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James Curran

Jim Curran joined the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) as dean and professor of epidemiology in 1995, following 25 years of leadership at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is emeritus director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and holds faculty appointments in the Emory School of Medicine and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

Curran is internationally known for heading the 1981 CDC Task Force charged with investigating the first cases of what later became known as AIDS and was a key figure in the interactions between the CDC and the NIH during the two agencies’ efforts to investigate the epidemiology and cause of HIV. While at the CDC, he attained the rank of assistant surgeon general.

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Curran received his MD from the University of Michigan and a master of public health from Harvard University.  Author or co-author of more than 300 scholarly publications, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 1993. 

Curran has served in numerous leadership positions, including Chair of the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) Council and Chair or Co-Chair of two IOM Committees on International HIV policies and programs. In 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has also been a member of the Board of Public Health, State of Georgia since 2011 and served as Chair since 2019.

In 2009, the Rollins School of Public Health Dean’s position was named the James W. Curran Dean of Public Health in his honor.  

On July 1, 2022 Curran stepped down as Dean and remains on the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health as Emeritus Dean and Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health.

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