Dr. Alan Zelicoff is a physician (board certified in Internal Medicine 1992, clinical fellowship in Rheumatology, 1983) and physicist (AB Princeton, 1975), who has had a varied career including clinical practice, teaching, and operations research. In the latter roles, he was Senior Scientist in the Center for National Security and Arms Control at Sandia National Laboratories from 1989–2003. Dr. Zelicoff’s interests include risk and hazard analysis in hospital systems and office-based practice, and in technologies for improving the responsiveness of public health offices and countering biological weapons terrorism.
Dr. Zelicoff has traveled extensively in countries of the former Soviet Union and has led joint research projects in epidemiology of infectious disease, while establishing Internet access at Russian and Kazak biological laboratories. The result of this activity is a real-time clinician-based disease surveillance and reporting system called the Syndrome Reporting Information System (SYRIS) which is now being used by public health officials responsible for monitoring the health of more than 1 million people in Texas and countless agricultural animals and wildlife as well. The State of California legislature has recently passed a bill to test this approach in order to modernize disease surveillance in the state.
In our 9-29-06 interview, Dr. Zelicoff discusses his book MICROBE: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?, published by AMACOM Books. His next book, Doctor, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There, was scheduled for release in 2007. He is the author of numerous textbook chapters and articles, and is a frequent contributor to Op-Ed pages in the Washington Post and other newspapers.