Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin

April 16, 2013: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Winter 2012

Quarter 3

2012 NCIRD Honor Award Recipients
The NCIRD Honor Awards are awarded annually from peer-submitted nomination narratives that thoroughly describe the nominee’s achievements. Nominations were reviewed and ranked for the 38 CDC/ATSDR Award categories by a NCIRD Awards Committee. The highest ranking nominations were sent forward to the agency. DBD staff members honored this year are listed below:

jennifer rabke verani in the white house

CDR Jennifer Rabke Verani (USPHS) MD, MPH, a medical epidemiologist in RDB, was one of two CDC scientists who received the 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)external icon, the highest honor bestowed by the US government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Jennifer visited the White House before the awards ceremony. Jennifer received the PECASE award for innovative public health research to improve child survival worldwide through enhanced perinatal disease prevention and advances in the prevention of parasitic diseases and pneumonia in the world’s poorest countries.

Enhancing Laboratory Capacity—recognizing outstanding commitment to enhance the capacity and build sustainability of global laboratories to diagnose, treat and prevent bacterial diseases through training, consultations and collaborative research by laboratory staff across the division—a cast of 34.

Robert Gertz for Outstanding Team Player Award—During a time of high Streptococcus Laboratory team attrition, Robert voluntarily assumed vacated essential tasks with a high level of professionalism and production.

Gail Langley for Innovation in Surveillance Award—Gail’s award was in recognition of outstanding creativity, innovation, and persistence with leading CDC’s ABCs in new directions.

Tamara Pillishvili for Rising to the Challenge Award—This award was presented in recognition of Tamara’s work in rising to the challenge of leading ACIP’s first discussions on adult pneumococcal conjugate vaccine use and coordinating a cross-center cleaner-burning stove assessment in Kenya.

Stephanie Schrag for Excellence in Leadership Award—Stephanie provided key input to several activities that were new for CDC, including evaluations of better cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution, an evaluation of the causes of neonatal sepsis using cutting edge techniques and development of an app to help clinicians use CDC’s guidelines for neonatal group B strep disease (NCIRD nominated Stephanie for the 2012 CDC Excellence in Leadership Award.)

Maureen Marshall, Alison Patti and Jonathan Wortham

Maureen Marshall (NCIRD) joined Alison Patti and Jonathan Wortham at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media to review RDB’s poster on Mobilizing Group B Strep Prevention—GBS App for Obstetric and Neonatal Guidance that highlights design of a mobile web application to increase implementation of the Guidelines for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease by neonatal and obstetric clinicians.


Steve Hadler with Cui Fuqiang

Steve Hadler (far right) with Cui Fuqiang from the CDC China National Immunization Program, DBD’s Jennifer Liang and former ISD Director Lance Rodewald (now detailed to WHO China Office) share dinner in Beijing, China in September, following participation in a national workshop on surveillance for meningococcal meningitis and pertussis, hosted by the China CDC National Immunization Program (NIP), Lanzhou, China in September.

DBD’s “Phlegm Fighters” helped NCIRD capture the much coveted Healthiest MEDIUM SIZED CIO Challenge Award in the CDC’s Healthiest CIO Challenge competition last summer! NCIRD eked out a victory ahead of archrival NCCDPHP by about one-hundredth of a percentage point. Anne Schuchat, who championed the center’s participation, in her note thanking NCIRD for participating said, “…we can all feel like competitive swimmers for this close a triumph.” Matt Moore was captain of the DBD “Phlegm Fighters,” with Chris Van Beneden, Kathleen Dooling, Laurel Garrison, Ruth Link-Gelles, Marsenia Harrison, Lauri Hicks, Natalia Kozak, Gayle Langley, Melissa Lewis, Jennifer Loo, Stacey Martin, Londell McGlone, Lesley McGee, Jenny Milucky, Alison Patti, Lucia Pawloski, Tamara Pilishvili, Tracy Pondo, Becky Roberts, Stephanie Schrag, Emily Weston, Cyndy Whitney, Jennifer Verani and Jeni Vuong making up the team. There was a lot of involvement in the challenge by other DBD staffers as well—many were inspired to participate on their own and record their activity on-line and in activities with other co-workers and not as a member of an official group.
eis officer sarah meyer and julia chang

DBD microbiologist Carla Talarico helps laboratorian Ranjith Jeyaraman don personal protective equipment before testing specimens for Streptococcus pneumoniae at the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory in Vellore, India, where she conducted lab capacity-building training for staff. Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children worldwide and particularly in developing countries.

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Page last reviewed: April 16, 2013