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Scientific Committee


Aral PhotoSevgi Aral, PhD, MS, MA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the Associate Director for Science in the Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control since 1993. She holds Professorial appointments at the University of Washington in Seattle; University of Manitoba in Winnipeg; and Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Aral has authored more than 250 scientific articles and edited 17 journal issues and 3 books. She has served on many national and international work groups, boards and committees; and has consulted for the World Health Organization, the European Union and the World Bank. She has also received the ASTDA Achievement Award and the Thomas Parran Award. Dr. Aral’s research interests have included social and behavioral aspects of sexually transmitted disease, epidemiology and prevention; including gender, age and race effects; mixing patterns; sexual and social networks; contextual factors; social determinants and most recently, program science.


Leichliter PhotoJami Leichliter, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the deputy associate director for science in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Leichliter received her PhD in applied experimental psychology from Southern Illinois University (SIU) with a specialization in measurement and evaluation in public health. She joined CDC in 1999 after serving as an associate scientist at SIU working on research related to drug and alcohol use on college campuses and the accreditation of the SIU student health program. In her current position, she oversees division human subjects research issues and assists with division-wide scientific issues. Her current research interests focus on safety net sexual health services, sexual behavior, the public infrastructure for STD prevention and policy research. She has engaged in projects focusing on social and behavior issues, evaluation, behavioral surveillance and health services research. She prefers a multidisciplinary approach to current issues in STD prevention.

Assessment Track


Kirkcaldy PhotoBob Kirkcaldy, MD, MPH is the Associate Chief for Science in CDC’s Population Health Workforce Branch. He completed his medical training and a combined Internal Medicine/Psychiatry residency at Tulane University in New Orleans. During 2008-2022, Dr. Kirkcaldy was a medical epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. Starting initially as an EIS Officer (2008-2010) in the Division, he then served as the project officer for the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) and then as the team lead for the Epidemiology Research Team. His STD-related research has focused on Neisseria gonorrhoeae, antimicrobial resistance, and the intersection of sexual health and enteric pathogens. In his current role, he advances the development and scientific education of the public health workforce.

Poteat PhotoDr. Tonia Poteat is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC), core faculty in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research, and a clinician at UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic. Her research attends to the impact of intersectional stigma on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people with a focus on people living with and affected by HIV. Certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, she is a global leader in HIV care and research with transgender persons.


Kate Brookmeyer
Dr. Kate Brookmeyer is a behavioral scientist in the Division of STD Prevention with expertise in women’s sexual health, complex assessment, evaluation, and innovative behavioral intervention and prevention efforts. She has worked at the intersection of harm reduction and STI treatment and prevention as well as the integration of behavioral services in STI clinics and LHDs. Prior to her role in STD, Dr. Brookmeyer worked in the Division of Violence Prevention conducting surveillance and program evaluation in Eastern Africa. Dr. Brookmeyer joined the CDC in 2007 after graduating with a Ph.D. and MA in developmental psychology from Georgia State University, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

Jacky Jennings
Dr. Jennings (she/her/hers) is a Professor and an infectious disease, social epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with joint appointments in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Jennings is a leading expert on infectious disease transmission dynamics and the arc of her work has been on reducing extreme racial, sexual minority and youth disparities in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. She is the Director of the Center for Child and Community Health Research (CCHR), a center which focuses on the translation of evidence on disparities to public health practice, and the Biostatistics, Epidemiology And Data management (BEAD) Core which provides research support services to investigators. She is a CDC- and NIH-funded investigator and an active mentor with mentees ranging from STEM high school students to junior faculty. She is the mother of two and daughter of an immigrant.

Emily Learner
Emily is an epidemiologist on the Epidemiology Research Team in the Behavioral Science and Epidemiology Branch in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Her current work focuses on response and detection of antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea, and surveillance of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. She is interested in understanding the role of sexual networks in STD prevention and transmission, and epidemiologic methods to improve estimation of case rates, prevalence, and incidence of STDs.

Nicole Liddon

Evelyn Olansky
Evelyn Olansky is an epidemiologist with expertise in survey design and project implementation, particularly those focused on sexual and gender minority populations, sexual behavior, HIV, or how to achieve health equity. Her contributions to developing best practices for engaging transgender and nonbinary communities have informed several Federal data collections and data systems, most prominently the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

Christine Khosropour
Dr. Khosropour is an infectious disease epidemiologist whose work involves both research and applied epidemiology in the field of HIV and STI prevention. Her research focuses on sexual behavior, chlamydia epidemiology, extragenital STIs, and implementation of PrEP and HIV care engagement programs. Since 2015, she has provided capacity building assistance to state and local health departments to guide the implementation and evaluation of HIV/STI public health programs. Dr. Khosropour received her BS in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin, MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University, and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington.

Supriya Metha

Bill Miller

Clinical & Lab Track


Quilter PhotoLaura Quilter is a medical officer on the Clinical Team within the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a lieutenant commander within the US Public Health Service. She joined CDC and the US Public Health Service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer within the Division of STD Prevention in 2017. Prior to her arrival at CDC, Dr. Quilter completed her infectious diseases fellowship and received her Master of Public Health in Global Health at the University of Washington and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her research interests include STI epidemiology, antimicrobial resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, disseminated gonococcal infections, and neurosyphilis.

Olusegun PhotoOlusegun (S.O.) Soge, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Global Health and Medicine, and the Director of the Neisseria Reference Laboratory at the University of Washington. Dr. Soge is the co-PI for Strengthening the US Response to Resistant Gonorrhea in King County, WA, a CDC-funded multi-center surveillance and public health intervention project designed to rapidly detect and control the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. His research has focused on the surveillance and characterization of genetic mechanisms of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance, in vitro evaluation of novel antimicrobial compounds and fungal/plant extracts against multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and molecular diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections. Dr. Soge has longstanding collaborations with CDC, the State Department of Health-STD/HIV Programs in Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, California, Alaska, and their Public Health Laboratories, to monitor trends in gonococcal antimicrobial resistance and provide data to guide evidence‐based selection of effective treatment regimens for gonorrhea.


Stephen Jordan (IUSM)
Dr. Jordan is an infectious diseases physician scientist and assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University. He completed his internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr Jordan’s research program involves studying nongonococcal urethritis in men, including the pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium, and the immunopathogenesis of Chlamydia trachomatis infections in women. He provides inpatient service at Eskenazi Hospital and outpatient service at the Bell Flower Sexual Health Clinic.

Ellen Kersh
Ellen Kersh, PhD is the STD Laboratory Reference and Research Branch chief in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. She oversees STI laboratory reference services, research, and diagnostic assay development. She directs CDC’s national and international laboratory capacity building to monitor antibiotic resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae and to detect syphilis, chlamydia, and Mycoplasma genitalium.

Ellen received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her postdoctoral studies were with Dr. Rafi Ahmed at the Emory Vaccine Center on memory immune responses to acute and chronic infections. She joined the CDC HIV Laboratory Branch and contributed to studies on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV prevention, HIV acquisition risk during STI co-infections.

During the COVID-19 response, she served on the HHS Testing and Diagnostics Work Group, addressing national diagnostic testing challenges and developing testing programs and recommendations.

Christina Muzny (UAB)
Dr. Christina Muzny obtained her medical degree at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine followed by an internal medicine residency and an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She joined the ID faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2010. She has since obtained an MSPH in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the UAB School of Public Health. Her clinical and research interests focus on the HIV and STIs in women, specifically vaginal infections including BV and trichomoniasis. Dr. Muzny currently has R01 and R21 funding from NIH/NIAID to study the pathogenesis of BV. She has also participated in multiple clinical trials on the treatment of trichomoniasis in women. Dr. Muzny is a tenured Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UAB with secondary appointments in the UAB Department of Epidemiology and Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Brian Raphael
Brian Raphael has served as the Team Lead for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma genitalium in the STD Laboratory Reference and Research Branch, Division of STD Prevention at CDC since 2019. He oversees antimicrobial susceptibility testing for gonorrhea, STD diagnostics using automated commercial platforms, integration of whole genome sequencing into public health responses for antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, and development of laboratory developed tests for the molecular detection and characterization of STD pathogens.

Hilary Reno
Hilary Reno, MD, PhD, FIDSA is an Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Division of Infectious Disease, who focuses on the care of patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV prevention. Her current research focuses on access to sexual health care and the quality of that care on a regional level. Dr. Reno has been the medical director of the St. Louis County Sexual Health clinic for 15 years. She is medical director of the St. Louis STI/ HIV Prevention Training Center and a medical consultant with the CDC, Division of STD Prevention.

Arlene Seña (UNC)

Sancta St. Cyr
Sancta St. Cyr, MD, MPH is the project officer for the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP), the national sentinel surveillance system for antibiotic resistant gonorrhea. She joined the Surveillance and Data Management Branch of the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017 as a medical officer. In her role, she regularly contributes to programs and publications involving antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. She recently co-led the gonorrhea subcommittee for the CDC 2021 STI Treatment Guidelines.

Dr. St. Cyr earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. She trained in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She also completed her infectious diseases fellowship and master of public health in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stephanie Taylor (LSU)

Individual-Level Intervention Research Track


Gift PhotoThomas L. Gift, PhD received a BA in economics from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the acting Branch Chief of the Clinical, Economic and Health Services Research Branch (CEHSRB) in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His work at CDC has focused on assessing the STD prevention infrastructure in public health and on the cost-effectiveness of STD interventions.

Pathela PhotoPreeti Pathela, PhD, MPH is the Executive Director of the STI Program in the Bureau of Hepatitis, HIV, and STI at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her work focuses on STI/HIV among the Department’s sexual health clinic patient population, as well as at the citywide level using surveillance data, to generate and answer epidemiologic research questions around STI/HIV risk, prevention, and access to services. Findings from this work are frequently used to plan for local resource allocation and guide programmatic action. Dr. Pathela is an Associate Editor of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and serves on the Board of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association. She received a DrPH degree in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her MPH from Emory University.


Anna Cope
Anna Cope has been an Epidemiologist in the Field Epi Unit of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch for the past 6 years. She is assigned to the North Carolina Division of Public Health in Raleigh, NC. Anna has conducted several studies assessing partner services effectiveness, DIS satisfaction, and electronic options for partner notification in North Carolina and across the country. Prior to joining the Field Epi Unit, Anna received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Casey Copen
Casey Copen is a Behavioral Scientist with the Behavioral Science and Epidemiology Branch (SBEB) in the Division of STD Prevention at CDC. In her current role she focuses on research exploring sexual risk behavior and healthcare seeking with priority populations such as adolescents and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. She is currently a co-lead for the Network Epidemiology of Syphilis Transmission study, or NEST, where she provides overall leadership, coordination and management support for three jurisdictions participating in the study. Prior to her present position, she was a statistician with the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) Team, Reproductive Statistics Branch at CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Hyattsville, MD. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Southern California and an MPH in Health Behavior/Health Education from the University of Michigan.

Sam Eppink (J)
Dr. Eppink is an Economist with the Division of STD Prevention’s Clinical, Economic, and Health Services Research Branch. He is trained in applied microeconometrics and specializes in health economics and public policy. Dr. Eppink has published multiple studies pertaining to the cost of illness, health disparities, and the socioeconomic conditions of sexual and gender minorities. In his work he applies quantitative techniques from econometrics, mathematics, and statistics in conjunction with economic theory to analyze and address complex multidisciplinary issues pertaining to public health, policy, and administration. Dr. Eppink is currently a committee member of the DSTDP Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Group’s Scientific and Programmatic Activities Workgroup. He has previously served as Research Co-Chair for Vanderbilt University’s Council of Economic Graduate Students and as a CDC Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Fellow. He holds a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

David Katz

Victoria Mobley

Abigail Norris Turner
Dr. Norris Turner is an infectious diseases epidemiologist at Ohio State University. For nearly 20 years her research has focused on characterizing the behavioral, clinical and immunological factors associated with acquisition of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Her work, carried out in partnership with government and community collaborators, has explored the health concerns of vulnerable populations in a range of settings in the US and internationally. She has a secondary research interest in developing methodological approaches to better measure sensitive and stigmatized health exposures and outcomes. Dr. Norris Turner is also President-Elect of the American STD Association.

Casey Pinto (J)
I am an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Penn State with a research focus on rural health disparities in the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. I am specifically interested in the behavioral and/or social environmental factors that are associated with STI prevalence and how these vary between rural/urban populations. In addition, I have more than a decade of experience as a nurse practitioner in infectious disease, and as the sole-provider in two STI clinics.

Shaunta Wright

Program Science Track


Chesson PhotoHarrell W. Chesson, PhD is a health economist in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Chesson earned his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and his PhD in economics from Duke University in 1996. He came to CDC in 1996 as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow. His research has focused on the impact and cost-effectiveness of STD prevention programs and policies, including HPV vaccination. Other research interests include STD transmission models, health equity, and burden of disease.

Becker PhotoDr. Marissa Becker is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Global Public Health at the University of Manitoba, Departments of Community Health Sciences, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. She is currently working as an Infectious Diseases and HIV physician and researcher with the University of Manitoba. Dr. Becker uses a Program Science approach for her research in Manitoba, India, Pakistan, Kenya and Ukraine and her program of research focuses on understanding HIV and other Infectious Disease risk, vulnerability and outcomes among marginalized populations, with a specific focus on adolescent girls, young women and female sex workers. She has been awarded a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator Award for her research. Dr. Becker is currently based in New Delhi, India where she is the Director, Technical Collaborations for the Institute of Global Public Health.


Ann Burchell

Matthew Hogben
Dr. Hogben has worked in the Division of STD Prevention at CDC since 1999. During that time, he has conducted or overseen social science and epidemiologically based research with individual-level and structural assessments and interventions in clinical settings and as public health “wrap-around” activities. Specific investigations include work on increasing sexual health care access and use, on novel interventions related to STI/HIV partner services, and on the influence of social determinants of health on STI and sexual health. His current work is aimed at increasing disease intervention impact and improving health equity as intertwined goals in improving population health outcomes. Prior to joining CDC, Dr. Hogben obtained a doctoral degree in social psychology from the State University of New York (SUNY) and took up a fellowship in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Karen Johnson
Dr. Karen A. Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, School of Social Work. She received her Ph.D. from the Columbia University, School of Social Work and completed post-doctoral training in Global Mental Health and Implementation Science from Columbia University / New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Johnson is an affiliate with the Columbia University Social Intervention Group and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Johnson has also completed research fellowships at UAB, Johns Hopkins University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Yale University. Dr. Johnson’s research explores historical, cultural, and contextual factors such as trauma, racism, oppression, religiosity, stigma, and place that drives sexual risk behaviors in low-income, drug-using, criminal legal system involved Black women living in the Northeast and the deep South. Her work also focuses on evidence-based intervention adaptation, acculturation, and implementation.

Carmen Logie
Dr. Carmen Logie is an Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair in Global Health Equity and Social Justice with Marginalized Populations, Adjunct Professor at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health, Research Scientist at the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity, and Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Hospital. With >200 peer-reviewed publications, Logie’s research program advances understanding of stigma and other ecosocial factors associated with sexual health disparities. Her research focuses on HIV/STI prevention, testing and care cascades in Canada, Uganda, and Jamaica with people living with HIV, forcibly displaced youth, LGBTQ communities, sex workers, Indigenous youth, and persons at the intersection of these identities. She is a Deputy Editor at the Journal of the International AIDS Society and she is on editorial boards for Social Science and Medicine Mental Health and PLOS Global Health.

Janet Saul

Christina Schumacher

Ian Spicknall

Austin Williams
Austin is an economist in the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to starting his current position, Austin worked as a research economist at RTI International and served as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow in DSTDP. He received a PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Austin's expertise includes cost and cost-effectiveness analysis, econometrics, simulation, causal inference, and policy evaluation. He has applied these methods to study a variety of topic areas within public health, including sexually transmitted infections, COVID-19, chronic respiratory disease, and health disparities.

Policy Track


Ludovic PhotoJennifer Ludovic, PhD, MPH has worked in policy at CDC for 18 years—11 years with the Division of STD Prevention as the Policy Team Lead, and 7 years in non-infectious disease policy. Work experience prior to CDC included healthcare consulting and business analysis. Jen has a DrPH (UNC) and an MPH (Emory) in health policy and management, and a bachelor’s degree (Harvard) in English and American Literature.

Mario Perez PhotoMario Pèrez serves as the Director of the Division of HIV and STD Programs for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In this role he is responsible for guiding the work of more than 200 employees and managing the annual investment of more than $115 million in local, State and federal resources that support the delivery of HIV and STD services through more than 60 partner organizations. He served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS during the Obama Administration and previously served on the Board of the National Council of STD Directors. He has testified before Congress, the California Legislature, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and the Los Angeles City Council to address a range of HIV and STD issues. He earned a Bachelor Degree in Biology from UC Berkeley and a Master of Public Health Degree from UCLA.


Deborah Arrindell

Ryan Cramer

Jeffrey Crowley
Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH is the Program Director of the Infectious Diseases Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law and an adjunct professor of law. Crowley’s work has focused on federal health care policy with an emphasis on Medicaid, Medicare, and issues impacting people with HIV and other people with disabilities. From 2009 to 2011, he was the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and Senior Advisor on Disability Policy for President Barack Obama. In this capacity, he led the development of the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. In 2019, he was appointed to a National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States that released its report in March 2021, Sexually Transmitted Infections: Adopting a Sexual Health Paradigm.

Melissa A. Habel
Melissa A. Habel, MPH, is a Health Scientist in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, Office of Communications, Policy, Partnerships, and Planning. She serves as a scientific advisor and provides leadership on strategic planning and implementation, goal setting and progress tracking, and supports implementation and monitoring of special initiatives to advance the mission of DSTDP. She has experience in survey and analytic design aimed at assessing and monitoring behaviors and contextual factors that contribute to STD transmission and acquisition; policy analysis; community assessment and engagement strategies; evidence-based communication and social marketing strategies; and the development, evaluation, and translation of prevention intervention at the individual, group, and structural, levels. Additional research interests and publication areas include STI self-testing, expansion of STI service provision in pharmacy and retail health clinic settings, young adult health, and remote health care.

Rebekah Horowitz
Rebekah currently oversees the sexually transmitted infections portfolio at NACCHO within the HIV, STI, viral hepatitis, and harm reduction team. She has been leading that work since 2018.

Prior to joining NACCHO, she worked on the policy team at the National Coalition of STD Directors, participating in state and federal policy efforts.

She holds her JD and MPH from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Penny Loosier

Bill Pearson
Dr. Pearson currently serves as the lead of the Health Services Research Team in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Pearson has conducted health services research since 2000, focusing his work on cost, quality, and access to care issues related to the delivery of health services across the public health and healthcare spectrum. He received his doctoral degree in health services research from the University of South Carolina and his masters degree in healthcare administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Naomi Seiler

Clinical Case Series


Bachmann PhotoLaura Bachmann, MD is Chief Medical Officer for the Division of STD Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to coming to CDC, Dr. Bachmann was a Professor of Medicine at Wake Forest University Health Sciences (Winston-Salem, NC) and Medical Director, Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Division (NC). Dr. Bachmann has been involved in training healthcare providers for over 20 years. Boarded in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Bachmann specializes in STD and HIV care with experience practicing in academic, federal, community and public health settings. She is an expert in the diagnosis and management of STIs and she has conducted clinical research throughout her career addressing a variety of STI/HIV control issues in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

Park PhotoIna Park, MD, MS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She also serves as Medical Director of the California Prevention Training Center and a Medical Consultant for the Division of STD Prevention at CDC. She is the author of Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs.


Bruce Furness
Bruce (“Bryce”) W. Furness, MD, MPH is a Medical Epidemiologist with the CDC’s DSTDP who has been embedded within the Washington, DC DOH since 2002. He has acted in many different capacities: as the Acting Chief, Division of STD Control; as the Chief Medical Officer, Southeast STD & Tuberculosis Control and Chest Clinics; and, currently, as the Strategic Information Division’s STD Medical Epidemiologist. Highlights of his tenure include starting and evaluating the District’s Internet Partner Notification Program to manage pseudo-anonymous partners of syphilis and HIV cases; starting and managing the District’s School-based STD Screening Program; starting and running Whitman-Walker Health’s Transgender Health Clinic; guiding WWH’s Gay Men’s Health & Wellness Clinics; and improving the DC Health and Wellness Center’s PrEP Clinic. He is a subject matter expert on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender health and has recently published several articles on transforming primary care for LGBT people.

Aniruddha (Anu) Hazra
Dr. Aniruddha (Anu) Hazra is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Chicago and Director of STI Services at the Chicago Center of HIV Elimination. In addition to his work at UofC, he is co-Medical Director of Howard Brown Health’s 55th Street Clinic; Howard Brown Health is a prominent federally qualified health center specializing in the needs of LGBTQ people living in the Midwest.

His research centers around sexually transmitted infections and their impact on sexual and gender minorities as well as other vulnerable populations living on the South Side of Chicago. These interests are complemented by his clinical work in complex HIV management, PrEP care, Hepatitis C management, gender affirming hormone therapy, high resolution anoscopy, and treatment of opioid use disorder. Above all else, he is passionate about the equitable delivery of healthcare to LGBTQ people of color.

Candice McNeil

Meena Ramchandani
Assistant Professor at the University of Washington and co-medical Director of the Public Health - Seattle & King County Sexual Health Clinic. She is an infectious disease and primary care physician at the Madison and MAX HIV Clinics in Seattle, Washington. She is also the editor and host of the National STD Podcast.

Kim Workowski

Health Equity Expert

Valentine PhotoJo A. Valentine is the Associate Director, Office of Health Equity in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has worked in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention since September 1991. Currently her primary responsibilities include: 1) leading efforts to reduce STD disparities in the United States and promote health equity, 2) overseeing the Tuskegee Health Benefits Program, and 3) managing the Tuskegee University Bioethics Center Presidential Apology Commemorative Project. In these roles she leads and coordinates multi-disciplinary teams and workgroups and provides technical assistance for intervention development and program implementation for disadvantaged and under-served populations. Additionally, Ms. Valentine provides subject matter and technical expertise across the agency, to state and local health departments, and to non-governmental organizations. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1995 from the Clark Atlanta University School of Social Work.