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CDC Recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

In February 1996, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), was commissioned by President Bill Clinton to create an award program that would honor and support the achievements of young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers in the fields of science and technology. The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) embodies the high priority placed by the government on maintaining the leadership position of the United States in science by producing outstanding scientists and engineers and nurturing their continued development. The Awards identify a cadre of outstanding scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and the missions important to the participating agencies.

The PECASE Awards are intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. The Awards foster innovative and far-reaching developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhance connections between research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the nation's future.

The PECASE Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. The awards are conferred annually at the White House following recommendations from participating agencies. To be eligible for a PECASE Award, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident. Individuals can receive only one PECASE award in their careers. CDC has participated in the Award since 2011.

The participating agencies are:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Science and Technology Council
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

Press Releases

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2013 CDC Awardees

Cheryl S. Broussard, Ph.D., Acting Team Lead, Partnerships and Applied Epidemiology Team, Birth Defects Branch, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

  • For significant leadership and contributions to the surveillance and research of maternal medication use as a risk factor for birth defects and adverse reproductive outcomes.

Jacob L. Carr, Lead General Engineer, Machine Safety Team, Electrical and Mechanical Systems Safety Branch, Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

  • For advancing the development of the mining safety technologies of proximity detection for continuous mining machines and intelligent lockout/tagout for stationary machinery.

Carrie Reed, D.Sc, MPH, Applied Research and Modeling Team, Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

  • For significant contributions to seasonal and pandemic influenza prevention and control, translating abstract models into practical uses, such as measuring the impact of annual influenza vaccination, developing the framework to characterize the severity of an influenza pandemic, and demonstrating the benefit of adding a second influenza B lineage to the influenza vaccine.

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2012 CDC Awardees

Jessica A. Belser, Ph.D., Associate Service Fellow, Pathogenesis Laboratory Team, Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

  • For advancing the understanding of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and ocular tropism of zoonotic viruses and for related applications, resulting in the enhanced utility of established mammalian models and demonstrated effectiveness of an antiviral treatment that targets host cellular receptors.

Andreea A. Creanga, Ph.D., Senior Service Fellow, Maternal and Infant Health Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

  • For significant accomplishments related to protecting the health of families, women, and infants, and for innovative work to improve CDC's national Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.

Aron Hall, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, Viral Gastroenteritis Team, Epidemiology Branch, Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

  • For significant contributions in identifying norovirus as the leading cause of diarrheal disease in the United States and likely the second leading contributor to infectious diarrheal deaths, and for improving our understanding of the mechanisms by which the pathogen is spread, the settings most greatly impacted, and the potential opportunities for preventive actions.

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2011 CDC Awardees

Commander Lauren Zapata, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., Senior Research Scientist Officer, Women’s Health and Fertility Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

  • For dedicated application of the science of public health to change clinical and public health systems and improve the reproductive health of women, infants and their families

Commander Jennifer Rabke Verani, M.D., M.P.H., M.A, Medical Epidemiologist, Respiratory Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

  • 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.

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  • Page last reviewed: April 7, 2016
  • Page last updated: June 23, 2016
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Science