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Katherine Ellingson PhD

Katherine   Ellingson PhD

Associate Professor

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department

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1295 N. Martin Ave
Drachman Hall
PO Box: 245163
Tucson AZ 85724-5163


Katherine (Kate) Ellingson, PhD, joined the College of Public Health in 2017 following 10 years of public service as a healthcare epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon State Health Department. While at CDC, she investigated the transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings, evaluated initiatives to prevent healthcare-associated infections, built capacity for infection prevention in resource-limited settings, and served as the agency’s subject matter expert for hand hygiene in healthcare. At the Oregon Health Department, she directed the state’s mandatory healthcare-associated infection reporting program, investigated infectious disease outbreaks and led injection safety promotion efforts.  

Training & Education:

2006-08: Epidemic Intelligence Service – CDC

2006: PhD, Epidemiology and Public Health – Yale University

1999: BS, Biology/Psychology – University of California, Los Angeles

Areas of Expertise:

  • Infection prevention
  • Antimicrobial resistance and stewardship
  • One Health
  • Occupational health
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Implementation science
  • Border health
  • Hand hygiene
  • Transfusion safety
  • Outbreak investigation
  • Surveillance and capacity-building in resource-limited settings
  • Injection safety
  • Valley Fever
  • COVID-19

Research Synopsis

Dr. Ellingson’s research focus is patient safety. Specifically, she examines the distribution and predictors of healthcare-associated infections across hospital, long-term care, and outpatient settings. She also evaluates the impact of interventions designed to decrease antimicrobial resistance and patient adverse events. As a guest researcher at CDC, she continues to work with federal colleagues on infection prevention and transfusion safety. Additionally, she supports the University of Arizona’s One Health program with an emphasis on stemming the tide of antimicrobial resistance across community, agricultural, and healthcare settings. 

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