David Townes
Department of Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Professor
Department of Global Health
Associate Director, Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program

Faculty Information


David Townes is a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and an adjunct associate professor of global health in the Department of Global Health. He joined the faculty in 2001. He is board certified in emergency medicine.

In addition to emergency medicine, Dr. Townes has expertise in complex humanitarian emergencies, international emergency and disaster response, refugee health, malaria and disease surveillance. He earned his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts and completed his internship, residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also completed a fellowship in International Emergency Medicine earning an MPH. with a concentration in health policy and administration. He also holds a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Townes is currently a public health and medical technical advisor to the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance at the United States Agency for International Development and medical epidemiologist in the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, Dr. Townes was appointed as an epidemic intelligence service (EIS) officer and medical epidemiologist in the Malaria Branch at the CDC and served as a lieutenant commander in the United States Public Health Service. In addition to his global health experience, Dr. Townes has worked extensively in the areas of wilderness and expedition medicine, serving as an expedition physician in Antarctica, Costa Rica and on Mt. Kilimanjaro. He has been a physician member of the National Ski Patrol and the Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue Team. He is an editor of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. Dr. Townes has worked all over the world from Antarctica to Zambia.

Education & Training: 
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Internship and Residency
University of Illinois at Chicago Program in Emergency Medicine
Fellowship, International Emergency Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
MPH: Health Policy and Administration
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
Royal College of Physicians, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine