José F. Cordero, M.D., is the Dean of the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health at the Medical Sciences Campus. Cordero's current research focuses on the risk factors and prevention of preterm births. He serves as co-principal investigator of PROTECT. Cordero served for 27 years in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During his years at CDC, he rose to Assistant Surgeon General and held positions focused on improving the health of mothers, children, and adults in programs such as immunizations, birth defects, and disabilities. He was also the founding director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. NCBDDD is a leading international institution devoted to research and prevention of birth defects and developmental disabilities, and the promotion of health among people of all ages who are living with disabilities.