Ruth Berkelman, MD


Faculty, Epidemiology

Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

CNR Building

1518 Clifton Rd NE
CNR Building

Atlanta, GA 30322, 404-727-5409 404-712-8345


  • MD, Harvard University, 1977
  • AB, Princeton University, 1973


I am a Rollins Professor and Director, Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research and also direct the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center. With appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Global health, as well as the Center for Ethics, I am able to enjoy breadth and depth of research in a number of public health policy issues, predominantly but not limited to infectious diseases After pediatric and internal medicine residencies, I began my career in public health as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I became Director of CDC's Division of Epidemiology and Surveillance Studies and later served as Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, retiring in 2000 as an Assistant Surgeon General. I led CDC's effort in emerging infectious diseases in the 1990s, at a time policymakers had declared that we had basically conquered infectious diseases. Even as chronic, non communicable diseases rose in incidence with the success especially of vaccine preventable diseases in children, we have needed to remain vigilant in regards to the ever-changing, ever-adapting microbial world. Our center is actively working to encourage greater attention to diseases such as as Legionnaires' disease and vector-borne diseases that have received relatively little attention and are increasing in incidence. I have been extensively involved with the American Society of Microbiology, including chairing the Public and Scientific Affairs Board as well as the the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Epidemiological Society. I have also been fortunate to serve on the Board of Life Sciences athe National Academies of Science , the National Biodefense Science Board, and the Princeton Board of Trustees. I currently chair CDC's Board of Scientific Counselors for Infectious Diseases.


  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Disease
  • Public Health Preparedness and Response


  • Parr A, Whitney EA, Berkelman RL, 2014, Legionellosis on the Rise: A Review of Guidelines for Prevention in the United States, J Public Health Manag Pract , ,
  • Berkelman RL, Le Duc JW. , 2014, Culture of Responsibility, Science, ,
  • Berkelman RL, Cassell GH, Whitney EA, Keshavjee S., 2014, Shifting Gears to Control Drug-resistant Tuberculosis, Clin Inf Dis, ,
  • Brzozowski AK, Silk BJ, Berkelman RL et al, 2012, Use, location and timeliness of clinical microbiology testing in GA for select infectious diseases, J Public Health Manag Pract, ,
  • Berkelman R, 2012, HIV/AIDS: Focus on the Test and Treat Strategy , Journal of Public Health Policy , ,
  • Berkelman, R., Sullivan, P. and Buehler, J. , 2009, "Public Health Surveillance"., In: Oxford Texbook of Public Health, Oxford University Press \ 5th edition, ,
  • Neil K , Berkelman R., 2008, Legionellosis, 1990 - 2005: Changing Epidemiologic Trends, Clin Inf Dis , 47, 591-599
  • Berkelman, R.L., Cassell, G., Specter, S., Hamburg, M., Klugman, K., 2006, The "Achilles Heel" of global efforts to combat infectious diseases (Letter), Clin Inf Dis, 42, 1503-1504
  • Berkelman, R.L. and Klugman, K. , 2005, The emergence and resurgence of bacterial infectious diseases. In: (eds. Hausler WJ, Sussman, M), Topley & Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Tenth Edition, 1,