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TB Notes 3, 2004


The Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch officially joined DTBE on Monday, July 19, 2004. We welcome our new division coworkers! Following are brief biographical sketches of the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch staff:

Kris Birkness, microbiologist, works primarily with cell cultures developing models for studying TB pathogenesis. One of these models, a bilayer built with human cells to resemble the epithelial and endothelial layers of the human alveoli, offers the opportunity to look at the earliest stages of infection and the elicited host immune response.  A second model is that of an early granuloma, combining human peripheral blood mononuclear cells with autologous macrophages to observe their interaction and to determine the immunological signals that bring these cells together in response to TB infection.

W. Ray Butler, MS, microbiologist, came to CDC in 1976 and has spent his career working in the mycobacteriology laboratory. His most significant achievement was the development of a novel method for identification of species of Mycobacterium by mycolic acid analysis using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).  The method has been widely adopted by mycobacteriology laboratories.  His main area of expertise is mycobacterial taxonomy and characterization of new species, including  Mycobacterium celatum, Mycobacterium triplex, Mycobacterium kubicae, Mycobacterium shottsii, Mycobacterium hackensackense, Mycobacterium cosmeticum, and recently Mycobacterium pinnipedii, the newest member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

Debra Carter, Program Operations Assistant, joined the Branch in September.  She came to CDC in 1997 as the Administrative Operations Assistant for the Division of DTBE Office of the Director. Prior to CDC she worked for Fulton County Administrative Office in the Department of MH/ MR/SA, later on transferring to South Fulton Day Treatment Center where she performed audits and assisted with patient care.  

Nadege Charles, MS, a microbiologist in the mycobacteriology reference laboratory joined the Branch in 2003.  She graduated with honors from the University of Florida.  She has been conducting reference and diagnostic studies.  She also participates in research projects with colleagues to meet the goals of the Branch.

Mani Cheruvu, PhD, began her research career in the field of tuberculosis while working for her doctoral degree at Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai, India. Her doctoral work involved standardization and evaluation of a new drug susceptibility test for rapid identification of multidrug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. After finishing her PhD in March 2003, Mani came to CDC on an ASM/NCID postdoctoral fellowship. Her postdoctoral work involves analyzing the intracellular survival of M. tuberculosis.

Lauren Cowan, PhD, a senior service fellow, is focused on developing improved methods for the genotyping of M. tuberculosis isolates such as her recently developed automated method for spoligotyping. She has played a key role in implementing high throughput genotyping methods in the contract genotyping laboratories and will continue to provide technical guidance to the laboratories and advice on interpretation of genotyping results.

Jack Crawford, PhD, began studies on the molecular biology of mycobacteria in 1977 at the VA Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, working with Dr. Joe Bates. His research team was the first to clone IS6110 and demonstrate its use as a target for PCR detection and DNA fingerprinting of M. tuberculosis.  He came to CDC in 1990 as head of the mycobacteriology reference laboratory. He has played a key role in the implementation of genotyping in the United States, serving as a project officer for the National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network and the current genotyping laboratory contracts. 

Lois Diem, a biologist in the mycobacteriology reference laboratory, performs and analyzes M. tuberculosis genotyping for outbreak and false positive culture investigations in collaboration with DTBE, as well as hospital, public, or state laboratories. She came to CDC in 1997 after having worked in the Grady Hospital microbiology laboratory for 13 years, with the last 7 of those years primarily working with tuberculosis. 

Adriane Eubanks, MPH, joined the branch in 2004. She will be conducting diagnostic and reference studies in the areas of drug susceptibility and mycobacteriology identification. She will also be participating in various research projects throughout the branch. 

Courtney Maus, ORISE Fellow/Emory University PhD candidate, is studying the

mechanism of capreomycin resistance in M. tuberculosis. She is also investigating the molecular basis of the variable cross resistance among capreomycin, kanamycin, amikacin, and viomycin.

Beverly Metchock, DrPH, came to CDC in 1997 as head of the mycobacteriology reference laboratory.  Prior to joining CDC, she was the technical director of the clinical microbiology laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory School of Medicine. She is board certified in clinical and public health microbiology by the American Board of Medical Microbiology.

Glenn Morlock, MS, is a microbiologist whose primary research interest is drug-resistance mechanisms in M. tuberculosis and detection of resistance mutations using molecular methods. His recent study of mechanisms of ethionamide and INH resistance was nominated for the Shepard Award.  He also provides DNA sequencing support for molecular epidemiology and rapid drug resistance detection.

Bonnie Plikaytis, MS, microbiologist, has worked at CDC for 26 years, starting in 1978 with Legionnaires Disease then the last 16 years for the Hansens Disease Laboratory which became part of the Tuberculosis/Mycobacteriology Branch. During the time spent in the mycobacteriology group, she conducted research about and development of rapid typing methods for mycobacteria through which she became involved with the study and epidemiology of the multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis strain W.  More recently, her interests have centered on the pathogenesis and capreomycin resistance of M. tuberculosis.  In addition to her research, she also teaches and guides the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the branch to maximize their learning experience and productivity.

David Sikes, biologist, began working in the mycobacteriology reference laboratory in 1999 after working for 7 years for the Emory University Hospital system as a clinical microbiologist.  In his current position he performs reference drug susceptibility testing for M. tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria isolates referred from state health department laboratories or other facilities nationally and internationally. In addition to this service, he also actively participates in ongoing research projects and reference studies involving susceptibility testing.

David Temporado, biologist, began his career at CDC with the former Hospital Infections Program (HIP) as a part-time employee on Project ICARE in 1996. He joined the Diagnostic/Mycobacteriology Section performing susceptibility testing. He also did a rotation in the ID part of the laboratory. Later, he was trained by Dr. Charles Woodley in genotyping, and he performs many other diagnostic molecular-based tests as well.

Sean R. Toney, biologist, worked as a microbiologist for the Texas Center for Infectious Disease (TCID)/Texas Department of Health (TDH) in San Antonio from 1994 until joining the mycobacteriology reference laboratory in July 2000.  He is a reference-level diagnostic specialist responsible for performing both high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) identification of Mycobacterium species and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of rapidly growing mycobacteria. He also participates in research that identifies and characterizes unknown species of mycobacteria and outbreak investigations involving nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs). He also serves as a technical advisor for the QuantiFERON TB screening assay.

Mitchell Yakrus, MS, MPH, is a microbiologist who specializes in identification and typing of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in support of epidemiological investigations. His customers include other federal agencies, state health departments,  hospitals, and medical facilities. Previous investigations have included outbreaks of NTM associated with hot tubs, LASIK procedures, footbaths in nail salons, cosmetic surgery, and surgical implants. Other projects involve identifying potential sources of  NTM infection such as potable water, biofilms, soil, and food products.

Other DTBE personnel announcements are as follows:

Rana Jawad Asghar, MD, MPH, (goes by “Jawad”) joined the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch as a new Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in July 2004. Jawad is a medical doctor with an MPH from the University of Washington, where he was also a fellow in the emerging infectious disease program. He has a strong background in infectious diseases and also has experience in lab-based research. Jawad was a clinical lecturer at the clinical research unit in the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where in addition to teaching graduate students, he developed training strategies for malaria control in African countries for the Gates Malaria Program. Recently, he was the provincial coordinator for the USAID-funded Child Survival Project in Mozambique.

Robert Bailey, MPH, has joined the Epidemiology Team of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB). Robert has a BS degree in biology from Morehouse College and an MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Before joining SEIOB, Robert worked as a contract public health analyst in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. As a member of the special projects team in the Program Evaluation Research Branch, he worked on the monitoring and evaluation of HIV prevention programs for community-based organizations that targeted communities of color. He has also worked as a member of research teams that addressed other HIV, TB, arthritis, adolescent and minority health issues. He joins SEOIB to assist with project management activities related to the TBESC.

Carrie Bridges, MPH, finished her 6-month assignment in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch of DTBE on August 13.  While with DTBE, Carrie served on the Strategic Planning and Tools teams of the Evaluation Working Group. She also worked on two other initiatives, the Controlling and Eliminating TB in the African American Community (CETBA) demonstration project in Fulton County, Georgia, and a research project using a private-claims database to investigate TB health services utilization. For the next 2 years, Carrie will complete her Public Health Prevention Service fellowship with a field assignment at the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH). In Providence, Carrie will join the Office of Minority Health’s Refugee Program as the Refugee Health Coordinator. In her new capacity, Carrie looks forward to continued collaboration with the TB network.

Kevin Cain, MD, is one of DTBE’s new EIS Officers and is assigned to the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB). Kevin is a medical doctor with a specialty in internal medicine. He conducted research on the prevalence and cause of bloodstream infections in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, together with staff of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion in CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases. He has also researched the association between fever and malaria parasitemia in Ghana. In addition, Kevin has directed TB screening programs at health clinics in West Philadelphia, and has taught science to underprivileged children.

Viva Combs, MPH, of DTBE’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) left CDC in August. She is moving to Oslo, Norway, where she will be studying at the University of Oslo, in the Faculty of Medicine within the International Community Health program. She plans to pursue a PhD in mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the impact of stigma on prevention, community support, and infant feeding practices in Africa (in Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, or Tanzania). Viva was closely involved with the development and start-up of the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC). She helped provide the vision for the TBESC and helped turn it from a disparate group of sites and people into a fully functioning consortium with serious research and collaboration. She also worked on a number of state-of-the-art applications that enhanced the efforts of the TBESC. We wish her bon voyage and the very best of luck.

Vincent Fears was selected for the public health advisor (PHA) position in Detroit, Michigan. His start date in his new position was July 12, 2004. Since 2002, Vincent has been assigned to the Chicago Health Department. He was responsible for coordinating TB case and contact investigation activities conducted by program staff and partner agencies. Vincent joined DTBE in January 2001 and was assigned to the Chicago program as a field investigator, learning the basics of TB control and program protocols. He transferred to DTBE from the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention (DSTDP), where he was last assigned to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, program. Vincent had previous DSTDP assignments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. He is a 1991 graduate of Alabama State University with a bachelor of science degree in biology.

Derrick Felix was selected for the public health advisor position in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and began his new assignment on September 5, 2004. Derrick joined DTBE in April 2003 and was assigned to the Chicago Department of Public Health TB Program.  In this assignment, he led and participated in monthly case conferences; conducted surveillance activities, case management, and contact and source case investigations; and provided DOT. Derrick also participated in large screenings within worksites and schools. He developed an Access database to track contacts found during contact investigations and made modifications to another database to analyze Class B1 / B2 immigrant screening data. Derrick also collaborated with the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to evaluate and improve a newly implemented appointment system for Class B1 / B2 notification. Additionally, he participated in temporary duty assignments in Portland, Maine, to assist in a TB outbreak among the homeless; in Augusta, Maine, to implement a database allowing outbreak analysis and oversite at the state; and in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to assist in an outbreak among the African American community. Prior to joining CDC, Derrick worked for the Florida Department of Health TB Program in Palm Beach County from June 2002 to April 2003. As a health services representative, he was assigned TB case work.  Before joining the Florida Department of Health, from August 2000 to June 2002, Derrick worked as a health fitness specialist for Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems in Juno Beach, Florida. Derrick, a graduate of the University of Florida, has a BS degree in Health Science Education.

Hsin-Hsin Foo, MPH, completed her second year as an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow with DTBE in the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) and left DTBE on September 3. In CEBSB she worked on a number of health communication projects such as revising and updating the poster on placement and interpretation of the Mantoux skin test. She also played a major role in the development and promotion of CEBSB’s TB Education and Training Resources Web site. Hsin-Hsin was recently selected for a health education specialist position in the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Division of Violence Prevention. We will certainly miss her, but are pleased that she is staying in the CDC family.

Theresa Harrington, MD, MPH, joined the Outbreak Investigations Team of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch on June 29 as medical epidemiologist. Prior to joining DTBE, Dr. Harrington was a state-based Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in Mississippi. During her EIS training, she worked on multiple infectious-disease outbreaks related to Hepatitis B, Meningococcal meningitis, and West Nile virus. She also worked on a case-control study of risk factors for infection and predictors of morbidity from West Nile virus infection in Mississippi. Dr. Harrington is a graduate of Tulane University and is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, and also holds a bachelors degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of California, Berkley.

Bryan Kim, MPH, joined the International Research and Programs Branch as a program analyst on June 1, 2004. Bryan recently served as a Public Health Analyst with the Capacity Building Branch (CBB), Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC. In this position, he provided guidance and technical assistance to international, national, state, and local health agencies in planning, implementing, and evaluating their HIV prevention and capacity-building assistance programs. He was the lead coordinator for the Youth Capacity-Building Assistance Initiative in CBB. Bryan also served as a faculty advisor to several scholars for the Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership, an HIV prevention training program for program managers in community-based organizations. During his tenure at CBB, Bryan authored or co-authored several publications on international and domestic HIV prevention research. He was recently detailed to the Global AIDS Program in Hanoi, Viet Nam, to provide support to the Deputy Director in monitoring CDC’s cooperative agreement with Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health (MOH) by monitoring HIV prevention activities and conducting site visits. Bryan also developed an operational manual to assist the Viet Nam MOH and provincial health staff on the development of HIV prevention program plans. Bryan received his BA in psychology from the University of New Mexico, and a masters degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Barbara Lassiter joined the DTBE Field Services and Evaluation Branch on July 12 as the new Program Operations Assistant. Barbara began her federal career in 2000 working as a secretary to the Branch Chief of the Exposure Investigations and Consultation Branch, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). She had prior experience in the health care field working at Grady Memorial Hospital as a medical assistant for 9 years.

Lynn Latimer has joined the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) as the contract surveillance data manager. Lynn joined SEOIB on August 30. She worked for many years as a Data Collection Manager and Information Systems Manager for the Georgia Department of Education, directing the No Child Left Behind data reporting project. This project involved the data collection and analysis of over 1.5 million student and assessment records. She served as a liaison between the 25-member development team and the business owners, developing requirements documents and use cases, analyzing and verifying data, and presenting key project status reports to management. In addition, she developed a Web-based reporting portal with over 3000 users to track progress for Georgia’s 2000 public schools. Lynn’s data management experience began in 1998 at the Gwinnett County Board of Education, where she supervised a three-member technology support team responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive personnel system, among other key Information Technology projects. Lynn has a BS in dietetics and institutional management and an MS in nutrition science, both from the University of Georgia. Lynn is currently pursuing an MS in information technology from Southern Polytechnic State University.

Kelly McCarrier, an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow with the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch, will be leaving CDC in September to pursue a doctorate degree in Health Services Research at the University of Washington, Seattle. Since his arrival in Atlanta last fall, Kelly has been a valuable member of the Health Systems Research Team and has contributed his skills and efforts to a number of projects. He has been primarily involved in the ethnographic study "Perceptions of TB Among Foreign-born Persons," coding and analyzing the qualitative data from in-depth interviews. He also played active roles in the DTBE/HRSA collaborative study, "Improving TB Services for Persons with HIV Infection," the TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum, and the Evaluation Workgroup. He has also served as co-leader of the Atlanta Area Evaluation Association's "New Evaluators" group. We will miss Kelly's intellectual contributions to projects and his ability to “think outside the circle.”  We wish Kelly the very best in his new endeavors in Seattle.

Jane Mezoff, PhD, who joined DTBE 1 year ago in the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB), accepted a position with the Special Projects Team, Program Evaluation Research Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS-Prevention, Intervention, Research, and Support. She began her new job on August 9. While in CEBSB, Jane contributed to a number of projects related to behavioral studies, and was particularly involved in the development and conduct of DTBE’s TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum that was held in Atlanta last December, as well as with compiling and producing the proceedings of the Forum.

Angela Rodgers Moore, MPH, is serving her first 6-month assignment under the PHPS program with the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB). PHPS is 3-year training program that consists of training for 1 year with a an assignments at CDC and a 2-year field assignment at a local or state health department. Angela is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She has also worked for a nonprofit community-based organization that works primarily with parents whose children have been lead poisoned. This particular CBO works with local health departments to educate and screen those who have been affected by lead contamination, as well as allocating resources to remedy contamination in homes. She is excited about blending her skills and competencies with FSEB and looks forward to working with the staff. Angela will be working specifically on Evaluation Work Group projects with Maureen Wilce and Dr. Mark Lobato.

Maria Luisa Moore, MD, MPH, left her post as Chief of the Surveillance Team of DTBE on August 1, 2004, to become CDC’s Tuberculosis Medical Officer in San Diego, California. Maria Luisa, known by all as Marisa, received her MD degree at the University of California at San Diego in 1989. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and received a masters degree in public health from the University of Minnesota in 1994. Marisa began her CDC career as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in DTBE in 1995, and joined the DTBE Surveillance branch in 1997, when her EIS training finished. In 2000, she was selected to be the Chief of the Surveillance Section of the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch (now the Surveillance Team of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch). In this position, she carried on and improved upon the strong surveillance structure she inherited from Dr. Eugene McCray. Marisa also recognized the urgency of announcing annual TB surveillance data as soon as possible. She convinced field staff to finalize their annual reports within 10 weeks of the end of the reporting year, provided technical assistance to accomplish this, and oversaw the data analysis that was needed to quickly understand and summarize the major epidemiologic trends. For the last 2 years, Marisa’s team has published an analysis of provisional surveillance data in March. More remarkable still is the fact that these provisional data have been >99% accurate when compared with the final official data. In addition, Marisa formed and chaired the Tuberculosis Surveillance Analytic Steering Committee to encourage senior epidemiologists at CDC and elsewhere to undertake analytical projects and see them through to completion. She also worked with Dr. Lori Armstrong to create an online, searchable, public-use TB dataset that will provide access to TB surveillance data to scientists everywhere. And with CDC’s implementation of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), Marisa served as the CDC subject-matter expert before her departure, overseeing the incorporation of TB surveillance data requirements into the NEDSS reporting system. She established a steering committee of surveillance experts from state TB programs, thus ensuring input and guidance from end users of the new system. Her input resulted in a 230-page document that specifies in precise detail the requirements for the new system, guaranteeing that the new system will respond accurately to user needs and will maintain high-quality national data. The Surveillance Team at DTBE will miss her enormously, but fortunately, we are not really losing her. She has returned to southern California to work with Dr. Kathy Moser and the San Diego County TB control program as a medical officer and medical epidemiologist. We wish Marisa the best as she undertakes this exciting new direction in her career.

Gabe Palumbo was selected for the public health advisor (PHA) position in the TB program in Berkley, California. Gabe joined the DTBE field staff in 1993 with an assignment to the New York City TB Program. This assignment  provided him with a broad understanding of public health and knowledge about programmatic issues and clinical services. In 1996, Gabe was reassigned to the New York State TB Control Program with responsibilities for both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Gabe was subsequently reassigned to the Wisconsin TB Program in 1997, where he provided consultation and technical advice on statewide TB program development and assistance to local jurisdictions. In January 1999, he was selected for the senior PHA position in Hawaii, where he was responsible for TB program management activities. Most recently, in 2001, Gabe reported to Lansing, Michigan, where he was responsible for providing technical advice and assistance to the Michigan TB Program, as well as working with local health departments in TB prevention and control efforts.

Brian Pascual has been selected for an epidemiologist position in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch (CHSRB). Brian comes to DTBE from the National Immunization Program (NIP) and reported to DTBE on September 6. Brian will be working with Dr. Jerry Mazurek on research projects and issues related to the QuantiFERON TB test.

Margaret Patterson has accepted a transfer from her public health advisor (PHA) position in the Palm Beach County Health Department, Riviera Beach, Florida, to the South Carolina TB Control Program, Columbia, South Carolina. Her transfer was  effective on September 5, 2004. Margaret has over 15 years’ public health experience, working mostly in the South Carolina Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Control Program. She began her federal career in 2001 with CDC’s STD program and was assigned to  Washington, DC. In 2003, Margaret elected to leave the CDC STD program to become a PHA with DTBE. While assigned to West Palm Beach, she worked closely with the homeless and substance abuse populations in conducting targeted testing. She provided DOT and conducted contact investigations among the homeless. She had the opportunity to work on two high school contact investigations. Margaret testified in two court hearings that resulted in detentions of patients for nonadherence to treatment.

Dana Peebles, MPH, joined DTBE as a first-year ASPH Fellow in the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) on August 2. Dana recently moved to Atlanta from the Washington, DC, area. Upon moving to Maryland in 2001, she worked as the Assistant Director of Programs at the National Congress of Black Women. The following year, Dana conducted biomedical research as a Research Assistant at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and began working towards her masters degree in public health in health promotion at George Washington University. Last summer, as an intern in CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases, she developed an educational workshop and supplemental materials for the Parasitic Diseases Branch. While in her second year at George Washington, she was a health educator and mentor at the Boys & Girls Club in DC. The internships at CDC and the Boys & Girls Club further developed her interests in instructional design and curriculum development. The fellowship is an excellent opportunity for Dana to expand her knowledge base in TB and health education. She is a native of North Carolina and a 2000 graduate of Hampton University.

Michael Qualls recently left DTBE for a position in CDC’s Global AIDS Program. Michael has done a tremendous job in his role as Deputy Branch Chief for the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) and for the Division since joining DTBE in December 2000.  Among the tremendous contributions he made to the branch as the deputy chief, he managed eight cooperative agreements, including launching five new ones with Ministries of Health and international organizations, and was instrumental in helping to define and establish CDC's role in the USAID-supported TB Coalition for Technical Assistance. He also successfully organized the international assignments of five DTBE employees (in Russia, France/IUATLD, India, Thailand, and Botswana) and three contractors (two in Botswana and one in Brazil). In addition to the extensive contributions he made in the administrative realm, he also made considerable contributions in the technical realm including performing consultancies and trainings on infection control in Estonia, Russia, and Philippines, and also in developing and implementing critical programmatic indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of DOTS expansion projects in partnership with WHO and USAID. He has led and helped to shepherd numerous initiatives for IRPB and DTBE that have allowed for substantial growth and expansion of DTBE’s international activities and he has demonstrated amazing creativity and resourcefulness in problem solving.  We deeply appreciate his commitment to the mission and work of DTBE and we will miss him very much. Michael leaves us for an exciting new opportunity in the field working as the Deputy Director of CDC/GAP-Cambodia.  We wish him all the best with his new pursuits. 

Cathy Rawls, MPH, has completed her first year as an ASPH Fellow with the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) and will spend her second year of the fellowship working in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch (CHSRB). While with CEBSB, Cathy contributed to a number of projects related to behavioral studies, such as assisting with planning and conducting the TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum and developing a database that contains citations and short abstracts of articles on behavioral and social science studies.

Frank Romano was selected for the senior public health advisor (PHA) position in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2002, Frank has been working with senior PHA Heather Duncan on a number of programmatic and operational activities in Tallahassee, Florida. Frank began his career in public health in 1994 as a Disease Intervention Specialist for the Louisiana TB control program in New Orleans. In 1998, Frank was promoted to Regional TB Surveillance Coordinator responsible for all surveillance and reporting activities in New Orleans and the surrounding region. His first assignment with DTBE was in 2001 in Chicago, where he spent 18 months before moving to Florida. Frank began work in Columbus on July 12, 2004.

Kathryn Ruck has been selected for the public health advisor (PHA) position in Trenton, New Jersey. From March to June 2004 she served as technical and programmatic advisor to the South Carolina TB Controller, with a specific focus on the DTBE's project Intensive Interventions to Increase the Impact of Contact Investigations. While in this position, she conducted statewide trainings on contact investigations, developed state contact investigation policies and procedures, participated in audits and quality assurance reviews, and developed the content and reports for the Tuberculosis Contact Investigation System (TBCIS). Prior to that assignment, Kate served as a PHA for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, assigned to the Hudson County TB Program as a public health field representative. Before coming to DTBE, she was a member of the TB Control Program for the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Kate began her assignment on June 27, 2004.

N. Sarita Shah, MD, MPH, is one of DTBE’s new Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officers; she is assigned to IRPB. Sarita is a medical doctor, and is receiving her MPH from Columbia University. She is also currently an Instructor in Clinical Medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Sarita has been working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on a number of projects, including the NYC HIV Incidence Project, which she helped to design. She has conducted both malaria and TB research in Iquitos, Peru, and traveled to India after the earthquake in northern Gujarat to help in the recovery process. Sarita has a special interest in photography and has had photos published in JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Brian Sizemore, MBA, has recently joined the Epidemiology Team of DTBE’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB). Brian received his bachelor of science degree in Industrial Management with a focus on the textile industry from Clemson University. He continued his studies at Clemson, receiving a masters degree in business administration. He is working with SEOIB as a contractor with Westat, assisting Betty Bouler and Tammy Roman with TBESC invoices and other budget analyses.

April A. Thornton is welcomed to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch of DTBE as the branch’s new Program Operations Assistant.  April was most recently a Public Affairs Assistant in CDC’s Office of Communications. Prior to that position, she was a secretary in the Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She began her federal career in 1990 as an administrative assistant at the Federal Highway Administration in Atlanta. April reported to SEOIB on June 28, 2004.

Paul Weinfurter recently accepted the position of project coordinator for Task Orders number 5 and 13 of the TBESC. Paul graduated from the University of Georgia in 2002 with a bachelors degree in microbiology. He then earned a masters degree in public health in epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. While at Emory he worked with the Center for Public Health Preparedness on bioterrorism-related projects. He then took a position at Emory University Hospital, managing the data for polycystic kidney disease patients, and used these data to complete his master’s thesis.

Kai H. Young, MPH, is a new ASPH/CDC fellow in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB), working on program evaluation. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a bachelor of science degree in biology/biochemistry in 2000. Kai had developed an interest in public health from volunteer work, and moved to Atlanta to pursue a masters degree in public health at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She recently graduated from the department of behavioral science and health education with a focus in behavioral science. While attending Rollins School of Public Health, Kai became interested in evaluation and worked on several evaluation projects, including California Healthy Cities and Communities, Tribal Effort Against Lead (TEAL), the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program in Oklahoma City (Hearts of OKC), and Girl Scouts of Northwestern Georgia. She has served as the co-chair of the New Evaluator/Student group at the Atlanta-area Evaluators Association. Kai is interested in both evaluation and behavioral science research. She hopes to work toward strengthening the capacity of local public health organizations to help programs reach their full potential while empowering those who serve the needs of the communities. She is very excited to have this fellowship opportunity, and is eager to learn about and engage in the activities of the division.


William W. Stead, M.D., internationally recognized physician, scientist, educator, and humanitarian, died on July 8, 2004. Born on January 4, 1919, in Decatur, Georgia, William White Stead was the son of Emily White and Eugene Anson Stead and the youngest of five children. After earning an AB degree in 1940 and an MD degree in 1943 from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, he embarked on an academic medical career spanning six decades. In the course of his career he served as a medical officer in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, on the medical faculties of the University of Cincinnati, the University of Minnesota, the University of Florida, and the Medical College of Wisconsin before becoming a Professor of Medicine at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in 1972. He became the Director of the TB Program at the Arkansas Department of Health in 1973, and remained in this position until his retirement in July 1998. Dr. Stead died at home in Little Rock, Arkansas, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Stead was a scholar of pulmonary diseases and TB throughout his professional career. He held several prestigious clinical appointments and in the course of his career made a number of landmark observations on the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of TB. As a consequence of his achievements, he received numerous professional awards and was regarded as the outstanding clinician in TB in the United States and perhaps worldwide. One of his outstanding achievements was the development with his colleagues in the 1970s of a highly innovative, short-course therapy for TB. This therapy was adopted both in the United States and worldwide as the definitive treatment for this disease because it improved outcomes while markedly shortening the time and cost of therapy. Through his work and perseverance as the Director of the TB Program at the Arkansas Department of Health, Dr. Stead uncovered an important epidemic of TB in the prison system in Arkansas, which led to the understanding and correction of TB as a public health problem in jails and prisons nationally and internationally. Ironically he had to “break in” to Cummins prison; his efforts to investigate the TB problem there were met with resistance from prison authorities, leading him to personally appeal his case to the governor. He made major contributions to the understanding of the transmission, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of TB in the elderly in nursing homes. Based on his work in Arkansas nursing homes, he discovered differences in the racial and genetic susceptibility to TB, resulting in a landmark paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990. His work on TB surveillance and control in prisons and nursing homes serves as a model that has been adopted nationally and internationally.

He published extensively, authoring or co-authoring almost 200 publications in medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the two major textbooks of medicine. He served on the American Board of Internal Medicine, as President of the American Federation of Clinical Research, and on the editorial boards of several medical journals, and was a member of the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis for CDC in Atlanta. As a consequence of his clinical and scientific achievements, Dr. Stead received numerous national and international awards. 

Dr. Stead was recognized for his passion for teaching and medical education. He was also known for his quiet, selfless dedication to patients, going far beyond the usual care. For years he traveled weekly to the far corners of Arkansas to see patients in public health clinics, not infrequently making house calls to explain the importance of full compliance of TB therapy to patients and their families. He would provide financial assistance to patients and help them pay for their personal expenses and support them in other ways in order to promote their successful treatment of TB.

Dr. Stead was a champion of environmental and social causes. Although he received many medical awards over the years, he was perhaps most proud of "The Peacemaker" award from the Arkansas Peace Center.

He had a profound love of nature and outdoor Arkansas — camping, canoeing, sailing, swimming, hiking, all of it. He and his wife Joan were frequent visitors to many parks in the state of Arkansas including the Buffalo River, Mt. Magazine, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and Two Rivers parks in Little Rock where several benches and improvements bear their names.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the William W. Stead, MD, Family Memorial Fund, c/o Jesse Tolleson, Regions Bank, at 800 S. Shackleford Rd, Little Rock, AR  72219. Proceeds from this fund will support programs to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis and to enhance selected public natural spaces honoring his memory in the state of Arkansas.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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