Elaine L. Larson


Elaine Larson is Anna C. Maxwell Professor Emerita and Special Lecturer, Columbia University School of Nursing and was Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 1999–2020.  She is a former Dean, Georgetown University School of Nursing.  She is a Fellow in the National Academy of Medicine, Society for Healthcare Epidemiologists of America, Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, American Academy of Nursing, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Larson has been a member of the Board of Directors, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Report Review Committee, National Academy of Sciences.  She has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Chair of CDC’s Hospital Infection Control Advisory Committee (HICPAC). She has also chaired two institutional review boards—for Columbia and the New York Academy of Medicine—for several decades.

Dr. Larson received the first Pathfinder Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research in 2003, an International Nurse Researcher Award from Sigma Theta Tau in 2011, and the John Stearns Medal for lifetime achievement in clinical practice, New York Academy of Medicine, 2014, and the Walsh McDermott Medal from the National Academy of Medicine, 2017. She was Editor of the American Journal of Infection Control for 25 years (1995-2020) and has published more than 400 journal articles, four books and a number of book chapters in the areas of infection prevention, epidemiology, and clinical research, and has served as a consultant in infection control and nursing in international settings. In 2017 she was designated as a Living Legend, American Academy of Nursing, 2017. Currently Dr. Larson serves on the President's Advisory Committee to Combat Antibiotic Resistance, as a member of the Board of Directors, Certification Board for Infection Control, and as Senior Scholar in Residence, New York Academy of Medicine.







Post-doctoral fellowship, 1983, University of Pennsylvania

PhD, 1981, University of Washington 

MS, 1969, University of Washington 

BS, 1965, University of Washington 


Professor Emerita and Special Lecturer, School of Nursing

Professor Emerita, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health

Consultant:  Human Research Protection Office Performance, Human Research Protection Program


Senior Scholar in Residence, New York Academy of Medicine

Fellow: National Academy of Medicine; Infectious Disease Society of America; Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; Association for Professional in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Director, Certification Board for Infection Control


RWJ Clinical Nurse Scholar, 1981–1983 

Named lectureship (Elaine Larson Lectureship), Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, 2000 

Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 1983 

Distinguished practitioners, National Academies of Practice, 1998 

John Stearns Medical for Lifetime Achievement in Clinical Practice, NY Academy of Medicine, 2014

Hygieia Medal for life’s work in hygiene and microbiology, Rudolf Schülke Foundation, 2015

Designated as Living Legend, American Academy of Nursing, 2017

Walsh McDermott Medal for distinguished service, National Academy of Medicine, 2018.


Consultant to World Health Organization: Preparation of a global hand hygiene guideline. 

Consultant for nursing and infection control in several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.


Last updated October 13, 2020