Executive Leadership & Expert Bios
John Besser, PhD
Deputy Chief, Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB), Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, NCEZID
John Besser has been deputy chief of the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB) in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at the National Center for Emerging and Infectious Zoonotic Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since July 2009. He has been involved in national and global programs to detect, characterize, and track enteric infectious diseases.
Dr. Besser is a microbiologist responsible for laboratory aspects of surveillance and research programs in enteric bacterial diseases, such as salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, shigellosis, botulism, listeriosis, cholera, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli diseases, and enteric outbreaks of undetermined etiology. EDLB programs include PulseNet, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), the National Enteric Reference Laboratory, the National Botulism Preparedness Laboratory, and the National Enterics Diagnostics and Outbreak Laboratories.
Between 1990 and 2009 Dr. Besser managed the Clinical Laboratory at the Minnesota Department of Health, where he directed infectious disease activities and presided over the development of numerous laboratory-based surveillance programs. From 1985 to 1990 he served as a clinical microbiologist at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics. He has been actively involved in development of PulseNet, and serves on committees and workgroups for the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and CDC.
Dr. Besser received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota, and is author or coauthor of over 85 journal articles, published abstracts, and book chapters, including a chapter in the ASM Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 8th Edition.
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- Page last updated: February 22, 2013
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