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CDC Influenza Division

Office of the Director and Branch Chief Bios

Jacqueline Katz, Ph.D. Jacqueline Katz, Ph.D. currently serves as the acting director of the Influenza Division. Dr. Katz earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry and her Doctoral degree in Microbiology from the University of Melbourne, Australia. After completing her postdoctoral training in influenza virology, she worked as an assistant member of the Department of Virology and Molecular Biology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Katz joined the CDC in 1992 as chief of the Immunology and Viral Pathogenesis Section in the Influenza Branch within the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases.

Dr. Katz was appointed chief of the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division in 2006. Under her leadership, the Branch has received three Charles C. Shepard Science Awards for excellence in laboratory methods publications. Dr. Katz and her group are internationally renowned for their research on the pathogenesis, immunity and transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, specifically in the area of human infection with novel influenza viruses of animal origin.

During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Dr. Katz and her group conducted serologic studies, provided laboratory support for seroepidemiologic investigations and supplied technical support to public health partners. Using existing models systems, her team studied the properties of virulence (disease severity) and transmissibility of pandemic 2009 H1N1 viruses in comparison to seasonal viruses. This research provided a platform for the ongoing assessment of multiple preventive and treatment strategies against pandemic 2009 H1N1 infection.

In addition to her role at the CDC, Dr. Katz has adjunct appointments at Atlanta’s Emory University in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Pathology, and is an adjunct member of the graduate faculty in the Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program of the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. She also serves as an associate editor for the International Society for Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Diseases. Dr. Katz’s work is documented in more than 150 research articles, reviews and books.

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Joseph Bresee, M.D. Joseph Bresee, M.D., FAAP, is currently the acting Deputy Director of CDC’s Influenza Division and chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. Dr. Bresee is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. The EPB branch is responsible for conducting influenza surveillance, working to understand influenza disease burden, helping to derive appropriate vaccine and antiviral use policies to prevent seasonal influenza, detecting and preventing avian influenza and pandemic influenza, and providing technical expertise to global public health partners. He has led the Branch since 2005. He also serves as co-Director of the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction, based at the Task Force for Global Health, which seeks to accelerate the use of flu vaccines in low and middle-income countries through developing public-private partnerships.

Dr. Bresee trained at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and then completed his Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Bresee joined CDC in 1993 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in the Influenza Branch. From 1995 to 2005, Dr. Bresee first served as a staff epidemiologist and medical officer, specializing in viral gastrointestinal infections and respiratory infections. Subsequently, he was promoted to Epidemiology Team Lead. His research and public health activities focused on rotavirus disease and rotavirus vaccines, and he worked to ensure that rotavirus vaccines were available for children in both the U.S. as well as those living in developing countries.

Dr. Bresee has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and textbook chapters.

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Terrence M. Tumpey, Ph.D. Terrence M. Tumpey, Ph.D., serves as the acting chief of the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division. The Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch is internationally renowned for their research on the pathogenesis, immunity and transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, specifically in the area of human infection with novel influenza viruses of animal origin. The Branch also provides laboratory support for sero-epidemiological investigations of influenza infections in humans.

Dr. Tumpey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in Microbiology/Immunology from the University of South Alabama School Of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. He was a recipient of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Postdoctoral Fellowship award and conducted his postdoctoral training in the Influenza Branch. He later served the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Microbiologist at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. Dr. Tumpey rejoined the CDC in 2003 and became the Team Leader of Pathogenesis, a position that required him to supervise eight Microbiologists.

Dr. Tumpey’s interests lie in elucidating the molecular determinants of virulence and transmission of influenza viruses, including pandemic influenza subtypes. He also contributes to the evaluation of influenza vaccines in a pre-clinical setting. In addition to his role at the CDC, Dr. Tumpey has an adjunct appointment at Atlanta’s Emory University in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. His research on pathogenesis and immunity during the last 28 years is documented in over 200 total peer-reviewed publications. In 2006, he was honored with the Lancet Award for the top scientific paper of 2005 presented by Lancet. He also received the 2006 and 2008 Charles C. Shepard Awards for Outstanding Research Papers. In 2007, Dr. Tumpey was inducted into the University of Minnesota, Duluth Academy of Science and Engineering and he received the Distinguished Alumni Award presented by the University of South Alabama.

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Ruben Donis, Ph.D. Ruben Donis, Ph.D., serves as the Associate Director for Policy, Evaluation and Preparedness for the CDC’s Influenza Division. Before this position, Dr. Donis was chief of the former Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch in the division.

Dr. Donis earned his Veterinary Medicine diploma from the University of Buenos Aires and his Ph.D. in Virology from Cornell University. He completed his postdoctoral work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he specialized in influenza molecular virology. Prior to joining CDC in 2003, Dr. Donis served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he participated in the leadership of the UNL Center for Biotechnology, and conducted research on influenza and flavivirus molecular biology.

At CDC, Dr. Donis oversees risk assessment studies that analyze structural and functional properties of emerging influenza viruses, including genome reassortment and virus-receptor interactions. His group monitors the evolution and pandemic potential of animal influenza viruses and develops candidate genetically engineered influenza viruses for vaccine production. Dr. Donis has more than 20 years of research experience with influenza virus molecular biology and virus-host interactions. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of microbiology at Emory University.

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Daniel B. Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H. Daniel B. Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., is a captain in the United States Public Health Service and has served as the deputy director of the Influenza Division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at CDC. (Dr. Jernigan is currently on a detail serving as the Incident Manager for CDC’s Ebola response.) Dr. Jernigan serves as senior medical officer and senior Public Health Service officer for the Influenza Division. He is responsible for oversight and direction of approximately 300 staff members with primary supervision of budget, communications, policy, preparedness and program support. In addition, he serves as a principle investigator for influenza research and public health evaluation activities.

Dr. Jernigan received an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health at the University of Texas. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has completed an additional residency in Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Jernigan joined the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1994, working in the Respiratory Diseases Branch on the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumonia, Group A Streptococcus, and Legionella. In 1996, he began serving on assignment from NCIRD to the Washington State Health Department as a medical epidemiologist and coordinator of national initiatives to improve surveillance for emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Jernigan became the chief of the Epidemiology Section for CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) in 2001. In that role, he supervised numerous investigations and initiatives to characterize various hospital-acquired, device-associated, and antimicrobial-resistant pathogen issues. In 2006, Dr. Jernigan joined the Influenza Division as deputy director.

Dr. Jernigan has authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on various emerging infectious diseases topics, and has supervised outbreak investigations of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections associated with emerging and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. He has led epidemiology and surveillance teams for national and international responses, including bioterrorism-related anthrax, the emergence of West Nile virus, SARS, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza, and public health management following natural disasters. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Dr. Jernigan served as the CDC lead for all domestic and international epidemiology and laboratory activities for the U.S. government’s response. Dr. Jernigan oversees a broad portfolio of influenza diagnostic test research and development efforts, including the CDC Influenza Reagent Resource (IRR) which manufactures and globally distributes test kits and reagents for virologic surveillance and influenza research.

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