Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH, Acting Director

Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH

Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH, is the acting director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Before accepting this interim position with NCEZID, Dr. Jernigan was CDC’s deputy director for public health science and surveillance, working at the intersection of public health, healthcare, and health IT to advance agency-wide science, surveillance, and data priorities and strategies. Dr. Jernigan previously served as the director of the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Prior to his appointment as director, he was the Influenza Division’s deputy director from 2006 to 2014.

Dr. Jernigan joined the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1994 and worked in the Respiratory Diseases Branch on the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory pathogens. In 1996, he began serving on assignment from CDC to the Washington State Health Department as a medical epidemiologist and coordinator of national initiatives to improve surveillance for emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Jernigan became the chief of the Epidemiology Section in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) in 2001. In that role, he supervised numerous investigations and initiatives to characterize various hospital-acquired, device-associated, and antimicrobial-resistant pathogen issues.

He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on various emerging infectious diseases topics, and has supervised outbreak investigations of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections associated with emerging and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Dr. Jernigan has also led epidemiology and surveillance teams for national and international responses, including the 2001 bioterrorism-related anthrax, the 2002 emergence of West Nile virus, the 2003 SARS epidemic, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Ebola, and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jernigan received an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has completed an additional residency in Preventive Medicine. Upon completing 23 years of service in 2019, Dr. Jernigan retired from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service as a Captain.