Leadership and Expert Bios

Sarah Bacon

Sarah Bacon, PhD

Senior Advisor on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Office of Strategy and Innovation

Dr. Sarah Bacon is senior advisor on adverse childhood experiences and supports CDC’s Injury Center from her position in the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI). In this role, she provides strategic leadership and coordination across a range of injury and violence topics as they relate to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


Grant Baldwin

Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH

Director, Division of Overdose Prevention

Dr. Grant Baldwin is the director of the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. He leads the division in monitoring trends in the drug overdose epidemic and other emerging drug threats, identifying and scaling up prevention activities to address the evolving drug crisis, and supporting local drug-free community coalitions.


Mick Ballesteros

Mick Ballesteros, PhD

Deputy Associate Director for Science, Division of Injury Prevention

Mick Ballesteros, PhD, is the deputy associate director for science in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. Dr. Ballesteros provides leadership, planning, and guidance to division management and staff on scientific quality, policy, training, and research priorities on various division topic areas.


Kathlen Basile

Kathleen C. Basile, PhD

Deputy Associate Director for Science, Division of Violence Prevention

Kathleen C. Basile, PhD, serves as deputy associate director for Science in the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. She is responsible for providing leadership, planning, and guidance to division management and staff on scientific policy, training, and research priorities on violence prevention topics.


Laurie Beck

Laurie Beck, MPH

Epidemiologist, Division of Injury Prevention

Laurie Beck, MPH, has served as an epidemiologist on the Transportation Safety Team within the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center since 2003. She works to prevent motor vehicle injuries and deaths, with research interests that include safe transportation for older adults and seat belt use.


Gwen Bergen, PhD, MS, MPH

Gwen Bergen, PhD, MS, MPH

Team Lead, Safety Promotion Team, Applied Sciences Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Gwen Bergen, PhD, MS, MPH, serves as the team lead for the Safety Promotion Team in the Applied Sciences Branch of the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. The Safety Promotion Team’s primary focuses are the prevention of drownings and older adult falls.


Matt Breiding, PhD

Matt Breiding, PhD

Team Lead, Traumatic Brain Injury Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Matt Breiding, PhD, is a behavioral scientist and serves as team lead of the Traumatic Brain Injury Team in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. His work at CDC has been focused on surveillance of traumatic brain injury, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and child abuse—both domestic and international.


Elizabeth Burns

Elizabeth Burns, MPH

Health Scientist, Safety Promotion Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Elizabeth Burns is a health scientist on the Safety Promotion Team in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. She supports research determining the effectiveness of clinical falls prevention.

Jieru Chen

Jieru Chen, PhD, MS

Research Mathematical Statistician, Division of Injury Prevention

Jieru Chen, PhD, is a research mathematical statistician in the in the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP) at CDC’s Injury Center. Her work at CDC is focused on complex survey methodology, injury data surveillance system design and implementation, and complex sample data analysis for supporting public health programs.


Ekta Choudhary

Ekta Choudhary, PhD, MPH

Lead, Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) Program at the Program Implementation and Evaluation Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Ekta Choudhary, PhD, MPH, leads the Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) Program at the Program Implementation and Evaluation Branch, in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. In this role, Dr. Choudhary provides technical support to manage all research, training, and outreach activities performed by ICRCs. CDC funded ICRCs study as a way to prevent injuries and violence and to work with community partners to put research findings into action.


Tessa Clemens

Tessa Clemens, PhD, MEd

Health Scientist, Safety Promotion Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Tessa Clemens, PhD, MEd, serves as a health scientist on the Safety Promotion Team in the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP) at CDC’s Injury Center. She identifies effective strategies for preventing drowning through investigating data sources and methods to improve drowning surveillance. Her work focuses on supporting health equity, which includes understanding and addressing racial and ethnic disparities in drowning rates and supporting the implementation of effective interventions among underserved populations with the highest rates of drowning.

Jill Daugherty

Jill Daugherty, PhD

Epidemiologist, Division of Injury Prevention

Jill Daughtery, PhD, is an Epidemiologist on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. Her work focuses on understanding the public health burden of and sociodemographic disparities in TBI.


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Nicole Davis, PhD, MPH

Lead Epidemiologist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Nicole Davis, PhD is a Lead Epidemiologist and Overdose Mortality Team Lead in the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch of the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. In this role, she manages the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS).


Sarah DeGue

Sarah DeGue, PhD

Senior Scientist, Research and Evaluation Branch, Division of Violence Prevention

Sarah DeGue, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in the Research and Evaluation Branch of the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center, and lead for CDC’s Dating Matters® teen dating violence prevention initiative. Her work focuses primarily of the etiology and prevention of sexual violence.


Debbie Dowell

Debbie Dowell, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer, CDC Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Response
Chief Clinical Research Officer, Division of Overdose Prevention

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.

Mark Faul

Mark Faul, PhD, MA

Senior Health Scientist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Mark Faul, PhD, MA is a senior health scientist in the Division of Overdose Prevention at the Injury Center. Dr. Faul’s work in the area of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), opioid overdose and EMS research led to the authorship of approximately 80 scientific publications, which have been cited more than 7,000 times.


Corine Ferdon

Corinne Ferdon, PhD

Deputy Associate Director for Science, Division of Violence Prevention

Corinne Ferdon, PhD, is the deputy associate director for Science within the Division of Violence Prevention at the Injury Center. She assists the ADS in providing leadership, planning, and guidance to DVP management and staff on scientific policy, research methodology, and priorities for research activities.


Curtis Florence

Curtis Florence, PhD

Economics Team Lead, Data Analytics Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Curtis Florence, PhD, is the lead of the Economics Team for the Data Analytics Branch in the Injury Center’s Division of Injury Prevention. Dr. Florence leads a team of economists, providing estimates on the economic burden of injury and violence.


Katherine Fowler

Katherine Fowler, PhD

Senior Scientist, Mortality Surveillance Team, Division of Violence Prevention

Katherine Fowler, PhD, is the senior scientist on the Mortality Surveillance Team in the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). As the Senior Scientist on the team she provides leadership, planning, and guidance to other scientists regarding technical and scientific operations of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), management and design of research projects using NVDRS data, and helps set priorities for NVDRS research activities.

Arlene Greenspan, DrPH, MS, MPH

Arlene Greenspan, DrPH, MPH, PT

Associate Director for Science, Office of Science

Dr. Greenspan is the associate director for Science at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Injury Center). For more than 20 years, she has conducted research in various areas of injury prevention and control including teen driving, child passenger safety, falls prevention, and traumatic brain injury.


Gery Guy

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH

Team Lead, Division of Overdose Prevention

Gery Guy, PhD, MPH is a health scientist and serves as the team lead for the Applied Research, Evaluation and Integration team in the Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP).

 

 

Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa

Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD

Senior Health Scientist, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team

Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD, is a senior health scientist on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team, in the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP), at the Injury Center. As a health scientist, her role on the TBI team is to devise research projects and products to better understand trends in TBI in the U.S. and to improve health outcomes for individuals living with a TBI.


Yara Haddad

Yara Haddad, PharmD, MPH

Epidemiologist and Pharmacist, Safety Promotion Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Yara Haddad is an epidemiologist and pharmacist on the Safety Promotion Team in the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP) at CDC’s Injury Center. Her expertise is geriatric care, older adult fall and injury prevention, and effects of medications and polypharmacy on older adult safety.


Kristin Holland

Kristin M. Holland, PhD, MPH

Associate Director for Science, Division of Overdose Prevention

Kristin Holland, PhD, MPH is the associate director for Science for CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention. She oversees CDC’s Cannabis Strategy and Coordination Unit and provides leadership, planning, and guidance to Division management and staff on scientific policy, research methodology, and priorities for overdose prevention research activities.


Brooke Hoots

Brooke Hoots, PhD, MSPH

Epidemiologist & Cannabis Strategy Unit Lead, Division of Overdose Prevention

Brooke Hoots, PhD, MSPH, is an epidemiologist and the lead of the Cannabis Strategy Unit in the Division of Overdose Prevention. In this role, she provides programmatic and technical direction for CDC’s cannabis-related activities, which focus on surveillance and research to address gaps in the benefits and harms of cannabis use.


Debra Houry

Debra Houry, MD, MPH

Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Debra Houry, MD, MPH, is currently serving as the acting principal deputy director of CDC. As the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Dr. Houry leads innovative research and science-based programs to prevent injuries and violence and to reduce their consequences.

Christopher Jones

Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH

Acting Director

Christopher Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH (CAPT US Public Health Service), is the acting director for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). When not serving as the acting director, Dr. Jones is the deputy director of NCIPC.

Megan Kearns

Megan C. Kearns, PhD

Behavioral Scientist, Research and Evaluation Branch, Division of Violence Prevention

Megan C. Kearns, PhD, is a senior behavioral scientist in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Injury Center. Her research interests focus on primary and secondary prevention of intimate partner violence, including evaluation of community and policy-based prevention approaches.


Henrietta Kuoh

Henrietta Kuoh, MPH

Associate Director of Program Implementation, Division of Overdose Prevention

Henrietta Kuoh is the associate director of Program Implementation (ADPI) for the Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) in CDC’s Injury Center. As ADPI, Henrietta provides leadership on the development and implementation of DOP programmatic initiatives aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality associated with drug overdoses and supports the execution of its overarching strategic priorities.


Vikram Krishnasamy

Vikram Krishnasamy, MD, MPH

Senior Medical Officer

Vikram Krishnasamy, MD, MPH, is a senior medical officer at CDC’s Injury Center. There, he facilitates cross-agency overdose-related work through leadership of the Overdose Response Coordinating Unit. In this capacity, Vikram also oversees strategic collaboration within CDC to address the overdose crisis.

 

Royal Law

Royal Law, PhD, MPH

Lead, Data Science Team, Data Analytics Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Dr. Royal Law is the lead for the Data Science Team in the Data Analytics Branch of the Division of Injury Prevention. In this role, he manages a multidisciplinary team of health scientists, computer scientists, and statisticians to apply novel analytics and data science approaches to existing programs and topics across the Injury Center.


Robin Lee, PhD, MPH

Robin Lee, PhD, MPH

Branch Chief, Applied Sciences Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Robin Lee, PhD, MPH, leads the Applied Sciences Branch (ASB) at CDC’s Injury Center. ASB conducts surveillance, behavioral, and epidemiologic research to address unintentional and self-directed injuries, with a focus on the evaluation of trends and the assessment of environmental, social, behavioral, and other risk and protective factors, as well as the development and evaluation of intervention activities.


Jan L. Losby

Jan L. Losby, PhD, MSW

Acting Deputy Director, Division of Overdose Prevention
Branch Chief for the Health Systems and Research Branch, Division of Overdose Prevention

Jan L. Losby, PhD, MSW is a behavioral scientist and serves as the acting deputy director for the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. She is also the branch chief for the Health Systems and Research Branch. Dr. Losby is responsible for evaluating and advancing the implementation of CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, conducting applied health systems research, and building scientific evidence to support state, community, and tribal efforts to address the opioid overdose epidemic.

Karin Mack

Karin Mack, PhD

Associate Director for Science, Division of Injury Prevention

Karin A. Mack, PhD, is the associate director for science (ADS) in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. As the ADS, she is responsible for working with the division’s science professionals and provides overarching vision and scientific leadership.


Christine Mattson

Christine Mattson, PhD

Senior Health Scientist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Christine Mattson, PhD is a senior health scientist on the Overdose Mortality Team in the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Overdose Prevention at the Injuy Center.


Angela Marr

Angela Marr, MPH

Branch Chief, Program Implementation and Evaluation Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Angela Marr, MPH, is the branch Chief of the Program Implementation and Evaluation Branch in the Division of Injury Prevention at the Injury Center. In this role, Ms. Marr provides leadership to bridge science and practice in an effort to move the field of violence and injury prevention forward.


Greta Massetti

Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH

Branch Chief, Field Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Division of Violence Prevention

Greta Massetti, PhD, is the branch chief of the Field Epidemiology and Prevention Branch and a senior epidemiologist in the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. In this role, Dr. Massetti leads the division’s efforts to address the global burden of violence against children and youth.


Jim Mercy

James A. Mercy, PhD

Director, Division of Violence Prevention

James A. Mercy, PhD, is the director of the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. In this role, he provides leadership to innovative research and science-based programs to prevent violence and reduce its consequences.


Christina Mikosz

Christina Mikosz, MD

Lead Medical Officer, Division of Overdose Prevention

Dr. Christina Mikosz is a lead medical officer in the Health Systems and Research Branch in the Division of Overdose Prevention, where she leads the Clinical Practice Team.

 

Phyllis Niolon

Phyllis Holditch Niolon, PhD

Senior Scientist , Division of Violence Prevention

Phyllis Holditch Niolon, PhD, is the senior scientist for Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the office of the Director of Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.


Rita K. Noonan

Rita Noonan, PhD

Branch Chief, Division of Overdose Prevention

Rita Noonan, PhD, is a sociologist and branch chief in CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention. Dr. Noonan and her staff oversee prevention and evaluation strategies that support CDC’s $1.2B program, Overdose Data to Action (OD2A). OD2A is designed to reduce drug overdose deaths and related harms in the United States by providing funding to 47 states and 16 large city/county health departments to improve public health surveillance, implement evidence-based prevention strategies, and shed light on emerging innovations in the field.

Erin M. Parker, PhD

Erin M. Parker, PhD

Deputy Associate Director for Science, Division of Overdose Prevention

Commander Erin Parker, PhD, serves as the Deputy Associate Director for Science in the Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) at the Injury Center.

 


Manisha Patel, MD, MS

Manisha Patel, MD, MS

Associate Director, Office of Strategy and Innovation

Manisha Patel, MD, MS, currently serves as the associate director for the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI) in CDC’s Injury Center and is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service.

 


Alexis Peterson

Alexis Peterson, PhD

Health Scientist, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Alexis Peterson, PhD, is a health scientist on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team in the Division of Injury Prevention at the Injury Center. Her role on the TBI team is to promote the accurate reporting of TBI incidence and burden to inform the general public and stakeholders.


Cora Peterson

Cora Peterson, PhD, MSc

Senior Health Economist, Division of Injury Prevention

Cora Peterson, PhD, MSc, is a senior health economist in the Division of Injury Prevention at the Injury Center. She leads economic evaluation, cost analysis, statistical analysis, and decision modeling studies to support resource allocation decisions related to injury and violence prevention.

Judy Qualters

Judith R. Qualters, PhD, MPH

Director, Division of Injury Prevention 

Dr. Judith (Judy) R. Qualters is the director of the Division of Injury Prevention at the Injury Center. Dr. Qualters has extensive experience leading public health surveillance, research, and state prevention programs.

 

Douglas Roehler

Douglas Roehler, PhD, MPH

Epidemiologist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Douglas Roehler, serves as an epidemiologist for the Cannabis Strategy Unit in the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. His work has focused on coordinating and implementing CDC’s cannabis strategic plan, expanding cannabis surveillance and research, and building surveillance and prevention capacity for drug-related overdoses.

 

Wesley Sargent

Wesley Sargent, EdD, EdS, MA

Health Scientist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Wesley Sargent, EdD, EdS, MA serves as a health scientist for the Clinical Practice Team in the Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) at CDC’s Injury Center. His work at CDC has been focused on translating and implementing CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, and serving as a Science Officer on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) cooperative agreement.


Kelly Sarmiento, MPH

Kelly Sarmiento, MPH

Public Health Advisor, Division of Injury Prevention

Kelly Sarmiento, MPH, serves as a public health advisor in the Division of Injury Prevention’s Traumatic Brain Injury Team at CDC’s Injury Center. Kelly’s expertise is in pediatric mild traumatic brain injury and she is responsible for leading the HEADS UP campaign.


Joshua Schier

Joshua G. Schier, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer, United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps
Senior Medical Officer and Medical Toxicologist, Health Systems & Research Branch, Division of Overdose Prevention

Captain Joshua Schier, MD, MPH, is a senior medical officer and subject matter expert in medical toxicology for various activities within the Injury Center’s Division of Overdose Prevention. He serves as a strategy lead for CDC’s Overdose Data to Action Program, overseeing activities related to linking overdose patients to care and supporting providers and health systems across 66 states, counties, and metropolitan areas.


Puja Seth

Puja Seth, PhD

Branch Chief, Division of Overdose Prevention

Puja Seth, PhD, is the branch chief for the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. In this role, she oversees the conceptualization and implementation of the surveillance components of CDC’s Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program.


Thomas Simon

Thomas R. Simon, PhD

Associate Director for Science, Division of Violence Prevention 

Thomas R. Simon, PhD, is the associate director for science (ADS) in the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. As the ADS, he provides leadership, planning, and guidance to division management and staff on scientific policy, research methodology, and priorities for research activities. His work focuses primarily on violence involving young people and the linkages across different forms of violence.


Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens, MSPH, MA

Team Lead, Applied Statistics Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Mark Stevens, is a mathematical statistician and serves as team lead of the Applied Statistics Team in the Data Analytics Branch of the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. His work at CDC has been focused on complex survey data analysis and mixed (hierarchical) modeling methodology.


Deb Stone

Deborah M. Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH

Lead Behavioral Scientist, Suicide Prevention Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Deb Stone is the lead behavioral scientist on the Suicide Prevention Team within the Applied Science Branch in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center.

 


Dr. Steven Sumner

Steven A. Sumner, MD, MSc

Senior Advisor for Data Science and Innovation, Office of Strategy and Innovation

Dr. Steven Sumner, MD, MSc, serves as senior advisor for Data Science and Innovation at CDC’s Injury Center. He coordinates, supports, and oversees data science initiatives in priority public health areas of drug overdose, suicide/mental health, and violence and injury prevention.

Alana Vivolo-Kantor

Alana Vivolo-Kantor, PhD

Lead Health Scientist, Division of Overdose Prevention

Dr. Alana Vivolo-Kantor is a Senior Health Scientist and Overdose Morbidity Team Lead in the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Overdose Prevention at the Injury Center. In this role, she manages the nonfatal overdose surveillance data collected from health departments funded by CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) and the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) cooperative agreements.

 

Dana Waltzman

Dana Waltzman, PhD

Behavioral Scientist, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Dana Waltzman, PhD, is a behavioral scientist on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. Her work focuses on understanding the public health burden, prevention, and long-term effects of TBI.


Bethany West

Bethany West, MPH

Epidemiologist, Transportation Safety Team, Division of Injury Prevention

Bethany West, MPH, has served as an epidemiologist on the Transportation Safety Team in the Injury Center since 2008. She works to prevent motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths among vulnerable populations including children, older adults, and minorities.


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Mark Winarsky, MPA, PMP

Programming Team Lead, Division of Injury Prevention

Mark Winarsky, MPA, PMP, is the programming team lead in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. His work is focused on modernizing WISQARS and expanding functionality of this robust injury data system.


Amy Wolkin

Amy Wolkin, DrPh, MSPH

Branch Chief of the Data Analytics Branch, Division of Injury Prevention

Amy Wolkin, DrPH, MSPH, is the chief of the Data Analytics Branch in the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. Dr. Wolkin leads a multi-disciplinary group of scientists who provide leadership on health statistics, data science, health economic research, and programming and web application development for the Injury Center.