Sep 28, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Influenza expert Nancy Cox, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was named federal employee of the year yesterday by a nonprofit group.
Cox, 58, director of the CDC's Influenza Division, received the award in Washington, DC, from the Partnership for Public Service, a nongovernmental organization that promotes excellence in government employees. She was honored for her work to help the United States and the world prepare for an influenza pandemic, according to a CDC news release yesterday.
"Nancy Cox embodies the best of what CDC is about—world-class scientists serving on the front lines each and every day to protect America's health," said CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, in the CDC release. "Her dedication and leadership of CDC's influenza activities are truly making a difference in the country's fight against seasonal influenza as well as in the world's preparation for the next influenza pandemic."
"I’m very honored to receive this award," Cox said in the CDC release. "I feel like it's a reflection of the excellent work done by many, many people who've worked on influenza at CDC—both in the past and present—and have helped build our influenza program into what it is today."
An Iowa native, Cox received a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Iowa State University and a doctorate in virology from the University of Cambridge, England. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, before joining the CDC in 1975.
Cox assumed leadership of the CDC’s 14-person influenza group in 1992. The division now comprises more than 100 staff members.
Under Cox's direction, the Influenza Division monitors for new influenza strains or outbreaks that could signal a pandemic, assists countries around the globe in investigating flu outbreaks, recommends strains for the seasonal flu vaccine, and conducts a variety of influenza virus studies, according to the CDC news release.
Cox has received numerous scientific and achievement awards, the CDC said. In addition, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of 2006's 100 most influential people and by Newsweek as one of the "15 People Who Make America Great."
Sep 27 CDC news release