Executive Leadership & Expert Bios
Areas of Expertise
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Elizabeth R. Unger, PhD, MD
Chief, Chronic Viral Disease Branch
Elizabeth Unger is the Chief of the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch (CVDB) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She currently leads research and public health studies encompassing molecular pathology of both human papillomavirus (HPV) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) programs in CVDB.
Dr. Unger received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA. She then earned her PhD and MD in the Division of Biologic Sciences at the University of Chicago where she also began a residency in pathology. Her residency and fellowship was completed at Pennsylvania State University Medical Center. During this time, Dr. Unger developed a practical method of colorimetic in situ hybridization. This work led to interest in tissue localization of HPV and ultimately to her initial appointment to CDC in 1997 to pursue molecular pathology of HPV and CFS.
At CDC, Dr. Unger has brought a clinical perspective to biospecimen collection, processing and testing in support of ongoing epidemiologic studies. Her efforts led to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification of CVDB's HPV laboratory and its designation as one of two global reference laboratories for the World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Network. As part of her CDC tenure, Dr. Unger has also served as an HPV consultant for WHO and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and was a key member of the laboratory team initiating microarray technology to study gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
She is co-author of 142 peer-reviewed publications and 24 book chapters and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, Diagnostic Molecular Pathology and the Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. In 2008, for her HPV research accomplishments, she received the Health and Human Services (HHS) Career Achievement Award.
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- Page last reviewed: December 16, 2010
- Page last updated: December 16, 2010
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