Senior Advisor for Medical Care and Countermeasures


Joanna M. Prasher, PhD

Photo of Joanna Prasher

Joanna Prasher is the Senior Advisor for Medical Countermeasures within the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In this role she coordinates and leads CDC efforts in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) and provides expert technical advice to CDC leadership involving the development, acquisition, deployment, and effective use of medical countermeasures for public health emergencies.

Dr. Prasher has worked in public health emergency preparedness for 12 years, most recently serving as the PHEMCE Branch Chief for the Medical Countermeasure Strategy and Requirements (MCSR) Division within the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), HHS. In that capacity Dr. Prasher worked closely with subject matter and policy experts across the Federal government in support of policies and strategic planning regarding medical countermeasure development, stockpiling, and effective use in response to public health disasters.

Dr. Prasher received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Kalamazoo College (Magna Cum Laude) and a doctorate in Experimental Pathology from the University of Utah.  She conducted post-doctoral work at Erasmus University in The Netherlands on the common molecular mechanisms underlying both myeloid leukemia and aging before the anthrax attacks of 2001 motivated her to move into biodefense policy.  Dr. Prasher is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Health in Environmental Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia).

Page last reviewed: October 15, 2018