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Biography for New CDC Director
Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., M.P.H., is a distinguished
leader in public health, disease prevention and health promotion. He currently serves as the
President of the Prudential Center for Health Care Research in Atlanta, which conducts health
services and outcomes research. He built the Prudential Center into a nationally-recognized
health research organization with a staff of more than 25 experts who have published more than
30 scientific studies.
From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Koplan
served as Assistant Surgeon General and the first director of the National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at CDC. Dr. Koplan started his 22-year Public Health
Service (PHS) and CDC career in the lab and the field as a Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)
officer, one of CDC's celebrated "disease detectives." During his long and
distinguished career, he has made contributions in the battle against the major burdens of
infectious diseases, environmental hazards, chronic diseases and unintentional injuries. Dr.
Koplan worked in the Smallpox Eradication Program, the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre and as
CDC's Assistant Director for Public Health Practice. He established a national women's breast
and cervical cancer early detection program at CDC that started with a $500,000 grant in 1987
and now reaches every state with over $100 million in funding. Dr. Koplan was also
instrumental in focusing attention on the global impact of the health hazards of tobacco.
While serving in the Public Health Service, he received the Distinguished Service Award --the
corps' highest award -- as well as seven other PHS awards. He also received the Indian Health
Service Director's Special Award for Excellence. He retired from the U.S. Public Health
Service in 1994.
Dr. Koplan regularly serves as a consultant to the World Bank and the World Health
Organization on public health programs. He has worked in Finland on cardiovascular programs,
consulted on infectious and chronic disease issues in China for over 15 years and designed
efforts to prevent chronic disease in Hungary. In 1984, he led the U.S. team investigating the
Bhopal chemical disaster in India. Dr. Koplan was also responsible for developing surveillance
and epidemic investigation capability in ten Caribbean nations while based in Trinidad and
Dr. Koplan holds numerous academic appointments and is currently Visiting Professor of Community Health at Emory University School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Community Medicine at Morehouse Medical School and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. For six years, he was Executive Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of CDC, playing a major role in establishing national immunization policies for the U.S. He was chairman of the PHS Executive Committee on AIDS from 1982 to 1984, a member of the advisory committee to the CEO of the American Cancer Society and on the Advisory Board of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
Dr. Koplan has written or contributed to more than 140 scientific publications on
epidemiology, economic analysis, public health, prevention effectiveness and the value of
cost-benefit analysis in prevention, health services research, health promotion and
international health. His published articles have addressed such diverse areas as the Bhopal
chemical disaster, viral vaccines, the course of smallpox infection in Bangladesh, the risks
and benefits of running and a host of other issues.
Dr. Koplan was born January 3, 1945, in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. in English
from Yale University, an M.D. from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and an M.P.H. from Harvard
University's School of Public Health. He was a resident in internal medicine at Montefiore
Hospital (New York) and Stanford University Hospital and in preventive medicine at CDC. He is
board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Koplan currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Carol Koplan, M.D. They have
two children, Adam, 25, and Kate, 21.
Dr. Koplan will assume his duties as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)
Director and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Administrator effective
October 5, 1998.
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