28 April 2014

New Resource on ISDS Website: Public Health Surveillance-related Job and Internship Postings

ISDS is working to highlight public health surveillance-related internship, post-doc, and job opportunities in practice, industry, and academia, by developing a clearinghouse of professional opportunities. Cross-disciplinary disease surveillance opportunities in animal, plant, and environmental health will also be included.

To view the opportunities that have been shared thus far, please visit our website. These postings are submitted by members of the ISDS Community, and will be added on an on-going basis.

If you know of any relevant internship or job opportunities, please be sure to submit them for posting on the ISDS website:
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact treynolds@syndromic.org.

25 April 2014

Changes in BioSense email correspondence

On 4/25/2014 the CDC BioSense Program will begin using the following email address: BioSenseProgram@cdc.gov

This email address should be used for all correspondence with the BioSense program starting today 4/25/2014. Please update your address book and all distribution lists where the former address (info@biosen.se) existed.

CDC has explicit guidance indicating that all HHS business be conducted using government-provided resources to include “HHS-provided email or online storage….” and that no staff conduct official HHS business using personal email or personal online storage. 

These email address changes will bring the BioSense Program in compliance with this updated guidance.

22 April 2014

Submit Your Public Health Surveillance-related Internship Opportunities!

ISDS would like to assist students in finding public health surveillance-related internships in an effort to help build a workforce prepared to meet the current challenges in public health surveillance.

Starting this year, the ISDS Research Committee is coordinating the collection of internship positions with the goal of creating a clearinghouse. The opportunities will be posted on the ISDS website, and the resource will be shared broadly.

We will be collecting internship positions on an on-going basis. If you have an open internship position at your organization or are aware of any such openings, please submit them here. For summer opportunities, we recommend that you submit them by April 28, 2014.

Please contact treynolds@syndromic.org with any questions or concerns.

Workshop on Environmental Public Health Tracking in Modena, Italy on May 14-15, 2014.

This workshop follows the ISEE 2013 pre-conference workshop in Basel "Environmental Public Health Tracking: Practical Methods for Priority Setting and Evaluation." The aim of the workshop is to discuss the basis for creating an International Network on EPHT to share best practices and support development of surveillance systems, including syndromic systems, in our field. 

The deadline for registration has been extended until April 25.

For more information on logistics and the workshop registration form, please visit: http://www.arpa.emr.it/dettaglio_evento.asp?id=1999&idlivello=460

17 April 2014

Upcoming Webinar: “Beneficial Practices for Improving Biosurveillance: Outbreaks – Lessons Learned from Seasonal Influenza”

Please save the date for the webinar below.  Dr. Ed Baker and Dr. Perry Smith will discuss surveillance efforts regarding the outbreak of seasonal flu.  

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/797109960

In this third webinar in the series, you will hear from Marion County Public Health Department (Indianapolis, IN) staff Shandy Dearth, Epidemiology Administrator, and Melissa McMasters, Coordinator for Immunization and Infections Disease Programs describe their experiences with seasonal flu.  Additionally you will hear from Kathleen Kimball-Baker, Director of the Public Health Practices Project at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), a national online practice exchange for emergency preparedness and response professionals.

Webinar hosts, Dr. Ed Baker (Project PI and Research Professor, Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Dr. Perry Smith (Research Professor Epidemiology, State University of New York at Albany and former New York State Epidemiologist), will discuss with the guests and the audience:

  • How does a local health department competently respond to an outbreak of seasonal flu?
  • What are the surveillance challenges in gathering situational awareness information during an outbreak?
  • How can localities best prepare their surveillance systems for responding to outbreaks?
  • What special surveillance challenges does seasonal flu present to health departments?

Public health preparedness and surveillance professionals are invited to participate in this webinar.
Learn about the upcoming webinars in the series: http://sph.unc.edu/nciph/biosurv-webinar

Questions? Contact Carol Gunther-Mohr, Webinar Coordinator, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill cgm@email.unc.edu

The webinar series is presented by the North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NCPERRC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. 

15 April 2014

CDC Job Vacancy - NCEH/ATSDR Director

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively recruiting for the executive position of Director for the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The selectee will lead public health actions to promote health and safe environments and prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances.

An MD, PhD or equivalent advanced degree is highly preferred. In addition, desirable candidates should possess broad, proven knowledge in the field of environmental health, proven managerial experience as a leader in public health administration, and the ability to advance the scientific and public health impact of NCEH/ATSDR.  

NCEH/ATSDR has an annual operating budget of over $216 million and a diverse workforce of approximately 1,000 employees and contract staff. The incumbent will be physically located in CDC’s Atlanta Headquarters. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/nceh andwww.atsdr.cdc.gov.

For questions regarding the application process/requirements, please contact Vicki Hunter (vhunter@cdc.gov).

HOW TO APPLY: Applications are NOT accepted via email. To be considered, apply before midnight EST May 27, 2014 at:


*Note: the salary indicated in the vacancy announcements is a recommended range. Final compensation determination is commensurate with qualifications and experience and may exceed the maximum salary rate identified.

09 April 2014

Post-Doctoral Research Position in Population Informatics at the RODS Lab

The Real-time Disease and Outbreak Surveillance (RODS) Laboratory has an immediately available opening for a post-doctoral research fellow to conduct independent research. The duration of the post-doctoral fellowship can be one or two years. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

The research should be related to one of our two main projects: building “next generation” disease surveillance and control systems and our Apollo project. The two projects are closely related and provide many opportunities for high impact post-doctoral work in:
  • Bayesian case detection
  • Bayesian outbreak detection and characterization
  • Decision-theoretic decision support
  • Agent-based simulation of infectious disease scenarios (epidemics and control strategies)
  • Formal representation of infectious disease scenarios for simulation
  • Codification of epidemiological knowledge for storage and re-use
  • Ontology-based indexing and retrieval of datasets, publications, and codified knowledge.
The faculty members available for mentoring include, but are not limited to:
  • Michael M. Wagner, MD, PhD
  • Gregory Cooper, MD, PhD
Additional information about the RODS Lab can be found at www.rods.pitt.edu. The Apollo project Web site is https://code.google.com/p/apollo/. Videos about software and projects can be found on the RODS Laboratory channel on YouTube.

Post-doctoral fellows in the Department of Biomedical Informatics are groomed for faculty positions within the department and other institutions.

  • Post-graduate degree (MD or PhD) and training in Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Biostatistics, Epidemiology or a related discipline
  • NLM fellowship eligibility (US citizen or permanent resident only)
  • Ability to independently perform research in one of the above areas with mentoring from a
    faculty member
  • Ability to write and publish journal articles 
Application Process:

We encourage informal inquiries. Please contact Cleat Szczepaniak at cleats@pitt.edu.
To formally apply, complete the online application at https://apply.dbmi.pitt.edu/. You will be asked to provide:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement - description of your research interests
  • Contact information for three references
  • One writing sample - preferably a published or accepted paper
    The application fee will be waived – please contact Toni Porterfield (tls18@pitt.edu) Information about post-doctoral stipends is at http://www.dbmi.pitt.edu/node/311. The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. 

01 April 2014

Training opportunity: 2014 International research internship for health researchers, Jamaica

DEADLINE EXTENDED: April 21, 2013.
Training opportunity: 2014 International research internship for health researchers, Jamaica

June 2 – 27, 2014 in Kingston, Jamaica
Application deadline: April 21, 2014
FOR INFORMATION & APPLICATION PACKAGE: Janeil Brown janeil.brown02@uwimona.edu.jm

The four week research internship is a unique, intensive training opportunity for junior researchers to launch their research career and network in the Caribbean and internationally.  It provides a great for participants to focus and develop programs of research, complete research proposals or manuscripts under the mentorship of local and international facilitators.

* Eulalia Kahwa, Lecturer and Graduate Program Coordinator, The UWI School of Nursing, Mona, University of the West Indies, Jamaica
* Nancy Edwards, Professor, School of Nursing and Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada
*Other prominent academics and researchers from the Caribbean

* To help participants develop proposals/programs of research or scientific manuscripts with support from mentors during work in progress sessions.
* Enable participants to acquire knowledge and skills in health systems research and linking research to policy.
* Develop skills in multiple intervention program design and evaluation in health systems.
* Enable participants to gain knowledge and skills essential for competitive grantsmanship.
* Extend participants’ repertoire of cutting edge research designs and approaches in health systems.
* Provide opportunities to enhance peer review skills.
* Build research networks and extend links with local, national and international decision-makers.

* Graduate-prepared (minimum completed graduate degree one month prior to internship start date) in nursing, medicine, public health, epidemiology, or other health-sciences related disciplines.
* Committed to long-term research engagement and providing tangible benefits to home community or institution.
* Interest in international research collaboration.

* Applicants from within Kingston (Half Package): US$1,500 (Includes: lunch, refreshments, all sessions, and course materials, transport for site visits, University library and internet access, and welcome dinner)
* Caribbean applicants from outside Kingston (Full Package): US$2,500 (Includes: accommodation, lunch, refreshments, airport shuttle, all sessions and course materials, transport for site visits, University library and internet access, and welcome dinner)
* Other International Countries (Full Package): US$3,000 (Includes: accommodation, lunch, refreshments, airport shuttle, all sessions, and course materials, transport for site visits, University library and internet access, and welcome dinner)

PLEASE NOTE: Travel costs (flights and personal travel) and weekend meals are not included in the program fee.

Deputy Director, Epidemiology & Surveillance Job

Location: Seattle, WA, US
Division: Global Health Program
Department: Vaccine Development

Foundation Overview
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Group Summary
Our Global Health Program (GHP) harnesses advances in science and technology to save lives in poor countries. We focus on the health problems that have a major impact in developing countries but get too little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they don't, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases focuses on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected and other infectious diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Discovery and Translational Sciences, Vaccine Development, and Integrated Development.

The Deputy Director of Epidemiology and Surveillance is a newly created role and will be responsible for building and executing the foundation's surveillance strategy across multiple disease areas, with an initial focus on severe disease and mortality associated with pneumonia, enteric diseases, and fever/malaria in children less than 5 years old and etiologies of neonatal mortality. The vision for this strategy is a global network of surveillance sites that operate in a highly integrated and coordinated way, enhancing the quality, consistency and timeliness of disease burden data. This effort is intended to provide data on disease burden and evolving epidemiology to local and regional country officials as well as to the foundation Program Strategy Teams (PSTs) to support decision-making for interventions and investments.

The Deputy Director of Epidemiology and Surveillance will lead a small team as well as a cross-functional working group that includes representatives from each of the PSTs across Global Health and Global Development, and will provide technical support and leadership for work-streams that report into the larger working group focused on: 1) standardization of data collection and diagnostic assays across sites; 2) Data quality; 3) Data management including transfer and storage; 4) Optimal operating models; and 5) The role of the foundation system within the global network of surveillance and epidemiologic systems.

Key responsibilities:
- Work with the PST Directors and Program Officers (POs) to identify the foundation needs for surveillance and epidemiologic evaluations, clarify the needs that can be addressed by the surveillance network and ensure the necessary activities are completed to provide the requested data.
- Work with POs, external advisors and consultants to identify sites for the surveillance network building on pilot sites and sites with broad experience in surveillance and epidemiologic evaluations. Work with the POs and consultants to visit and operationalize sites including developing methods for standardization across the network with regard to data collection and diagnostic assays.
- Lead the cross-cutting surveillance (CCS) working group within the foundation including finalizing strategy and adjusting as needed (at least annually) based on information received from pilot sites/projects and sites brought on early in the process. Stay abreast of new technologies (e.g., diagnostic assays) and introduce them into the network when available.
- Serve as an advisor and technical leader for the work-streams supporting the CCS working group including work streams for data standardization, assay standardization, data management/storage/transfer, operational models, and partnerships.
- Proactively communicate the role of the foundation's CCS network in the global ecosystem of surveillance and epidemiologic evaluations.
- Represent the foundation on other pressing epidemiologic and/or surveillance projects (e.g., antimicrobial resistance) working with WHO, CDC, and other governmental and academic partners as appropriate.
- Review, make recommendation on, and manage surveillance/epidemiologic grants.
- Manage the budget for the CCS network.

- MD, MD/MPH, PhD, or related experience, specializing in epidemiology and/or surveillance of infectious diseases with a strong preference for experience with pneumonia, enteric diseases, and malaria. The ideal candidate will be a respected member of the surveillance and epidemiology communities
- 15+ years of experience with surveillance systems and in epidemiologic studies in developing countries in Africa and Asia (experience in India strongly preferred), including the set-up of surveillance sites, preferred
- Broad knowledge of diagnostic assays for pneumonia, enteric diseases, and fever/malaria including knowledge of qualification, validation, and transfer of assays across sites. Also needs to have knowledge of and stay abreast of technologic advances in the diagnostic space
- The ability to lead cross-functional strategic initiatives internally, while also managing critical sets of relationships externally.
- High detail orientation and affinity for data, with the ability to artfully manage tactical execution.
- Intellectual quickness, curiosity, discipline, resourcefulness and resilience
- Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a team effort
- Demonstrated passion for the foundation's values with commitment to deliver results against the foundation's mission
- Sense of humor
- Ability to travel ~30% domestically and internationally

Scope of work will require residency or relocation to the Seattle, Washington area.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a comprehensive background check. 

Apply now!