About the Program

What is the LLS program?
Tara Henning

Meet Tara Henning, PhD, who heads CDC’s Laboratory Leadership Service (LLS) and passionately mentors the laboratory disease detectives. In the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)’s Fall 2020 edition of Lab Mattersexternal icon, Tara talks about the innovative leadership and experiential training opportunities LLS provides lab scientists, like supporting the COVID-19 emergency response and teaming up with disease detectives in the Epidemic Intelligence Service.

CDC’s Laboratory Leadership Service (LLS) was launched in 2015 to develop future public health laboratory leaders. LLS is a service-learning, multidimensional program that encompasses the competencies of applied public health laboratory research, laboratory operations and quality management, the science of biosafety, bioinformatics, advanced communications, and leadership training. The program guides fellows through ten core activities of learning (CALs) to help build skill sets in these competency areas deemed critical for success as a laboratory leader. LLS fellows hone their leadership skills and create a culture of scientific excellence in laboratory science by emphasizing high standards in areas such as laboratory quality, safety, and service to protect the public’s health, safety, and security.

LLS is closely aligned with CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) to promote interdisciplinary training, applied learning, and collaboration between laboratory scientists and epidemiologists. LLS provides opportunities for fellows to serve public health agencies and learn through field experiences and domestic or international emergency responses.

How does LLS align with CDC's mission?

CDC’s guiding principles for laboratory work are to ensure the safety of all staff and the community and be as transparent as possible about our work as we conduct high-quality scientific research to protect people in this country and around the world.

LLS was established as one of the multiple improvements to lab safety and quality practices and procedures across the agency, with the goal of increasing CDC’s culture of quality and safety. Since its launch, LLS’s program training strengths have expanded beyond laboratory quality management and the science of biosafety to also include program management, bioinformatics, advanced communications, and leadership.

LLS proudly joins CDC’s efforts to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce and a working environment that is fair and equitable for everyone. LLS furthers the agency’s reach to a broad and diverse audience in its recruitment of potential candidates. We recognize racism as a public health issue and provide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training to fellows, supervisors, and program staff and encourage fellows to lead or participate in public health DEI activities.

Visit CDC’s laboratory safety website to stay informed on laboratory safety efforts.

Upcoming Events

Learn of opportunities to meet the LLS fellowship program staff, hear from current LLS fellows about their experiences, and ask questions about the application process and becoming an LLS fellow.