The Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)

The Centers of Excellence combine innovative, applied research programs with public health expertise to help prevent and control vector-borne disease threats.


  • Conduct research on ways to prevent tick and mosquito bites or suppress populations of regionally important ticks and mosquitoes and their associated human disease pathogens.
  • Train a new generation of public health entomologists to serve as experts in vector-borne disease at state and local levels.
  • Strengthen collaboration between the academic community and state, territorial, and local public health organizations, vector management programs, and other potential partners to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies that suppress ticks and mosquitoes and the pathogens they spread.

New 5-year Awards Announced for 2022-2027

In July 2022, CDC awarded 5-year funding to establish a new Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and to re-establish three Centers at the University of Florida, University of California-Davis, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Learn More About the COEs, 2017-2022

In 2017, five universities were established as regional centers of excellence (COE) to help prevent and rapidly respond to emerging VBDs across the United States. CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) awarded a total of over $51.5 million to these universities.

Major Accomplishments of COEs

  • Trained over 5,300 vector control professionals and students through over 80 training opportunities
  • Developed undergraduate and graduate degree programs or certificates in public health entomology at all five universities
  • Spearheaded creation of regional vector surveillance systems for centralized data tracking
  • Evaluated effectiveness of innovative mosquito and tick control methods
  • Provided resources and technical assistance to local organizations

COE Accomplishments 2017-2021 [PDF – 1 page]

The Northeast Regional COE at Cornell University*

The Pacific Southwest COE at the University of California, Davis and Riverside

The Southeastern Regional COE at the University of Florida

The Western Gulf COE at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston

The Midwest COE at the University of Wisconsin, Madison


*This original COE’s workplan extends through December 2022.