Debra Houry, M.D., MPH - Health Channel

Meet the Experts

Debra Houry, M.D., MPH

Principal Deputy Director, CDC

Debra Houry, MD, MPH, is currently serving as the acting principal deputy director of CDC. As the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Dr. Houry leads innovative research and science-based programs to prevent injuries, overdose, and violence and to reduce their consequences. She provides direction and leadership to staff across a range of injury and violence topics – addressing today’s public health crises while preventing tomorrow’s. During Dr. Houry’s tenure at CDC, NCIPC’s budget increased from $150.447 million in 2014 to $682.879 million in 2021. For decades, Dr. Houry has dedicated her career to advancing public health. Before joining CDC in 2014, Dr. Houry served as vice chair for Research in Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and as Associate Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Houry also served as an emergency physician at Grady Memorial Hospital and as the director of Emory Center for Injury Control. She has continued her work as a physician while at CDC and volunteers at a clinic for people with opioid use disorder. She is past president of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, and Emory University Senate. Dr. Houry is an alum of Leadership Atlanta and the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. Dr. Houry has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and has received several national awards, including the Linda Saltzman Memorial Intimate Partner Violence Researcher Award from the Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma and the Academy of Women in Academic Emergency Medicine’s Researcher Award. She was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), which is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. Houry received her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from Tulane University and completed her residency training in emergency medicine at Denver Health Medical Center.


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