About OPHPR’s Office of Applied Research (OAR)



Execute the OPHPR research strategy; develop, coordinate and integrate research programs and projects across the center and with external partners; provide advocacy, technical/scientific assistance, and emergency response coordination for vulnerable and at-risk population issues; support dissemination of scientific findings; and evaluate the influence and impact of OPHPR-funded research.


The OAR is responsible for planning, developing, coordinating, managing, and evaluating intramural research awards, programs, and activities for OPHPR. The OAR functions to:

  1. Maintain awareness of the diverse and evolving science of public health preparedness, response and recovery.
  2. Engage with other CDC CIOs, the academic community, federal agencies, and non-government research and practitioner organizations to develop and maintain partnerships, ensure mutual awareness of research activities, and advocate for evidence-informed practice.
  3. Maintain awareness of the functions, challenges, and research needs facing OPHPR, its divisions and state/tribal/local/territorial public health emergency preparedness and response partners.
  4. Periodically update the OPHPR research agenda based on knowledge of the field and OPHPR.
  5. Develop funding announcements to support priority research areas, ensuring they meet the needs of OPHPR and address important scientific issues for the practice community.
  6. Support the development and use of mechanisms to conduct public health research in all phases of an adverse event and across a range of domains and scenarios/hazards.
  7. Ensure that needs of vulnerable/at risk populations and issues of health equity are addressed where appropriate within OPHPR-funded research solicitations.
  8. Maintain a network of vulnerable population subject matter expertise across CDC, fostering a community of science and practice to work strategically to address issues.
  9. Provide and coordinate vulnerable/at risk population scientific expertise to the CDC Emergency Operations Center during emergency response by staffing the VPO Desk and maintaining communication with the At Risk Populations Officer in the Division of Emergency Operations.
  10. Propose, develop, and conduct research projects to address crosscutting topics or specific needs not addressed by research conducted within the divisions or extramurally.
  11. Publish research-funding announcements, in coordination with Office of Financial Resources.
  12. Coordinate programmatic and scientific review of proposals by divisions and OPHPR OD, including review for sufficiency in addressing issues relevant to vulnerable/at risk populations.
  13. Amplify the research capacity and expertise of OPHPR divisions.
  14. For funded research, projects managed within OPHPR’s divisions or in other CIOs, monitor progress and provide technical assistance and scientific support as needed.
  15. For crosscutting research projects housed in OSPHP, serve as project managers, investigators, and/or scientific collaborators.
  16. Disseminate results and products of research through scientific papers, commentaries, reports, newsletters, and other methods.
  17. Provide expertise and consultation to OPHPR divisions carrying out translation/implementation activities.
  18. Assess scientific influence and impact at the project and research agenda levels.

OAR Staff

Eric Carbone, MBA, PhD
Director, Office of Applied Research

Amy Wolkin, DrPH, MSPH
Vulnerable Populations Officer/Senior Health Scientist

Mary Leinhos, PhD
Senior Health Scientist

Shoukat Qari, DVM, PhD
Senior Health Scientist

Tracy N. Thomas MSc, MPH
Senior Health Scientist

Erin Echols, MS
ORISE Fellow

Contact Us

For more information, contact us at ophpr_research@cdc.gov.