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Tanja Popovic, MD, PhD, F(AAM), AM(AAFS)

Deputy Associate Director for Science
Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

Dr. Popovic is CDC’s Deputy Associate Director for Science. From 2004–2010, she served as CDC's Associate Director for Science and Chief Science Officer. Dr. Popovic grew up and was educated in Croatia, a small central European country.  With a medical degree, masters in clinical pharmacology, doctorate in microbiology and completed residence in clinical microbiology, she first joined CDC in 1989 as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow.  Since then, she has served as the Chief of the Diphtheria Reference Unit, Chief of the Epidemiologic Investigations/Anthrax Laboratory and Co-director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Prevention and Control of Bacterial Meningitis. She was a WHO consultant for bacterial meningitis and diphtheria in Russia and throughout Africa.  For 6 years, she was the CDC lead subject matter expert on laboratory aspects of anthrax and led CDC laboratory efforts to perform thousands of confirmatory and molecular subtyping tests during the 2001 anthrax investigation. 

Dr. Popovic serves as the CDC Institutional Official for Human Research Subjects and for Animal Research. For 2 years (2004–06) Dr. Popovic was the Chair of the CDC's Excellence in Science Committee, Chair of the Intragovernmental Committee of the Strategic National Stockpile and the CDC representative on the Executive Steering Committee of the National Interagency Biodefense Campus. In 2005 and in 2008, she completed an executive leadership courses at Harvard's JFK School of Government and is the 2005 graduate of the Public Health Leadership Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Dr. Popovic is widely published and has many scientific accomplishments to her name. She has authored over 150 scientific publications and book chapters on molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases; she chaired, organized and presented as an invited lecturer at numerous scientific meetings worldwide.  She is an Associate Editor, Emerging Infectious Disease, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.  She has served as the Wachsman Foundation lecturer and received numerous awards for her contributions in the scientific and public health arenas, among them the Secretary of Health’s Award for Distinguished Service to the World Trade Center and Anthrax Investigations Emergency Response Team.

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  • Page last reviewed: January 5, 2015
  • Page last updated: September 18, 2014
  • Content source: Office of the Associate Director for Science The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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