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Sarah Rhea

Asst Professor

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Dr. Sarah Rhea earned her DVM from Purdue University and then worked in small animal community practice in Indiana before obtained her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following her graduate training, Dr. Rhea served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She subsequently completed CDC’s Preventive Medicine Residency/Fellowship program. Dr. Rhea joined the non-profit research institute, RTI International, in 2016 where she rose to Senior Research Epidemiologist. She began her faculty appointment at NCSU in 2021.


Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Society for Epidemiologic Research
American Veterinary Medicine Association


Preventive Medicine Resident/Fellow, CDC, 2015-2016
Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, CDC, 2013-2015
PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009
DVM, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 2004
BS, Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 2000

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Rhea’s research interests encompass multiple areas of infectious disease epidemiology in human and animal populations, including antimicrobial resistance, healthcare-associated infections, disease surveillance, and emerging and zoonotic pathogens. Most recently, she has used disease transmission models to evaluate antimicrobial stewardship interventions for Clostridioides difficile infection prevention and to predict COVID-19’s impact on healthcare resources under various public health planning scenarios. Through her research, Dr. Rhea applies traditional epidemiologic methods and disease modeling to address real-world challenges in global health and clinical practice using a One Health approach.


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