David A. Sack, M.D.

  • Joint Appointment in Medicine

Research Interests

International health; Cholera; Rotavirus; Diarrhea; Bangladesh; Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli; Shigella; Population; Epidemiology; Oral rehyration solution; Malaria; Tuberculosis ...read more


Dr. David Sack holds a joint appointment in medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a professor of international health in the Center for Global Health with a joint appointment in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. His research focuses on enteric infections and vaccine development for these infections.

He has spent his career devoted to the control of infectious diarrheal diseases like cholera, rotavirus, and diarrhea due to enterotoxigenic E. coli. He is the director and principal investigator of the Dove Project, which works to insure that populations at risk of cholera around the world benefit from oral cholera vaccine in an appropriate and effective manner.

Dr. Sacks received his M.D. from the University of Oregon in 1969, and trained in internal medicine at the University of Iowa and in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University.

He spent 15 years in Bangladesh conducting research at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, (ICDDR,B) including eight years as its executive director. While at the ICDDR,B he accepted the first Gates Award for Global Health on behalf of the Centre in 2001. He is also head of the Enteric Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Immunization Research, which carries out clinical trials of new enteric vaccines. 

He has authored more than 300 articles and serves on advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the International Vaccine Institute, and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).

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  • Joint Appointment in Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Sack’s research has been focused on enteric infections and vaccine development for these infections. His work with enteric infections has included laboratory detection of these agents, describing their epidemiology in travelers and developing country populations, developing appropriate clinical management strategies including antibiotics and rehydration methods.

With regard to vaccines, he has participated in the development of vaccines for cholera, rotavirus, enterotoxigenic E coli, shigellosis and other bacterial infections.

Working in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO and other partners, he initiated the DOVE project (Delivering Oral Cholera Vaccine Effectively), which will facilitate the use oral cholera vaccine as part of an integrated strategy for cholera control.

Selected Publications

Shannon KL, Ahmed S, Rahman H, Prue CS, Khyang J, Ram M, Haq MZ, Chowdhury A, Akter J, Glass GE, Shields T, Nyunt MM, Khan WA, Sack DA, Sullivan DJ Jr. “Hemoglobin E and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency and Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in the Chittagong Hill Districts of Bangladesh.” Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Aug;93(2):281-6. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0623. Epub 2015 Jun 22.

Ruan X, Knudsen DE, Wollenberg KM, Sack DA, Zhang W. “An Adhesin Multiepitope Fusion Antigen (MEFA) Induces Broadly Protective Antibodies that Prevent Adherence of Escherichia Coli Strains Expressing CFA/I, CFA/II and CFA/IV.” Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013.

Qadri, F., Bhuiyan, T. R., Sack, D. A., and Svennerholm, A. M. “Immune Responses and Protection in Children in Developing Countries Induced by Oral Vaccines.” Vaccine 31. 2013. 452-460.

Chakraborty S, Alam M, Scobie HM, Sack DA. “Adaptation of a Simple Dipstick Test for Detection of Vibrio Cholerae O1 and O139 in Environmental Water.” Frontiers in microbiology. 2013;4: 320

Sack, DA. “A New Era in the History of Cholera: The Road to Elimination.” International Journal of Epidemiology. 2013;42:1537–1540.

Darsley MJ, Chakraborty S, Denearing B, Sack DA, Feller A, Buchwaldt C, et al. “The Oral, Live Attenuated Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Vaccine ACE527 Reduces the Incidence and Severity of Diarrhea in a Human Challenge Model of Diarrheal Disease.” Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 2012; 19(12):1921-31

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Clinical and Epidemiologic Aspects of Tropical Diseases (223.682.60 and 223.682.81)

Activities & Honors


  • Gates Award for Global Health, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research
  • Independence Day Award, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Patient Ratings & Comments

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