Newborn Screening programs are faced with new challenges due to the expansion in the number of newborn screening diseases together with the adoption of more sophisticated biochemical and molecular technologies used to improve disease detection for newborns with heritable diseases.
These challenges include accurate interpretation of complex biomarker profiles, development of analytic and interpretative tools for genetic testing and effective approaches for laboratory data management. In addition there is a need for harmonization of results across complex testing platforms that would greatly aid in biomarker result interpretation.
As we move forward to incorporate more complex testing, the analysis of newborn screening test results will require 21st century data analytic solutions to improve the positive predictive value of test algorithms while reducing the number of false positives.
To address this unmet need in newborn screening laboratories, APHL, in collaboration with the CDC Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, is offering exciting fellowship opportunities for graduates of bioinformatics programs. This fellowship aims to train and prepare bioinformaticians to apply their expertise within public health and design tools to aid existing public health personnel in the use of bioinformatics. Its mission is to provide a high quality training experience for fellows while providing workforce capacity to the public health laboratory community.
The program is a full-time working fellowship for post-masters or post-doctoral level professionals and provides the opportunity to apply their skills to a range of important and emerging newborn screening bioinformatics issues, while gaining experience in their fields.
Fellows are placed in state public health laboratories throughout the US to receive training in applications of bioinformatics within a public health laboratory, and assist with newborn screening laboratory operations and research. Fellows are supervised by an experienced mentor and work on real-world newborn screening projects proposed by the host laboratory. Fellows will also collaborate on CDC-directed initiatives. In addition to their project-specific work, fellows will participate in distance-based training and learning activities to achieve proficiency in select public health laboratory core competencies.
Fellows receive a stipend, allowances for required medical insurance and professional development, and complimentary student membership to APHL. The 2019 stipend is $54,095 for a post-master's-level fellow and $65,448 for a post-doctoral-level fellow. Both levels include an additional $500 monthly health insurance stipend.
Eligibility and Requirements
Applicants must have complete a master's or doctoral degree in bioinformatics or a related discipline by the start date of their fellowship. Applicants are required to have demonstrated education and/or experience in bioinformatics.
Applicants are required to submit an online application to APHL by the application deadline. The application includes a narrative statement, resume or CV, three letters of recommendation and transcripts from all degree-granting institutions. Official transcripts will be required upon acceptance. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all materials are received by APHL by the application deadline. Applications that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered.
APHL member state laboratories interested in applying to host a bioinformatics fellow, please see the Host Laboratory Instructions and Application page.
View a list of FAQs about the program and the application process. Still have questions? Contact Hiral Desai, Newborn Screening & Genetics Bioinformatics Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.