Executive Leadership & Expert Bios
Areas of Expertise
Inger K. Damon, M.D., Ph.D, FIDSA
Chief, Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, NCEZID
CAPT Inger Damon, MD, PhD, is chief of the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch in the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, NCEZID. She graduated from Amherst College, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Chemistry and earned her M.D.-PhD degrees (in Biomedical Sciences) from the University of Connecticut. After residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, she then moved to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, where she completed a clinical fellowship in infectious diseases along with a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular virology in the laboratory of Bernard Moss.
Dr. Damon has been at CDC since 1999. She began as a scientist in the Poxvirus Section to aid in development of and to begin work on the U.S. smallpox research agenda using live variola virus. Subsequently she has assumed various leadership roles for the poxvirus group and has interacted extensively with various HHS programs focusing on smallpox preparedness. Dr. Damon is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and has clinical- (adjunct-) faculty status at Emory University. She is the director of one the two WHO Collaborating Centers for Smallpox and other Poxvirus Infections, is certified to work, and trains others to work in the high containment (BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories). Her research interests are equally applied to disease and disease mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of poxvirus diseases, as well as research topics related to understanding the molecular basis of poxvirus morphogenesis and cellular pathogenesis. Dr. Damon is the author of multiple book chapters and an author or coauthor on more than 100 peer-reviewed publications relating to poxviruses and poxvirus-associated disease.
The Poxvirus Program at CDC has developed programs of study in human orthopoxvirus disease pathogenesis, animal models of orthopoxvirus disease, therapeutics development, poxvirus surveillance activities, ecological investigations of poxviruses, and studies of the (zoonotic) transmission dynamics of orthopoxviruses. In general, these studies involve integrated teams of research biologists, virologists, epidemiologists and individuals in training programs. The Poxvirus Program has been involved, as well, in technology transfer (of laboratory diagnostics) to a number of counties in Africa.
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