Jay K. Varma
Dr. Varma is Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In his current role, he oversees the municipal public health laboratory and all infectious disease control programs for New York City.
After graduating magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University in 1993, Dr. Varma completed medical school, his internal medicine residency, and his chief residency at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. In 2001, he joined CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, during which he conducted multiple domestic and international outbreak investigations and epidemiologic studies into foodborne diseases, including E. coli O157, Salmonella, Listeria, and botulism. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Varma served as the CDC Division of TB Elimination’s first assignee to Southeast Asia, leading TB programs and research in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam and providing consultation to the World Health Organization regional offices and headquarters.
In July 2008, Dr. Varma moved to Beijing, China, to establish a new site for the U.S. CDC’s International Emerging Infections Program. As director of this program from 2008 to 2011, he provided expert consultation to the Chinese government about outbreak investigations, surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, public health policy, and preparedness for emerging infections. He also served as a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization for global policies related to tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and research.
Dr. Varma has authored or co-authored 65 scientific manuscripts, 6 essays, and 1 book. Findings from his research and programs have led to direct public health policy changes regarding infectious diseases both in the United States and other countries. For these accomplishments, he was named the 2010 U.S. Public Health Service Physician Researcher of the Year.
Holding the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Varma is board-certified in internal medicine, and he continues to practice medicine as an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
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