Director of the DC CFAR: Alan Greenberg, MD, MPH

Dr. Alan Greenberg
February 09, 2016

As Dr. Alan E. Greenberg, MD, MPH, explains, his introduction to HIV/AIDS was a call to action. As a recent graduate from The George Washington University School of Medicine in 1982, Dr. Greenberg helped provide clinical care for some of the first cases of AIDS cases as an internal medicine resident at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Since then, his more than 30 year career has been dedicated to HIV epidemiology, prevention and care. Now as Director of the DC CFAR and Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, Dr. Greenberg focuses much of his time and energy on advancing the careers of early- and mid-career HIV investigators in the hope that his efforts will have a multiplicative impact on fighting the epidemic.   

With a B.A. in English from Amherst College and M.D. from the GW School of Medicine, following medical residency Dr. Greenberg worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer as the HIV epidemic heightened. His initial work on malaria and HIV in Central Africa launched a 20 year career from 1985-2005 at the CDC as a Commissioned Corps Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. During this period, his work focused on HIV/AIDS in both the United States and in Africa, and he served as the Chief of the CDC HIV Epidemiology Branch from 1998 to 2005. Dr. Greenberg also received his MPH from Harvard University in 1999, focusing on issues related to organizational strategy and structure. 

In 2005, Dr. Greenberg returned to GW to contribute to the growth of the School of Public Health. Along with numerous faculty and staff colleagues, his work to build HIV research in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics has been multi-faceted and includes the development of a strong partnership with the DC Department of Health to conduct HIV epidemiology and surveillance in DC;  field studies in high risk populations with the CDC- and DOH-supported National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system; development of the NIH-supported GW HIV Prevention Trials Network Clinical Research Site that participates in national and international clinical trials; a partnership with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to support efforts to eliminate pediatric HIV; serving as Secretariat of the Partnership for AIDS Progress between the NIH and the DC DOH; and developing and analyzing data from a combined electronic health record from 13 DC-based HIV clinics through the “DC Cohort”.

And while Dr. Greenberg’s own work in HIV epidemiology is extensive, he hopes that his most important impact will be made through the development and support of the next generation of HIV investigators in DC. Working with senior HIV investigators from the six participating DC CFAR institutions (GW, Georgetown, Howard and American Universities, and the Children’s National and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers), Dr. Greenberg and DC CFAR Co-Director Dr. Gary Simon work to foster an inter-related network of academic researchers that collaborate across the city with the goal of supporting research that will contribute to ending the epidemic in DC and beyond. By developing extensive collaborations between academia, government and community, Dr. Greenberg believes that the DC CFAR can provide an example of how epidemics can be addressed in urban areas that are severely impacted by HIV.