Dr. Collette Fitzgerald is the Deputy Director for Science in the Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS) at CDC. She began her career in microbiology 30 years ago, across the pond, at the Health Protection Agency in London, where she gained a love for the laboratory and public health.
For the past 24 years, she has worked at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, GA. Eighteen of those years were spent working in the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, where she most recently served as Chief of the National Enteric Reference and Outbreak Laboratory Team (NERO). Dr Fitzgerald’s strong leadership led NERO to enhance laboratory quality and safety, embrace whole genome sequencing (WGS) and Quality Management Systems (QMS). In 2016, NERO became the first laboratory at CDC to have a next generation sequencing test validated for use under CLIA for identification of enteric pathogens.
In Jan 2017, Dr. Fitzgerald joined DLS at CDC, where she now leads the Science and Evaluation Offices in the Office of the Director, in support of the DLS mission to improve public health, patient outcomes, and health equity by advancing clinical and public health laboratory quality and safety, data and biorepository science, and workforce competency. Dr. Fitzgerald is currently CDC’S ex-officio on the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC), and has been a Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Consensus Council board member since January of 2022.
Dr. Fitzgerald earned her PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Lancaster, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with Chemistry from the University of Southampton, UK.