Dr. Robert Fontaine is the Senior Advisor for the Field Epidemiology Training Program Branch at CDC. He returned to CDC headquarters in 2012 from Beijing China where he had been the Expert Advisor to the Chinese Field Epidemiology Training Program (CFETP) of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention since 2004. During this period he has developed over 160 epidemiologists throughout China including a central team of 5 who manage all operations of the CFETP. Major investigations done under Dr. Fontaine's tenure have included, pneumonic plague, a long-standing problem of unexplained sudden death, a nationwide paraplegia outbreak from contaminated drugs, and widespread critical and fatal influenza and hand foot and mouth disease from inappropriate use of corticosteroids. Government of China presented Dr. Fontaine with the highest award presented to foreign experts, the Friendship Award.
Dr. Fontaine began his career in public health at CDC as an EIS officer in 1973. He took a preventive medicine residency in Colorado and then was stationed to the CDCs Central American Research Station in El Salvador where he worked on malaria surveillance and epidemiology. He spent 7 years with the Division of Parasitic Diseases until 1987 when he became the resident advisor to the Saudi Arabian FETP. In 1998 he moved to Jordan to develop the Jordanian FETP. In 2000 he joined the Division of International Health until he was poster to China.
Dr. Fontaine is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, in Entomology (BS) and Medicine (MD). He also has a MSc in Parasitology from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He has published 45 scientific papers and 2 book chapters. Besides his dedication to field epidemiology, surveillance, and public health; he still maintains his interest in entomology, parasitic diseases, and vector-borne diseases.