


Allan M. Barnes, PhD, Chief, Plague Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins

Bubonic Plague: Biological Behavioral Aspects of an Increasing Problem in the Western United States


Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, Scientist Emeritus, NIH, Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Lyme Disease: History and the Search for the Etiological Agent, Borrelia burgdorferi


S. S. Kalter, PhD, NIH/WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research

The Current Status of Non-Human Primate Zoonoses


Sanford A. Miller, PhD, Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health Science Center, San Antonio



Lester Crawford, DVM, PhD, Administrator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

The Public Health Imperative


Daniel Fishbein, MD, Medical Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

Human Ehrlichiosis in Perspective


Robert Bernstein, MD, Texas Commissioner of Health

Comments on the Future of Public Health


William Rosser, DVM, MA, Chief, Veterinary Public Health, Texas Department of Health

The Zoonoses: How Far Should We Go


George Baer, DVM, MPH, Chief, Rabies Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

Oral Rabies Vaccination: The Past, Present, and Future


Charles Rupprecht, VMD, PHD, Chief, Rabies Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta



Jerry Jaax, DVM, Director, Biological Arms Control Treaty Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland

The Hot Zone, Revisited


Ralph T. Bryan, MD, Medical Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

The Western Hemisphere Perspectives of Hantavirus Disease


David R. Smith, MD, President, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Of Mice, Men, and Mayhem: Emerging Infections


David L. Huxsoll, DVM, PhD, Director, USDA Plum Island Animal Disease Center

Biological Warfare: An Old Problem with New Concerns


Theodore J. Cieslak, MD, Operational Medicine Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Fort Detrick

A Primer on Bioterrorism


Robert McClean, PhD, Director, National Wildlife Health Center

The Investigation and Discovery of West Nile-like Virus in the U.S.


Charles Sweet, PhD, Retired Director of Laboratories, Texas Department of Health

From Germ Warfare to Bioterrorism in Two Generations


Herbert L. DuPont, MD, Kelsey Professor of Medical Sciences, Epidemiology, UT Houston Medical School and School of Public Health

Campylobacter jejuni: An Important Emerging Pathogen


Kelley J. Donham, MS, DVM, Director, Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health

21st Century Challenges in Rural and Agricultural Medicine


David Walker, MD, Director, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, UT Medical Branch

Human Ehrlichioses: These Highly Prevalent Zoonotic Emerging Infectious Diseases Are Poorly Recognized


Neville Clark, Director, Institute for Countermeasures Against Agricultural Bioterrorism, Texas A&M

Agricultural Bioterrorism


Gregory Gray, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Iowa College of Public Health

The Potential for Animal to Human Transmission: Science versus Speculation


Brett Iverson, PhD, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin

Back to the Future: Engineered Antibodies to Treat Anthrax


Leon Russell, DVM, MPH, PhD, President, World Veterinary Association

Neglected Zoonoses: The Teeter-Totter Effect


Laura Kramer, PhD, Director, Arbovirus Laboratories, New York State Department of Health  and Professor, School of Public Health, State University of New York,

A Global Perspective on Emerging Mosquito-borne Diseases


Colonel Ted Cieslak, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, Department of Defense/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 

Bioterrorism Response for Healthcare Workers: A 10-Step Approach



Sharon M. Derrick, PhD, Forensic Anthropology Division, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Houston, Texas

From Colonial Plague to Influenza H1N1:  The Multiple Roles of the Anthropologist in an Urban Medical Examiner Office


Rodney E. Willoughby, Jr., MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Update on Rabies Therapy (Milwaukee Protocol)


Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Blue Marble Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases


Eleanor Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

ONE HEALTH:  Human Health, Animal Health, and the Intersection of Health with Natural and Man-Made Environments


James W. LeDuc, PhD; Director, Galveston National Laboratory; Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, UT Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Ebola – The Saga Continues


Ian Tizard, BVMS, PhD, ACVM, DSc, Distinguished Professor of Immunology and Richard M. Schubot Professor of Exotic Bird Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Keep Your Mouth Shut!  Wild Birds as a Source of Bacterial Zoonoses


Kristy Murray, DVM, PhD, Associate Vice-Chair for Research for the Department of Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Assistant Dean for Faculty and Academic Development for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

The Hunt for Zebras:  How Can We Optimize Detection of Emerging Pathogens?