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William Wright earned his Ph.D. in biology from Binghamton University and then spent 3.5 years as a fellow in the Population Council at Rockefeller University. In 1982, he  joined the Division of Reproductive Biology in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was promoted to professor with tenure in 1997 and became emeritus professor in 2020. Wright’s laboratory studied the molecular mechanisms regulating male fertility and the disruption of those mechanisms in infertile men. In 2008 his expertise in molecular biology merged with his growing interest in the greatest public health disaster in modern history, the 1918 influenza pandemic.  This led him to design and teach a course on the molecular biology, origins and virulence of pandemic viruses. The course evolved to address the actions of public health and governmental officials during pandemics. The evaluation identified a major impediment to the successful formulation, adoption and implementation of policies to containing and ending a pandemic: poor communication between public health scientists, governmental officials and the general public.  Wright’s Hamilton seminar, “Pandemics: Pathogens, Public Health and Public Policy” will examine the 1918 flu pandemic and the Covid-19 pandemic in their entirety, from the virus to public policy. The course will emphasize the importance of clear and concise communication to containing and ending a pandemic.

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., State University of New York
M.A., State University of New York
B.A., Hamilton College,

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