Julie Dombrowski is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Deputy Director of the Public Health – Seattle & King County HIV/STI/HCV Program.  Her research focuses on improving HIV & STI clinical and public health services for marginalized populations in the United States with a particular focus on novel models of HIV care. She mentors trainees and junior faculty, provides capacity-building assistance for sexual health clinics and HIV/STI partner services programs, and she is a primary care provider in the Madison & Max HIV Clinics in Seattle, Washington.


Jami Leichliter is the Associate Director of Science (ADS) in the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She received her PhD in applied experimental psychology from Southern Illinois University (SIU) with a specialization in measurement and evaluation in public health. In 1999, she joined CDC/DSTDP as a behavioral scientist, after serving as an associate scientist at SIU working on research related to drug and alcohol misuse on college campuses. She has served in various roles in DSTDP including team lead for policy science and deputy associate director of science. In her current role as DSTDP ADS, she leads division-wide scientific efforts. She emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to addressing issues in STI prevention.  Her current research interests include sexual networks, sexual behavior, and the public infrastructure for STI prevention.

Senior Advisors

Susan Tuddenham is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins. Her clinical interests are in sexually transmitted and urogenital infections, (particularly infectious vaginitis and urinary tract infections). She served as a one of the subject matter experts for adult syphilis for the 2021 Centers for Disease Control Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Treatment Guidelines. Dr. Tuddenham’s research interests are in STIs and the role of the human microbiome in susceptibility to and pathogenesis of STIs, HIV, and urogenital infections. 

Laura Haderxhanaj is the Deputy Associate Director of Science (ADS) in the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She received her PhD in health behavior from Indiana University with a minor in health policy, an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Florida, and a MS in health services research from Texas State University. She worked in the DSTDP from 2011-2014 as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow, returned in 2017 as an epidemiologist, and joined the Office of Science in 2023. Her work has focused on behaviors associated with transmission of STIs, sexual health promotion, and improving health equity.

Clinical and Biomedical Track Co-Chairs

Lindley Barbee is an infectious diseases physician and a public health practitioner with expertise in sexually transmitted infections.  She is currently the Clinical Team Lead in the Division of STD Prevention at CDC.  Before joining DSTDP, Dr. Barbee served as infectious diseases faculty at the University of Washington and as the Medical Director for the Public Health – Seattle & King County STD Clinic for 10 years.  Her work incorporates research, clinical practice and public health program implementation for STIs/HIV.  

Jodie Dionne is a clinician-investigator in Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She leads research teams in the US, Cameroon, and Zambia that conduct multicenter clinical trials to test new medications and vaccines to treat and prevent STI in women and pregnancy. Current trials focus on congenital syphilis, gonorrhea, and hepatitis B


Pooja Chitneni

Stephen Jordan

Rebecca Lillis

Charurut Somboonwit

Laura Quilter

Ina Park

Community Engagement Track Co-Chairs

Elizabeth Rink is a Professor of Community Health at Montana State University. She conducts community based participatory research mixed methods studies to address sexual and reproductive health equity. Over the past 19 years, Dr. Rink has partnered with the Fort Peck Tribes to implement sexual and reproductive health studies funded by the U.S. Office of Population Affairs and NIH. Currently, she is the PI for a RCT funded by NIMHD called, NenŨnkUmbi/EdaHiYedo (we are here now): a multi-level, multi-component sexual and reproductive health intervention for American Indian youth. Her scholarship also includes participatory, interdisciplinary research in Greenland where she has been the PI for population dynamic studies funded by NSF, and recently she was invited by the Greenland Research Council to collaborate on a research ethics infrastructure development project, entitled Ileqqussaasut (how to behave in the world): an ethical framework for research in Greenland. Dr. Rink has been a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Fellow, a two-time Fulbright Fellowship awardee, and has twice been the co-lead scholar for Cohort III and IV of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Shauntā Wright is a Health Scientist on the Program Evaluation Team in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her public health career spans 20 years, with program management and evaluation in STD prevention and control, community engagement, adolescent health, health disparities, partnerships, tobacco prevention, and cancer education. Ms. Wright joined CDC in 2011 and currently conducts several evaluation studies, provides technical assistance to STD programs, and serves as mentor to young public health professionals. She has a Master of Public Health from the Georgia State University School of Public Health, as well as a certificate in nonprofit management, and an undergraduate degree in Biology from Georgia State University.


Jessica Leston

Bermang Ortiz

Kenya Taylor

Hannah Warren

Samantha Williams

Epidemiology and Surveillance Track Co-Chairs

Jeremy A. Grey is an epidemiologist in the Surveillance and Data Science Branch of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP). In addition to his published research on HIV and STI disparities in sexual minority and gender diverse populations, he regularly uses innovative technologies to optimize STI surveillance processes. During his tenure at DSTDP, Jeremy has written algorithms to streamline the interpretation and visualization of national case based STI surveillance data. These programs automatically produce customized feedback for reporting jurisdictions and generate content for the annual STI surveillance report for the United States. A graduate of CDC’s Data Science Certificate Program, Jeremy continues to explore the potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence to further enhance the quality and timeliness of STI surveillance at CDC.

Preeti Pathela is the Executive Director of the STI Program in the Bureau of Hepatitis, HIV, and STI at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She has overall responsibility for directing, evaluating, and coordinating the activities of the Program, which consists of roughly 90 staff who conduct work in STI program implementation, surveillance and field operations, and epidemiology, research and evaluation. She serves on the American STD Association’s Board of Directors and as an Associate Editor of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.


Nicole Olson Burghart

David (Dave) Jackson

Emily Learner

JaNelle Ricks

Emily Rowlinson

Jenell Stewart

Pathogenesis and Laboratory Track Co-Chairs

Matthew Schmerer joined CDC’s Division of STD Prevention in 2016 to work on developing methods to utilize genomics for Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial resistance detection and prevention.  He is now the Team Lead of the Gonorrhea Team in the STD Laboratory Reference and Research Branch, whose mission is focused on supporting N. gonorrhoeae AMR surveillance through culture-based and culture-independent methods as well as utilizing those methods to support AR N. gonorrhoeae outbreak response.

Olusegun Soge is an Associate Professor of Global Health and Medicine, as well as the Director for the Neisseria Reference Laboratory in the Center for AIDS and STD at the University of Washington. He is the co-PI for Strengthening the US Response to Resistant Gonorrhea in King County, WA, a CDC-funded multi-center surveillance and public health intervention project designed to rapidly detect and control the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Dr. Soge’s research has focused on the surveillance and characterization of genetic mechanisms of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance, in vitro evaluation of novel antimicrobial compounds against multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and molecular diagnostics for STIs. He has longstanding collaborations with CDC, the State Department of Health-STD/HIV Programs in Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, California, Alaska, and their Public Health Laboratories, to monitor trends in gonococcal antimicrobial resistance and provide data to guide evidence‐based selection of effective treatment regimens for gonorrhea. 


Weiping Cao

William “Bill” Davis

Elizabeth Palavecino

Barbara Van Der Pol

Program Science and Policy Track Co-Chairs

Matthew Hogben received a doctorate in social psychology from the State University of New York, followed by post-doctoral training in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.  He is currently the Senior Research and Innovations Officer of the Division of STD Prevention at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   Dr Hogben’s primary focus is to apply social and behavioral science expertise to STD prevention and sexual health.  Past topics have included research and guidance on partner services recommendations for STD programs, expedited partner therapy, and expansion of sexual services to improve population coverage.  Current priorities include understanding sex and STD-related behaviors through multiple data sources and expanding the integration of social determinants of health and health equity into effective prevention efforts, often with a program science framework.

Christina Schumacher is an Epidemiologist and an Assistant Professor at the Center for Child and Community Health Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Her research is primarily focused on Program Science, and specifically the translation of evidence to public health practice for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.  She has deep expertise in the application of epidemiologic principles and methods to public health surveillance data, programmatic data and electronic health record data to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of public health and clinical practice, and she collaborates closely with state and local public health agencies and the CDC.  A secondary focus of her research includes leveraging public health surveillance, clinical cohort data and research cohort data to improve understanding of sexually transmitted infection and HIV transmission dynamics.


Ricardo Beato

Sam Eppink

Rebecca Horowitz

Minttu Ronn

Audrey South

Janine Waters (NCSD)

Social and Behavioral Track Co-Chairs

Errol Fields is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine. He is a physician scientist and a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine subspecialist. His clinical work focuses on primary and subspecialty care for adolescents and young adults including gender-affirming care, inclusive sexual and reproductive health care, and treatment and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He is the Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Services for The Center for Transgender & Gender Expansive Health at Johns Hopkins and the co-founder and director of the Emerge Gender Clinic for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults. In his research he uses mixed methodologies and community engaged research, and principles of social and spatial epidemiology to understand and eliminate HIV/STI disparities affecting AYA Black gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Dr. Fields is Program Director for the Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Training program and supports adolescent medicine fellows training in health disparities research for vulnerable and marginalized adolescents and young adults. He is also committed to the provision of evidence-based, culturally competent care of sexual and gender diverse youth and is involved in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education in this area.

Penny Loosier is a behavioral scientist and lead of the Behavioral Science Team in the Behavioral Science and Epidemiology Branch in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Her current work focuses on the development of a portfolio of intervention activities to address rising rates of congenital syphilis as well as supporting state and local health departments via conducting rapid ethnographic assessments in response to outbreaks or high endemic levels of STDs like syphilis and congenital syphilis. She holds a PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology and an MPH with a concentration in Health Behavior from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Aimalohi Ahonkhai

Daniel Driffin

Laura Haderxhanaj

Rachel Kachur

Lavinia Nicolae

Roz Plotzker

Sarah Wood

Clinical Case Series Co-Chairs

Meena Ramchandani is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. She is the medical director of the Max HIV Clinic and ID Fellowship Program Director. She is an infectious disease provider with a focus on STIs, HIV and vulnerable populations. She is the editor and host of the National STD Curriculum Podcast, a literature review for health care professionals who are interested in remaining up-to-date on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of STDs.

Sancta St. Cyr is a medical officer in the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP). She joined DSTDP’s surveillance team in 2017 as the project officer for the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP), the national sentinel surveillance system for antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea. Additionally, she regularly collaborated on internal and external antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea projects. Dr. St. Cyr co-led the CDC’s 2021 STI Treatment Guidelines gonorrhea subcommittee and helped establish the Suspected Gonorrhea Treatment Failure Consultation Form, an online technical assistance and reporting platform. In 2023, she joined the DSTDP clinical team and contributes to different STIs projects involving antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes. Dr. St. Cyr earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, trained in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and completed her infectious diseases fellowship and Master of Public Health in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Philip Chan

Kahlil Ghanem

Robert (Bobby) McDonald

Candice McNeil

Hilary Reno

Jason Zucker

Health Equity Expert

Ana Penman-Aguilar serves as Associate Director for Science in CDC’s Office of Health Equity and Chief Science Officer in its Office of Minority Health. Dr. Penman-Aguilar provides leadership across a broad range of science, research, evaluation, and practice issues related to health equity. She also initiates and oversees research projects related to health equity and acts as a scientific advisor to CDC leadership and to organizations external to CDC. In May 2021, Dr. Penman-Aguilar stood up and led the science arm of CDC’s inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer (CHEO) unit to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2015, she led CDC’s first major disaggregation of health indicators among Hispanic and Latino people. Dr. Penman-Aguilar previously worked as an epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health. In that role, she and colleagues received the 2010 CDC Excellence in Emergency Response Award and the National Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Award for Effective Practice at the National Level for their response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, during which Dr. Penman-Aguilar developed and validated an algorithm for identifying American Indian and Alaska Native pregnant women at risk for severe illness. Dr. Penman-Aguilar has authored numerous scientific manuscripts, including in high-profile journals such as the Lancet. Her primary interests include measurement of health disparities and health inequities as well as health equity science, more broadly.

Sexual Health Expert

Keosha T. Bond is an Assistant Medical Professor in the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine at the CUNY School of Medicine and the Director of the LOVE Project Lab.   She is a trained behavioral scientist and sexual health educator who has centered her work on the complex intersections of race, sexuality, social justice, and health equity among individuals of marginalized genders. Dr. Bond’s primary research interests have focused on understanding how socio-structural and cultural factors influence the transmission of HIV to develop sex positive, culturally appropriate digital technology interventions that empower people to change the status quo and achieve positive health outcomes. Dr. Bond is a NIDA- trained, certified Health Education Specialist with a Doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University Teachers College, a Master of Public Health from CUNY-Hunter College, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University.