her career in public health as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At CDC, she served as Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and as a Senior Advisor to the Director; she retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in 2000 as Assistant Surgeon General. She is nationally and internationally recognized in infectious diseases and disease surveillance. She has taken leadership roles with national organizations and is currently serving as Chair of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board, American Society of Microbiology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, and was appointed in 2007 to the National Biodefense Science Board.
Gail Cassell is Visiting Professor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and former vice president, Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases, Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. She is the former Charles H. McCauley Professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama Schools of Medicine and Dentistry at Birmingham, a department that ranked first in research funding from the National Institutes of Health during the decade of her leadership. She obtained her bachelor’s from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and in 1993 was selected as one of the top 31 female graduates of the 20th century. She obtained her doctorate in microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was selected as its 2003 Distinguished Alumnus.
She is a past president of the American Society for Microbiology (the oldest and single largest life sciences organization with a membership of over 42,000). She was a member of the National Institutes of Health Director’s Advisory Committee and a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of NIH. She was named to the original Board of Scientific Councilors of the Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and served as chair of the board. She recently served a three-year term on the Advisory Board of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as a member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Council of Public Health Preparedness. Currently she is a member of the Science Board of the Federal Food and Drug Administration. Since 1996, she has been a member of the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program responsible for advising the respective governments on joint research agendas (U.S. State Department/Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She has served on several editorial boards of scientific journals and has authored more than 250 articles and book chapters. Cassell has received national and international awards and an honorary degree for her research in infectious diseases. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is currently serving a three-year term on the IOM Council, the governing board.