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Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin

Winter 2012

Best Wishes to DBD staff retiring this year.

Thank you for your outstanding dedication and contributions that have added tremendously to DBD’s success.

George CarloneDBD Immunology Laboratories Chief George Carlone, PhD has done extensive work on evaluation of bacterial vaccines, development of assays for vaccine evaluation, and training on immunologic techniques. He developed and standardized reference assays for vaccine evaluation (e.g., ELISA, serum bactericidal assays, opsonophagocytosis, adherence assays, proteomics, animal models, luminex, flow cytometric applications, analysis models). George was involved early on in the development of the vaccine MenAfriVac™ that is being used with great success to protect against meningitis in Africa—he directed serological evaluations in PATH’s sponsored trials for the introduction and licensure of the vaccine. About that work, George has said, “Our tests on serum from nearly 5,000 study participants aided development of this new vaccine—we are all proud to be a part of this global collaboration that has the potential to save thousands of lives.” With more than 170 publications, he has received numerous awards and recognitions; his contributions are far reaching with 17 granted patents and 14 patents applied for. He has been with CDC for 32 years.

Scott JohnsonScott E. Johnson, MS, is lead of the Serum Bactericidal Antibody Assay Team in MVPDB’s Immunology Laboratories. He has participated on various Legionnaires’ disease studies, including isolating and identifying Legionella by using chicken egg yolk culturing techniques and cellular fatty acid mapping through gas liquid chromatography analysis. He is the curator for CDC’s stock inventories of leptospirosis and anthrax. Scott has worked in the pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccine development for 19 years, where he advanced measurement of functional serum bactericidal antibodies (SBA) for four major meningococcal serogroups including one used for licensure of meningococcal vaccines including MenAfrivac™. He was recognized in 1979 with the CDC Commendation Award “For significant contributions in the isolation of Legionnaires’ disease bacterium from inanimate sources;” in 1983 was co-recipient of the Charles C. Shepard Award for “Outstanding contribution to CDC/ATSDR mission and public health,” and in 1990 received a Special Service Award for “Contribution to the development of a highly sensitive antibody assay for evaluating vaccines against meningococcal disease.” Scott retires this year after 39 years with CDC.

Sandy MartinMVPDB laboratorian Sandy Martin was one of the HHSinnovates Winners in 2010 for her work with colleagues on the CDC Lab Recycling Pilot Program they designed to help avoid substantial dumping of plastic containers which had held biohazard materials into waste landfills by using a process for cleaning the containers after use to be suitable for recycling. Sandy has been a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society for several years and was secretary for the CDC Chapter of Sigma Xi from 2010 to 2012. Sandy has been with CDC for 12 years and has always promoted quality as an individual responsibility.

Jacquelyn SampsonAfter receiving her PhD in microbiology from Emory University, Jacquelyn Sampson decided on a career in research rather than teaching and joined CDC. That was 32 years ago and she has since acquired 8 patents (6 granted and 2 pending). Her career has focused on improving diagnosis and prevention of the leading bacterial cause of pneumonia. Sampson was a key member of the team that received the 2009 CDC Director’s Innovation Award in research and technology for her work with development of pneumococcal surface antigen A(PsaA), a protein that is present in all pneumococci and has been evaluated as a vaccine candidate. Jackie says, “I have found a great pleasure in mentoring minority students interested in research careers.”

Elizabeth ZellElizabeth Zell, MStat, is a mathematical statistician in the DBD OD. Elizabeth is credited with helping to develop and implement the National Immunization Survey and is an internationally recognized expert on methods for vaccine coverage assessment and vaccine evaluation. Among her many projects of note has been her work on early onset neonatal sepsis, a range of studies documenting the effects of PCV7 on pneumococcal disease in the United States, and studies of pneumococcal vaccine effectiveness in Africa. She has been the lead statistician for ABCs, one of CDC’s premier surveillance and research platforms, and much of the success of that program is because of Elizabeth’s work. Elizabeth says, “Not all statistics is complex data analysis; sometimes the simplest descriptive analysis tells the important story about a disease or outbreak.” Elizabeth has been with CDC for 32 years.

Director’s Spotlight

Regards from Rana…

This end of the year DBD Bulletin is more than just an opportunity to highlight some of our activities. This issue speaks for all the great work going on at the division.

Thank you for all your tireless efforts that have helped controlling outbreaks, preventing disease, accelerating vaccine introduction, monitoring impact of various interventions, thus saving and improving lives all over the United States and the world.

I wish you restful and happy holidays with all your loved ones!

Rana

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