Dr. Jay Varma

Jay K. Varma, MD, joined the SIGA Board of Directors in November 2022.  Dr. Varma is a Professor of Population Health Sciences and Director of the Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Varma is an expert on the prevention and control of diseases, having led epidemic responses, developed global and national policies, and led large-scale programs that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the United States.  From 2001-2021, he worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with postings in Atlanta, Thailand, China, Ethiopia, and New York City. Recruited by the Mayor of New York at the peak of the COVID epidemic, Dr. Varma served from April 2020 to May 2021 as the principal scientific spokesperson and architect for New York City’s COVID-19 pandemic response, including the largest diagnostic testing and contact tracing programs in the country, the phased re-opening of businesses, the health policies and practices for the safe re-opening of the largest public school system in the country, and vaccination campaigns. In September 2021, Dr. Varma joined Weill Cornell Medicine to conduct research, training, and programs on public health and direct a new center focused on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.  Dr. Varma graduated with highest honors from Harvard for his undergraduate education, and completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and chief residency at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine