Gerberding Receives Honorary Doctor of Science


MACON – Mercer University awarded an honorary doctor of science degree to Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, at the School of Medicine commencement on May 6. Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey made the presentation after Gerberding gave the commencement address.

Gerberding and her staff of scientists, researchers and doctors tackle some of the world’s toughest health problems. As the nation’s leading health agency, the CDC works with health organizations around the globe to discover causes of diseases and viruses, seek solutions and remedies, and instigate preventative measures and controls.

Gerberding became director of the CDC and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on July 3, 2002. Before this, she served as acting deputy director of National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), where she played a major role in leading the CDC’s response to the anthrax bioterrorism events of 2001.

She joined the CDC in 1998 as director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion for the NCID, where she developed the CDC’s patient safety initiatives and other programs to prevent infections, antimicrobial resistance and medical errors in health care settings.

Prior to joining the CDC, Gerberding was a faculty member at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where she directed the Prevention Epicenter – a multidisciplinary research, training and clinical service program that focuses on preventing infections in patients and their health care providers. She remains on the faculty there as an associate professor of medicine and also is an associate clinical professor of medicine at Emory University.

Her editorial activities include serving as a member of the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine. She is also associate editor of the American Journal of Medicine.

Gerberding earned a bachelor of arts magna cum laude in chemistry and biology and her M.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Gerberding completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at UCSF, where she also served as chief medical resident before completing her fellowship in clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases. In 1990, she earned an M.P.H. degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

About Mercer University and the School of Medicine:

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. The School only accepts Georgia residents into its medical degree program. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School has two teaching hospitals: Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.