Staff Updates, ABCs Meeting

Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin - Fall 2014

November 7, 2014: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Photo: Conrad Quinn, PhD, MVPDB branch chief

Photo: Conrad Quinn, PhD, MVPDB branch chief

New MVPDB Branch Chief Selected

In late June, Conrad Quinn was selected as the Chief of the Division of Bacterial Diseases’ Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch (MVPDB). Quinn brings a wealth of scientific and team management experience to the branch, having previously held the position of Team Lead in the MVPDB Microbial Pathogenesis and Immune Response (MPIR) Laboratory from 2001 to 2014. He is a world-recognized expert in anthrax diagnostics development and vaccine trials in humans and animal models.

Quinn received his PhD in Microbiology from University of Wales College of Cardiff in 1989, investigating virulence factors and design of in vivo preclinical protection trials for improved vaccines against anthrax. He worked as a National Academies of Science NRC Fellow continuing his work on anthrax, and subsequently from 1991–2001 served sequentially as Unit Head, Project Team leader, and Senior Scientist at the Center for Applied Microbiology and Research in Porton Down, England. While there, he focused his research on molecular biology and protein chemistry for bacterial virulence factors.

In 2001, Quinn joined CDC as Team Lead in the division’s MVPDB MPIR Laboratory. In his capacity as MPIR Team Lead, he was engaged in the anthrax bioterrorism response and led the laboratory testing for the Anthrax Vaccine Research Project, the pivotal clinical trials on the anthrax vaccine. While there, his research focused on the immunology and pathogenesis of vaccine-preventable diseases, including anthrax, pertussis, and meningococcal disease. He guided a multidisciplinary team in projects encompassing vaccine research, diagnostics development, assay development, and vaccinology.

Quinn collaborates closely with NIH, FDA, BARDA and multiple CDC CIOs in his research, has authored over 90 peer reviewed publications and received numerous awards, including the CDC Honor Awards for Excellence in Laboratory Research, Leadership, Innovation, and Efficiency.

DBD Welcomes New EIS Officers

During the annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference in the spring of 2014, DBD recruited 4 new EIS officers. They have joined the division for 2-year assignments that started in the summer. Please welcome Temitope (Temi) Folaranmi and Heidi Soeters to MVPDB, and Miwako Kobayashi and Matthew Westercamp to RDB (left to right in photos).

New EIS Officers

Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (ABCs) Surveillance Officers Meeting at CDC

In June, CDC hosted the annual Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) Surveillance Officers’ Meeting in Atlanta. Over 50 surveillance officers and other staff from each of the 10 ABCs sites, along with staff from two additional sites that conduct special studies attended the two-day meeting.

Photo: ABCs Surveillance Officers’ Meeting in Atlanta, GA

Photo: ABCs Surveillance Officers’ Meeting in Atlanta, GA

The meeting included more than 20 presentations which focused on surveillance results and the progress of special studies. Other discussions focused on anticipated changes to laboratory methods, including the use of culture independent diagnostics, and initiatives to better understand social determinants of health and their impact on the incidence of ABCs pathogens. A new project pilot study was proposed to improve the capture of antimicrobial susceptibility results from neonatal sepsis surveillance.

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