Dr. Wondwossen A. Gebreyes is a professor and Director of Global Health Programs in the Veterinary Medicine College from The Ohio State University. His research interests include antimicrobial resistance, food safety and infectious disease molecular epidemiology.
To get to know Dr. Gebreyes a bit more, we asked him a few questions.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Usually, a person's interesting aspect depends on the ”eye of the beholder.” One thing that people find interesting is the fact that I was born and raised as an urban farmer in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia with a population of 3.5+ million. It's unique being a farmer in such a large city. I raised chickens when I was in primary and middle school; sold eggs to support school and even progressed to lambing though that was short lived…as I had to move away to college to study veterinary medicine.
At personal level, one unique thing a colleague at work reminded me is that I can memorize hundreds of telephone numbers. My mom used to be the same way. When I grew up, I knew all the neighborhood's and perhaps even part of the city’s license plate numbers. I have a photographic memory specific for numbers only, though; my colleague identified a retirement job for me: poker/ black jack player.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to narrow the disparity in health care and food safety by implementing the true sense of global health using the One Health approach.
What's the last good book you read?
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. This is a fascinating book that tempts the conventional wisdom of 'doing it all earning it all' attitude that we all tend to have. It teaches you how to be true to yourself and be more productive by doing less.
What are three words that best describe you?
Honest, hardworking and open. Sometimes too open and upfront.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Biking, biking, biking- mostly mountain, some road. I enjoy it. Besides the physical activity, it helps me refine and refocus my thoughts.
What are you most passionate about?
I am very passionate about global capacity building, intreating training capacity with research, and innovation targeting developing regions - leading teams with similar passions.
What are you currently working on?
I am leading a large task force from Ohio State and other collaborating institutes to conduct a One Health Summer Institute in Ethiopia. There are 26 professors and more than 25 students who are traveling to Ethiopia from May to August of 2014 for joint capacity building activities - conducting courses, workshops, as well as short-term research projects in wide arrays of global health issues including food safety, rabies, cervical cancer, oral pathology and optometry. I am happy and humbled to chair this high-powered task force. More details can be found here.
To learn more about Dr. Gebreyes click here.