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A History of Success: Strengthening Laboratory Science, Partnerships, and Capacity

Since its inception in 2015, LLS fellows have provided exceptional leadership backed with laboratory expertise to protect against domestic and international public health threats, often working alongside CDC’s disease detectives from the Epidemic Intelligence Service.

LLS Timeline from inception in 2015 to 2019. Responses include first domestice emergency in New York City in 2015, Zika in 2016, Melioidosis in 2017, first official lab-aid in 2017, legionella lab aid in 2018, quality system lab aid in 2019.

The LLS program’s experiential service approach is rooted in partnership and collaboration. This timeline highlights just a few representative response efforts.

  • Shortly after the launch of the program in 2015, the New York City Public Health Lab engaged LLS to help with a Legionella response. This initial partnership highlighted the need and utility of an LLS fellow in the field.
  • International responses in 2015 (Ebola) and 2016 (Zika) highlight the program’s flexibility to scale and respond to the agency’s, and the world’s, mission-critical public health needs.
  • The program’s first of many Lab-Aid responses was in 2017 to support Puerto Rico lab’s capacity-building efforts following Hurricane Maria. Before deploying for a Lab-Aid response, LLS fellows receive expert training from CDC subject matter experts. During the deployment, they partner with a CDC subject matter expert and assume a leadership role in response.
  • As a partner program to the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), LLS fellows often provide field laboratory expertise through a joint response pairing a Lab-Aid (lab scientists) with an Epi-Aid (epidemiologists). The first of many joint responses occurred in a 2017 Leptospirosis and Meliodosis response in the U.S. Virgin Islands.