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The ORISE Research Participation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an educational and training program designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to connect with the unique resources of the CDC. With the support of an assigned mentor, participants have authentic research experiences at state-of the-art facilities. These research experiences complement the educational nature of the programs and make participants aware of potential STEM employment opportunities at the sponsoring agency. Participants will have access to unique research and training opportunities, top scientists and engineers, and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

The program is managed by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) under an agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ORISE focuses on scientific initiatives including educating the next generation of scientists and is managed for DOE by ORAU.


 

From the ORISE Featurecast, Episode 22: Recruiting Hispanic researchers into science: A conversation with Eriko Padron and Yvonne Garcia

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Eriko Padron Regalado is an ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he is conducting research on immunoassays and vaccines. Eriko is originally from Mexico and has studied in Saudi Arabia and at Oxford University in England. He is joined by Yvonne Garcia, health communications specialist at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who conducts outreach in an effort to recruit Hispanic students into science. Padron shares his incredible career journey (seriously, it's amazing), and he and Garcia discuss the importance of representation in the sciences. Both are committed to opening up opportunities in science for young Hispanic students and researchers. Join host Michael Holtz for an interesting and engaging conversation.

Transcript available soon.

Listen to this episode


2022 Ignite Off Semi-Finalists

Hosted by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the annual Ignite Off! Competition showcases the talents of ORISE interns from participating federal agencies and offices as they share their research through Ignite Talks. Each competitor has five minutes to present their project, using 20 picture-centric slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fun and engaging five-minute presentation.

Sophia Sukkestad

Karana Wickins

Our participants are excited about the educational research they are doing

  • ally-chase.webp

    Alexandra “Ally” Chase

    Alexandra “Ally” Chase is an applied research and translations fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and assisting with a model to highlight activities to support the community health workers (CHW) workforce.

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    Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah

    Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah continues a passionate career in teaching after three years as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow.

  • katherine-wozniak.webp

    Katherine “Katie” Wozniak

    An extensive scientific journey led Katherine “Katie” Wozniak to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), where she learned aspects of science that branched out from her field. She encourages other scientists to push the envelope with research that may not align with their original expertise.

  • alexandria-sparks.webp

    Alexandria Sparks

    Alexandria Sparks is a current fellow of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) Research Participation Program, Organic Analytical Toxicology (OAT) branch. Motivated by her grandfather’s suffering with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Sparks developed a deep-seated desire to help others who were undergoing severe illnesses.
  • sumera-jiva.webp

    Sumera Jiva

    Hear about Sumera Jiva's experience at ORISE in this video profile taken at the APHA 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston, MA.
  • georgya-jones.webp

    Georgya Jones

    Hear about Georgya Jones' experience at ORISE in this video profile taken at the APHA 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston, MA.
  • diane-harris.webp

    Diane Harris

    Hear about Diane Harris' experience as a participant and a mentor at ORISE in this video profile taken at the APHA 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston, MA.
  • carly-herbert.webp

    Carly Herbert

    Hear about Carly Herbert's experience at ORISE in this video profile taken at the APHA 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston, MA.
  • alora-colvin.webp

    Alora Colvin

    Alora Colvin, a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch (NSMBB) Research Participation Program, has seen first-hand how early diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including cystic fibrosis, is critical to living a healthy life. Her role includes providing technical assistance to the labs whenever questions and problems arise. 

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    Brooke Vollmer

    Brooke Vollmer discovered a passion for public safety during her acadmic career. As an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Research Branch, Vollmer is using that passion to improve occupational safety and health.

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    Mirle Peña

    Throughout her fellowship experience, Mirle Peña learned the importance of engineering controls and how to implement them as measures to promote health and safety. She was able to practice her public speaking skills as well as her writing skills through presentations and various scientific training.

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    Carissa Rocheleau

    Carissa Rocheleau, a mentor for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), express how proud it makes her to see her mentees grow into positions that they are passionate in.

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    Elizabeth Misas

    Elizabeth Misas spends her time with the CDC analyzing the DNA sequences of fungi which cause infection in humans. Through her research the scientific community can find greater understanding with how such fungi mutate to resist medication.

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    Andrea McGowan

    Andrea McGowan assists the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to analyze data on childhood nutrition, breastfeeding habits, and the spread of COVID-19 throughout family homes.

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    Charles Thurlow

    Charles Thurlow, Ph.D. in microbiology, assisted in developing a means for generating whole genome sequencing data for the causative agent of syphilis, Treponema pallidum, while serving as a fellow within the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease, and Tuberculosis Prevention Research Participation Program.

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    Emily Young

    Kimberly Castelin, Ph.D., is applying her passion for equity and social justice to advance public health and program evaluation as part of the CDC Research Participation Program.

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    Kimberly Castelin

    Kimberly Castelin, Ph.D., is applying her passion for equity and social justice to advance public health and program evaluation as part of the CDC Research Participation Program.

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    Jennifer Reimche

    Jennifer Reimche, Ph.D., is conducting research on Neisseria gonorrhoeae as part of the ORISE Research Participation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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    Alexandra Palacios

    As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Research Participation Program, Alexandra Palacios investigates multistate enteric illness outbreaks to identify infection sources and protect public health.

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    Amy Board

    Amy Board, former ORISE research participant and current officer of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, went from assisting national analyses that identify emerging HIV clusters to using surveillance data to track trends in drug overdose morbidity and mortality in the United States.

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    Sagar Kumar

    While pursuing research with the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sagar Kumar took a closer look at sexually transmitted disease care, treatment, prevention and testing.

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    Shamaya Whitby

    Shamaya Whitby contributes to the fight against HIV/AIDS through her fellowship at the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Ricardo Albarran

    Ricardo Albarran

    As a participant in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Evaluation Fellowship, Ricardo Albarran gained experience in the evaluation and assessment of public health programs targeting the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Tandin Dorji

    Tandin Dorji

    Tandin Dorji, a participant in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research Participation Program, uses his statistical expertise to analyze and improve public health program research methods. 

  • Victoria Caban Figueroa

    Victoria Cabán Figueroa

    As a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Victoria Cabán Figueroa used whole genome sequencing to predict antibiotic resistance of sexually transmitted diseases.  

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    Vishakha Ramakrishnan

    Vishakha Ramakrishnan contributed to public health program evaluation and improvement efforts as part of her ORISE fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Satomi Odani

    Satomi Odani

    In the Research Participation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Satomi Odani helped design a survey that measures individuals’ attitudes and behaviors regarding tobacco use.

  • Hannah Romo

    Hannah Romo

    As a fellow with the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hannah Romo, Ph.D., studied mosquito populations and West Nile virus disease transmission.

  • Emily Hays

    Emily Hays

    Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Evaluation Fellowship, Emily Hays learned how to collect and evaluate data, assessing the effectiveness and impacts of sexually transmitted diseases prevention programs. 

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    Luis Rodriguez

    Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fellow Luis Rodriguez, Ph.D., has spent more than 30 years studying the vesicular stomatitis virus, an insect-borne virus. He is a scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

  • Krista Queen

    Krista Queen, Ph.D.

    Krista Queen, Ph.D., a fellow with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, identifies new and emerging viruses.

  • Suad El Burai Félix, Sausan El Burai Félix, Alia El Burai Félix

    Suad, Sausan and Alia El Burai Félix

    Although Suad, Sausan and Alia El Burai Félix are conducting research in different sectors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sisters all share a passion for improving public health standards. Their assignments are sponsored by the CDC Research Participation Programs, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which is managed by ORAU for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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    Shilpi Jain

    Shilpi Jain is studying high-consequence viruses through her Centers for Disease Control (CDC) fellowship.

  • My favorite part is, without question, the people. Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless challenges for those working in and with schools. I deeply admire my colleagues’ brilliance and commitment to their work supporting adolescents and school communities, and have learned much from their resilience and creativity during this time. —Emily Young
  • I would absolutely recommend a STEM-focused internship at a large federal research facility. As I experienced, government research facilities tend to have state-of-the-art equipment, and their research programs often ask questions related to national interests and security.

    —Katherine “Katie” Wozniak
  • The ORISE program provided me the opportunity to have an impact through public health work. I learned from experts in different fields, and I networked and found mentors across CDC. Overall, it was a great experience. —Ricardo Albarran
  • The practical experience gained during my time at CDC has been invaluable. I appreciated all the opportunities for professional development and enjoyed being in a field that I am passionate about.

    —Hannah Romo
  • Having the experience of doing research at CDC in high-profile infectious diseases prepared me very well to tackle challenges in my work with foreign animal diseases.  —Luis Rodriguez
  • As a Latin woman coming from Mexico, this experience has been so valuable to me. I was able to make connections with the right people, which has propelled me to complete the work I always wanted to do. I was able to find my passion and do research that can positively impact people’s health.

    —Mirle Peña
  • ORISE gives students, recent graduates and postdocs the opportunity to be paired with staff or scientists who will provide hands-on research experience. The fellowship also provides the opportunity to test drive one’s career interest. —Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah
  • “The opportunities I have been afforded through this program are beyond what I would have experienced in an entry-level position after graduate school. This program has truly helped further train and prepare me for obtaining my career goals.”

    —Emily Hays
  • I thought it seemed like a great opportunity to gain real-life, hands-on experience in the federal government environmen. Our mom always has encouraged us to continue growing personally and professionally; every experience helps in some way to improve and build upon your skills. To me, this opportunity represents a step forward in my future career and has given me more enthusiasm.

    —Suad El Burai Félix
  • Public health is a field that matters to everyone. I relish contributing to humanity with my actions and knowledge of the field, and what better way to do it than through this program? It has provided a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of new knowledge and tasks. —Sausan El Burai Félix
  • The appointment gives individuals who are fresh out of school an idea of what real-world application of their field looks like. —Tandin Dorji
  • Being an ORISE participant allowed me to contribute to meaningful projects and gave space for mentorship and growth during a year when we all experienced profound losses and had to cope with enormous, extraordinary stressors.

    —Kimberly Castelin
  • I have been fortunate to have great mentors who have provided me with every opportunity to grow and learn new skills. I feel that this program has helped propel my career into a direction I never could have imagined. —Shamaya Whitby
Read more about our participants
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The ORISE Research Participation Programs at the CDC are educational and training programs designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to participate in project-specific CDC research, current public health research, and developmental activities.