Donatus U. Ekwueme, PhD, MS

Photo of Dr. Donatus U. Ekwueme

Dr. Donatus U. Ekwueme is the Senior Health Economist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the past 20 years, Dr. Ekwueme has used state-of-the-art economic principles and methods to conduct health and health policy research on domestic and international public health programs in several national centers within CDC.

Dr. Ekwueme serves as the senior health economist in DCPC. In this role, he leads DCPC’s efforts to use microeconomic principles and methods to address the economic burden of cancer and identify approaches to minimize its effect on patients, their families, and the population in the United States and other countries. Dr. Ekwueme led the development of a cost assessment tool to evaluate and estimate the economics of national cancer prevention and control programs for medically underserved low-income populations. He uses modeling techniques to understand the association between economics, exposure factors (genetic, biological, environmental, occupational, and behavioral), and cancer prevention and control. He provides easy-to-understand economic cost information to help public health leaders make informed decisions on the most effective and efficient methods of allocating health care resources.

Dr. Ekwueme collaborates with CDC’s global and domestic partners. He served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and worked in several sub-Saharan African and English-speaking Caribbean countries conducting health economics research in communicable and non-communicable diseases. He is a member of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study Network. In domestic research, Dr. Ekwueme represents CDC in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Experiences with Cancer Survivorship Supplement. The supplement is a collaborative effort to improve publicly available data for estimating the burden of cancer in the United States. He is a founding member of the interagency consortium to promote health economics research on cancer (HEROiC).

During CDC’s COVID-19 emergency response, Dr. Ekwueme served on two task forces. On the Community Intervention and Critical Populations Task Force, he served as a deputy team lead, acting science lead, and the administrative and management officer. He directed research to address critical questions on measures to reduce COVID-19 spread in communities. On the Chief Health Equity Officer Task Force, he led the development of the economic indicators workbook and scientific manuscripts on the economic effects of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic groups and the general population.

Dr. Ekwueme has authored or co-authored more than 145 scientific publications and reports in peer-reviewed journals. His work has received media coverage and appeared in top public health, clinical, and policy journals. Selected media coverage of Dr. Ekwueme’s research includes—

He also serves as a reviewer for several scientific and biomedical journals and is a member of national and international professional societies that focus on public health and cancer. His contributions to public health have been recognized with numerous nominations and awards, including the CDC Honor Award for Excellence in Prevention for outstanding contributions in quantitative science.

Dr. Ekwueme has Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He completed post-doctoral training in preventive effectiveness in public health at CDC.

Some of the most recent articles Dr. Ekwueme has authored or co-authored include—

His publications list is available in PubMed or Google Scholar.

Page last reviewed: September 1, 2022