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New CDC Fellowships in Applied Epidemiology Offer Hands-On Experience

Pursuing a longstanding interest in maternal and fetal health, Courtney Rowland spent last year deeply involved in several key investigations: the role of folic acid in preventing encephalocele (a congenital neural-tube defect), the effects of maternal analgesics on congenital cardiovascular malformations, and the incidence of birth defects among infants born to mothers with the viral disease lymphocytic choriomeningitis.

Those would be formidable assignments for any medical researcher, let alone someone who was still a medical student. But that's what Rowland was (and still is) at the University of Kansas Medical School in Wichita, where she is now in her fourth year.

Rowland's investigations, which gave her a chance to learn first-hand about epidemiological methods and public health, were part of a new fellowship program in applied epidemiology offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.

Under the program—called "The CDC Experience: Applied Epidemiology Fellowship—eight medical students between their second and third, or third and fourth, years of medical school are selected each year to spend 10 to 12 months at the CDC, where they carry out investigations in areas of public health that interest them. They receive stipends of $17,000 to $20,000. The program is financed by Pfizer Inc. and the Pfizer Foundation through a grant to the CDC Foundation, a nonprofit group designed to facilitate collaboration between the CDC and other organizations.

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MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL, MN (Aug. 3, 2005) – Julie A. Ross, Ph.D.,Photo of Dr. Julie Ross professor and internationally known childhood cancer epidemiologist, has been named associate director for population sciences at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, announces John Kersey, M.D., Cancer Center director.

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