President and Founder, Chair of the Board of Directors Dr. Jagger is an epidemiologist, Professor of Medicine and Becton Dickinson Professor of Healthcare Worker Safety, University of Virginia School of Medicine. She has a Masters of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in research and epidemiology from the University of Virginia. Her career has spanned research of neurologic risk factors associated with multiple births conducted at Hôpital Port Royal, Neonatal Division, Paris, France; the first epidemiologic study of Tourette’s Syndrome as an Associate in Research at Yale University; the measurement of neurologic status in traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage patients at the University of Virginia; the prevention of central nervous system injuries; the implementation of policies to require airbags in passenger vehicles and age restrictions of off-road vehicle operators. Dr. Jagger founded and directed the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia and awarded an endowed professorship, and named Commonwealth of Virginia Eminent Scholar. She inspired and informed a new generation of safety-engineered medical devices designed to reduce occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens. She and her colleagues were awarded five U.S. patents on seven medical devices incorporating protective design features. The innovative product design criteria introduced by Dr. Jagger were widely adopted by the medical device industry. The surveillance methods she introduced to hospitals and their widespread adoption nationally and internationally, documented the impact of the new safety-engineered devices, culminating in the U.S. Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000, signed into national law by President Clinton. In 2002 Dr. Jagger was named a Mac Arthur fellow for her groundbreaking work. Dr. Jagger has shaped national policy; she testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies including the FDA, OSHA, NIOSH, and the CDC; she was appointed to Institute of Medicine committees; the FDA issued three national safety alerts at her request on unsafe medical devices, and she lobbied successfully for the passage of two laws. She has lectured widely and conducted professional training programs both nationally and internationally, reaching every continent. Using epidemiology as a tool for change, she has focused her efforts on bringing new policies, technologies, treatments wherever they can save lives, prevent injuries or disease and improve the quality of life of the ill or disabled.
Drawing on her multiple roles as professor, inventor, advocate and activist, research scientist, and author of more than 200 publications, Dr. Jagger has turned her sights to the needs and aspirations of the familial Mediterranean fever patient community. In 2013, seven years after being diagnosed with familial Mediterranean fever, Dr. Jagger founded the Familial Mediterranean Fever Foundation, representing patients with this rare genetic disease. Using epidemiologic methods, Dr. Jagger has developed the Disease Community Viewpoint Research (DISCOVR) platform and engaged the patient community as a primary source of discovery for therapeutic and quality of life strategies that are accessible and affordable and meet the needs of patients. Dr. Jagger’s personal FMF story can be found here and her complete educational and professional C.V. can be found here.