Professor Jagger is an epidemiologist, Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She has a B.A. from Moravian College, 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 in infants of multiple pregnancies 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 from automobile and off-road vehicle crashes; the passage of policies requiring airbags in passenger vehicles and age restrictions on off-road vehicle operators. As professor of neurosurgery and medicine and Becton Dickinson Professor of Healthcare Worker Safety, Dr. Jagger was the founder and director of the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia. She inspired and informed a new generation of safety-engineered medical devices to reduce occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens. She and her colleagues were awarded five U.S. patents on protective needle devices. The innovative design criteria introduced by Dr. Jagger were widely adopted by the medical device industry.
The adoption of her surveillance methods (EPINet) 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 MacArthur fellow for her groundbreaking work. Publishing in top tier medical journals, Dr. Jagger’s work has shaped national policy. She was called to testify multiple times before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies including the FDA, OSHA, NIOSH, the CDC; she was appointed to Institute of Medicine Committees formulating national policy positions; she initiated FDA national safety alerts on unsafe medical devices, and she lobbied successfully for the passage of two laws. 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, engaging the patient community as a primary source of discovery for finding new affordable and accessible therapeutic and quality of life strategies. Dr. Jagger’s personal FMF story can be found here and her complete educational and professional C.V. can be found here.