​​Recruitment for the 2022 Ronald Laessig Fellowship will begin in fall 2021! 

​​​​​​​​The Ronald H. Laessig Memorial Newborn Screening (NBS) Fellowship Program, sponsored by APHL and CDC, prepares laboratory scientists for careers in NBS and/or genetics research while also strengthening "local, state and federal public health infrastructures to support surveillance and implement prevention and control programs," as stated in the CDC prevention strategy goal. The fellowship honors Ronald H. Laessig, the former director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and a national leader in NBS. Its mission is to provide a high quality training experience for the fellow while providing workforce capacity to the public health laboratory community.

Previous fellowship projects have included:

  • Addition of a new analyte, orotic acid, to the newborn screening panel to for screening of Ornithine Transcarbamylase​​ (OTC) deficiency.

  • Cost benefit analysis of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) screening within the NBS laboratory

  • Planning and conducting validation and pilot studies for a PCR/gel-based assay for GALT 5kb deletion

  • Evaluation study of the utility of molecular analysis for hemoglobinopathies

  • Evaluation study comparing the results from testing unsatisfactory specimens to their matched satisfactory repeat specimens

  • Developing and validating Krabbe and Pompe sequencing assays

  • Validation and implementation of sequencing assay for cystic fibrosis (CF)

​​Program Specifics

​​The program is a full-time working fellowship for doctorate-degree level scientists; the fellowship duration is two years (pending funds). Post-masters level fellows are eligible for the Newborn Screening Fellowship. Fellows are placed in state public health laboratories throughout the US to receive training in bench-level laboratory skills and methods, and assist with newborn screening laboratory operations and research. Once in their host laboratories, fellows are supervised by an experienced mentor and work on bench-level projects proposed by the host laboratory. In addition to laboratory-specific work, fellows participate in distance-based training and learning activities to achieve proficiency in select public health laboratory​ core competencies.

Program Benefits

Fellows receive a stipend, allowances for medical insurance and professional development, and complimentary student membership to APHL. The 2020 post-doc stipend starts at $65,000/year. The 2020 post-masters stipend starts at $54,095/year. Additional funds are available for health insurance.

Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants must be US citizens. Applicants to the program must have completed a doctorate or master's degree in genetics, genomics, public health, molecular biology, population health or other related discipline by the program start date. The degree must have been received within the last five years.

Application Process

The next application cycle will begin in fall 2022 once the host laboratory has been identified. Applicants are recruited and selected by the host laboratory. The application process includes submission of a CV or resume, references, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, statement of purpose, and proof of US citizenship or permanent residency. The host laboratory may request additional supporting documents at their discretion and based on their recruitment process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all materials are received by the host laboratory by the application deadline. Application materials may be submitted to Hiral Desai at hiral.desai@aphl.​org​.

Host Laboratories

APHL member local and state public health laboratories interested in applying to host a future NBS Fellow should review 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 hiral.desai@aphl.org