Robert F DeFraites


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics
Location: Other Location
Research Interests:
Epidemiology of infectious diseases of military importance
travel and tropical medicine, general public health practice
Office Phone


1976 BS Biology, Tulane Univ Sch of Arts and Sciences, New Orleans, LA
1980 MD Tulane Univ Sch of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
1988 MPH Johns Hopkins Sch of Hygiene and Public Health, Balto, MD


Native of New Orleans, LA. Served on active duty in the US Army from 1980 thru 2011 retired as a Colonel (O6), Medical Corps. Completed residencies in Pediatrics in 1983 and General Preventive Medicine/ Public Health in 1989 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA. Army assignments as a general pediatrician included Irwin Army Hospital, Fort Riley, KS, and 98th General Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany. Preventive Medicine assignments included the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Office of the Army Surgeon General, the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (Army Public Health Command), and Headquarters, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, MD. Appointed the initial Director, Army Preventive Medicine Proponency Office in 2000, and in 2007 named as first Director of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, MD. Concurrently served as the Consultant to the Army Surgeon General in Preventive Medicine from 2007-11. Military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the "A" designator for proficiency in Army Preventive Medicine, and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine. Board certified in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, and possesses the Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2013 received the William Gorgas Preventive Medicine Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.


Aronson N, Naouar I, Koles N, Bigley D, Jeronimo S, Duncan R, Copeland N, Oliver T, Franzos M, and DeFraites R. Surveillance of latent visceral leishmaniasis among Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) deployers. (Poster #16-0071). 2016 Military Health System Research Symposium, Kissimmee, FL, August 15-18, 2016

Lee E, Miller RH, Masuoka P, Schiffman E, Wanduragala D, DeFraites R, Dunlop S, Stauffer W, Hickey P. Mapping Imported Malaria in Minnesota: Identifying Communities at Risk. (Poster #LB5122). 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Atlanta, GA 14-17 November 2016.

DeFraites RF, Niebuhr DW, Teneza BC, Clark LL, Ludwig SL. Comparative morbidity and mortality of women in the U.S. military during a decade of warfare. (Chapter 1). In Women at War; Female Service Members after 9/11. Editors: Ritchie EC, Naclerio A. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, May 2015.

DeFraites RF, Sanchez JL, Brandt CA, Kadlec RP, Haberberger RL, Lin JJ, Taylor DN. An outbreak of Campylobacter enteritis associated with a community water supply on a U.S. military installation. Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) 21(11):10-15, November 2014.

Otto JL, DeFraites RF, and Holodniy M. Public health practice is not research. American Journal of Public Health 104 (4): 596-602, April 2014.

DeFraites RF. The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center: enhancing the Military Health System’s public health capabilities. BMC Public Health 11 (Suppl 2): S1, March 2011.

DeFraites RF, Gambel JM, Hoke CH, Sanchez JL, Withers BG, Karabatsos N, Shope RE, Tirrell S, Yoshida I, Takagi M, Meschievitz CK, Tsai TF. Japanese encephalitis vaccine (inactivated, BIKEN) in US soldiers: immunogenicity and safety of vaccine administered in two dosing regimens. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 61:288-293, August 1999

Smoak BM, DeFraites RF, Magill AJ, Kain KC, Wellde BT. Plasmodium vivax infections in US Army troops: failure of primaquine to prevent relapse in studies from Somalia. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 56(2):231-4, February 1997.

Cowan D, DeFraites RF, Gray GC, Goldenbaum M, Wishik S. A records-based evaluation of the risk of birth defects among children of Gulf War veterans. New England Journal of Medicine 336(23):1650-6, June 5, 1997

Writer JV, DeFraites RF, Brundage JF. Comparative mortality among US military personnel in the Persian Gulf region and worldwide during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. JAMA 275(2):118-121, January 10, 1996