Epidemiologist to Head National Council for VA Research
A UCSF epidemiologist will chair the newly created Veterans Affairs National Research
Advisory Council (NRAC), which will give external consultation and review to senior
administrators on the VAs research effort.
George W. Rutherford, MD, UCSF
professor of epidemiology, preventive medicine and pediatrics and head of the Epidemiology
and Preventive Medicine Division in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
was appointed by Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Herschel Gober to chair the
The council, which will hold its first meeting November 13, will make recommendations
on the nature and the scope of research sponsored and conducted at more than 100 VA
medical centers across the country.
The panel will include representatives of academic medical centers, government research
institutes, private industry and a veteran representative.
In 1996, another advisory committee led by Rutherford assessed the overall focus of the
VAs research program. Its recommendations included establishment of the NRAC to
assist VA leaders in setting policy and direction to ensure that VA research continues to
address veterans most significant health concerns.
Rutherford is a leading researcher in the epidemiology of AIDS and HIV infection and
public health issues in the AIDS epidemic. Much of his research has focused on the natural
history of HIV infection, and the epidemiology of AIDS and HIV infection in California and
He also has studied the epidemiology and prevention of tuberculosis, syphilis, and
coccidioidomycosis (a fungal infection endemic to the Southwestern US), and the interplay
between managed care and public health.
Rutherford joined UCSF as a full-time faculty member in 1997, but has been a member of
the courtesy faculty in pediatrics and epidemiology since 1986. He currently serves as
director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies International Program.
Rutherford also served as the state health officer for California from 1993 to 1995 and
as state epidemiologist from 1990 to 1995.