James M Hughes, MD

Professor of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine


James M. Hughes, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Public Health with joint appointments in the School of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and the Rollins School of Public Health (Global Health) at Emory University and Co-Director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center. Prior to joining Emory in June 2005, Dr. Hughes worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serving as Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and as a Rear Admiral and an Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. He first joined CDC as a member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1973. He served as Director of CDC’s Hospital Infections Program from 1983 to 1988, as NCID Deputy Director from 1988-1992, and as NCID Director from 1992-2005.

Dr. Hughes received his B.A and M.D. from Stanford University and completed his postgraduate training and board certification in internal medicine (University of Washington), infectious diseases (University of Virginia), and preventive medicine (CDC). He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the Institute of Medicine/NAM Forum on Microbial Threats since 1996 and as Vice-Chair of the Forum since 2009. He served on the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) from 2004-2007 and as IDSA President from 2010-2011. He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of the American Academy of Microbiology, the One Health Commission, and the EcoHealth Alliance. Among his honors and awards are the Distinguished and Meritorious Service Medals and the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service; the Secretary’s Open Forum Distinguished Public Service Award from the Department of State; the CDC Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award; the Gen–Probe Joseph Award from the American Society for Microbiology for “exemplary leadership and service in the field of public health;" the Jonathan M. Mann Lectureship Award from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the Bailey K. Ashford Memorial Lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, and membership in the Emory Millipub Club.

Dr. Hughes has published more than 100 research articles, 30 reviews, 15 editorials, and 40 book chapters. He has co-edited 9 books on emerging infectious diseases. He has recently served as Principal Investigator for two evaluations of school-based strategies to increase immunization coverage in adolescents in the Georgia East Central Health District funded by CDC and a study to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of immunization providers in India funded by the Gates Foundation and as Director to the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biological Threats funded by CDC.

Research Interests

Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases; antimicrobial resistance; healthcare-associated infections; vectorborne and zoonotic diseases; foodborne and waterborne diseases; vaccine-preventable diseases; rapid detection of and response to infectious diseases and bioterrorism; and strategies for strengthening public health capacity at the local, national, and global levels.

Expert Groups

  • Chair, Global and Regional Biosurveillance Collaboration Work Group, National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee, Advisory Committee to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010-2013.
  • Member, PREDICT Advisory Committee, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, 2010-2013.
  • External Scientific Advisory Committee Member, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, 2010-present.

Scientific Program Committees

  • Member, Scientific Program Committee, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting, 2007-2014.
  • Member, Scientific Program Committee, International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID), Atlanta, GA, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2014-2015.
  • Member, Annual Meeting Program Committee, Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2010-2011 and 2012-13.
  • IDSA Vice-Chair (2014) and Chair (2015), IDWeek Program Committee.
  • Co-Chair, AAM/ASM Steering Committee on for Coalition on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2015-present.