Dr. Robert Massung, PhD., serves as Chief of the Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases. Dr. Massung received his PhD from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. He joined the CDC in 1991 as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Poxvirus Section, Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch, where he led a research team that determined the first complete genome sequence of Variola (smallpox) virus. Dr. Massung joined the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch in 1994 as a Supervisory Research Microbiologist and directed a molecular biology laboratory with a focus on the epidemiology of human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. In January 2005 Dr. Massung became director of the Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) laboratory where he directed studies on bioterrorism preparedness and the molecular basis for pathogenesis.
Dr. Massung has published over 80 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at national and international conferences. He has participated in numerous workshops and advisory boards which have played important roles in defining the research efforts aimed at selected zoonoses.
Dr. Massung has received numerous awards for his public health service including the United States Department of Public Health and Human Services Special Act/Service Award, the James H. Nakano Citation for outstanding scientific publication, and the Secretary Award from United States Department of Public Health and Human Services.