Céline Gounder, MD, ScM

Trained at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, and Harvard University, Celine Gounder is an internist, infectious disease specialist, and epidemiologist. She is a CBS News Medical Contributor, a Senior Fellow KFF, and Editor-at-Large for Public Health at KFF Health News. Dr. Gounder is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. She cares for patients on the wards at Bellevue Hospital Center. She is also a member of NYU Stern’s Volatility and Risk Institute’s Faculty Advisory Board. She is one of the world’s leading experts in science, medicine, and public health communication. Gounder is best known for her coverage of health inequities and the COVID, Ebola, Zika, mental health, opioid overdose, gun violence, and disinformation epidemics.

Gounder has advised local and national policymakers on COVID, MPOX, Ebola, and more, including through her service on the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. She has testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee and has been interviewed several times by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Prior to joining CBS, Gounder was a CNN Medical Analyst and a guest expert on numerous other networks. Over the course of the COVID pandemic alone, she’s given almost 100 guest lectures ranging from TIME Person of the Year Debates, Washington Post Live, and Wired Health to the American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology to the Bronx Health Committee and Nassau Tabernacle of Praise Church in New York City. She has published almost 100 op-eds in publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. She’s also a frequent guest on NPR and other radio and podcast programs.

Gounder founded Just Human Productions, a non-profit multimedia organization, which produced two podcasts: “American Diagnosis,” a conversation about some of the biggest public health challenges across the United States, including teen mental health, the opioid overdose and gun violence epidemics, maternal health disparities, environmental racism, climate gentrification, and indigenous health; and “Epidemic,” a podcast about infectious disease epidemics and pandemics. Season 1 of “Epidemic” covered the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and Season 2 goes back in time to cover smallpox eradication from the Indian subcontinent and lessons for the present day.

Gounder launched Season 1 of “Epidemic” in February 2020, just as Americans were hearing the first rumblings about COVID. “Epidemic” became essential listening for many, garnering over 3 million downloads in just over a year. “Epidemic” covered the science, public health, and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain co-hosted “Epidemic” with Gounder for the first couple of months of the podcast. Guests included Tony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, Tom Frieden, Stacey Abrams, Andy Slavitt, Adam Grant, José Andres, Mark Harrington, Peter Staley, Helene Gayle, Donald Berwick, Rashad Robinson, Alicia Garza, Marshall Ganz, Stanley Perlman, Jim Curran, Mark Rosenberg, Seth Berkeley, Peter Hotez, Ed Yong, Cecile Richards, Ai-jen Poo, Arne Duncan, Gary Kasparov, Art Caplan, Robert Cialdini, Kizzmekia Corbett, Chris Christie, Chelsea Clinton, and many more.

Over 36 episodes in Season 3 of “American Diagnosis,” Gounder covered gun violence in the United States, delving into the history and sociology of guns; the intersection of racism, sexism, and gun rights; self-defense; gun trafficking; permit to purchase; gun buybacks; violent contagion, homicide, and the criminal justice system; suicide; red flag laws and gun safety; trusted messengers; and gun reform movements.

Between 2017 and 2018, Gounder cared for patients part-time at Indian Health Service and tribal health facilities in the southwest and far northeast of the United States. This work would later inform Season 4 of the “American Diagnosis” podcast and an op-ed in TIME, both of which showed how the doctrine of Manifest Destiny has been an engine for sickness and death among indigenous peoples.

In early 2015, Gounder spent two months volunteering as an Ebola aid worker in Guinea. Her 2013 The New Yorker article “Who Is Resposible for the Pain-Pill epidemic?” not only reached the general public, but also has been cited in congressional reports and submitted as an exhibit in at least 70 opioid-related lawsuits.

Early in her career, Gounder worked in Brazil and southern Africa on screening for tuberculosis in high-risk HIV-infected and -uninfected populations, validating novel tests and algorithms for tuberculosis diagnosis and expedited treatment, and drug-drug interactions among pregnant women with TB and HIV. While on faculty at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Gounder was the Director for Delivery for the Gates Foundation-funded Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic. She went on to serve as Assistant Commissioner of Health for Tuberculosis at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

She received her BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, her Master of Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her MD from the University of Washington. Dr. Gounder was an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, and a post-doctoral fellow in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University. She was elected a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2016. In 2017, People Magazine named her one of 25 Women Changing the World. In 2021, InStyle Magazine named her one of 50 Women Making the World a Better Place. In 2023, she was named one of New York City & State’s Health Care Power 100, a New York State Woman of Distinction, and a National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine. In 2023, she was also elected to the National Academy of Medicine, received the Research!America Meeting the Moment for Public Health Award, and joined the Council on Foreign Relations. She and her podcast production team won the 2023 Edward R. Murrow Award for a podcast by a small digital organization for American Diagnosis S4E5 “Power to Police Perpetrators.”

Dr. Gounder was married to her college sweetheart Grant Wahl from 2001 until his untimely death in December 2022. Wahl died while he was covering the men’s World Cup in Doha, Qatar. Wahl died at the age of 49 from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium.

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