CHAMPS names Cynthia Whitney as Principal Investigator and Executive Director
April 21, 2020
ATLANTA — April 21, 2020 — Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) has named Cynthia Whitney, MD, MPH as Principal Investigator and Executive Director. Whitney joined CHAMPS as Senior Advisor in 2018 and is a Professor in the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health.
“CHAMPS combines cutting-edge science with real-time work to save and improve lives,” says Whitney. “I am thrilled to take on this role and look forward to working even more closely with our fantastic CHAMPS program office team, network and our amazing partners.”
“Cyndy is a globally recognized public health leader and researcher with deep experience in infectious disease research and surveillance,” says Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH, Emory University’s vice president for global health. “We’re delighted and extremely fortunate to have her lead CHAMPS.”
A physician and epidemiologist, Whitney was a long-standing senior leader at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she worked on respiratory infections, surveillance, outbreak response and vaccine policy and development and evaluation. She also led CDC-wide emergency response task forces for SARS, Ebola in West Africa, and pandemic influenza. Prior to joining CHAMPS in 2018, she co-led CDC’s work leading to the initial CHAMPS grant. She also supervised the team responsible for developing CHAMPS’s TaqMan Array Card system. Most recently, Whitney served as Senior Advisor to CHAMPS and an investigator at the Emory Hope Clinic. She has authored more than 250 published scientific articles on topics such as pneumococcal disease epidemiology, drug resistance, respiratory disease, neonatal sepsis and disease outbreaks. She is a frequent consultant for the World Health Organization and other bilateral and multilateral groups. Whitney replaces Robert F. Breiman, MD as CHAMPS’s Principal Investigator and Executive Director. Breiman stepped down in January.
Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS), a global health network headquartered in the Emory Global Health Institute, collects and analyzes data to help identify the causes of child mortality in the places where it’s highest. It has sites in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and South Africa, and will add two more in the program’s next phase. CHAMPS partners with governments and national public health institutes to use CHAMPS findings to better understand and prevent specific causes of disease in children under age five. CHAMPS’ inclusive, open access approach to data-sharing is designed to stimulate and incorporate creative new ideas to prevent child mortality.
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