Barbara Rath, MD PhD is a board-certified pediatric consultant and infectious disease specialist with 20 years’ experience in clinical trials, public health and virology in the US, Latin America and Europe. Dr. Rath’s recent research focuses on vaccine safety/communication and the quest for a personalized approach to managing acute infections in children.
Dr. Rath is co-founder and chair of the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative (VVSI), an international think tank and non-profit-organization focused on new avenues for the treatment, communication and prevention of infectious diseases. Under her leadership, VVSI developed a mobile application in 2015/16—during the peak of refugee arrivals in Berlin—that allowed young refugees to self-report in real time their health needs securely and anonymously. The tool was based on a survey instrument she had encountered while providing urgent care services to 18,000 evacuees in Lafayette, LA, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. housing up to 18’000 evacuees. In conjunction with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, Dr. Rath has also developed innovative, real-time surveillance and quality improvement programs for the monitoring of acute infections with epi/pandemic potential.
In addition to her work with VVSI, Dr. Rath also chairs the Epidemiology Group and is an ex officio board member of the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (ISIRV) . She also serves on the board for the respiratory virus study group of the European Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. She is a founding member of the Monarch Collaboration, an international consortium to Improving the Health of Migrant and Refugee Populations through Immunization and in 2018, she completed the Global Pediatrics Leadership Program at Harvard University Medical School. In 2018 she was also appointed as an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, UK.
Dr. Rath received her medical school education in Germany, the United States and Spain, and her doctoral degrees from the University of Basel, Switzerland and the University of Besançon, France. In addition to a post-doctoral fellowship at the Stanford Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine, she has received pediatric residency and infectious disease subspecialty training at Duke and Tulane Universities, USA.