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PhD Public Health, MSc Epidemiology, MA Communications, BS Biology, Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) alumni
Melissa C. Mercado, PhD MSc MA has served in the non-profit, public, and private sectors as an epidemiologist and public health researcher for 15+ years. She is a subject matter expert on bullying and youth violence prevention at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Dr. Mercado has conducted original epidemiological research on a variety of topic areas: bullying, child maltreatment, emergency preparedness, intimate partner violence, health disparities, mental health, prescription drug overdose, unintentional injuries, self-harm and suicide, death scene investigations and youth violence. Her research has been published and recognized in multiple local, national, and international forums. She has engaged in multiple CDC-wide responses (e.g., Zika, Hurricane Maria).
Dr. Mercado served as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, specializing on children’s injuries, and prescription drug overdoses. She conducted domestic and international field investigations, served as an epidemiologist within the Children’s Health Team during the CDC West Africa Ebola Response, and was a national CDC Spanish-media spokesperson.
Prior to joining CDC, she led public health research efforts at the University of South Florida (USF) Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence, the NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health, and the KIDS COUNT Puerto Rico project. She was a senior Maternal and Child Health, and Violence instructor at USF, and Adjunct Faculty at Hillsborough Community College.
Dr. Mercado obtained her PhD degree at University of South Florida, specializing in violence, community and family health. Her doctoral research – in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs – focused on the role of connectedness and religiosity on preadolescents’ involvement in bullying. She also holds a MSc in Epidemiology and a MA in Communications. A Puerto Rico-native and Spanish-speaker, Dr. Mercado has 15+ years of experience at multicultural settings.
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