Debbie Dowell, MD, MPH

Debbie Dowell

Chief Medical Officer, CDC Coronavirus Disease-2019 Response

Chief Clinical Research Officer, Division of Overdose Prevention, NCIPC


Areas of Expertise

  • Opioid overdose prevention
  • Opioid prescribing

Debbie Dowell, MD, MPH, is the chief medical officer for CDC’s COVID-19 Response and chief clinical research officer for CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. She has served in various roles in CDC’s COVID-19 Response since February 2020, including deputy chief medical officer, chief medical/science officer, and associate editor of CDC’s COVID-19 Science Update.

Dr. Dowell completed her residency and chief residency in primary care internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital Center and the NYU School of Medicine, where she joined the faculty as a clinical assistant professor. She is board certified in internal medicine and served as an attending physician, providing care and supervising residents at a community health center in New York City. She currently volunteers at a community-based clinic, providing primary care for uninsured individuals in Georgia.

Previously, as chief medical officer for CDC’s Injury Center, Dr. Dowell led development of the CDC strategy to prevent opioid overdoses. She also served as advisor to New York City’s health commissioner. She has conducted research on quality and safety in medical care, the effects of clinical guidelines, and the effectiveness of interventions to prevent opioid overdose.

She received BA and MD degrees from Columbia University and an MPH degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also a graduate of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS).