NCHHSTP Experts

NCHHSTP Director - Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH

Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH

Director, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, is the Director of the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), and a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. He leads the nation’s efforts to prevent HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. These infections affect millions of Americans and cause tens of thousands of deaths each year. NCHHSTP focuses on high impact prevention strategies that are cost-effective, scalable, and grounded in the latest research. These strategies save lives, save money, reduce health disparities, and protect the health of all Americans.

Dr. Mermin served as the Incident Manager for CDC’s mpox response for six months, where he led the agency’s efforts to bring accurate information, testing, vaccination, and treatment to communities affected by mpox, and worked to decrease health inequities associated with the virus. In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he served for several months as Acting Director of the Center for Preparedness and Response.

From 2009-2013, Dr. Mermin directed CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention, where he worked to progress the agency’s HIV efforts in the United States. He previously served as Director of CDC-Kenya and HHS Public Health Attaché for the U.S. Embassy from 2006-2009, and as Director of CDC-Uganda from 1999-2006. In Uganda, he oversaw implementation of the first antiretroviral treatment program funded by CDC outside of the United States.

Dr. Mermin began his career at CDC in 1995 as an EIS officer with the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch. He completed an internal medicine residency at San Francisco General Hospital and a preventive medicine residency at CDC and the California Department of Health Services. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford University School of Medicine and received his MPH from Emory University. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific articles. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Public Health.

TB Expert - Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP

Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP

Director, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination

Philip LoBue, MD, is the Director of the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) in CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

Dr. LoBue’s years of working in TB control, his scientific acumen, and his management and leadership experience are invaluable assets for CDC. He began his CDC career in 1999 as a Field Medical Officer and Epidemiologist assigned to the San Diego County TB Control Program, moving in 2004 to Atlanta to become Chief of the Medical Consultation Team of DTBE. Between 2006 and 2014 Dr. LoBue was the Associate Director for Science for the Division. His leadership has been recognized with CDC’s Award for Excellence in Surveillance and Health Monitoring and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Award for Outstanding Service.

Dr. LoBue earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his pulmonary and critical care fellowship in 1995 at the University of California (UC) San Diego Medical Center. He also subsequently served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego. Dr. LoBue has authored or co-authored over 90 scientific papers and book chapters, including many on the impact of new technologies and the changing epidemiology of tuberculosis. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Physicians and has served on several World Health Organization committees and working groups.

Viral Hepatitis Expert - Carolyn Wester, MD, MPH

Carolyn Wester, MD, MPH

Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis

Carolyn Wester, MD, MPH, serves as the Director of the Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH), National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. In this role, she oversees the design and implementation of national programs for viral hepatitis prevention, control, surveillance and outbreak response. Under her leadership in this role since January 2019, the Division has launched a 5-year strategic plan with a path to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, controlled unprecedented outbreaks of hepatitis A involving dozens of states, and updated national viral hepatitis testing and vaccination recommendations among adults from risk-based to universal recommendations, supporting health equity and cost-effectiveness. Under Dr. Wester’s leadership, DVH has expanded partnerships with health departments and community partners to establish national viral hepatitis surveillance and strengthen syringe services program and provide integrated harm reduction services for people who use drugs.

Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Wester served as the Medical Director for HIV, STDs, and Viral Hepatitis at the Tennessee Department of Health where, for 10 years, she led the daily operations for the section tasked with the prevention and control of HIV, STDs, and viral hepatitis throughout Tennessee. Under her leadership, this section successfully expanded partnerships and executed cross-program strategic plans. In particular, Dr. Wester launched and expanded the Viral Hepatitis program, integrating it with the HIV/STD section; doubled funding and tripled staff levels; expanded viral hepatitis surveillance, testing, prevention and treatment capacity across the state; and established an HIV/HCV outbreak response plan. Prior to that, Dr. Wester held positions as a Research Associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Director of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery section at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and an attending physician at the Rush Center for Women’s Medicine, Chicago. Dr. Wester has authored or co-authored myriad articles and given numerous presentations on HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB and on such topics as harm reduction, and women’s and minority health.

Dr. Wester received her Medical Degree from Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, NH; completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in urogynecology at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, IL; and received a Master of Public Health from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA.

Acting Division Director - Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH

Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH

Acting Director, Division of HIV Prevention

Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH (Captain, USPHS), is the Acting Division Director and Principal Deputy Director for the Division of HIV Prevention at CDC. In this role she helps direct division programs, and provides strategic direction and management for policy, research, surveillance, and programmatic efforts. Prior to this role, Dr. Neblett Fanfair led research activities to enhance engagement and retention in HIV care, increase viral suppression, and improve quality of life for persons with HIV. Dr. Neblett Fanfair also led the division’s Treatment pillar workgroup in support of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative (EHE). Beyond these roles, she has been active in preparedness and response, deploying to support emergency responses for Ebola, Zika, Hurricane Irma/Maria, and COVID-19.   

Dr. Neblett Fanfair began her CDC career as an EIS officer with the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases. A graduate of Brown University, she received her Medical Degree from NYU School of Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospital and a clinical investigator fellowship in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Neblett Fanfair is a board-certified internist and remains active in clinical medicine as a primary care provider for Veterans with HIV at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.