CDC Influenza Division

Office of the Director

Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch

Epidemiology and Prevention Branch

Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch

Staff Bios

Office of the Director

Vivien G. Dugan, Ph.D.

Vivien G. Dugan, PhD, currently serves as the acting director of the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). As acting Director, Dr. Dugan provides programmatic leadership and overall scientific and administrative management of the Influenza Division’s activities and functions. She oversees the synchronization of epidemiologic and laboratory science with informatics and coordinates innovative intramural and extramural projects to advance the division’s mission. Dr. Dugan was appointed deputy director of the Influenza Division in 2020. Previously, Dr. Dugan served as acting director of the Influenza Division for six months in 2020. Prior to being appointed deputy director in 2020, Dr. Dugan served as the deputy branch chief of the Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) in the Influenza Division beginning in 2016.

Dr. Dugan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Union College, a Master of Science in veterinary parasitology, and a Doctor of Philosophy in infectious diseases from the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, where she specialized in zoonotic, tick-borne pathogens. She studied avian influenza genomics as an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow at The Institute for Genomic Research and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Dr. Dugan completed her training on influenza virology and the evolution of pandemic and avian influenza viruses, including the 1918 and 2009 H1N1 pandemic viruses, at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH.

Prior to joining CDC in 2016, Dr. Dugan was a program officer in the Office of Genomics and Advanced Technologies, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, NIAID, NIH. She provided leadership and scientific guidance for extramural research for controlling and preventing infectious diseases. This included functional genomics and systems biology approaches to study antimicrobial resistance, MERS and SARS coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and Ebola and Zika viruses. Dr. Dugan was an assistant professor of viral genomics at the J. Craig Venter Institute from 2010 to 2012, where she focused on influenza and vector-borne viral genomics, viral evolution and synthetic influenza vaccine development.

Eric Gogstad, M.Ed.

Eric Gogstad, MEd, is the associate director for program management for the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Currently, he is responsible for program development, management and operations of the Influenza Division, which focuses on surveillance, research, and laboratory diagnostics in the United States and internationally. Mr. Gogstad has worked at CDC for years in a variety of different areas, including epidemiology and laboratory training, disease detection, emergency preparedness, refugee health, influenza, emerging infections and parasitic diseases. His educational background is in communications, human resources and organizational development. Mr. Gogstad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in administration from California State University, Chico and a Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia.

Mr. Gogstad has worked on global health with a focus on building public health systems and capacity within host governments around the world. Previously, he has been involved with various public and global health programs, including the International Emerging Infections; Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training; Influenza; Refugee Health; Laboratory Systems; Integrated Human and Animal Health; and Emergency Preparedness and Response. In addition, Mr. Gogstad has collaborated with multi-lateral organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and other United States Government agencies, including the Department of State (DOS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Whilma Hunte, BA

Whilma Hunte, BA, currently serves as the program management officer of the Influenza Division in CDC’s NCIRD. Ms. Hunte is responsible for operational planning and the administration and management of business services programs, as well as directing the day-to-day operations of the Influenza Division. As the program management officer, she evaluates the division’s resources by providing consultation to managers on current and out-year strategies related to the following: workforce; recruitment and retention; administrative consolidation; outsourcing; and technology enhancement programs. Ms. Hunte also manages the Influenza Division’s administrative operations in the areas of budget, procurement, human resources, and travel. Ms. Hunte has served as Influenza Division’s program management officer since April 2018. Ms. Hunte came to the Influenza Division as an administrative officer in June 2016.

Prior to joining the Influenza Division, Ms. Hunte served as the administrative officer in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. In this position she coordinated the division’s administrative activities in the areas of budget, procurement, human resources, and travel. Ms. Hunte has also worked as a management and program analyst in the Office of Management Services, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response—where she served as the primary human resources liaison for the Program Services Branch in CDC’s Division of State and Local Readiness. Ms. Hunte also served as a management analyst in the Office of Management Services.

Ms. Hunte earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Clayton State University.

Erin Burns, MA, is the associate director for communications for CDC’s Influenza Division. In this position, she oversees communications strategy and content, including web, social media, print and broadcast media content development for seasonal, zoonotic and pandemic influenza. Erin started working on influenza communications during 2003 as the group’s sole communicator and today provides oversight and management for a team of 12 people. In 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic, Erin was the lead communicator in the Technical Services Unit, the group charged with ensuring the scientific accuracy of all content. In 2020, Erin lead communications for the first three months of CDC’s COVID-19 response. In this role, Erin helped craft early CDC messaging on the coming pandemic. Subsequently, Erin returned to her position in the Influenza Division where she led the 2020-2021 influenza vaccination campaign with intermittent deployments to continue to support the agency’s COVID-19 response.

Prior to joining CDC, Erin was the director of the publications and editorial department at CARE USA where she managed a team of eight and was responsible for concept, content, design and production of all marketing and communications printed materials and web content. Before that, Erin worked as a journalist in South America and as a communications consultant at the World Bank for about five years. Erin received an undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a double master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

James Stevens, PhD

James Stevens, PhD, serves as the Associate Director for Laboratory Sciences (ADLS) for the CDC’s Influenza Division. Dr. Stevens earned his Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Durham and his Doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. After postdoctoral training in immunology at Cambridge and the Babraham Institute in the United Kingdom, he moved to the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California in 2000, where, as an Assistant Professor (2004-2007), he developed novel strategies to enable the recombinant expression of influenza virus coat proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Dr. Stevens joined the CDC in 2007 as team lead of the Molecular Genetics Team within the Influenza Division, studying the structural and functional evolution of influenza proteins and their relationship to infection and host response. Dr. Stevens, with his team and collaborators, have published the structures of the coat proteins from a number of different viruses including the 1918 pandemic (2004), H5Nx (2006/2016), H7N7 (2012), H7N9 (2013), and the two new HA and NA subtypes found recently in bats (2012/2013). His team’s work has been nominated a number of times by NCIRD for the Charles C. Shepard Science Awards in the Laboratory Science category, including winning this prestigious award in 2015. He has acted as both editor and ad hoc reviewer for a number of peer reviewed journals and his virology and public health research contributions are reflected in many peer reviewed publications in the scientific literature.

Michael Jhung, MD, MPH

Michael Jhung, MD, MPH, currently serves as the acting associate director for epidemiologic science (ADES) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Prior to his appointment, he was the deputy chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, where he oversaw foodborne and zoonotic enteric disease multi-state outbreak response and prevention activities. Dr. Jhung joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in 2005 in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and worked there until 2009. In this role, he conducted surveillance for healthcare-associated adverse events, investigated outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections, and developed guidelines and recommendations to improve patient safety in healthcare facilities. From 2009–2016, he served as a medical officer in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division, where he conducted national surveillance for pandemic and seasonal influenza and performed epidemiologic investigations to mitigate the impact of influenza outbreaks.

Dr. Jhung received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 2002 and then completed a medical internship in emergency medicine, followed by residency training in general preventive medicine and public health. He received his Bachelor of Science (exercise physiology), Master of Science (biochemical engineering) and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan.

At CDC, much of Dr. Jhung’s work has focused on investigation, response, and prevention activities related to infectious disease outbreaks of public health importance. He has also been a frequent participant in CDC public health responses, having held leadership positions during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the 2014 Ebola virus response, the 2016 Zika virus response, and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.

Samuel S. Shepard, PhD, MS, MA

Samuel S. Shepard, PhD, MS, MA, serves as a health scientist in the Informatics Group within CDC Influenza Division’s Office of the Director. Dr. Shepard earned his Masters’ degrees in computer science and applied mathematics at Bowling Green State University, Ohio and his Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical sciences, with a certificate in bioinformatics, at the University of Toledo, Ohio. Following graduation, Dr. Shepard went to Fachhochschule Salzburg, Austria as a Marshall Plan scholar and, in 2011, joined CDC as an ORISE fellow. In 2013, he joined the federal civil service where he assists with next-generation sequencing (NGS) surveillance, phylogenetic classification, high-throughput computing, infrastructure development, data visualization, algorithm design, bioinformatics training, and the statistical evaluation of biological data. Dr. Shepard is a Charles C. Shepard award winner (June 2017) for his work on the Iterative Refinement Meta-Assembler (IRMA), which is used for the next-generation sequence assembly of viruses.

Thomas Stark, PhD

Thomas Stark, PhD, serves as a health scientist in the Informatics Group within CDC Influenza Division’s Office of the Director. Dr. Stark received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Emory University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, where he conducted his graduate studies in a hybrid bioinformatics and RNA biology laboratory setting. He began his career at the CDC Influenza Division in 2014 as an Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Bioinformatics Fellow. In 2017, he joined the Influenza Division’s Informatics Group as a health scientist. Dr. Stark has worked with the Genomics and Diagnostics Team and Informatics Group members to advance next-generation sequencing (NGS) surveillance capacity and infrastructure within the Influenza Division. He has also collaborated with state public health and international partners through engagements with APHL. Dr. Stark also provides technical oversight for the Influenza Division’s laboratory information management system (LIMS), particularly its implementations and support services.

Tim Uyeki, MD, MPH, MPP, serves as chief medical officer within CDC Influenza Division’s Office of the Director. He has worked at CDC on the clinical aspects, epidemiology, prevention and control of influenza in the United States and worldwide since 1998, with particular interest in human infections with avian influenza A viruses, clinical management of patients with influenza, and emerging viral infectious diseases. Dr. Uyeki is a graduate of Oberlin College, and received a Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and master’s degrees in public health (epidemiology) and public policy from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), and joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Influenza Branch in 1998. He completed residencies in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and preventive medicine at UCSF-UCB. He is a Clinical Professor at UCSF and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

Ann Moen, MPA

Ann Moen, MPA, currently serves as associate director for Preparedness and Response in CDC’s Influenza Division. In this position, Ms. Moen supports national and international preparedness work ranging from policy development to capacity-building internationally. She also is currently acting Field Staff Support Unit lead, overseeing all program activities and field staff in the international influenza program. Prior to this role, from September 2017 to September 2021, Ms. Moen was seconded to the World Health Organization where she served as chief of Influenza Preparedness and Response, a unit comprised of the Global Influenza Program and the PIP Framework Secretariat. She was responsible for oversight and management of the managers of the two units including strategic vision, planning and provision of technical expertise. Before that, in CDC’s Influenza Division, Ms. Moen also served as the associate director for the Extramural Program where she began and directed the international capacity building program for the Influenza Division from 2004 to 2017. She began work on influenza at CDC in 1999, when she was hired as the deputy branch chief when the Influenza Division was still a branch in CDC.

Ms. Moen has also served in multiple consultations for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Offices and Country Offices as a temporary advisor from January 2002 to present. She has advised on many topics including support for monitoring evaluation and technical assistance for the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework implementation and on the expansion of the Global Influenza Surveillance Network.

Previously, Ms. Moen worked as a public health advisor in Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Division of Community Health Services from 1992 to 1999. She began her career at CDC where she served as a laboratory scientist in both CDC’s Special Pathogens Branch and Center for Environmental Health Laboratory Services from 1985 to November 1992.

Prior to joining CDC, Ms. Moen served as a Peace Corps Volunteer as a laboratory technician in Thailand. Ms. Moen received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Emory University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Ms. Moen has contributed to more than 35 scientific publications.

Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch

David Wentworth, Ph.D.

David Wentworth, PhD, is the chief of the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Dr. Wentworth also is the director of the Collaborating Centre for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Control of Influenza at CDC, a role he has held since April 2019. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in poultry science, a Master of Science degree in veterinary medicine, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in the study of influenza viruses. He studied coronaviruses as a postdoctoral fellow, and later as an instructor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Wentworth has conducted virological research since 1990 and has published 200 papers and book chapters (Publications).

As chief of VSDB, Dr. Wentworth leads the Influenza Division’s efforts to improve global influenza virus control, prevention, pandemic preparedness and response. VSDB conducts comprehensive virus surveillance to analyze antigenic, phenotypic and genetic characteristics of viruses circulating in humans and animals. The data generated and analyzed by VSDB is used to guide influenza vaccine virus selection, asses viral sensitivity to therapeutics (e.g., antiviral drugs) and develop/asses diagnostic tests. Finally, VSDB employs classical and recombinant approaches to generate candidate vaccine viruses that are used by manufacturers to produce vaccines against seasonal and/or pandemic influenza.

Prior to joining CDC in 2014, Dr. Wentworth was director of Viral Programs at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) from 2011 to 2014, where his studies focused on interspecies transmission, pathogenesis, viral evolution and vaccine development using synthetic genomic strategies. From 2002 to 2011, Dr. Wentworth was the director of the Influenza Virus and Coronavirus Pathogenesis laboratory at the Wadsworth Center, NYSDOH. He also was an assistant professor at the State University of New York-Albany, where his laboratory studied interspecies transmission of influenza viruses and coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-CoV), genomic technologies, and experimental vaccine approaches.

Lindsay Culp, MPH, JD

Lindsay Culp, MPH, JD, serves as the deputy branch chief for management and operations of the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Ms. Culp manages the daily administrative functions of VSDB, including staffing, budget, procurement, travel, office and laboratory space and property accountability. She joined CDC in 2001 through the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellowship program, working first with CDC’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, then standing up a national, multi-site autism research study. Ms. Culp previously managed CDC’s partner crisis opioid cooperative agreements and has also served as the policy lead for the Opioid Response Coordinating Unit (ORCU). She has worked as an editor of CDC’s Public Health Law News and has served as the Public Health Law Program’s lead for legal analyses related to HIV, hepatitis B, vaccination and antiviral distribution.

Ms. Culp earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

John Steel, PhD

John Steel, PhD, serves as the team lead of the Epidemic Virology and Vaccines (EVV) Team in the Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) of CDC’s Influenza Division. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and pursued postdoctoral training in virology, initially at the Medical Research Council Virology Unit in Glasgow, Scotland, and subsequently at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York where he focused on the development of broadly neutralizing influenza A vaccines. Dr. Steel subsequently joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University, Atlanta, where he developed his research interests in influenza virus transmission. Dr. Steel joined CDC in 2018 and currently leads the EVV team, which produces reagents facilitating the antigenic characterization of circulating seasonal influenza A and B viruses. The team also conducts antigenic assays on influenza viruses, to help inform influenza vaccine selection decisions. Additionally, in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), the team provides technical support to laboratories conducting influenza virus surveillance. Dr. Steel has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters, and served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Virology and The Journal of General Virology.

John Barnes, Ph.D.

John Barnes, PhD, serves as team lead of the Influenza Genomics Team at the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) of the CDC’s Influenza Division. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Barnes began his career at CDC in the Influenza Division in 2007 after working at a postdoctoral fellow at the Emory University Department of Human Genomics. His current work includes managing a staff of nine to serve the sequencing and genetic analysis needs of the Influenza Division. Current numbers of viruses sequenced by ISA make CDC’s Influenza Division the largest contributor of influenza sequence data of all the World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza Collaborating Centers.

In addition to supervising sequencing-based projects and analysis, Barnes serves as a representative of the Influenza Division to the Nex-StoCT II working group that is submitting a publication on standards to apply for bioinformatics analysis of next generation sequence data. He is also an instructor on genetic sequencing of influenza and phylogenics and sequence data to countries such as Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, and Bangladesh. He is a reviewer for various journals including Journal of Clinical Virology, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Journal of Virological Methods, Virology Journal, and Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Dr. Barnes’ research interests include the following: development and utilization of next generation sequencing techniques for detection of variant genetic populations; development of molecular-based screening techniques for influenza surveillance; and development of bioinformatics processes and techniques involved in the analysis and data management of molecular epidemiological data for influenza.

Rebecca Garten Kondor, MD, PhD

Rebecca Garten Kondor, MD, PhD, serves as the lead of the Genomic Analysis Team within the Influenza Division’s Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Kondor also is the Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Control of Influenza at CDC and serves as a technical advisor for the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

Dr. Kondor received an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Goucher College, Towson, MD and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. She completed her postdoctoral studies as a CDC/APHL Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow, where she began her research on the genomic evolution of influenza viruses.

Since joining CDC in 2004, Dr. Kondor has focused her efforts on expanding informatics and bioinformatics infrastructure and improving genomic analysis pipelines. Her research and public health activities focus on evidence-based analysis to support the selection of vaccine virus candidates that best represent current and future viral evolution. This is done through a multidisciplinary approach using genetics, bioinformatics, virology, molecular biology, and epidemiology. Her team’s creation and maintenance of molecular surveillance analysis pipelines for seasonal influenza virus genomic evolution that integrate data from antigenicity, antiviral susceptibility, attenuation, host-specificity, pathogenicity, and diagnostics are critical to ID’s public health mission. Her team also actively participates in building laboratory sequence analysis capabilities worldwide by offering training and technical expertise, providing reference materials, and additional support. She has established productive collaborations with partners within CDC as well as in academia, industry, and other governmental agencies.

Larisa Gubareva, M.D., Ph.D.

Larisa Gubareva, MD, PhD, serves as the team lead of the Molecular Epidemiology Team in the Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) of the CDC’s Influenza Division. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the State Medical University and Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Moscow, Russia. After completing postdoctoral training at the Department of Virology and Molecular Biology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Gubareva joined the faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Gubareva joined the CDC in 2006, when she began to build her team. Under her leadership, the Molecular Epidemiology team has been conducting research on investigational antiviral agents, mechanisms of drug resistance, and identification of genetic markers of resistance in seasonal and zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential. Dr. Gubareva demonstrated a keen interest in animal models to address questions of fitness of drug resistant viruses and to study new therapeutic strategies against highly virulent viruses. Her research and public health activities focus on developing novel methods for drug resistance detection and virus characterization. In close collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and WHO GISRS, her team provides training and other technical support to laboratories conducting influenza antiviral surveillance. Dr. Gubareva is a renowned expert in the field of influenza virology and antivirals. She is an active member of the WHO Expert Working Group of GISRS for Surveillance on Antiviral Susceptibility (WHO-AVWG), and she is a member of the Antiviral Group of International Society of Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses (isirv-AVG). Dr. Gubareva authored and co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed research articles, reviews and book chapters. She received Charles C. Shepard Award in 2010 and was nominated by the NCIRD for Charles C. Shepard awards in 2015 and 2016. In addition to her role at Influenza Division, she serves on editorial boards of four scientific journals (Journal of Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Antiviral Research, and Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Diseases).

Bin Zhou, PhD

Bin Zhou, PhD, serves as the team lead of the Vaccine Preparedness Team in the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) of CDC’s Influenza Division. In this role, Dr. Zhou leads the team responsible for the analysis of influenza viruses with pandemic potential and the development of pre-pandemic and epidemic candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs). CVVs are prepared by CDC and other public health partners for vaccine manufacturers to use in production of influenza vaccines. Dr. Zhou’s team uses reverse genetics, a molecular genetic technique that allows researchers to examine the effect of changes identified in virus genome on antigenic and other properties of virus proteins, as well as other advanced technologies. These technologies help them to develop and evaluate the best available candidate vaccine viruses, which are distributed to vaccine manufacturers and other researchers to support the creation of improved influenza vaccines. The team also explores strategies to enhance the immune response to the influenza vaccines so they could protect against a broader spectrum of influenza viruses. Additionally, Dr. Zhou and his team are investigating new vaccine platforms, including recombinant protein vaccines and mRNA vaccines. The Vaccine Preparedness Team collaborates with domestic CDC partners, such as other federal agencies, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as international partners, such as WHO Collaborating Centers and vaccine manufacturers. Dr. Zhou’s team also has been actively conducting SARS-CoV-2 research since early 2020 as part of CDC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response.

Dr. Zhou earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Sciences from the State University of New York, where he specialized in the study of influenza vaccines. Prior to joining CDC in 2017, Dr. Zhou furthered his skills in virology and vaccinology by conducting virus research with synthetic genomics technology at the J. Craig Venter Institute and with systems biology technology at New York University.

Todd Davis, MS, PhD

Todd Davis, MS, PhD, has served as team lead of the Zoonotic Virus Team within CDC Influenza Division’s Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) since May 2012. In this role, Dr. Davis leads a team that designs experiments to antigenically characterize viruses, analyze genetic and phenotypic data on zoonotic and animal viruses, and interpret results for multiple surveillance and research projects, including evaluation of influenza vaccines. This includes assessing the risk that new influenza viruses might emerge and determining through genetic analysis what avian and swine viruses are circulating. Dr. Davis’s team also is responsible for monitoring animal influenza viruses with pandemic potential to look for genetic changes that could enable the viruses to spread more easily among people or cause more severe illness.

His team also conducts small animal studies to assess the benefits of flu vaccines against influenza and how changes in influenza viruses can impact a host’s immune response. As part of the Influenza Division’s pandemic preparedness and response efforts, Dr. Davis’s team helps test and select vaccine candidate viruses that can be used to produce vaccines against flu viruses with pandemic potential. In addition, Dr. Davis’s research team designs tests to determine which influenza virus types and subtypes are circulating in animals in the United States. He continues to collaborate with global research partners to improve international influenza surveillance and laboratory capacity.

Dr. Davis received his Master of Science in Public Health degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine focusing on parasitology. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Experimental Pathology from the University of Texas Medical Branch Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Davis began working in CDC’s Influenza Division as an American Society of Microbiology/National Center of Infectious Disease postdoctoral research fellow from 2005 to 2007. He later worked as a postdoctoral researcher and an Associate Service Fellow in the Influenza Division’s Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch, which is now part of VSDB. Dr. Davis has earned numerous honors and has contributed to 117 peer reviewed publications and book chapters.

Epidemiology and Prevention Branch

Alicia M. Fry, MD, MPH

Alicia M. Fry, MD, MPH, is the chief of CDC Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. Dr. Fry is also a retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. As branch chief, she is responsible for oversight of a large domestic and international program that includes: influenza surveillance; studies of the annual effects of influenza vaccines; disease burden; risk factors for severe disease; forecasting and modeling efforts; vaccine and antiviral guidance and policies; outbreak investigations for seasonal influenza viruses and novel influenza A viruses; capacity building, and pandemic preparedness and response.

Dr. Fry earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She trained in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, and is board certified in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Fry joined the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in 1999, when she began work in the Respiratory Diseases Branch on the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory pathogens. In 2001, she worked in the International Tuberculosis Activities Branch to improve control of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. In 2002, Dr. Fry joined the outbreak team in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch. In 2004, she became lead of the Respiratory and Enterovirus team, where she characterized the epidemiology of respiratory syncytial viruses, parainfluenza viruses, human rhinoviruses, and human coronaviruses. She joined the Influenza Division in 2006 and, in 2012, she became the lead of the Influenza Prevention and Control Team, where she advanced knowledge of vaccine and antiviral drug effects. In 2017, she became chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch.

Dr. Fry has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles on various emerging infectious diseases topics. She has led epidemiology and medical counter measure teams for national and international responses, including 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza, Cholera, Ebola, and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.

Rose Wang, M.P.H.

Rose Wang, MPH, serves as the deputy branch chief for management and operations of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Prior joining Influenza Division, Ms. Wang has held multiple management roles in CDC, including acting deputy branch chief in the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch in the Division of Bacterial Diseases; deputy for management and operations for the NCIRD Health Communication Science Office; team lead for the Applied Services Team (AST) in the Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR), and acting deputy branch chief for the Epidemiology and Workforce Branch in the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (CSELS).

Ms. Wang joined CDC in 2007 as a Public Health Advisor in two field-based assignments for the Immunization Services Division (NCIRD/ISD). In 2009, she served on the CDC H1N1 Vaccine Implementation Task Force as an immunization program subject matter expert and was the primary architect of a centralized H1N1 vaccine recovery effort. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Wang joined the Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR) Office of the Director to lead training initiatives, and subsequently, became a project officer managing the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement.

Ms. Wang received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in community health sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before she joined CDC, Ms. Wang worked for the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health for 10 years.

Lisa Grohskopf, MPH, MD

Lisa Grohskopf, MPH, MD, currently serves as a medical officer in the CDC’s Influenza Division and is the lead for the Vaccine Policy Unit. Since beginning work in the Influenza Division in 2010, she has served as the lead for CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Influenza Work Group. In this capacity, she leads a group of vaccine and public health subject matter experts through discussion of topics relevant to influenza vaccine policy and presentations at public meetings of the ACIP toward the development of annual U.S. influenza vaccination policy recommendations. She leads a team of three epidemiologists in reviews of evidence for the use of influenza vaccines in support of Work Group and ACIP discussions. Dr. Grohskopf serves as the principal CDC influenza vaccine clinical and policy subject matter expert and reviews vaccine-related guidance and communications materials from the Influenza Division.

Prior to her current role, Dr. Grohskopf served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases from 1999 to 2001 and as a medical officer in the Division of HIV/AIDs Prevention within CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) from 2001 to 2010. Dr. Grohskopf has served in the agency responses to public health emergencies related and unrelated to influenza. These include the response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005; the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic; the needs of unaccompanied children crossing the Southwest U.S. border in 2014; the Ebola Response in 2015; and the COVID-19 response during 2020-2022.

Dr. Grohskopf received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and her medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and in infectious diseases at the University of Washington.

James C. Kile, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, CPH

James C. Kile, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, CPH, serves as the Lead of the Animal-Human Interface Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division. He is an expert on animal, zoonotic, and novel influenza viruses, focusing on preventing the spread of influenza viruses from animals to people and through this, helping to avert an influenza pandemic. He supports multiple projects with state, federal, and academic partners in the detection and monitoring of animal and zoonotic influenza viruses domestically and internationally.

Dr. Kile has held his position in Atlanta since 2015. Prior to joining the Influenza Division in Atlanta, Dr. Kile served internationally for six years at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, as Director of the Influenza and Animal-Human Interface Programs from 2009 to 2015, managing multiple cooperative agreement grants with the Vietnam Ministries of Health and of Agriculture and Rural Development, for surveillance, research, and vaccine policy development for the control and prevention of influenza. He is published in multiple areas, including outbreaks of zoonotic, vector-borne, and environmental diseases; human and animal influenza virus surveillance, research, health care burden and vaccine policies; global health security; and food safety.

Prior to working for CDC, Dr. Kile was a veterinary medical officer and program manager with the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service from 1996 to 2002 and 2004 to 2009. There he specialized in food safety and food security policy development. Before that, he was a veterinary medical clinician and surgeon of companion, farm, laboratory, and exotic animals from 1982 to 1996. He has held academic positions at different colleges over twelve years, most recently in the Science Department of Georgia State University.

Dr. Kile received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and Master of Public Health from the University of Washington School of Public Health. He is specialty board-certified in both veterinary preventive medicine and in public health. He completed CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship in 2004, which included working on domestic and international responses to vector-borne and zoonotic disease outbreaks of West Nile, monkeypox, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and avian influenza viruses. He has received awards and recognition from four U.S. Government agencies, from international organizations and academic institutions, and from foreign governments.

Vashonia Weatherspoon, MPA, has served as the team lead of the Extramural Influenza Program in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB) of CDC’s Influenza Division (ID) since 2018. In this role, she is responsible for the following core activities: supporting program management functions such as international acquisition; grants management; technical assistance to recipients; training support; establishing and maintaining partner relationships; and program monitoring and evaluation for EPB and ID. Ms. Weatherspoon serves as one of three team leads that comprise the international program. In this role, she works closely with the other two international teams – Field Site Support Unit (FSSU) and International Epidemiology and Response Teams (IERT) – to coordinate activities performed within the cooperative agreements across teams, branches, divisions, centers, and operational divisions. Priorities and activities associated with this role include: strengthening influenza epidemiology and laboratory surveillance capacity globally; providing guidance and direction to team members to resolve complex grants management issues; supporting the implementation of cooperative agreement work plans; and overseeing the planning, development, implementation, and close-out of over 60 global and domestic research and non-research cooperative agreements.

Ms. Weatherspoon started her career at CDC as a Presidential Management Intern at the Office of the Director in CDC’s Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases in 2002. As part of her Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) rotational assignments, she established and maintained epidemiology and laboratory capacity for various programs. As a PMF, Ms. Weatherspoon provided technical assistance to recipients of epidemiology and laboratory capacity cooperative agreements in 25 states, cities, and territories. In 2004, Ms. Weatherspoon joined CDC’s Influenza Branch as a management and program analyst. In this role, she provided technical assistance and consultation regarding influenza and influenza program management to foreign governments, ministries of health, and international health agencies at the state and local levels. In 2005, Ms. Weatherspoon joined the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) as a program manager for a portfolio of countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region. From 2005 to 2018, she served as a principal advisor to senior management officials of a multifunctional international program related to budgets, policies, and procedures in the fulfillment of the program’s strategic goals and priorities. Ms. Weatherspoon was instrumental in helping to establish CDC Influenza Division’s international program following the creation of the CDC’s Influenza Division in 2006.

Carrie Reed, D.Sc., M.P.H.

Carrie Reed, DSc, MPH, serves as team lead of the Applied Research and Modeling Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division. Dr. Reed has demonstrated a creative and practical application of epidemiologic methods and mathematical modeling to address key questions in the epidemiology of seasonal and pandemic influenza relevant to the mission of CDC and the U.S. Government (USG). She has translated abstract models into practical uses, providing a bridge between mathematical/statistical modelers and public health stakeholders. As a result, her work has led to real and lasting changes in influenza prevention in the United States and globally. Dr. Reed’s work in estimating seasonal and pandemic influenza disease burden, measuring the impact of annual influenza vaccination, developing the framework to characterize the severity of an influenza pandemic, and demonstrating the benefit of adding a second influenza B lineage to the influenza vaccine have made concrete contributions to seasonal and pandemic influenza prevention and control, and have gained her recognition in the national and international scientific community as a leader in the field of influenza epidemiology.

Dr. Reed joined the Influenza Division as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in 2007. She completed the EIS Program in 2009 during the height of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and has been employed in the Influenza Division since that time. Dr. Reed received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2016. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. She also receives invitations to address national and international professional organizations and participates in scientific conferences as a speaker and expert panelist.

Manish M. Patel, MD, MSc

Manish M. Patel, MD, MSc, has served as the team lead of the Influenza Prevention & Control Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division since 2018. As the team lead, he is responsible for core activities that include evaluating influenza vaccine effectiveness to inform ACIP policy and WHO vaccine virus selection; overseeing a domestic research portfolio aimed at improving seasonal influenza vaccines; preparing pandemic research platforms in outpatients & inpatients of all ages, including ICUs; and antiviral effectiveness evaluations. Since March 2020, Dr. Patel also has been the team lead of the Enhanced Surveillance Team within the Epidemiology Task Force of CDC’s COVID-19 response.

Dr. Patel joined CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) as a medical toxicologist in 2003. He served in medical toxicology focusing on chemical terrorism preparedness, outbreaks, and human health effects of exposures to chemicals and toxins. In 2006, Dr. Patel joined the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). He worked on the epidemiology of viral gastroenteritis, especially rotavirus vaccines. Dr. Patel joined the Center for Global Health (CGH) in 2013 to advance his skills in leadership, program implementation and delivery, management, and strategy development. He was appointed Director of a program that supported complex multilateral and bilateral partnerships within the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, helped achieve the Endgame Plan of introducing inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), and synchronized withdrawal of oral polio vaccine (tOPV) in more than 120 countries over three years. Throughout his time at CDC, Dr. Patel has won several awards, including CDC Shepard Science Award for Scientific Excellence in Disease Prevention and Control and CDC/NCIRD Excellence in Surveillance Award.

Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, MD, MPH

Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, MD, MPH, serves as the team lead for the International Epidemiology and Research Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division. He is a subject matter expert in the seasonality and burden of influenza in the tropics and works closely with Ministries of Health, the World Health Organization, and other partners to inform vaccine policies. He was previously the head of the Influenza Program in Latin American and was seconded to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), as part of the Influenza Division’s International Program. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner led CDC’s influenza response in Bangladesh and was deployed to Mexico to assist with the early characterization of the virus.

Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1997, completed his residency in Family Practice at the University of Texas in 2000, and a fellowship in minority health policy at the Harvard University Medical School in 2003, where he earned a Master of Public Health degree at Harvard’s School of Public Health. He completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellowship in 2005, where he won several awards, including the Alexander D. Langmuir Prize and the Donald C. Mackel Award. He serves as the Spanish language media spokesperson for the Influenza Division and mentors young research investigators at multiple international sites.

Lynnette Brammer, MPH

Lynnette Brammer, MPH, serves as the team lead for the Surveillance Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB) of CDC’s Influenza Division. She started her career at CDC as a Medical Technologist in the Special Pathogens Branch in 1987, and as a biologist in the Special Pathogens Branch in 1989. She then moved on to the Influenza Branch, where she worked as a public health scientist in the Strain Surveillance Section before she became an epidemiologist in EPB in 1996. Brammer became the domestic influenza surveillance team lead in 2015. She earned a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch

Terrence M. Tumpey, Ph.D.

Terrence M. Tumpey, PhD, serves as chief of the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division. The Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch is internationally renowned for research on the pathogenesis, immunity and transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses — specifically in the area of human infection with novel influenza viruses of animal origin. The branch also provides laboratory support for sero-epidemiological investigations of influenza infections in humans.

Dr. Tumpey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Minnesota and his Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology/immunology from the University of South Alabama School of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. He was a recipient of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Postdoctoral Fellowship award and conducted his postdoctoral training in CDC’s Influenza Branch. He later served the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Microbiologist at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. Dr. Tumpey rejoined the CDC in 2003 and became the team leader of pathogenesis, a position that required him to supervise eight microbiologists.

Dr. Tumpey’s interests lie in elucidating the molecular determinants of virulence and transmission of influenza viruses, including pandemic influenza subtypes. He also contributes to the evaluation of influenza vaccines in a pre-clinical setting. In addition to his role at the CDC, Dr. Tumpey has an adjunct appointment at Atlanta’s Emory University in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. His research on pathogenesis and immunity during the last 30 years is documented in over 250 total peer-reviewed publications. In 2006, he was honored with the Lancet Award for the top scientific paper of 2005. He also received the 2006 and 2008 Charles C. Shepard awards for outstanding research papers. In 2007, Dr. Tumpey was inducted into the University of Minnesota, Duluth Academy of Science and Engineering, and he received the distinguished alumni award presented by the University of South Alabama.

Marlana Brown

Marlana Brown serves as the acting deputy branch chief for management and operations of the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch (IPB) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Ms. Brown manages the daily administrative functions of IPB, including staffing, budget, procurement, travel, office and laboratory space and property accountability. Ms. Brown joined CDC in 2009 during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic as a biological science technician in CDC’s Influenza Division. In this role, she served as a logistics coordinator for the Influenza Division’s laboratory branches, including the Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) and IPB, and she assessed laboratory space and worked with contractors to purchase equipment and services needed to relocate these branches to new laboratory space. After the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Ms. Brown became a program management analyst for the Office of the Director in the Influenza Division, where she assisted all the Division’s branches with creation and implementation of contracts.

Prior to joining CDC, Ms. Brown worked as a secondary science biology teacher for the School Board of Broward County in Pompano, Florida, where she trained students to research, analyze and report scientific data by applying scientific principles and practices in the areas of research, biology and environmental science. Ms. Brown worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as a biological science aide, where she conducted research in the area of food process engineering and microbiology and assisted in developing companion preservation and processing procedures necessary to reduce pathogenic microorganisms. Ms. Brown served several roles in the United States Army and Army Reserve, including as a logistical specialist, metal worker and a medical specialist.

Ms. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in microbiology and a minor in chemistry from Howard University.

Suryaprakash Sambhara, DVM, PhD, serves as the Immunology Team lead in the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch. Dr. Sambhara has a record of success in research and research administration in both industrial and government settings. He is a strong proponent of innovation in research by integrating state-of-the-art technologies across scientific disciplines. Dr. Sambhara received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Toronto in Immunology. Following his graduate work, he worked at Sanofi-Pasteur, a leading pharmaceutical company before accepting a position at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the Influenza Division he has been involved in studies of influenza vaccine development and has worked on enhancing vaccine effectiveness in elderly patients. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Purdue University and Georgia State University. As a result of his work in the Influenza Division, Dr. Sambhara has authored papers in Lancet, Nature, and Science regarding influenza work, and is currently developing a new pan-antiviral strategy fitted for nano-particle delivery.

Ian A. York, DVM, MSc, PhD

Ian A. York, DVM, MSc, PhD, is the team lead for the Molecular Virology and Vaccines team in the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division. The Molecular Virology and Vaccines team investigates the mechanisms by which influenza vaccines or infection cause immunity and develops new tools and approaches to improve vaccine efficacy and to interpret immune status.

Dr. York joined the CDC in 2010. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and he practiced veterinary medicine in private practice for several years before receiving a Master of Science in immunology from the University of Guelph and a Doctoral degree in virology from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Dr. York conducted postdoctoral training at Harvard University and University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and subsequently, at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. In addition to his role at CDC, Dr. York is an Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University.

Dr. York has published over 50 papers and book chapters since 1992. As well as influenza immunology, his research has covered mechanisms by which herpesviruses evade immune responses, the molecular mechanisms by which T cells recognize virus-infected cells, and the ways in which immune molecules can lead to autoimmune diseases.

Min Levine, PhD

Min Levine, PhD, serves as the team lead of the Pandemic Preparedness Team in the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from Georgia State University and her Bachelor of Medicine degree from Beijing Medical University. Dr. Levine began her career at CDC in 2000 with a joined fellowship position between CDC and Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2006, she joined Merial (a division of Sanofi) as a senior scientist working on the research and development of vaccine candidates for a variety of viral and bacterial pathogens. In 2013, Dr. Levine returned to CDC to serve as the team lead of the Pandemic Preparedness Team. Her current research is focused on the investigation of immune correlates of protection against influenza infection, antibody mediated immune responses to influenza, and the development of the next generation vaccines, including universal influenza vaccines. Her broader research interests include the development of effective public health interventions through vaccination, and diagnosis and treatment for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. As lead of the Pandemic Preparedness Team, Dr. Levine directs the team’s research efforts to identify immune mechanisms that impact influenza vaccine effectiveness, the team’s work to generate human serology data for WHO vaccine consultation meetings, and the team’s work to assess novel influenza viruses for pandemic preparedness. Dr Levine has authored and co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed research publications, including several recent publications in leading scientific journals. During her tenure at CDC, she has received multiple public health awards: her research was nominated for Charles C. Shepard awards in 2019 and 2020.

Taronna Maines, Ph.D.

Taronna Maines, PhD, serves as the lead of the Pathogenesis Team in the Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division. Dr. Maines earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and her Doctor of Philosophy in molecular genetics and biochemistry at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Following graduation, she was awarded an Emerging Infectious Diseases Postdoctoral Laboratory Fellowship through the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and completed her postdoctoral training within the Influenza Branch. Dr. Maines has served at CDC for 15 years pursuing knowledge of the pathogenesis and transmission of influenza viruses that pose a threat to humans. Her research focuses on determining the risk to public health of emerging influenza viruses with pandemic potential and characterizing viral molecular determinants of virulence and transmission. She also performs safety and efficacy evaluations of pre-clinical influenza vaccines and uses aerobiological techniques to understand airborne transmission of influenza. This work has been documented over 40 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Maines co-authored papers that received a James H. Nakano Citation in 2007 and the Charles C. Shepard Award in 2008.

Page last reviewed: July 29, 2022