About Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology

At a glance

The Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP) works to protect the public from deadly infectious diseases.

Three health workers in personal protective equipment

Our mission

DHCPP's mission is to prepare and help communities respond to U.S. and global health security threats associated with high-consequence pathogens.


  • Improve emergency response preparedness to select agents
  • Monitor highly lethal diseases
  • Identify previously unrecognized infectious diseases
  • Improve capabilities to diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases

Why it matters

High-consequence pathogens cause serious and deadly infections and pose a significant threat to domestic and global security. Many are contagious and most spread from animals to people. Some can be used as bioterrorism agents.

We have a vision of a future with fewer infections and less suffering caused by high-consequence pathogens and disabling illnesses of unexplained causes.

Our work

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Quickly and reliably detecting, diagnosing, and characterizing infectious diseases
  • Supporting outbreak investigations
  • Tracking and analyzing disease dynamics and ecology
  • Building laboratory and epidemiological capacity
  • Developing and evaluating diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines
  • Informing and educating healthcare providers, health officials, policymakers, and the general public


Portrait of Fernando Torres-Vélez
Fernando Torres-Vélez, DVM, PhD
Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology
Fernando Torres-Vélez, DVM, PhD, Director

Fernando Torres-Vélez, DVM, PhD, serves as the director of the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.