The AAI Public Policy Fellows Program (PPFP)

  Applications Open: December 11, 2018

The PPFP provides postdoctoral fellows and other junior scientists, including assistant professors, who are committed to a career in biomedical research with the opportunity to learn about and participate in the public policy and legislative activities of AAI. Up to 10 Fellows are selected to participate annually. Fellows serve from May 1st of their selection year to April 30th of the following year.
 
The primary goals of the program are to 1) help AAI members, early in their careers, better understand the role of the President and Administration, Congress, and the National Institutes of Health in determining the policies that affect biomedical research, and 2) teach participants how best to advocate for, and impact, these policies that guide their careers. The program will also help ensure that AAI has within its ranks a cadre of well-informed scientists who can help lead the organization's public policy efforts in the future.

Program Components

  1. Capitol Hill Day: Fellows come to Washington, D.C., for a two-day Capitol Hill Day (likely in March). They attend a training session with AAI staff and visit their Congressional representatives to advocate for biomedical research and increased funding for NIH. AAI pays for Fellows' flights, hotel, and other reasonable expenses (per the AAI PPFP Reimbursement Policy).
  2. AAI Annual Meeting Program: Fellows attend the AAI annual meeting (during their Fellowship year), including any public policy or PPFP sessions requested by AAI. Attendance at the meeting is at the Fellows' expense.
  3. Communication with AAI Public Policy Staff: The staff of the AAI Office of Public Policy and Government Affairs is in email and phone contact with the Fellows during their Fellowship year to keep them informed and to solicit their views on key topics. Fellows receive, and respond to as appropriate, emails and phone calls from AAI staff and/or other program participants during their participation year and complete a program evaluation at the end of their Fellowship.

Qualifications

All PPFP Fellows are selected by the AAI Committee on Public Affairs. Applicants are required to:

  • have received their Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent within the previous 10 years in immunology or a related field;
  • be a member in good standing of AAI (must be a member at the time of application and throughout the Fellowship year);
  • be committed to a career in biomedical research;
  • have excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • have an interest in public policy as it relates to biomedical research
  • live and work in the United States; and
  • submit by the designated deadline, as a single combined PDF:
    1. the AAI PPFP application;
    2. a CV; and
    3. two references from AAI members (regular members in good standing who do not serve on the AAI Council or AAI Committee on Public Affairs) using the PPFP recommendation form.

Fellows

Nathaniel H. Boyd, Ph.D.

Nathaniel H. Boyd, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Science is the basis of rational thought, resting on centuries of systematic observation and testing - modern civilization is built upon these pillars of scientific discovery. While the research community understands and values these tenets, less consideration is given to the implications of policy in scientific affairs. Because research does not happen in a political or cultural vacuum like many would prefer, it is important for us as scientists to maintain an awareness of these issues so that we may better interface with the public and understand how these issues will affect scientific outcomes. It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Fellow, and I am incredibly excited to join the program. I hope to be a stellar representative of the scientific community and learn the tools needed to become literate in the policy sphere.

 
Emily A. Hemann, Ph.D.

Emily A. Hemann, Ph.D., University of Washington
I am excited to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Fellow for 2018-2019. I am enthusiastic about learning how to effectively engage with our elected officials to convey the importance of, and advocate for, predictable and sustained funding for biomedical research. A number of recent public health infectious disease concerns, including less than desired protection from the most recent influenza vaccine, demonstrate the need for continued funding of basic scientific research to improve upon our current vaccination strategies. Communication between immunologists working in this area and policymakers is important to highlight the necessity of public funding for biomedical research. I am grateful to AAI for the opportunity to participate in this program. I look forward to increasing my understanding of how science policy decisions are made so that I can better serve as an advocate for biomedical research throughout my scientific career.

 
Gavin H. Imperato, M.D.

Gavin H. Imperato, M.D., Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
I am honored to have been selected to participate in the AAI Public Policy Fellows Program. Biomedical research has enabled the development of treatments, diagnostic modalities, and prevention strategies that have positively affected the lives of millions of people. Breakthroughs in science now occur at an unparalleled pace, but their benefit to humanity can only be fully realized with policies that embrace a fundamental spirit of progress. “Science is a proper concern of government,” wrote Vannevar Bush in “Science, The Endless Frontier,” in 1945. His words are as true today as ever. Without adequate support, biomedical research cannot thrive. I am optimistic that, with a commitment to communication, mutual understanding, and cooperation, we will accomplish the most challenging and worthwhile humanitarian goals of science.

 
Jesica R. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Jesica R. Jacobs, Ph.D., University of Utah School of Medicine
It is an absolute privilege to have been selected to participate in the AAI Public Policy Fellows Program. It is so vital that scientists and policymakers are able to have a free and productive dialogue about funding our nation’s crucial biomedical research, and I am ecstatic about having the opportunity to participate. This AAI program helps ensure that scientists understand the process of scientific policymaking at the legislative level, helping us secure a bright financial future for science. I’m excited to observe and form relationships on Capitol Hill that may contribute to a great rapport between immunologists and government officials, and to help bring a strong voice from our scientific community. Thank you to AAI for allowing me to be part of this unique experience. I can’t wait to get started.

 
Liz McMichael, Ph.D.

Liz McMichael, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center
I’m extremely excited and honored to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Fellow for 2018-2019. Our current political climate, including rhetoric that is both pro- and anti-science based, allows for the general public to form misconceptions about the positive impact research can have. This opportunity will allow me to learn how to best advocate for funding for research programs that are vitally important to training the next generation of scientists. I look forward to working with the other Fellows and the AAI team to learn how best to work with legislators to bridge the gap between our government and basic science.

 
Mallory L. Paynich, Ph.D.

Mallory L. Paynich, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
I am grateful and honored to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Fellow for 2018-2019. This fellowship will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn the dynamics of how funding decisions are made, and how we, as scientists, can communicate the tremendous impact of immunology research in treating human disease. It is of the utmost importance that the scientific community has the training, resources, and funding necessary to continue its vital role in advancing human health. As young scientists, we must learn how to advocate for science education and continued investment in biomedical research, and it is our responsibility to inform the public of the crucial benefits of this research. I look forward to this experience with AAI to gain insight on issues pertaining to biomedical research and communication among scientists, politicians, and the public.

 
Gregory Szeto, Ph.D.

Gregory Szeto, Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore County
I am excited to be selected by AAI as a Public Policy Fellow. These are tumultuous times for the scientific community, with challenges that are our responsibility to meet and drive towards positive resolution. The issues include not only the obvious ties between federal funding and the research enterprise, but also how science is interpreted and used to inform policy, the nature of science communication in an increasingly complex media landscape, and the perception of science by government and society. I particularly hope to gain deeper insight into how arms of government interact to craft policy that directs national funding and research priorities, to add to the collective voices of early career scientists, and to identify ways I can help create and support a diverse scientific workforce and inclusive environment for current trainees. It is a core responsibility of all scientists to advocate for science. The knowledge and experience I acquire from the PPFP will be translated into sustained regional and national advocacy for the rest of my career.

 
Stina L. Urban, Ph.D.

Stina L. Urban, Ph.D., University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the 2018-2019 AAI Public Policy Fellows. Given the current political climate in the U.S. and the amount of anti-science propaganda displayed on the news and social media, we need science advocates now more than ever. I am eager to learn about the science policy decision-making process that occurs in Washington and to work with the other Fellows to become a strong advocate for immunology research. Importantly, I hope to use the insights gained through this program to promote diversity and equality in the workplace and to advocate for female scientists.

 
Francisco R. Victorino, Ph.D.

Francisco R. Victorino, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
Effective communication is critical between the scientific research community and government bodies (i.e., the President and the Administration, Congress, and the NIH) to promote the success and progress of the United States as a global leader in scientific research. It’s a great honor and privilege to have been chosen to participate in the AAI Public Policy Fellows Program, where I will be immersed in advocacy for science. I first experienced the power of government policy through the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which enabled me to obtain my permanent resident status. I believe I embody how government policy can promote the success of our country, as I have received Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees, and am committed to pursuing a scientific research career, here in the United States. I am also committed to understanding the interplay between biomedical research and government, and believe that my participation in this program will provide me with the knowledge and training I need to be a successful advocate for science.

 
Melody Y. Zeng, Ph.D.

Melody Y. Zeng, Ph.D., University of Michigan Medical School
I am thrilled and honored to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Follow. My visits to Flint, Michigan, after the water crisis a few years ago were an unforgettable experience that has tremendously heightened my sense of responsibility as a citizen and as a scientist. Because bad public policy could affect generations to come, I believe that scientists must – in addition to producing scientific evidence to develop and advance therapeutics for diseases – get involved in broader policymaking. We should communicate with the public about our work, and promote awareness of key issues, ranging from disease prevention to better working conditions and training for the next generation of scientists. Participation in the PPFP will be a unique educational experience that will teach me how science policy is shaped at the federal level, and how we, as scientists, can get involved and advocate for causes that are important to our field. I know this invaluable experience will also motivate me to be a better scientist and inspire my research. I thank the AAI for this incredible opportunity.

 
Heather Marie Buechel, Ph.D.
Heather Marie Buechel, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
David J. Dowling, Ph.D.
David J. Dowling, Ph.D.
Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School
Mariana Guerra-Maupome, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Mariana Guerra-Maupome, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Farrah C. Phillips, Ph.D.
Farrah C. Phillips, Ph.D.
Kemin Industries (formerly at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)
Rachel S. Resop, Ph.D.
Rachel S. Resop, Ph.D.
George Washington University (formerly at University of California, Los Angeles)
Timothy Rosean, Ph.D.
Timothy Rosean, Ph.D.
University of Virginia
Nathaniel Schuldt, Ph.D.
Nathaniel Schuldt, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Julie Swartzendruber, Ph.D.
Julie Swartzendruber, Ph.D.
Midwestern University
Melissa M. Walker, Ph.D.
Melissa M. Walker, Ph.D.
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Spencer C. Wei, Ph.D.
Spencer C. Wei, Ph.D.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mufadhal Al-Kuhlani, Ph.D.
Mufadhal Al-Kuhlani, Ph.D.
University of California, Merced
Eyal Amiel, Ph.D.
Eyal Amiel, Ph.D.
University of Vermont
Kristina Burrack, Ph.D.
Kristina Burrack, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Michael Constantinides, Ph.D.
Michael Constantinides, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
Stacey Cranert, Ph.D.
Stacey Cranert, Ph.D.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Jacquelyn Lykken, Ph.D.
Jacquelyn Lykken, Ph.D.
Duke University School of Medicine
Srinika Ranasinghe, Ph.D.
Srinika Ranasinghe, Ph.D.
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
Rachel Temple, Ph.D.
Rachel Temple, Ph.D.
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Lavanya Visvabharathy, Ph.D.
Lavanya Visvabharathy, Ph.D.
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Mary Young, Ph.D.
Mary Young, Ph.D.
Center for Infectious Disease Research
Tullia Bruno, Ph.D.
Tullia Bruno, Ph.D.
University of Colorado School
of Medicine/University of
Pittsburgh
Jason Gigley, Ph.D.
Jason Gigley, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
Nichol Holodick, Ph.D.
Nichol Holodick, Ph.D.
The Feinstein Institute for
Medical Research
David Larson, Ph.D.
David Larson, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii Cancer Center
Jean Nepomuscene Manirarora, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Jean Nepomuscene
Manirarora, D.V.M., Ph.D.

FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation
and Research/United States
Department of Agriculture
Meghan Marré, Ph.D.
Meghan Marré, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Shaun O'Brien, Ph.D.
Nicole Perry Lieberman, Ph.D.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute
>Erica Stone, Ph.D.
Erica Stone, Ph.D.
The Wistar Institute
Joshua Vieth, Ph.D.
Joshua Vieth, Ph.D.
The Child Health Institute of
New Jersey/Rutgers University
Jessica Werner, Ph.D.
Jessica Werner, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Rachel Bergerson, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Matthew Billard, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Jennifer (Lori) Blanchfield, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
C. Colin Brinkman, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Judy Cannon, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Ling Cao, M.D., Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Devavani Chatterjea, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Ryan Cummings, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Jonathan Deane, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Gretchen Diehl, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Kory Hallett, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Katrina Hoyer, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Shawn Jackson, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Stephanie James, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Kamal Khanna, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Heather Kling, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Elizabeth Leadbetter, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Linda Lieberman, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Jeffrey Mills, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Amy Moran, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Joshua Obar, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Shaun O'Brien, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Karen O'Connell Martins, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Anastazia Older Aguilar, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Hannah Phipps-Yonas, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Rebecca Pompano, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Melanie Ragin, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Sesquile Ramon, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Jillian Richmond, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Mark Rubinstein, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Surojit Sarkar, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Jeremy Schaefer, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Brian Sheridan, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Adam Soloff, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Stefanie Sowinski, Ph.D. (2014-2015)
Tamisha Vaughan, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Stephanie Watkins, Ph.D. (2013-2014)
Dina Weilhammer, Ph.D. (2012-2013)
Eric Weimer, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Caleph Wilson, Ph.D. (2011-2012)

© The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
1451 Rockville Pike, Suite 650, Rockville, Maryland 20852
Phone: (301) 634-7178 | Fax: (301) 634-7887