APHL partnered with
CRDF Global in 2016 to host two international fellows through the
Robin Copeland Memorial Fellowship, which offers women leaders in emerging countries the opportunity to participate in a year-long nonproliferation program.
Ms. Kadiatou Dao of Mali and Dr. Mona Hamed El-Shokry of Egypt joined APHL Public Health Preparedness and Response staff for three months of intensive training in biosafety/biosecurity practice and policy, federal regulations governing select agents, public health laboratory practice and program management. Projects included review of risk assessment templates and biosafety/biosecurity tools, and a visit to a state public health laboratory.
At the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, Ms. Dao examined the operations and management of a large public health laboratory and the interface between research and practice. She had the opportunity to tour the facility and meet with key personnel. Dr. El-Shokry met with the biosafety officer and other senior staff at the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of State Laboratory Services, where she observed general and Laboratory Response Network operations, and shared her extensive experience in surveillance for antimicrobial resistant organisms.
While APHL offered the fellows valuable information, contacts and experience, the association also benefited from the rich exchange over the three months. These strong and resourceful laboratory professionals introduced APHL staff to issues of biological nonproliferation, laboratory management and women’s professional development as seen from across the globe. Unquestionably, APHL is better for the experience.
The Robin Copeland Memorial Fellows:
Ms. Kadiatou Dao is a biologist at the National Institute of Public Health Research in Mali. Her professional interests include national and international biosecurity regulation, risk assessment tools applicable to hospitals and laboratories harboring infectious agents, best practices for incorporating assessment results into a biological preparedness plans and techniques for educating decision makers on nonproliferation programs and infrastructure.
Dr. Mona Hamed El-Shokry is an associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine in Cairo, Egypt. She also serves as a clinical microbiologist at CDC’s Global Disease Detection Center at the US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3. Dr. El-Shokry’s professional interests include biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management as applied to laboratories, hospitals and healthcare facilities; sample transport; best practices and tools in risk assessment; and best practices for training lab and healthcare staff on biosafety and biosecurity measures.