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

In February 1996, the National Science and Technology Councilexternal icon (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 PECASE Awards 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 PECASE 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 PECASE Awards since 2011.

The participating agencies are:

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

Press Releases

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2017 CDC Awardees

Lucy Alexandra McNamara, PhD, MS, Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

  • For recognition of ground-breaking investigations of meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), and other infectious disease emergencies that led to important advances in knowledge about risk factors and the use of vaccines.

Subbian Satheshkumar Panayampalli, PhD, Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

  • For recognition of exceptional contributions in advancing molecular virology approaches to solve critical public health needs for poxviruses and lyssaviruses.

Titilope Oduyebo, MD, MPH, Women’s Health and Fertility Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

  • For recognition of dedicated leadership and scientific contributions toward advancing the understanding of emerging infections during pregnancy and improving the health of women, children, and families through actionable, evidence-based, innovative approaches.

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2016 CDC Awardees

Matthew J. Maenner, PhD, Developmental Disabilities Branch, Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

  • For leadership in revolutionizing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) public health surveillance, advancing the science of ASD and disability research, developing a widely available scale to measure activities of daily living among adults with developmental disabilities, and improving the global accessibility of disability measurement tools.

Binnian Wei, PhD, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health

  • For innovative research that improves the detection of harmful exposures from tobacco products and marijuana, including development of a novel, highly sensitive method for measuring marijuana and its metabolites that can identify people exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.

Emily Joy Haas, PhD, Human Factors Branch, Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

  • For exemplary execution of social science research, behavioral interventions, and leadership that have directly improved miner health and safety and improved workers’ abilities to respond to emergencies and disasters, and for commitment to service within and outside the scientific community.

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2015 CDC Awardees

Anne Marie France, PhD, HIV Incidence and Case Surveillance Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Surveillance and Epidemiology, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

  • For outstanding contributions to developing and applying innovative methods of genotyping and surveillance to identify new cases and interrupt transmission of tuberculosis and HIV in the United States.

2014 CDC Awardees

Kashmira A. Date, MD, MPH, Immunization Systems Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health

  • For significant contributions to scientific research and public health programmatic work to prevent illnesses and deaths from cholera and typhoid globally through the adoption and use of new and underutilized vaccines.

Gery P. Guy, Jr., PhD, Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

  • For significant leadership and contributions, in skin cancer prevention, cancer survivorship, and impact on health care policy on cancer prevention and control.

Matthew W. Wheeler, PhD, Risk Evaluation Branch, Education and Information Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

  • For significant research and leadership contributions on improving the exposure-response modeling methods for occupational quantitative risk assessment to determine safe levels of exposure for environmental hazards.

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2013 CDC Awardees

Cheryl S. Broussard, PhD, 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, 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, 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, PhD, 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, MD, PhD, 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, PhD, 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, PhD, MSPH, 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, MD, MPH, 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: October 22, 2019
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