National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

Sam Posner, PhD

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Sam Posner, PhD, is the Acting Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and the Center’s Deputy Director for Science. In this role, he oversees the center’s surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory, and data science programs to expand and refine CDC’s capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to vaccine-preventable and respiratory infectious disease threats.

Dr. Posner came to CDC in 1998 from the University of California, San Francisco after completing doctoral work in quantitative psychology at the University of Southern California in 1996. He joined NCIRD in January of 2016 as the Associate Director for Epidemiological Science and Director of the Office of Science and Integrated Programs. In this role, Dr. Posner led the scientific review of several NCIRD programs, including the review and reframing of the Legionella program. Under his guidance, the Legionella program has grown significantly in scope and reach and now funds 23 jurisdictions for both prevention and outbreak response.

In the COVID-19 response, Dr. Posner co-led the development of a Scientific Agenda as a guide for the implementation of scientific activities to better understand COVID transmission dynamics, risk factors for mortality, and prevention strategies. He also worked closely on the data and informatics architecture for the COVID-19 national vaccine program. Within CDC, Dr. Posner first worked in the Division of Reproductive Health and moved to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, Office of the Director in 2008, where he served as Editor in Chief for the journal Preventing Chronic Disease and later Associate Director for Science.

He is the author of more than 100 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, and has written more than 15 book chapters, invited editorials, and other non–peer-reviewed contributions to the scientific literature. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of preconception care and multiple chronic conditions and an Adjunct Associate Professor at both Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Department of International Health and the University of Alabama, Birmingham’s School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior.

Page last reviewed: May 17, 2021