Boots On The Ground: CDC's Elite Disease Detectives
A partnership between Marguerite Pappaioanou, DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM. and the CDC Foundation has created the Pappaioanou Veterinary Public Health and Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Fund. The fund will support fellowships for competitively selected veterinarians and 3rd and 4th year veterinary medical students with opportunities in an applied hands-on training experience in epidemiology, public health, global health, or one health (bridging human, animal, and environmental health). Each fellow will spend up to one full year at CDC working on a U.S.-focused or global public health project.
At this time, the Fund is supporting a fellowship in the CDC-Hubert Global Health Fellowship program. More information about that program, including application instructions, can be found by visiting:
Veterinarians who pursue public health careers apply their comparative medical educations to keep humans, animals, and the environment we all share, healthy.
Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, a senior epidemiologist and veterinarian, currently serves as CDC’s Liaison to the Food and Drug Administration for Food Safety. She has over 30 years of experience working on domestic and global public issues, including 22 plus years as an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Beginning in 1983 at CDC, Dr. Pappaioanou assessed the effectiveness of malaria drugs in African national malaria control programs; led in the design and implementation of the family of HIV seroprevalence surveys; directed a USAID funded global capacity building Data for Decision Making Project to strengthen evidence based policies and programs in Africa, Asia, and South America; actively supported field epidemiology training programs and launched CDC’s support of the Guide to Community Preventive Services—What Works to Promote Health. As associate director for science and policy in CDC’s Office of Global Health, she coordinated many of CDC’s international programs and co-coordinated CDC’s international response to the SARS and avian influenza outbreaks in 2003.
Upon retiring from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service in 2005, she moved to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, as professor of infectious disease epidemiology, with a joint appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine. There she led NIH- and CDC- funded research programs focused on surveillance for emerging zoonotic infectious diseases at the human-animal interface. In 2007, she joined the Association of American Veterinary Colleges for four years as executive director. Just prior to rejoining CDC in 2013, she served as senior One Health technical advisor to the USAID funded Emerging Pandemic Threats/RESPOND Project at the global development company, DAI, Inc. in Bethesda, MD.
Throughout her career, Dr. Pappaioanou has studied and applied the interconnectedness of human and animal health to improve global health. Dr. Pappaioanou recognizes that veterinarians are uniquely equipped to work at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health, and she enthusiastically encourages aspiring veterinarians to pursue exciting and rewarding careers in public health—both domestically and globally.
I am thrilled that through this fund veterinarians will have support to pursue exciting opportunities at CDC to improve human health and well being, and the environment in which we all live.
Stephen B. Thacker, MD, MSc, ASG/RADM (Ret.), USPHS, contributed a legacy of extraordinary leadership to CDC and unyielding dedication and contributions to the field of epidemiology and to public health science. This fund honors Dr. Thacker's life and service to public health as well as his passion for the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Your gift will help support EIS and CDC’s Disease Detective Camps for high school students. This fund also supports the prestigious Stephen B. Thacker Champion Award, which is given out each year at the EIS Conference, as well as supports special projects on an as-needed basis for the Stephen B. Thacker Library at CDC.
Stephen B. Thacker, MD, MSc, ASG/RADM (Ret.), USPHS, contributed a legacy of extraordinary leadership to CDC and unyielding dedication and contributions to the field of epidemiology and to public health science, including helping to identify Legionnaires disease. He was dedicated to his family, friends and community and is truly missed. Read his full bio
The Thacker Family established the Stephen B. Thacker Fund at the CDC Foundation to honor his legacy.
On April 19, 1994, six members of the EIS Class of 1969 gathered for their 25th reunion. While together, they decided to establish the Paul C. Schnitker Award named in memory of their classmate who died in the line of duty in 1969. Paul Schnitker was killed in a plane crash near Lagos, Nigeria, where he was going to serve as a medical advisor to refugee relief efforts related to the Biafra civil war. The first Schnitker Award was given in 1995 and was funded by gifts in memory of Dr. Schnitker from friends and colleagues. In 1999, the Schnitker family permanently endowed the fund. The award includes a cash prize, an individual plaque and inscription of the winners name on the permanent plaque at CDC. Each year the Schnitker Award is presented at the annual EIS conference to recognize outstanding contributions to global public health by current EIS officers or first-year alumni.
When Joanna Buffington, M.D., EIS '90 accepted a position working on hepatitis surveillance and prevention programs at CDC in 1998, she decided to sell the shares of Merck stock she had received as Christmas gifts from her grandparents when she was growing up. Because Merck makes hepatitis vaccines, Dr. Buffington wanted to remove any chance of perceived conflict of interest, so she sold the stock and donated $20,000 to the CDC Foundation to permanently endow the annual Alexander D. Langmuir Prize.
The Alexander D. Langmuir Prize, established in 1966, is awarded each year during the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Annual Conference to a current officer or first year alumnus of the EIS for the best scientific publication. The award consists of a $100 cash prize, an engraved paperweight, a case of ale or beer redolent of the John Snow Pub in London, and an inscription on the permanent plaque at CDC. Creating the endowment gave Dr. Buffington a way to honor her grandparents while ensuring that future EIS officers would be rewarded for their hard work.