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Meet a Participant or Mentor

One of the best ways to learn about opportunities at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is through the eyes of a past participant or mentor. Click on the participant’s name under their photo to read about their experiences.
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    Emma Scott

    Under the guidance of her mentor, Dickran Kazandjian, Scott conducted research using next-generation sequencing and genomics to improve the safety and effectiveness of cancer therapeutics. Throughout the course of her fellowship, she focused on three primary research projects covering different aspects of oncology therapeutics.

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    Hugo Azurmendi

    Hugo Azurmendi, Ph.D. in physics, analyzed bacterial capsular polysaccharides on cells using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy over the course of 2 years as a fellow in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Research Participation Program.
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    Jessica Tang

    Jessica Tang researched influenza antibodies and their antibody-dependent enhancement effects during viral infection at the Centers for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the Division of Vaccine Products.
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    Kim Kontson, Ph.D.

    Biomedical engineer Kim Kontson transitioned from postdoctoral fellow to full-time mentor at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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    Chintamani Atreya, Ph.D.

    Chintamani Atreya, Ph.D., mentors research participants with the Office of Blood Research and Review at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the Food and Drug Administration.

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    Pratistha Tamrakar, Ph.D.

    Pratistha Tamrakar, Ph.D., studied transfusion-transmitted syphilis during her fellowship at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
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    Katarzyna Jankowska, Ph.D.

    During a fellowship at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics and Evaluation Research, Katarzyna Jankowska, Ph.D., investigated the causes of hemophilia A in patients with no mutation of the F8 gene.

  • Maria Ida Iacono

    Maria Ida Iacono, Ph.D.

    Maria Ida Iacono, Ph.D., helped develop a computer model of the head while doing a fellowship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The model has been used by more than 160 research groups worldwide.

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    Yun Wang, Ph.D.

    Yun Wang, Ph.D., improves detection for the botulinum neurotoxin, the most potent toxin known.

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    Poulomi Nandy, Ph.D.

    When Poulomi Nandy, Ph.D., was looking for a program which combined applied research with the opportunity to have an immediate, direct impact on public health, she turned to a fellowship through ORISE at the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

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    Stacey Sullivan, Ph.D.

    Stacey Sullivan, Ph.D., tests the limits of biomedical materials to improve public safety.

  • The program provides valuable experience by learning from and collaborating with scientists across the center, in industry, academia and government. I am encouraged and supported a lot. I love the friendly and cooperative research and learning environment here.

    —Yun Wang, Ph.D.
  • The CBER Research Participation Program is an excellent opportunity. You will meet many knowledgeable people who are dedicated and passionate about public health safety.

    —Pratistha Tamrakar
  • The ORISE program enabled me as a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow to pursue my degree in a rich, challenging research environment and allowed me to fearlessly switch fields to pursue a longtime passion. With my current position at the FDA, I am able to interact with the ORISE program as a mentor and give these great opportunities to passionate, motivated participants wishing to start carving their own career paths, just as I did several years ago.

    —Kimberly Kontson
  • The ORISE program gave me the opportunity to pursue my research goals in a highly stimulating and educational environment. I was, and still am, surrounded by highly-qualified scientists who helped me grow and mature professionally and personally. —Maria Ida Iacono