Neil M. Vora


Neil is a physician with Conservation International where he leads its efforts on pandemic prevention. Throughout his career, he has focused on the link between human health and the health of the planet – particularly as it relates to the increasing threat of “spillover” of viruses from animals to humans because of the destruction of nature.

He served for nearly a decade with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and a Commander in the US Public Health Service (USPHS). Neil deployed for CDC to Liberia in 2014 and to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019 to assist in the responses to the two largest Ebola outbreaks ever. He previously led the investigation of a newly discovered virus in the country of Georgia related to the smallpox virus. For his work, he has received numerous accolades including the USPHS Physician Researcher of the Year Award, CDC James H. Steele Veterinary Public Health Award, CDC Donald C. Mackel Memorial Award, and CDC Alexander D. Langmuir Prize Manuscript Award.

From 2020-2021, Neil developed and led New York City’s COVID-19 contact tracing program, overseeing a team of over 3,000 people. His program traced more than half a million people who had contracted the virus.

He still sees patients in a public tuberculosis clinic in New York City.

He has published over 60 articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet and others. He is currently an Associate Editor at CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, an Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Columbia University, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He completed medical school at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2009 and his Internal Medicine training at Columbia University in 2012.


  • French
  • Spanish


  • Male

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, Medicine, University of California San Francisco
  • Internship: Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Residency: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Fellowship: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention


Selected Publications

Kache PA, Cook S, Sizer N, Hannah L, Vora NM. Urgent need for integrated pandemic policies on pathogen spillover. Lancet Planetary Health. 2021 Oct. PubMed PMID: 34627468.

Vora NM, Sizer N, Bernstein A. Preventing spillover as a key strategy against pandemics. Nature. 2021 Sept. PubMed PMID: 34522012.

Whittemore K … Vora NM, Lucero D. Hospital-level factors associated with death during pneumonia-associated hospitalization among adults — New York City, 2010–2014. PLOS One. 2021 Oct. PubMed PMID: 34618828.

Whittemore K … Vora NM … Lucero D. Walking distance for vulnerable populations to public health emergency response points of dispensing in New York City. Accepted for publication in Journal of Emergency Management.

Machalaba C … Vora NM … Karesh W. Applying A One Health Approach in Global Health and Medicine: enhancing involvement of medical schools and global health centers. Annals of Global Health. 2021 Mar. PubMed PMID: 33816135.

Wu M … Vora NM. Pneumonia-associated hospitalizations in New York State by level of urbanization. PLOS One. 2020 Dec. PubMed PMID: 33362262.

Brown T, Dubowski K, Plitt M, Falci L, Lee E, Huynh M, Furuya Y, Vora NM. Erroneous reporting of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza at two New York City teaching hospitals, 2013-2014. Public Health Reports. 2020 Nov/Dec. PubMed PMID: 33031711.

Preliminary Estimate of Excess Mortality During the COVID-19 Outbreak - New York City, March 11-May 2, 2020. MMWR. 2020 May. PubMed PMID: 32407306.

Huang CC … Vora NM. Infectious Diseases Hospitalizations — New York City, 2001–2014. Accepted for publication in Public Health Reports. PubMed PMID: 32687737.

Vora NM, et al. Bat and lyssavirus exposure among humans in a region that celebrates a bat festival — Idanre, Nigeria, 2010 and 2013. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020 Jul. PubMed PMID: 32568051.