The National Center for Infectious Diseases has created a new position to help meet the critical need for increased partnerships between the human and veterinary medical, research, and public health communities. This past January, Dr. Nina Marano started in the new position as the Acting Associate Director for Veterinary Medicine and Public Health for the NCID, within the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.
"In light of back-to-back SARS, West Nile, monkeypox, and avian influenza, it brought the message home that there needs to be a focus for veterinary issues within the National Center for Infectious Diseases," Dr. Marano said.
As part of her duties, Dr. Marano will be working with organizations such as the AVMA, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, to explore ways to more fully integrate veterinarians into efforts to address emerging zoonotic infections. Educating young veterinarians about the role and importance of veterinary professionals in the CDC and public health is key.
"My primary responsibility is to serve as an outreach to the veterinary profession," Dr. Marano said, "in other words, to find out how to attract young people into careers that promote veterinary medicine and public health."
Much of her other time will be spent in response mode. "I spent most of the first six weeks in this position responding to issues concerning international implications of the avian influenza outbreak in Southeast Asia," she said.
After obtaining her DVM degree from the University of Georgia and MPH from Emory University, Dr. Marano worked as a staff veterinarian in several veterinary clinics in Atlanta. She joined the CDC in 1998, working first in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, and then in the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch. She will continue in this latter position on a part-time while she serves in her new position. In 2003, Dr. Marano became a member of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.