AMD: Building Capacity and Workforce

For AMD to be successful, the nation needs the laboratory and computing technology necessary to analyze the complex genomes of pathogens. But having advanced equipment is not enough. We also need a workforce adept in pathogen genomics, molecular epidemiology, and bioinformatics.

As the AMD program began, many in the United States public health workforce had completed their training before genomics was such a prominent field. To address gaps in technology and workforce knowledge, the AMD program has been helping build capacity and provide workforce training at CDC and in state and local public health laboratories across the nation. See some of the advances we have made.

A 2011 panel of independent scientists assessed CDC’s sequencing and bioinformatics capacity. This panel found that the nation’s premier public health agency was sorely lacking in state-of-the-art technologies. One panel member even commented that “junior colleges have more sequencing capacity.” This was a call to action that got the nation’s leaders interested in helping CDC get up to speed on these technologies. And the cross-cutting AMD program has made leaps and bounds since its inception in 2013.

See more about AMD capacity here at CDC.

By supporting implementation of AMD technologies at the state and local level, we can speed up detection, identify links between outbreaks across state borders, and protect Americans even better. As the AMD program works to provide tools and training on AMD methods to state and local public health laboratories, these labs have seen great successes in using these technologies on outbreaks.

See examples of state and local laboratory successes.

Page last reviewed: October 15, 2019