Department of Medicine

Emory has been a CDC Prevention Epicenter site since 2015. The 11 current Epicenter sites include some of the top research institutions in the United States and provide PEACH investigators the opportunity to collaborate with subject matter experts from across the country. CDC’s HAI Prevention Epicenter Program conducts collaborative, multi-site research projects leveraging the network to produce geographical representative and generalizable studies.

Other Prevention Epicenter sites

- Chicago Prevention and Intervention Epicenter (CPIE)

- Duke-UNC Prevention Epicenter

- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Center for Excellence in HAI Surveillance and Prevention

- Washington University & BJC Epicenter to Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections & Antibiotic Resistance
- Johns Hopkins Prevention Epicenter: Transdisciplinary Research Approaches to Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance (TRAP HAI & AR)

- The Iowa Prevention Epicenter: Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship

- University of Maryland-Baltimore Epicenter
- Intermountain Program on Antibiotic Resistance and Microbial Threats

- Southeastern Pennsylvania Adult and Pediatric Prevention Epicenter Network

- J. Craig Venter Institute and Cleveland VA Prevention and Intervention Epicenter

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Prevention Epicenters Program is a unique, over 20-year-old research program working to implement innovative strategies to improve healthcare quality and patient safety.

Research Domains

HAI Prevention Epicenter research projects cover several key areas related to healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention

Activities will occur in Emory Healthcare, the largest healthcare system in metropolitan Atlanta, GA, and virtually using established research ties to a multi-state network of nursing homes, 10 other Prevention Epicenters, Georgia Emerging Infections Program and Georgia Department of Community Health.

MDROs Multidrug-Resistant Organisms

Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are germs that cannot be treated with many commonly used antibiotics, often leading to poor patient outcomes. Transmission of MDROs occurs across the spectrum of healthcare settings. The prevention and control of MDROs is a national priority – one that requires that all healthcare facilities and agencies assume responsibility.


Sepsis Treatment & Prevention

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency where the body’s immune system response can be as harmful as the infection itself. Sepsis happens when an infection (such as one originating from the lungs or skin) triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Early and optimized treatment for sepsis is an aim for improving patient safety.

Projects: IMPRESS

Antibiotic Stewardship Promoting Best Antibiotic Prescribing

Antibiotic stewardship is the effort to measure and improve how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients. Improving antibiotic prescribing is critical to effectively maintain our ability to treat infections and protect patients from harms caused by unnecessary antibiotic use. In essence, antibiotic stewardship is promoting the right antibiotic for the right indication for the right duration for a given patient.


Novel Settings Study Across the Spectrum of Healthcare Delivery

Over the past decade, healthcare epidemiology has shifted from a primary focus on acute care hospitals to many other settings including outpatient dialysis facilities, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs), inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, and ambulatory centers. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and MDROs occur throughout the spectrum of healthcare and therefore research across these diverse settings is critical to prevent spread of these pathogens.


Microbiome Characterization & Manipulation

Unique microbial environments located in the human body, called “microbiomes,” exist with varying bacterial compositions located across the human body from the gut to the lungs to the skin. These microbiomes play an important role in developing diseases such as sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, or infections with MDROs. In recent years, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), also known as microbiome therapeutics, has garnered increased attention to treat a wide range of diseases, such as C. difficile and MDRO infections.

Projects: FAIR REACT

Human Factors and Environmental Microbiology Impact of the healthcare environment on patient-worker interactions

Human factors engineering (HFE) studies how humans interact with systems (including physical and organizational environments). Applied to healthcare, HFE provides principles and techniques to systematically identify factors that increase or decrease the risk of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and identify effective preventative measures. Environmental microbiology is the study of how potential pathogens spread to the physical environment; linking HFE and environmental biology is key to understanding pathogen transmission and prevention in healthcare.


Research Team

The PEACH team has a diverse skillset, including subject matter experts throughout the applied sciences, along with experienced project managers.

Jack Alperstein

Radhika Asrani

Ahmed Babiker

Chris Bower

Graduate Research Assistant Epidemiologist Advisor and Co-Investigator for RAISE and FAIR Program Manager

Shamie Das

Trey Evans

Scott Fridkin

Lindsey Gottlieb

IMPRESS Co-Investigator Graduate Research Assistant Co-Principal Investigator RAISE Lead Investigator

Jessica Howard-Anderson

Jesse Jacob

Joe Kellogg

Haley Liakakos

Pre-ALERT Lead Investigator Co-Principal Investigator Project Manager Graduate Research Assistant

Christina Mehta

Joel Mumma

Carmen Polito

Rachel Regina

Statistical Advisor CHAMPIONS Lead Investigator IMPRESS Lead Investigator Project Manager

Sarah Satola

Amanda Strudwick

Jay Varkey

Jeff Whately

Advisor Clinical Research Nurse CLEAN HEME Co-Investigator Graduate Research Assistant

Zanthia Wiley

Michael Woodworth

INPART RX Co-Investigator FAIR and REACT Lead Investigator

Scientific Presentations and Publications

Core Partners

Collaboration outside of CDC's Core EPIcenters is also a critical part of the PEACH program. Leveraging all the expertise throughout Atlanta, the Public Health Capital of the world, helps diversify efforts and create connection that would not be otherwise possible.