Dr. Cristóbal Zepeda: Enhancing Domestic & International Collaborations through Experience

Dr. Zepeda in Panama

Dr. Cristóbal Zepeda (center with white shirt) on
a site visit to the Darien gap in Panama to assess
the risk of introduction of FMD from Colombia to Panama

Dr. Cristóbal Zepeda works with the Animal Population Health Institute to enhance domestic and international collaborations in risk analysis and disease control and prevention programs.

Prior to joining APHI in 1999 as a veterinary epidemiologist, Dr. Zepeda worked in Mexico and other Central American countries conducting animal health risk assessments and organizing international training events in epidemiological surveillance systems and risk assessment. In this role he visited several European and South American countries to evaluate disease control strategies and the implementation of disease–related trade regulations.

Worldwide Epidemiologic Training Instruction

Currently, Dr. Zepeda holds a joint appointment with the USDA Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH). His responsibilities within APHI include serving as a guest lecturer in several veterinary epidemiology courses and assisting with coordination of international meetings and workshops such as the International Veterinary Epidemiology Course offered by CSU APHI and USDA APHIS. In addition to his training activities with APHI, Dr. Zepeda has provided basic epidemiological training in over 50 different countries in Central and South America Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe with the USDA.

Coordinator for International Activities

Dr. Zepeda

Dr. Cristóbal Zepeda in Panama

Dr. Zepeda spends the majority of his time with CEAH as coordinator for international activities. In this role he has assisted with the development of CEAH as the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) Collaborating Center for Risk Assessment and Disease Surveillance Systems and Modeling. Additionally, Dr. Zepeda continues to travel internationally to assist with assessment of disease control programs regarding the introduction of diseases such as foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and avian influenza.

As the Coordinator for Interantional Activities with CEAH, Dr. Zepeda currently chairs the OIE ad hoc Group on Epidemiology and has contributed to the development of a link between CEAH and the European Food Safety Authority. He specializes in international trade-related negotiations related to the application of sanitary measures and has been a collaborator in the development of international standards for the OIE. Dr. Zepeda is also a member of the steering committee for the OIE/FAO Animal Influenza Network (OFFLU). OFFLU is the global network of expertise on animal influenza, which works to reduce the negative impacts of animal influenza viruses by promoting effective collaboration between animal health experts.


Cristóbal Zepeda was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He received his veterinary degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1986. In 1991, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Tropical Veterinary Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2008, he completed his PhD in Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Policy at Colorado State University.