Dan Popkin, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

What inspired you to study public health?

I was drawn to public health because of my interest in working with emerging infectious diseases, but have enjoyed the opportunity to explore various fields within the field of public health. There are so many different careers that public health graduates can work in, which is something I definitely did not realize when I began my studies!

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

The most rewarding experience I had thus far was interning at CDC in the One Health office. In this role, I reviewed new SARS-CoV-2 literature and summarized the findings to be published for use by other federal agencies, government officials, and the general public. It was incredible to meaningfully contribute to various public health decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.


I wish someone had advised me that just because my background wasn’t always public health focused that it didn’t mean the work I had done prior was not applicable. Public health is so interdisciplinary that there are always skills or knowledge from past experiences that can be applied!

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

I think the biggest challenge that public health should focus on is the increasing rates of antibiotic resistance. Overprescribing of antibiotics paired with the lack of new antibiotic development could cause major issues in the future.