Sarah Rhea

Research Epidemiologist

Sarah Rhea


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • DVM, Purdue University
  • BS, Biology, Purdue University

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Sarah Rhea, DVM, MPH, PhD, is experienced in epidemiologic research and applied public health, including study design, data collection and analysis, surveillance, and field epidemiology methods. Her training and work have focused on infectious disease epidemiology, with a special interest in emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.

Following her tenure as a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Rhea conducted her graduate work in the areas of vector-borne illness and the use of emergency department visit data for surveillance of infectious disease and injury in North Carolina. As an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), she investigated numerous communicable disease outbreaks—including foodborne, waterborne, and health care-associated infections—in collaboration with local, state, and federal partners. Dr. Rhea carried out public health preparedness and response activities related to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Ebola. She engaged in program development, management, and evaluation for hepatitis C testing and linkage-to-care initiatives in North Carolina during her CDC Preventive Medicine Fellowship.

Dr. Rhea’s current research focus is on global health security and antimicrobial resistance.