Science Club Welcomes HIV/AIDS Expert Dr. Susan Ball
Caitlin Gu ‘21
On November 13, Dr. Susan Ball (M.D., M.P.H., M.S.) spoke about her work on the frontlines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in a Zoom webinar to Lawrenceville students. Dr. Ball has been working as a clinical specialist caring for patients with HIV/AIDS since 1992 and has witnessed the disease’s transformation from a definite death sentence to a chronic, yet treatable disease. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Bernbaum Unit, Center for Special Studies at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a professor of Narrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The webinar began with a presentation from Dr. Ball followed by a question-and-answer segment moderated by the co-presidents of the Students of Science Club, Caitlin Gu ’21 and Isabelle Tilney-Sandberg ‘21. Dr. Ball gave an overview of the first 20 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and spoke about the development of crucial inhibitor drugs that have allowed the disease to become a manageable condition. The experiences of doctors and patients during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a particularly valuable lesson right now in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and drawing parallels between the two can provide useful insights to tackle this global challenge.
Dr. Ball received her Medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1985 and trained in Internal Medicine at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. She received a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University in 1990 and a Masters of Science in Narrative Medicine from Columbia in 2009. Dr. Ball is also the author of “Voices in the Band,” a touching collection of the personal experiences of doctors and patients during the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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