​​​​​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 NB. 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

​​Program specifics

​​The program is a full-time working fellowship for doctorate-degree level scientists; the fellowship duration is two years (pending funds). Fellows are placed in local and 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 2017 stipend starts at $60,000/year, with cost of living adjustment for major metropolitan areas. 

Eligibility and requirements

Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. Applicants to the program must have completed a doctorate 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 5 years.

Application process

The next application cycle will begin in summer 2019. Applicants are recruited and selected by the host laboratory. The application process includes submission of a CV or resume, references and/or letters of recommendation, official transcripts, 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.

Questions?

View a list of FAQs​ about the program and the application process. Still have questions? Contact Guisou Zarbalian, senior specialist, Newborn Scre​​ening & Genetics at guisou.zarbalian@aphl.org

Host Laboratories

The Ronald H. Laessig Memorial Newborn Screening (NBS) Fellowship is not currently accepting applications for host laboratories. APHL member local and state public health laboratories interested in applying to host a NBS Fellow may apply during the next application cycle in summer 2019. For more information, please see the ​Host Laboratory Instructions and Application page.​