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New director at CDC

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appoints Julie Gerberding, MD, first woman to head agency.

Emma Hitt(emma@emmasciencewriter.com)

ATLANTA — Julie Gerberding, an infectious disease specialist, has been appointed as director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Gerberding, 46, is the CDC's first female director. The position had been open since former director Jeffrey Koplan resigned on 31 March. David Fleming, the CDC's deputy director for science and public health, had been serving as interim director.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson visited the CDC's headquarters Wednesday to appoint Gerberding, who, until the appointment, was the acting principal deputy director of CDC and acting deputy director of CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

"She's an inspirational leader with superb vision," James M. Hughes, Director of the NCID told The Scientist during Thompson's visit. "She is also a highly skilled scientist and has outstanding public health credentials." According to Hughes, Gerberding demonstrated in the anthrax attacks of last fall that she could...

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