Professor Kenedy F Shortridge

Professor Kenedy F Shortridge Ph.D.

1998 in Public Health

Professor Kennedy Francis Shortridge, an Australian national, was born on 6th April 1941. He obtained Bachelor of Science ((Microbiology) from the University of Queensland in 1962. He started his career as a Bacteriologist at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1963. In 1971 he received Ph.D. (Virology) from University of London: University College Hospital Medical School. He is now working in Hong Kong as the Chair-Professor, Department of Microbiology, the University of Hong Kong, and Head of the Emerging Pathogens Group to study the epidemiology of influenza viruses in Hong Kong.
In 1997 a very important event occurred in the epidemiology of influenza viruses. An Avian H5N1 influenza virus, which was characterized in Hong Kong by professor Shortridge as the cause of the outbreak of influenza that resulted in over 6,000 deaths on three chicken farms in the New Territories of Hong Kong, transmitted directly to humans and caused high mortality. When the index case of influenza was isolated from the child that died in May 1997, the virus characterized by Professor Shortridge was quickly identified as the causative agent. He organized an international task force to isolate and characterize the inflienza viruses in the live bird markets in Hong Kong.
The emerging pathogens group at the University of Hong Kong, led by Prof. Shortridge, played a very major role in characterizing the viruses and working with the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control from Atlanta in making the decision to depopulate the poultry, which led to the control of disease and helped preventing a pandemic of H5N1 influenza in humans.