The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. To this end, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), FPHNYC incubates innovative public health initiatives implemented by DOHMH to advance community health throughout the city. It facilitates partnerships, often new and unconventional, between government and the private sector to develop, test, and launch new initiatives. These collaborations speed the execution of demonstration projects, effect expansion of successful pilot programs, and support rapid implementation to meet the public health needs of individuals, families, and communities across New York City.
A major threat facing the national public health laboratory (PHL) system is a shortage of qualified individuals at both the leadership and technical levels. While NYC trains many doctoral and bachelor level scientists, few are aware that a career in public health laboratory science is a viable option, and even fewer can obtain the specialized training required to enter the field. The NYC PHL is a critical asset to the city; the work performed at the laboratory was essential to NYC’s successful public health responses to the 2018–2019 measles outbreak, Ebola virus disease, Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks, countless foodborne outbreaks across the city, a large meningococcal outbreak, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few recent examples.
Position will be funded by a CTL Grant and located at 455 1st Avenue, New York, NY.
The two-year post-doctoral fellowship program will focus on public health laboratory science and leadership. The program will follow the template of the programs set up by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health, and the American Society for Microbiology’s Committee on Postgraduate Education Programs.
The program will focus on four main activities: 1) laboratory sciences; 2) didactic learning; 3) research; and 4) laboratory leadership and management. Post-doctoral fellows will be introduced to all areas of the public health laboratory, including all testing areas as well as quality management, biosafety and biosecurity, information systems/information technology, administration (budgeting, personnel, etc.), and will interact with epidemiologists and clinical partners. Areas of focus will not only include the technical aspects of the laboratory, but also laboratory leadership and management. The fellow will participate as part of the leadership team and attend meetings within and outside the PHL. During the latter part of the program, the fellow will focus on a specific area of interest, complete a research project, and serve as an “Acting Chief” under the direct supervision of laboratory leadership. Select NYC PHL leadership will serve as mentors and guides for the fellow. PHL staff will also provide didactic learning sessions with the fellow to fortify their laboratory and leadership knowledge and skills.
While at the PHL, the fellow will support current projects essential to the laboratory and will have opportunities to perform independent research and co-author publications. Additionally, fellows will be involved in outbreak investigations and implementing new testing platforms and assays during their tenure.
Year 1: Rotations through all testing areas of the public health laboratory and a local clinical microbiology laboratory. Duration of rotations may vary.
- Central Accessioning: 2 weeks
- Bacteriology: 8 weeks
- Mycobacteriology: 6 weeks
- Molecular Typing and Pulse Net: 3–4 weeks
- Virology/Molecular Core: 6 weeks
- Diagnostic Immunology: 4 weeks
- COVID\STI Quickie Laboratory: 1 week
- Biothreat Response: 1–2 weeks
- Environmental Microbiology: 2 weeks
- Environmental Chemistry: 2 weeks
- Whole Genome Sequencing and Bioinformatics: 4 weeks
- Clinical microbiology laboratory rotation: 4-8 weeks
- Quality Management: 1–2 weeks, plus routine meetings throughout both years
- Biosafety and Biosecurity: 1–2 weeks, plus routine meetings throughout both years
- Laboratory Information Systems: 1 week, plus routine meetings throughout both years
Year 2: The fellow will have continued focus on quality management and biosafety, while also incorporating laboratory leadership, management, finance, and administration. The fellow will be expected to attend and actively participate in all senior leadership meetings, serve as PHL after hours on call officer, and help aid in making management decisions. The fellow will also engage in at least one public health laboratory research project.