Mike Underwood, Ph.D.
I started a career in science at the historic Tuskegee University. Tuskegee was key to my development as a scientist and public health professional. The University is steeped in a rich history of Black excellence, and I was pushed to reach my full potential. While there I was nurtured by professors who demanded intellectual curiosity, scientific innovation, and thoughtful consideration. Those lessons influence my work daily.
After Tuskegee, I earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. I later joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Here at CDC, I’ve researched cancer incidence disparities, helped launch a national cancer registry in South Africa, and led a team of multidisciplinary researchers to track vaccination coverage among schoolchildren and Pacific Island jurisdictions. Currently, I direct CDC surveillance programs (YRBS, Profiles, ABES) to monitor trends in adolescent health behaviors and school health policy in the Division of Adolescent and School Health.