Skip to main content

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 administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through 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.

Our participants are excited about the educational research they are doing

  • kumar.jpg

    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.

  • shamayawhitby.jpg

    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.  

  • vishakha-ramakrishnan-photo.jpg

    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. 

  • rodriguez.jpg

    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.

  • 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
  • “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
  • 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
FDA Feature Story Image

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.