Director, Division of Laboratory Systems, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Reynolds (Ren) M. Salerno

Reynolds (Ren) M Salerno, PhD


Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Deputy Director Public Health Scientific Services

Reynolds Salerno, PhD, is the director of the Division of Laboratory Systems at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he oversees work to improve public health surveillance and practice and patient outcomes by advancing clinical laboratory quality and safety, data and biorepository science, and workforce competency. He is also the Designated Federal Official of the US Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

Dr. Salerno has more than 20 years of technical expertise in laboratory safety, quality, security, and risk management. He was the lead author for the International Organization for Standardization’s technical standard 35001 on laboratory biorisk management (ISO, 2019) and the co-author of Laboratory Biorisk Management: Biosafety and Biosecurity (CRC Press, 2015) and Laboratory Biosecurity Handbook (CRC Press, 2007). He serves on the Tri-Agency Task Force for Emergency Diagnostics and the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Improving Diagnostic Safety and Quality in Health Care. He is the CDC liaison to the Board of Directors of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Most recently, he served as the co-lead for CDC’s Laboratory and Testing Task Force for the COVID-19 Response.

Prior to joining CDC in 2016, Dr. Salerno was a senior manager for Biological Sciences and Technologies at Sandia National Laboratories, where he oversaw research in Sandia’s biological laboratories and supported the US government’s global health security agenda as a technical adviser to hundreds of laboratories in over 50 countries. He has been a technical advisor to both the World Health Organization and the US Defense Science Board’s Task Force on Deterring, Preventing, and Responding to the Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. He also served on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations and was a member of the US delegation to the Biological Weapons Convention, the “Dual-Use Biological Research Guidelines” working group of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and the International Criminal and Police Organization’s Counter-Bioterrorism Board of Experts.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and his PhD from Yale University.

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2021