Assistant Director for Public Health and Chief, Prions & Public Health Office
Lawrence “Larry” B. Schonberger, MD, MPH, is a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Distinguished Consultant and serves as both Assistant Director for Public Health and Chief, Prions & Public Health Office, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens & Pathology, National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).
Dr. Schonberger began his CDC career in 1971 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Viral Diseases. Through CDC’s Career Development Program, he then trained at Johns Hopkins University, completed a two-year assignment at the Maryland State Health Department and became a Diplomate of the Board of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Schonberger returned to CDC in 1976 where he has held various leadership positions responsible for the epidemiology of viral, rickettsial and prion diseases and various syndromes of unknown etiology (e.g., Kawasaki syndrome).
He has co-authored more than 260 publications in peer-reviewed journals. And, for his accomplishments, Dr. Schonberger has received many honors. In June 2009, for example, Dr. Schonberger was honored by the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation for his leadership role in the virtual elimination of Reye syndrome in the U.S. More recently, he was awarded the James M. Hughes Medal of Excellence by the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases for his exemplary leadership, initiative, and achievements. One of his achievements includes playing a key role in establishing in 1997, and then continuing for at least 27 years thereafter, to maintain epidemiological and financial support for the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC) at Case Western Reserve University. His efforts to establish this Surveillance Center was in response to the outbreak of variant CJD, the human form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, that was first reported from the United Kingdom in 1996.
Dr. Schonberger was elected to the American Epidemiological Society in 1982 and is a past president. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in 1965. He completed his medical studies at Case Western Reserve University in 1969 and earned his MPH from Johns Hopkins in 1974.