Rollins School of Public Health | Faculty Profile
Emory Rollins School of Public Health
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Ruth  Berkelman

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Professor

Jointly Appointed, Global Health

Professor Emeritus, Epidemiology

Rollins Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology

I am a Rollins Professor Emeritus at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Global health, as well as the Center for Ethics.   I have been fortunate throughout my career to enjoy breadth and depth of research in a number of public health policy issues, focused particularly on infectious diseases and public health preparedness.   I began my career in public health as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Following board certification in pediatrics and internal medicine,  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 where I led CDC's efforts in emerging infectious diseases in the 1990s.  As chronic, non communicable diseases rose in incidence, we have needed to remain vigilant to the ever-changing, ever-adapting microbial world.  Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Epidemiologic Society and as a Fellow to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, I have been extensively involved with numerous boards and committees, including the HHS  National Biodefense Science Board, the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (Chair, 2002-2008)  and the CDC Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) for Infectious Diseases (Chair,  2012-2018). I have also served on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University and the National Academies (NASEM) Board of Life Sciences.  I currently reside in the Gainesville, FL area and am serving on the external advisory board for the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, the Center for Well-being and Health at Princeton University and the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine. 

Contact Information

, FL



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Areas of Interest

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


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

Affiliations & Activities

National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine

American Academy of Microbiology

University of Florida, External Advisory Committee for College of Public Health and Health Professions

Princeton University, Advisory Committee for Center for Health and Well-being 

American Academy of Microbiology

American Epidemiologic Society

Infectious Diseases Society of America



  • , , Culture of Responsibility, Science, ,
  • , , Legionellosis on the Rise: A Review of Guidelines for Prevention in the United States, J Public Health Manag Pract , ,
  • , , Shifting Gears to Control Drug-resistant Tuberculosis, Clin Inf Dis, ,
  • , , HIV/AIDS: Focus on the Test and Treat Strategy , Journal of Public Health Policy , ,
  • , , Use, location and timeliness of clinical microbiology testing in GA for select infectious diseases, J Public Health Manag Pract, ,
  • , , "Public Health Surveillance"., In: Oxford Texbook of Public Health, Oxford University Press \ 5th edition, ,
  • , , Legionellosis, 1990 - 2005: Changing Epidemiologic Trends, Clin Inf Dis , 47, 591-599
  • , , Trends in healthcare use in the New York City region following the terrorist attacks of 2001, Biosecurity & Bioterrorism, ,
  • , , The emergence and resurgence of bacterial infectious diseases. In: (eds. Hausler WJ, Sussman, M), Topley & Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Tenth Edition, 1,
  • , , Addressing Emerging Microbial Threats in the United States., JAMA , 275, 315-317
  • , , Trends in infectious disease mortality, JAMA, ,
  • , , Hantavirus: Responding to emerging infectious diseases, Current Issues in Public Health , 1, 10-15
  • , , The conquest of infectious diseases: Who are we Kidding?, Ann Intern Med, ,