CDC Influenza Division
Office of the Director
- Vivien Dugan, Director
- (Vacant), Deputy Director
- Eric Gogstad, Associate Director – Program Management
- Whilma Hunte, Program Management Officer
- Malia Richmond-Crum, Associate Director – Policy
- Erin Burns, Associate Director – Communications
- Christine Szablewski, Chief Veterinary Officer (Acting)
- James Stevens, Associate Director – Laboratory Science
- Michael Jhung, Associate Director – Epidemiologic Science
- Brian Lee, Associate Director – Informatics
- Timothy Uyeki, Chief Medical Officer
- Sonja Olsen, Associate Director – Preparedness and Response
Virology, Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch
- David Wentworth, Branch Chief
- Todd Davis, Deputy Chief – Science
- Lindsay Culp, Deputy Chief – Management and Operations
- John Steel, Team Lead – Epidemic Virology and Vaccines Team
- John Barnes, Team Lead – Genomic Analysis Team
- Rebecca Kondor, Team Lead – Genomic Analysis Team
- Larisa Gubareva, Team Lead – Molecular Epidemiology Team
- Bin Zhou, Team Lead – Vaccine Preparedness Team
- Todd Davis, Team Lead – Zoonotic Virus Team
- Benjamin Rambo-Martin, Team Lead – Bioinformatics Infrastructure Activity
Epidemiology and Prevention Branch
- Carrie Reed, Branch Chief
- Lynnette Brammer, Deputy Chief (Acting) – Science
- Rose Wang, Deputy Chief – Management and Operations
- Lisa Grohskopf, Team Lead – Vaccine Policy Unit
- Matthew Biggerstaff, Team Lead – Influenza Applied Research and Modeling Team
- Shikha Garg, Team Lead – Influenza Clinical Epidemiology & Treatment Team
- Sascha Ellington, Team Lead – Influenza Prevention & Control Team
- Alicia Budd, Team Lead – National Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team
Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch
- Terrence Tumpey, Branch Chief
- Marlana Brown, Deputy Chief – Management and Operations
- Suryaprakesh Sambhara, Team Lead – Immunology Laboratory Team
- Ian York, Team Lead – Molecular Virology and Vaccines Team
- Min Levine, Team Lead – Pandemic Preparedness Team
- Taronna Maines, Team Lead – Pathogenesis Laboratory Team
Global Influenza Branch
- Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, Branch Chief
- Sarah Hedges, Deputy Chief – Management and Operations
- Pamela Kennedy, Team Lead – Program Support Unit
- Lindsey Duca, Team Lead – Situational Awareness and Modeling Team
- Kathryn Lafond, Team Lead – Vaccine Implementation Team
- Patrick Dawson, Team Lead – Africa and Eastern Mediterranean Regional Team
- Kathrine Tan, Team Lead – Asia Regional Team
- Ashley Fowlkes, Team Lead – European and Pan American Regional Team
Office of the Director
Vivien G. Dugan, PhD, currently serves as the director of the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). As 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. Previously, Dr. Dugan was appointed deputy director of the Influenza Division in 2020, and served as acting director of the Influenza Division for six months in 2020 and from June 2021–April 2023. 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Malia Richmond-Crum, MPH, serves as the associate director for policy (ADP) for the Influenza Division in CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Previously, she served as the deputy associate director for policy in the Office of the Director in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (NCEZID) for four years.
Malia joined CDC in 2010 in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) and has held positions at CDC related to strategic partnerships, congressional engagement, and technical assistance to states and communities. She has over 20 years of experience working in public health. Prior to joining CDC, she worked for national public health associations on topics related to maternal and child health. Malia earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree from Beloit College.
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).
Christine Szablewski, DVM, MPH, currently serves as the acting chief veterinary officer in CDC’s Influenza Division. She is an expert on animal, zoonotic, and novel influenza viruses. Her work focuses on preventing the spread of influenza viruses between animals and people, and these efforts help prepare and protect against future pandemics. Dr. Szablewski works across centers at CDC, providing technical support on contracts, cooperative agreements and interagency agreements for work done at the human animal interface.
Dr. Szablewski joined CDC in 2018 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the Georgia Department of Public Health. In this role, she developed guidance and communications for the general public, conducted surveillance projects on disease spread, and worked on outbreak investigations for multiple diseases, including COVID-19. She completed CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship in 2020.
In 2021, Dr. Szablewski began working in CDC’s Influenza Division as a veterinary epidemiologist on the International Epidemiology and Research Team, which transitioned to the Global Influenza Branch in 2023. She also has served as a subject matter expert on zoonotic influenza, providing technical assistance supporting global health networks in other countries. In support of internal Influenza Division awareness and planning, she has created weekly avian and novel influenza situational awareness reports for the division.
Dr. Szablewski received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health degree from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
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, currently serves as the 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.
Brian Lee, MPH, serves as the Associate Director of Informatics within CDC Influenza Division’s Office of the Director. Mr. Lee began his CDC career as a contractor in 2006, where he served as a software enterprise architect for multiple groups including the National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI), and the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). In 2012, he joined CDC within the Informatics Innovation Unit for the Office of Public Health Scientific Services (OPHSS) as its deputy director coordinating an emerging technology research project portfolio. Mr. Lee has since served as the Chief Public Health Informatics Officer for OPHSS and as a senior advisor for informatics/health scientist in the Enterprise Data Office for the Office of the Chief Information Officer. In his current role, Mr. Lee leads the division’s informatics team in translating organizational leadership and program needs into technology solutions that align with IT strategy and planning of the Influenza Division’s overall public health goals. These activities include designing, building, and operating bioinformatics services; research and development of new technology; early stage consulting on new projects; and leading the adoption of data modernization services within the division to improve how division staff collect, manage, analyze, and use data.
Mr. Lee earned a Master of Public Health degree with a specialty in applied public health informatics at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Computer Information Systems at Georgia State University. Prior to joining CDC, Mr. Lee worked in software development and database startups in New York, Georgia, and Florida. Mr. Lee holds multiple certifications including Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Enterprise Architect, Certified Sun Java Programmer, and Certified Project Management Professional.
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.
Sonja Olsen, PhD, is the Associate Director for Preparedness and Response in CDC’s Influenza Division. She is responsible for coordinating influenza pandemic preparedness activities within the Influenza Division nationally and internationally and supporting cooperation between CDC divisions in pandemic preparedness. This includes supporting strategic plan development of related programs and responding to requests for information on agency communications, documents, and meetings that affect the Influenza Division.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Olsen served as a senior advisor in the Influenza Division’s Global Influenza Branch. In this position, she provided management and scientific oversight to coordinate international epidemiology, surveillance, and research efforts for improved control of influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Her duties included supervising senior epidemiologists leading seven regional influenza hubs in China, Ghana, India, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Dr. Olsen joined CDC in 1998 as an Officer in CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch where she worked on the prevention and control of bacterial foodborne pathogens. From 2001 to 2006, she moved to Bangkok, Thailand to work on a collaboration between the Thailand Ministry of Public Health and the U.S. CDC establishing population-based surveillance for respiratory disease at CDC’s first International Emerging Infections Program (IEIP). Her technical expertise and leadership contributed to an improved understanding of the burden and cost of respiratory disease in Thailand and helped establish the evidence base for influenza vaccine introduction. She returned to Atlanta in 2006 to establish and run the global network of IEIPs before returning to Bangkok, to direct CDC’s influenza program in Thailand from 2010-2013.
From 2013 to 2018, she again returned to the United States to serve as a senior advisor and deputy chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division, where she worked on seasonal and novel influenza vaccine policy in the United States. From 2018 to 2020, she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, as a technical officer on influenza to WHO’s European Regional Office. Since 2020, she has lived in Southeast Asia, where she worked as the Acting Lead of the Field Site Support Unit, of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch providing management and scientific oversight of CDC’s global influenza programs.
Dr. Olsen received an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts degree in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University. She also received a Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in epidemiology from Columbia University. She has published over 200 scientific articles and book chapters and has worked on outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, pandemic influenza, and Ebola.
Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch
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.
Todd Davis, MS, PhD, is the deputy chief for science for the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) in the Influenza Division (ID). In this role, Dr. Davis supports the Branch’s diagnostic, surveillance, and research activities by providing scientific knowledge and subject matter expertise, and he works with program management to support hiring actions, planning for the fiscal year, long-term financial and strategy planning. Dr. Davis participates in pandemic preparedness efforts, including the development and implementation of international collaborations and training to sustain and build laboratory surveillance and research capacity for both seasonal and zoonotic influenza viruses. Dr. Davis has also served as team lead of the Zoonotic Virus Team within VSDB since May 2012. This laboratory team 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 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, his research team designs laboratory diagnostic tests to determine which influenza virus types and subtypes are circulating in animals in the United States. He also collaborates 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 with a focus 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 120 peer reviewed publications and book chapters.
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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.
Benjamin Rambo-Martin, PhD, currently serves as the team lead of the Bioinformatics Infrastructure Activity for the Virology, Surveillance, and Diagnosis Branch within CDC’s Influenza Division. In this role, he provides genomics analytics support, creates software for end-to-end genomic surveillance of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, and leads international trainings on influenza and SARS-CoV-2 bioinformatics.
Dr. Rambo-Martin joined the Influenza Division in 2016 as a postdoctoral research fellow, where he estimated influenza virus transmission in humans using next-generation sequencing data and developed a bioinformatic pipeline for metagenomic analyses. After a year, Dr. Rambo-Martin continued his work in the Influenza Division as a Research Scientist. In this new role, he led the design and development of Mia, a mobile real-time automated influenza virus genomic analysis application in addition to conducting direct RNA sequencing and influenza virus genomic surveillance. From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to the present day, Dr. Rambo-Martin has served on a detail with CDC’s COVID-19 Laboratory Task Force, assisting in the genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Dr. Rambo-Martin earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in genetics and molecular biology in 2016 from Emory University. He also has a Master of Science degree in plant breeding, genetics and genomics and a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia.
Epidemiology and Prevention Branch
Carrie Reed, DSc, MPH, currently serves as chief of CDC Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB). As branch chief, she is responsible for oversight of a large program that includes: influenza (flu) surveillance, studies of the annual benefits of flu vaccines, flu disease burden, risk factors for severe flu disease, flu forecasting and modeling efforts, flu vaccine guidance and polices, flu antiviral medication use and effectiveness, outbreak investigations for seasonal and novel influenza viruses, and pandemic preparedness and response. Prior to this role, Dr. Reed served as the deputy for science, and team lead of the Applied Research and Modeling Team in EPB.
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. She has participated on and led epidemiology teams for national and international responses, including 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, the U.S. response to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in Asia, Ebola, Zika, and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Reed received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Arizona and both her Doctor of Science in epidemiology degree and Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics degree from Boston University School of Public Health.
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 flu relevant to the mission of CDC and the U.S. Government (USG). She has translated abstract models of disease burden and vaccine benefits 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 flu prevention in the United States and globally.
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. Dr. Reed has contributed to more than 100 scientific publications as well as several government reports and group-authored publications.
Lynnette Brammer, MPH, serves as the acting deputy chief for science for 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.
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, 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.
Matthew Biggerstaff, ScD, MPH, serves as team lead of the Applied Research and Modeling Team in CDC Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB). Dr. Biggerstaff joined the team during its creation in 2015 and became team lead in 2022. In this role, he oversees team activities related to the following: characterizing flu season severity, disease burden, and influenza virus transmission in the population; integrating advanced analytics and mathematical modeling into flu-related public health response efforts; and improving the use and accuracy of influenza forecasting to better predict and mitigate the impact of flu on the U.S. population.
Dr. Biggerstaff started his career at CDC as an ORISE fellow in the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch in 2006. In 2009, he joined the Influenza Division’s Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team as an epidemiologist, where he served as the lead analytical epidemiologist for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Influenza-Like Illness (BRFSS-ILI) project. He also supported epidemiological studies to identify and analyze public health issues and policies related to the prevention, control, and treatment of influenza. Beginning in 2013, Dr. Biggerstaff led collaborative work to forecast influenza activity each season and worked to understand and evaluate how forecasting and mathematical modeling could complement influenza surveillance and inform public health actions for seasonal and pandemic influenza. Throughout his time at CDC, Dr. Biggerstaff has won numerous awards, including the Charles C. Shepard Science Award in 2022, a CDC Honor Award for excellence in quantitative sciences for his work on COVID-19 forecasting in 2020, and the Arnold S. Monto Award for exceptional contribution to the understanding of influenza epidemiology and prevention in 2019.
Shikha Garg, MD, MPH, currently serves as team lead of the Influenza Clinical Epidemiology and Treatment Team within CDC Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. As team lead, she is responsible for the following core domestic activities: conducting population-based surveillance for influenza (flu)-associated hospitalizations, monitoring usage and impact of flu vaccines and antiviral treatment on flu-associated outcomes and identifying and exploring knowledge gaps in the clinical epidemiology of flu. In this role, she also provides clinical guidance on various issues, including clinical testing and treatment of flu.
Dr. Garg first joined the Influenza Division as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in 2010. After spending three years as a medical epidemiologist for the Clinical Outcomes Team within the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch, she returned to the Influenza Division in 2015 as the lead of the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurvNET). FluSurvNET conducts surveillance for flu-associated hospitalizations in the United States. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Garg leveraged the FluSurv-NET infrastructure to create and co-lead the COVID-19-associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), which provides timely and robust data on COVID-19-associated hospitalizations. Most recently, Dr. Garg served as the co-lead of the combined Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) until October 2022, when she began her current role as team lead of the Influenza Clinical Epidemiology and Treatment Team.
Dr. Garg earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the Chicago Medical School, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University, and a fellowship in adult Infectious Diseases from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, which serves as a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. While completing her Infectious Diseases fellowship, she also earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Garg is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service.
Sascha Ellington, PhD, MSPH, CPH, currently serves as the team lead of the Influenza Prevention and Control Team in CDC Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. Dr. Ellington and her team assess influenza vaccine effectiveness and monitor performance of approved influenza vaccines and identify strategies to optimize protection from severe illness caused by influenza.
Dr. Ellington started her career at CDC as a fellow in the Division of Reproductive Health, Women’s Health and Fertility Branch. She later assumed the role of an epidemiologist within the branch and led emergency preparedness and response activities for eight years. Dr. Ellington later moved to the Field Support Branch in the Division of Reproductive Health, where she served as the lead of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Team. In this role, she provided technical assistance to state, local, and territorial health departments to detect maternal and infant health threats and prepare for public health emergencies. Dr. Ellington served in this role for five years before transitioning into her current position within the Influenza Division.
Dr. Ellington earned her undergraduate degree in Political and Chemical Science from Florida State University. She received her Master of Science in Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in 2007 where her studies focused on epidemiology, environmental, and occupational health. Dr. Ellington earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology degree in 2019 from the University of Georgia, where she researched prevention of Zika virus infection and negative pregnancy outcomes among women in Puerto Rico.
Alicia Budd, MPH, serves as the team lead of the Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch (EPB) of CDC’s Influenza Division (ID). She began serving in this role in 2022 and has been a member of the team for more than 13 years. In her role as team lead, Ms. Budd is responsible for providing oversight and management of the multi-component U.S. National Influenza Surveillance System and supplying technical assistance and surveillance expertise to staff, programs, projects, and policies within and external to the agency.
Ms. Budd started her career at CDC as a researcher at the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases in 1996. In addition to her work for the Influenza Division, she has also worked in CDC’s National Vaccine Program Office and in the Bacterial Zoonoses Branch of the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. Ms. Budd’s public health expertise has also been shaped by her work outside of CDC. From 2008 to 2014, she worked as senior infection control epidemiologist in John Hopkins Hospital’s Epidemiology and Infection Control Department in Baltimore, Maryland. From 2014 to 2016, Ms. Budd worked as a social science research analyst for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also in Baltimore.
Throughout her time at CDC, Ms. Budd has won several awards, including the 2020 Influenza Division Arnold S. Monto Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Understanding of Influenza Epidemiology and Prevention, and CDC Honor Awards in 2020 and 2019 for excellence in epidemiology and excellence in human capital management, respectively. In 2020, she was and nominated for a Charles C. Shepard Science Award for exceptional contribution to the understanding of influenza epidemiology and prevention. Ms. Budd received her Bachelor of Science in biology degree from the College of William and Mary and her Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from Emory University.
Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch
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 serves as the 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, 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, 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, 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.
Global Influenza Branch
Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, MD, MPH, serves as the chief of the Global Influenza Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division. He is a subject matter expert in the seasonality and burden of influenza in the tropics and works closely with the World Health Organization, ministries of health, and other partners. Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner was previously the team lead of the International Epidemiology and Research Team in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in the Influenza Division. From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner was the head of the Influenza Program in Latin America, and from 2008 to 2010, he was posted to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.
Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1997, and he completed his residency in family practice at the University of Texas in 2000. In 2003, he earned his Master of Public Health degree at Harvard University Medical School, where he also completed a fellowship in minority health policy. In 2005, Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner completed an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellowship at CDC.
He has won several awards, including the Arnold Monto Award for Excellence in Epidemiology in 2022, the Charles C. Shepard Award for Excellence in Science in 2018, and the Alexander D. Langmuir Prize for most outstanding manuscript covering an epidemiologic investigation in 2006. Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner has authored and coauthored over 180 publications. He currently serves as the Spanish language media spokesperson for the Influenza Division and mentors mid-career scientists at multiple institutions.
Sarah Hedges, MPH, serves as the deputy for management and operations of the Global Influenza Branch (GIB) in CDC’s Influenza Division. Currently, she is responsible for program development, management, and operations of the Global Influenza Branch, which focuses global control and prevention of seasonal and novel influenza. Prior to joining Influenza Division, Ms. Hedges served as the deputy branch chief for the Global Epidemiology, Laboratory, and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Global Health Protection, the deputy director at large for the CDC Georgia country office based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and a country officer for Global Disease Detection Regional Centers. Ms. Hedges served as one of the International Task Force’s deputies of program for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus response and has served in other CDC response efforts including Zika, Ebola, and Polio. Prior to joining CDC, Ms. Hedges began her public health career serving as a community health Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique. Ms. Hedges earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University New Orleans.
Pamela Kennedy, BA, serves as the team lead of the Program Support Unit in CDC Influenza Division’s Global Influenza Branch. In her current role, Ms. Kennedy provides support for cooperative agreements, budgeting, operational issues, and standard operating procedures.
Ms. Kennedy began her CDC career in 2009 as a contract management analyst with CDC’s Influenza Extramural Team. In this role, she supported the developed databased, performance metrics, and implemented training programs for public health surveillance and laboratory systems. In 2016, Ms. Kennedy began serving as a public health analyst on the Influenza Division’s Extramural team, where she oversaw surveillance program development and implementation. Ms. Kennedy provided technical assistance, guidance, and consultations to CDC Centers, private and public organizations, and ministries of health on international surveillance strategies and capacities.
Ms. Kennedy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Georgia State University and has been an author on multiple scientific publications. Prior to CDC, Ms. Kennedy served in management roles as an owner of a startup business, a data manager at Emory University, and a project manager for The Coca-Cola Company.
Lindsey Duca, MS, PhD, serves as team lead of the Situational Awareness and Modeling Team in CDC Influenza Division’s Global Influenza Branch (GIB). She began serving in this role in 2022. As team lead, Dr. Duca oversees team activities related to the following: providing situational awareness on seasonal and zoonotic influenza globally; supporting cross branch integrated analytics, modeling, and visualizations; and supporting the agency’s data modernization initiative with GIB partner countries to present a timely and cohesive picture of influenza globally.
Dr. Duca started her career at CDC in 2019 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Population Health within the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She played key leadership roles with CDC’s COVID-19 response on the Data, Analytics, and Visualization Task Force. In 2021, Dr. Duca joined the Influenza Division’s International Epidemiology Research Team where she worked with international partners to build capacity to improve global surveillance for respiratory viruses and advised on the design and implementation of epidemiologic investigations and advanced analytics in response to international public health needs.
Dr. Duca received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Colorado, her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in epidemiology from University of Colorado, Colorado School of Public Health. She has authored more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Kathryn E. Lafond, MPH, serves as team lead of the Vaccine Implementation Team in the CDC Influenza Division’s Global Influenza Branch (GIB). She began serving in this role in 2022. As a team lead, she oversees team activities related to influenza vaccine policy and program development, including the introduction and expansion of influenza vaccine programs in low- and middle-income countries. These activities include generating and summarizing local, regional, and global evidence for influenza vaccination through country-led vaccine program evaluations and multi-country initiatives, to improve global capacity for seasonal and pandemic influenza prevention and control.
Ms. Lafond started her career at CDC in 2008 as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow in the Influenza Division’s International Epidemiology and Research Team, where she supported influenza vaccine studies in India and Senegal. Since 2008, Ms. Lafond has held multiple contractor (2010-12) and FTE (2012-present) positions on IERT. From 2016-22, she served as the technical lead for a multi-country influenza vaccine introduction project to create sustainable seasonal influenza vaccination programs through the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI), a collaboration with the Task Force for Global Health.
Throughout her time at CDC, Ms. Lafond has won numerous awards for excellence in emergency response, epidemiology, program delivery and public health science. She received her Bachelor of Arts in human biology from Brown University and her Master of Public Health in global environmental health from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, and was a Fulbright Fellow during her PhD studies at University of Tampere, Finland. Ms. Lafond has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.
Patrick Dawson, PhD, MPH, currently serves as the team lead of the Africa and Eastern Mediterranean Regional Team (EMAT) in CDC Influenza Division’s Global Influenza Branch. He is responsible for leading efforts to provide strategic, programmatic, and technical support for CDC’s influenza portfolio with international partners in Africa and the Middle East. He manages a multidisciplinary team of physicians, epidemiologists, and program officers working on influenza surveillance, preparedness, and prevention activities from headquarters and regional hubs in the field. His team works in regional hubs in East, West, and South Africa as well as in the Middle East and North Africa region (Eastern Mediterranean).
Dr. Dawson joined CDC in 2019 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology. He led Epi-Aid investigations of anthrax, leptospirosis, and melioidosis and completed five COVID-19 deployments. In 2021, he joined the Office of Science as Team Lead for Data Strategy and Analytics, where he helped launch an agency-wide scientific portfolio analytics project and provided analytic support to agency leadership on strategic science initiatives. As a team lead on the COVID-19 Strategic Science Unit, he led two major updates to the CDC COVID-19 Public Health Science Agenda.
Prior to joining CDC, he lived in Cairo, Egypt, from 2012–2014, where he served as regional epidemiologist for the CDC Global Disease Detection Center (Eastern Mediterranean region). He continued to work in Egypt and Jordan through 2019 on the USAID PREDICT-2 project, leading studies evaluating zoonotic spillover of coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and other viruses.
Dr. Dawson received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in epidemiology and his Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Global Health from Northwestern University. He has co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications on respiratory viruses and emerging diseases.
Kathrine Tan, MD, MPH, currently serves as the Asia Regional Team Lead of the Global Influenza Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division. She is responsible for leading efforts to provide strategic and technical support for CDC’s influenza activities in the Asia Region. Her team works with ministries of health, the World Health Organization, and other partners to help build capacity for surveillance of both seasonal and novel influenza, support applied research to form the evidence base for influenza vaccination recommendations and support pandemic preparedness efforts.
Previously, Dr. Tan served in the Malaria Branch of the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (DPDM). She worked there as a medical epidemiologist from 2007 until 2017, when she became the team lead for the Malaria Branch’s Domestic Response Team. In this position, she led activities to minimize malaria-associated morbidity and mortality including overseeing domestic malaria surveillance, developing clinical guidelines, leading the National Artesunate for Severe Malaria Program, managing a clinical consultation service, and implementing studies related to malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. She also supported the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) Zambia Team from Atlanta, providing consultation and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and PMI partners to scale up interventions for malaria control and to strengthen surveillance and health systems.
Dr. Tan first joined CDC in 2003 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. In this role, she implemented operational research projects on tuberculosis (TB), TB/HIV coinfections and multidrug-resistant TB in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Northeastern Europe, and Latin America.
Dr. Tan received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California at Davis School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health degree from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She has completed residencies in both Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
Ashley Fowlkes, ScD, MPH, serves as the team lead for the European and Pan American Regional Team (EPAT) in the Global Influenza Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division. She has served as an epidemiologist in CDC Influenza Division’s International Epidemiology and Research Team since 2018. In her current role, she works with international partners to strengthen influenza surveillance capacity, build evidence-based support for influenza vaccination programs, and provide technical expertise for epidemiologic investigations. Dr. Fowlkes first joined CDC in 1998 as an epidemiologist in the Division of Viral Diseases where she led surveillance initiatives and studies of vaccine preventable diseases, including rotavirus, measles, and polio. In 2008, Dr. Fowlkes moved to the Influenza Division’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. There she worked with a multisite outpatient surveillance network to lead evaluations of respiratory virus disease burden and antiviral prescribing and cost effectiveness.
Dr. Fowlkes received her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University and her Doctor of Science degree from Tulane University. During her career at CDC, Dr. Fowlkes has authored and co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed research articles and won several awards for emergency response efforts, including a 2007 CDC Charles Shepard Science Award.