Dawn M. Roellig, MS, PhD


Parasitologist and Molecular Epidemiologist

Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Having been raised in the swamps of southeast Georgia, Dawn developed her appreciation of and fascination with nature at an early age.  Her enthusiasm pointed her towards a Bachelors degree in Biology from Agnes Scott College.  During her time at Agnes, she worked as a student researcher in the Viral and Rickettisal Zoonoses Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and encountered her first parasites of interest-- ticks.  Dawn's knowledge of parasitology and infectious diseases grew while obtaining her Masters in Biology from Georgia Southern University, where her thesis focused on the tick-borne zoonotic disease Anaplasmosis.

Dawn then moved to Athens to pursue a PhD in the Department of Infectious Diseases within the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.  She was a graduate assistant through the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens and enjoyed the benefits of experiencing, first-hand, the diagnosis and management of diseases afflicting wildlife during her time there.  Her dissertation research encompassed biological and molecular characterization of the parasite causing Chagas disease, Trypanosoma cruzi, under the advisement of Dr. Michael J. Yabsley. 

Dawn drew on her previous experiences in both the human and wildlife aspects of zoonotic diseases in her position as a post-doc researcher at the Parasitic Diseases Branch of the CDC in Atlanta. She investigated the sylvatic cycle of T. cruzi in a remote, northern region of Peru. She enjoyed field work and being able to connect with people who are affected by Chagas disease.

She currently acts as lab manager and research microbiologist in the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch at the CDC. She studies the molecular epidemiology of waterborne enteric protozoa, using her training and experience as a classical and molecular parasitologist daily.