Donald S. Burke has served since 2006 as dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and associate vice chancellor for global health at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also first occupant of the Jonas Salk Chair in Population Health and a distinguished university professor of health science and policy.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Burke received his BA from Western Reserve University and his MD from Harvard Medical School. He trained in medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals and in infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served 23 years on active duty in the U.S. Army where he conducted research on prevention of diseases of military importance.
Throughout his professional life, Burke has studied prevention and control of infectious diseases of global concern, including HIV/AIDS, influenza, dengue, and emerging infectious diseases. He has lived six years in Thailand, worked extensively in Cameroon, and conducted field epidemiology and vaccine studies in numerous other developing countries. He has approached epidemic control using strategies “from the bench to the bush.” He has authored or co-authored over 300 peer reviewed academic publications.
He now leads a trans-disciplinary team that develops computational models and simulations of epidemic infectious and chronic diseases and uses these simulations to evaluate prevention and control strategies. He currently serves on the Board of Health for Allegheny County (Pittsburgh). Burke is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Epidemiological Society, and he is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.