Biographies - Legionnaires' Disease

David W. Fraser, MD
Photograph of David W. Fraser, MD

David W. Fraser served as a medical epidemiologist at CDC between 1971 and 1982. He directed federal field investigations in Philadelphia in 1976 that led to the discovery of Legionnaires’ disease. From 1991-1995, he oversaw health, education, and housing activities as the head of the social welfare department at the Secretariat de Son Altesse L’Aga Khan. From 1995-2000, Dr. Fraser headed the International Clinical Epidemiology Network, a not-for-profit training and research network of medical schools committed to improving health and healthcare through the use of epidemiology. He currently serves as a consultant in health, education, and material culture. He has published over 140 scholarly articles and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Joseph E. McDade, PhD
Photograph of Joseph E. McDade, PhD.

Dr. Joseph McDade began his career as an army officer assigned to the U.S Army Biological Labs at Ft. Detrick MD. A microbiologist by training, he later worked as a Research Associate for the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he was seconded to the Naval Medical Research Units in Egypt and Ethiopia to study epidemic and murine typhus. In 1975 he joined CDC as a Research Microbiologist, later becoming the Chief of the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, then Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases. In 1995 he founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the CDC journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dr. McDade retired from CDC in 2001 but remained a consultant for a number of years. He is currently a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

Isaac Benowitz, MD
Photograph of Isaac Benowitz, MD

Isaac Benowitz is a Medical Officer in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion where he focuses on healthcare-associated infections and infection control. He previously served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer stationed at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Communicable Disease, where he was part of the team that investigated a large community-associated outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.


Laura A. Cooley, MD, MPHTM

Photograph of Laura A. Cooley, MD, MPHTM

Dr. Laura Cooley is a medical epidemiologist in the Respiratory Diseases Branch in the Division of Bacterial Diseases within CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Dr. Cooley is devoted to Legionella surveillance, response, and prevention work.

Claressa Lucas, PhD

Photograph of Claressa Lucas, PhD

Dr. Claressa Lucas joined the CDC Legionella Laboratory in 2000. Dr. Lucas has assisted with development of legionellosis prevention strategies for government agencies and industrial societies. Since 2008, Dr. Lucas has coordinated CDC’s ELITE program, a proficiency testing program for laboratories that culture Legionella from environmental samples, with over 200 participants worldwide.

Jasen Kunz, MPH, REHS

Photograph of Jasen Kunz, MPH, REHS

CDR Jasen Kunz, MPH, REHS is an environmental health subject matter expert for Legionnaires’ disease at CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health/Environmental Health Services Branch.

Page last reviewed: October 11, 2017
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