National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)

Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS, RET)
Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS, RET)

Daniel B. Jernigan, MD, MPH, is the director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).  In this role, he oversees CDC’s work on foodborne, waterborne, fungal, vector-borne, highly pathogenic (e.g., Ebola), and healthcare-associated infectious diseases. He also guides NCEZID programs related to global migration, quarantine, and broad efforts that support U.S. health department’s work on preparedness and response for emerging infectious diseases.

Before accepting the position as NCEZID’s director, Dr. Jernigan was CDC’s deputy director for public health science and surveillance, working at the intersection of public health, healthcare, and health IT to advance agency-wide science, surveillance, and data priorities and strategies.  He was responsible for CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative, a broad activity to transform the U.S. public health information ecosystem. He also oversaw critical public health efforts in CDC’s cross-cutting work in health statistics, epidemiology and laboratory services, and scientific and laboratory quality and safety.

Dr. Jernigan previously served as the director of the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases from 2015 to 2021, where he was responsible for executing a broad scientific program to improve the detection, prevention, treatment, and response to seasonal, novel, and pandemic influenza. Prior to his appointment as director, he was the Influenza Division’s deputy director from 2006 to 2014.

Dr. Jernigan joined the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1994 and worked in the Respiratory Diseases Branch on the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory pathogens. In 1996, he began serving on assignment from CDC to the Washington State Health Department as a medical epidemiologist and coordinator of national initiatives to improve surveillance for emerging infectious diseases. He became the chief of the Epidemiology Section in 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.  He later served as DHQP’s associate director for epidemiologic science.

Throughout his CDC career, Dr. Jernigan has helped guide outbreak investigations of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections associated with emerging and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.  He also has served in leadership roles for national and international public health responses, including responses for the 2001 bioterrorism-related anthrax attack, the 2002 emergence of West Nile virus, the 2003 SARS epidemic, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, several Ebola outbreaks, and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jernigan has authored book chapters and more than 135 peer-reviewed articles on topics that include surveillance, public health data standards, influenza, and other emerging infections. He also is the recipient of many honor awards, including the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Science and Environment in 2019.

Dr. Jernigan received an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has completed an additional residency in Preventive Medicine. Upon completing 23 years of service in 2019, Dr. Jernigan retired from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service as a Captain.