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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Exhibit at URI Library features Vietnam photos by leading scientist

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 27, 2004 -- Internationally known as an award-winning teacher, a dynamic research scientist, and a patented inventor, next month University of Rhode Island Professor Roger LeBrun will bring another view of his work and life into focus.

From Aug. 2 though Sept. 16, the University's Library Gallery will feature an exhibit of LeBrun's photographic essay entitled "Fringes of War: Vietnam 1969." A portion of the exhibit features works from a previous show, "Eye of the Storm: A combat medic's refuge at a Buddhist orphanage in Vietnam (1970)," that was presented for the first time for the judged Physician-Artist’s Exhibit last spring at the Dryden Gallery in Providence. The exhibit at URI includes a much broader array of images than were previously shown.

Free and open to the public, the gallery in the library on the Kingston Campus is open during August, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning Sept. 7, hours are Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to Midnight; Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to Midnight.

LeBrun says he has been a photographer for most of his life. Documenting everyday events as they unfolded before him, he became aware of the importance of the concerned photographer during his graduate years at Cornell University. Drafted into the Vietnam War as a combat medic, he intended to use the camera as an instrument to initiate social change.

The photographic series includes 24 20"x24" black and white uncropped prints that document daily life in both a village and a Buddhist orphanage in Vietnam. The negatives for this show were just recently printed. Noting that "Sometimes Pandora's Box can be the size of a film canister," LeBrun says the negatives had not been developed for 35 years. Some of the prints were recently auctioned at a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, and a portion of profits from the sales of other photographs will also be donated to the same organization.

After the war, LeBrun completed his graduate studies and was appointed to the faculty at the University in 1977. He is currently the Carnegie Professor of Life Sciences and works with graduate and undergraduate students in vector-borne disease.

He has held positions at the Pasteur Institute and the American Embassy in Paris and next year will be training interns from eight Southeast Asian countries in emerging and re-emerging infectious disease at the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In addition to teaching, LeBrun is director of graduate programs in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and director of the URI Laboratory for Invertebrate Pathology. His recent research has focused on diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes, especially Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and eastern equine encephalitis.