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Update: Dr. Gupta removed himself from the list of candidates on March 5, telling CNN's Larry King, "I think for me it really came down to a sense of timing more than anything else. This job...takes us away from our children for so many years at once, and I sort of came to grips that I'd probably be away for several years of their lives."

Dr. Sanjay Gupta appears to be the first surgeon general picked not for his public service but for his public image.

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Winnie O. Willis is a California Endowment board member and professor emeritus of public health at SDSU's Graduate School of Public Health, with a specialization in maternal and child health services, development and evaluation. From 1994 to 2000, she was director of SDSU's Institute for Public Health, an organization working to bridge the gap between academics and practice in the public health arena. Prior to joining the GSPH faculty in 1984, she was an assistant professor of maternal and child health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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Dr. Wei Yu is a professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics School of Public Economics and Administration. He also serves as director for the school's Center for Health Policy and Administration. Wei also is a fellow with the Center for Health Policy (CHP) and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR) at Stanford University. He is a former health economist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  He conducts economic analysis in healthcare studies for national VA healthcare research programs.

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Lorena Garcia is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Her research focuses on health disparities and social determinants of health, in particular cardiovascular related health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, and immigrant health.

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Jinah Choi is an assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced. Her research focuses on the molecular characterization of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its interactions with the host. HCV is an important human pathogen. More than 80 percent of HCV infection results in chronic infection that can lead to serious liver diseases, such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (i.e. liver cancer). Choi seeks to better understand HCV and its pathogenic mechanisms in order to develop a new and improved anti-HCV therapy. Choi received her Ph.D.

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Dr. Needleman is a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health. He was previously an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health for eight years and, for 17 year, vice president of Lewin/ICF (now The Lewin Group), a Washington, D.C. health policy research and consulting firm. He has conducted research on nurse staffing and quality of care, the health workforce, the future of public hospitals, nonprofit and for-profit health care, access to care for mental health and chronic illness.

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