2019 Fellows

FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship

The 2019 Call for Applications is now closed. Please sign up to the Fellowship mailing list to receive news throughout the year. For questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Listen to Mitch Zeller, Director of CTP,
and the Fellows speak about the Program

Launched in 2012, this regulatory science fellowship is a collaborative program between the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). It is designed for mid-career professionals to gain experience and expertise to further define and develop the field of regulatory science as it relates to the regulation of tobacco products and FDA's authorities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The fellowship is a 12-month, multidisciplinary residential program at CTP in Maryland. Fellows will be placed in one of six areas within the CTP: Compliance and Enforcement; Health Communication and Education; Management; Policy; Regulations; or Science.

Fellows are expected to complete the full 12-month residential fellowship. Each fellow will be awarded a stipend based on salary history (up to $95,000). Fellows may choose to enroll in a health insurance plan through the NAM or get reimbursed for a Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act plan (COBRA). Fellows with a sponsoring institution may be compensated for fringe benefits. In addition, each fellow may be eligible to receive a relocation fund (not to exceed $10,000).

For more details,

  • Review the eligibility criteria
  • Learn about the placements
  • Read the bios of the current fellows

This program is administered by the NAM and sponsored by FDA/CTP. For any questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

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About the Program

The 2019 Call for Applications is now closed. Please sign up to the Fellowship mailing list to receive news throughout the year. For questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Listen to Mitch Zeller, Director of CTP

This fellowship is an excellent opportunity for exceptional professionals to actively participate in the development of science-based public health strategies, serve as the lead for defined projects, meet with policy leaders, and acquire new knowledge related to tobacco products and their use, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Fellowship Core Curriculum

Beginning in September, fellows participate in structured orientation and professional development activities, including opportunities to meet with FDA, CTP, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leadership. Each fellow will be given project assignments to work on over the course of the fellowship year. The fellowship culminates with formal presentations by each fellow to the CTP leadership and others describing the outcome of that project and lessons learned while participating in the fellowship program.

The orientation and professional development program will provide the fellows with an initial introduction to CTP and FDA, and with ongoing programs and activities that provide engagement with key Federal policy makers and training in the following areas:

  • The history of the federal government’s role in reducing the toll of disease, disability, and death caused by tobacco use in the United States;
  • The provisions, mandates, and expectations of H.R. 1256 (Public Law 111-31), the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act;
  • The vision, mission, and core values of CTP and the roles and responsibilities of each CTP Office in fulfilling CTP’s strategic vision and statutory mandates;
  • The role of Congress and the relevant FDA/CTP Oversight, Authorizing, and Appropriations Committees;
  • Writing for policy makers—talking points, briefings, and decision memos;
  • Translating research and analysis into meaningful and effective policy and regulatory proposals;
  • Media training and public speaking;
  • Collaboration and consensus building; and;
  • Project management and leadership training.

Finally, every effort will be made to identify opportunities for the fellows to participate in DC-based fellowship activities and gatherings sponsored by other fellowship programs, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellows, White House Fellows, and others.

  • Collaboration and consensus building; and;
  • Project management and leadership training.

Finally, every effort will be made to identify opportunities for the fellows to participate in DC-based fellowship activities and gatherings sponsored by other fellowship programs, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellows, White House Fellows, and others.

Placements

Fellows will be placed in one of six areas within the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP): Compliance and Enforcement, Health Communication and Education, Management, Policy, Regulations, or Science.

CTP Activities

Compliance and Enforcement

The Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OCE) activities ensure that regulated industry fully complies with the law. To achieve this end, OCE uses a three pronged approach: 1) developing and providing compliance training and education, 2) monitoring regulated industry's compliance with the law through surveillance, inspections, and investigations, and 3) initiating advisory and enforcement actions such as issuing Warning Letters and Civil Money Penalties against noncompliant industry, as appropriate. Some of the major functions that OCE is responsible for include: contracting with states and territories to conduct compliance check inspections of tobacco product retailers; surveillance of promotional activities of tobacco product manufacturers and distributors; compliance review of tobacco product document submissions; providing small businesses with the technical assistance they need to comply with requirements of the law; and implementing, overseeing, and enforcing the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act that regulate the sale, manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products. OCE seeks individuals with excellent writing, analytical, and communication skills. They should be able to analyze legal and compliance issues and work well as part of a team. A background in law, health care, law enforcement, marketing, science, or public health is recommended.

Health Communication and Education

The Office of Health Communication and Education educates the public about the Tobacco Control Act, FDA's regulatory authorities, and the tobacco products that the FDA regulates. Through this office, FDA conducts multiple, integrated public health campaigns focused on preventing tobacco initiation and promoting cessation among the nation's youth and young adults by educating on the dangers of regulated tobacco products. The Office seeks expertise of behavioral scientists, tobacco and public health experts in risk communications, and other professionals with experience in marketing, advertising, journalism, and public relations.

Management

The Office of Management provides objective, valid, accurate information and guidance on human capital, travel, information technology, financial management, training, and logistical services to enhance operations and support the public health goals and objectives of the CTP. The Office empowers the pursuit of public health and regulatory achievement by providing excellence and high quality services - attracting, retaining, and developing a world-class workforce. The Office seeks individuals with excellent writing, analytical, and communication skills, and a strong desire to work in public service. The Office is interested in individuals with a Master's of Public Administration Degree, a Master's of Public Policy Degree, or a Master's of Business Administration Degree.

Policy

The policy programs in the Office of the Center Director work with the CTP offices to provide policy, legal, and economic analysis on a wide range of priorities, options, and issues.1 The programs work to ensure that the CTP's statutory public health goals and policy needs are integrated across all science, regulation, compliance, public education, and management programs. In addition, the programs provide public health and economic analysis and modeling of policy options, and work with all CTP offices on evolving issues in tobacco product regulation and control, such as impact on population health, development of tobacco product standards, modified risk products, and regulation of tobacco product marketing. The programs also engage with external stakeholders to inform and educate them about the policy implications of the Tobacco Control Act and FDA regulations and to gather useful facts and insights. The programs rely on individuals with expertise and backgrounds in the law, economics including cost-benefit analysis, public policy, and public health.
1 The Food and Drug Law Division of the HHS Office of General Counsel serves as the official lawyers for FDA and provides formal legal analysis required for official FDA/HHS decision making and regulation.

Regulations

The Office of Regulations leads and coordinates the development of regulations, guidelines, and other regulatory documents related to the review and regulation of tobacco products. It also is responsible for responding to citizen petitions, obtaining appropriate delegations of authority, and managing the CTP's information collection activities. The Office serves as the Center's experts on issues involving the interpretation and application of the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, Executive Orders, and FDA/HHS/OMB policies. The Office works closely with other CTP offices as well as FDA's Office of the Chief Counsel and Office of the Commissioner. The Office of Regulations is currently seeking fellows with the ability to analyze complicated legal, scientific, and policy issues as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills. Candidates with expertise in administrative law issues are particularly desirable.

Science

The Office of Science provides the scientific expertise needed to support regulatory decisions, reviews tobacco product applications, evaluates the knowledge base for regulatory decisions, and carries out research to fill the gaps in scientific knowledge related to tobacco product regulation. To accomplish this, the Office conducts product-related, toxicological, clinical, consumer behavior, epidemiological, and consumer perception research regarding the initiation, use, cessation, and adverse health impact of tobacco products. Currently, the Office seeks candidates who have advanced education (Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent) and experience relevant to methods of reporting and analyzing constituent concentrations in tobacco products; analysis of exposure parameters in diverse tobacco-using populations; the toxicological basis of dose-response relationships between constituents and tobacco-related disease; assessing the risks of tobacco products to users and nonusers; human health risk assessment modeling; qualitative and quantitative research on the impacts of product labeling, advertising, or marketing on consumer perceptions and behaviors; epidemiology in both clinical studies and large surveys evaluating the impact of tobacco product use on biomarkers of exposure and disease.

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Stipend and Benefits

Fellows are expected to complete the full 12-month residential fellowship at CTP in Maryland. Each fellow will be awarded a stipend based on salary history (up to $95,000). Fellows may choose to enroll in a health insurance plan through the NAM or get reimbursed for a Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act plan (COBRA). Fellows with a sponsoring institution may be compensated for fringe benefits. In addition, each fellow may be eligible to receive a relocation fund (not to exceed $10,000) and may receive a monthly reimbursement of up to $50 to compensate for travel expenses related to fellowship meetings held offsite.

About the FDA

The FDA is the regulatory, scientific, public health and consumer protection agency responsible for ensuring that all human and animal drugs, and medical devices are safe and effective, that cosmetics, foods, food additives, drugs and medicated feeds for food producing animals, and radiation emitting devices are safe, and for regulating tobacco products to protect the public health.

About the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP)

The CTP was established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009. Its mission is to protect Americans from tobacco-related death and disease by regulating the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products, and by educating the public, especially young people, about tobacco products and the dangers their use poses to themselves and others.

About the National Academy of Medicine (NAM)

Established in 1970 under the name Institute of Medicine (IOM), the NAM is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors. The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

This program is administered by the NAM and sponsored by FDA/CTP. For any questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

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How to Apply

The 2019 Call for Applications is now closed. Please sign up to the Fellowship mailing list to receive news throughout the year. For questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Applications for this program must be submitted electronically via the program online system by 3:00pm (ET) on March 1. If you have not already done so, you will be required to register before you begin the application process by clicking on the “Register” button in the right column of this website to complete and submit the registration form. Once you have registered, log in with your email address and password by clicking on the “Log in” button in the right column of this website to begin creating your application.

Process

Process

1. Register

Click on the "Register" button and complete the registration form.

2. Login

Login with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application.

4. Save

During the Call for Applications, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a checkmark appear in the category tab when the application is saved. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the download icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your application as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the download icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the end of the Call for Applications period, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

For any questions, contact the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Eligibility Criteria

Exceptional mid-career professionals are encouraged to apply and must fulfill the following requirements:

  • be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have a valid green card number before applying to the program.
  • have a minimum of five years of experience.
  • have an advanced degree in one of the fields listed below:
    • Behavioral Science
    • Biomedical Science
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Business Administration
    • Communications/Advertising/Marketing
    • Consumer Education
    • Economics, Political Science, and other Social Sciences such as Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology
    • Legal/Law Enforcement
    • Medicine/Nursing
    • Physical Science and Toxicology
    • Public Health, including Public Health Ethics
    • Public Relations/Journalism
    • Public Policy/Public Administration

Note: All degree requirements (including thesis or dissertation defense) must be complete before the program start date of September 1, 2019.

Selection Criteria

Fellows will be selected through a national competition on the basis of:

  • Professional Achievements
  • Quality of Essays
  • Expertise in an Area of Relevance to the CTP
  • Quality of Letters of Recommendation

If you are selected as a finalist, you must participate in an in-person interview at the NAM in Washington, DC. Refer to the Key Dates on the right for selection, notification, and interviews.

Application Materials

The complete application package includes:

  • Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
  • A One-Page Biography (limited to 300 words)
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Two (2) Short Essays (each limited to 300 words)

Applicant Webinars

Applicant webinars were held on January 22, 2019, at 11am ET and February 7, 2019, at 2pm ET. The next applicant webinars will be held in January and February 2020.

FAQs

General Program Information

Q: How many fellows will be selected this year?
A: The program seeks 10 fellows to serve in one of six areas within the CTP.

Q: How long is the fellowship program?
A: This is a 12-month program, which runs from September until August of the following year.

Q: What is the start date?
A: Fellows typically start on Tuesday after the Labor Day.

Q: Can a fellow split his/her time between the home institution and CTP so that the fellowship is a part-time residential experience?
A: Fellows are expected to commit 100% of their time from the first day of orientation in September until the end of the following August.

Q: What are examples of experiences offered by the program?
A: Fellows will participate in structured orientation and professional development activities, including opportunities to meet with FDA, CTP, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leadership. In addition, fellows will have opportunities to participate in DC-based fellowship activities and gatherings under the direction of the Office of Health Policy Fellowships and Leadership Programs at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Q: Can a fellow extend the fellowship time?
A: At the request of the fellow’s supervisor, the fellowship may be extended for up to six months in order for the fellow to complete his/her project assignments.

Q: What happens after the fellowship regarding work opportunities at FDA?
A: This is a fellowship program that offers an educational opportunity. Fellows may return to the employment that they held prior to the fellowship or seek new opportunities with the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained through the fellowship.

Q: Where can I get more information about the program?
A: For more information, please visit the About the Program tab or contact the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

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Eligibility

Q: Is the fellowship open to U.S. permanent residents (green card holders)?
A: Yes, applicants must have been admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence and have a valid green card number before applying to the program.

Q: Am I eligible to apply if I will get my Master's degree in August?
A:Yes, all degree requirements (including thesis or dissertation defense) must be completed before the program start date.

Q: Is there any age limit for the applicant?
A: No.

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Application Process

Q: Is there a preference regarding who should write the reference letters?
A: No, applicants are free to choose any individuals to write the reference letters. However, reference letters provided by individuals who know you well and can speak to your professional achievements, expertise in an area of relevance to the CTP, and potential during the fellowship and beyond tend to be most helpful for an applicant.

Q: Can an applicant forward the reference letters to the fellowship office? Or do they need to be submitted directly via the online application system?
A: All reference letters should be submitted by the reference writers via the online application system. Applications cannot be submitted unless all the sections-including the References section-are complete. If there are any technical difficulties, please call the NAM fellowship office immediately at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Q: Is there any flexibility on the deadline for reference writers to submit their letters?
A: If there are any technical difficulties, please call the NAM fellowship office immediately at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

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Selection Process

Q: Who makes the final decisions?
A: The selection committee makes the final decisions. It consists of the director or a delegate from each of the areas within the CTP and experts in the field from outside the CTP.

Q: How is an applicant's background used to determine which FDA CTP office would be most interested in a specific candidate?
A: Education and work experiences provide a strong indication of individual competencies. To the extent possible, this fellowship draws upon past professional accomplishments while offering the opportunity to add new skills and abilities.

Q: What type of work experience would be considered when assessing whether a candidate has the number of required years of work experience?
A: Any paid or unpaid work experiences relevant to the wide range of professional skillsets at the FDA CTP are considered when determining whether an applicant has the requisite background.

Q: What professional accomplishments would you recommend candidates highlighting in their applications? Would academic accomplishments also be considered when assessing applications?
A: All relevant professional accomplishments should be highlighted and academic accomplishments are highly valued in the evaluation of all applicants.

Q: Can you share the background of last year's fellow?
A: Yes, please visit the Current and Past Fellows tab to read the bios of the fellows who participated in the program.

Q: Can current fellows be contacted by applicants?
A: Yes, applicants may contact current fellows. Please note that all program correspondence will originate through the NAM fellowship office.

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Benefits and Pay

Q: What is the stipend?
A: Each fellow will be awarded a stipend based on salary history (up to $95,000). Exact stipend amounts will only be provided to those applicants who receive tentative offer letters.

Q: Will the fellows receive benefits?
A: Fellows may choose to enroll in a health insurance plan through the NAM or get reimbursed for a COBRA plan. Fellows with a sponsoring institution may be compensated for fringe benefits. In addition, fellows may receive a monthly reimbursement of up to $50 to compensate for travel expenses related to fellowship meetings held offsite.

Q: Is there an additional budget for training while participating in the fellowship?
A: The fellowship program provides funding for the fellows to participate in specific learning opportunities during their 12-month fellowship, which will enable them to fulfill their work responsibilities. These opportunities may include travel to a tobacco industry site, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and approved conference attendances.

Q: Is there a moving allowance or relocation assistance?
A: Yes. Each fellow may be eligible to receive a relocation fund (not to exceed $10,000).

This program is administered by the NAM and sponsored by FDA/CTP. For any questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

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Current and Past Fellows

The 2019 Call for Applications is now closed. Please sign up to the Fellowship mailing list to receive news throughout the year. For questions, please call the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

Meet our fellows, who were chosen through a highly selective national competition based on their exceptional, diverse professional qualifications to contribute to the work of CTP. If you wish to contact our fellows who are located in your geographic area and/or who share a similar professional background, please contact the NAM fellowship office at (202) 334-1506 or send an email.

➤ 2019-20 Fellows
2019-2020 Fellows

Ravi Choudhuri, MPH
Ravi Choudhuri, MPH
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA.CTP

Ravi Choudhuri is a public health professional with over 10 years of tobacco control experience. He most recently was advocacy manager for the American Lung Association in California. In this role, he helped to pass a citywide prohibition on secondhand smoke in Laguna Beach and Dana Point, along with other local policies. Choudhuri previously worked as a tobacco cessation leader for the University of California, Riverside’s medical school clinic. He provided free cessation and behavioral health counseling to homeless persons and uninsured community members in Riverside. In addition, he helped to create cost-benefit analyses to increase funding for Kaiser Permanente tobacco cessation programs. He also worked at the Center for the Evaluation of Nicotine in Cigarettes lab, researching nicotine content levels of tobacco products and their effect on positive reinforcement mechanisms. Choudhuri obtained a BS in neuroscience and a BA in psychology from the University of California, Riverside. He earned an MPH from the University of Pittsburgh, with an emphasis on health policy and how decision makers’ knowledge of emerging tobacco products, such as vapes and e-cigarettes, affects legislation.

Reema Goel, PhD, MS
Reema Goel, PhD, MS
Office of Science

Reema Goel is a cell biologist with expertise in cell- and animal-based research related to environmental determinants of diseases. She is a research associate at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. Her expertise includes measurement of free radicals in tobacco products using electron paramagnetic resonance. She uses a multidisciplinary team-based approach involving discovery, translational, and population science to understand the toxicity of tobacco products. Goel has developed analytical lab methods to examine oxidants in various tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and small cigars. Her research projects have investigated short- and long-term health effects of tobacco products in animal exposure models as well as human exposure studies. She also has participated in the design and execution of several large clinical studies at PSU. Prior to joining PSU, Goel worked as a postdoctoral fellow on oxidative stress signaling pathways of cardiovascular disease at BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Goel obtained a BS in human biology and MS in medical biotechnology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and a PhD in physiology and pharmacology from Saint Louis University.

Marzena Hiler, PhD, MS
Marzena Hiler, PhD, MS
Office of Science

Marzena Hiler is an experimental health psychologist who specializes in behavioral pharmacology. Her research as a doctoral student at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science focused on evaluating the acute effects of novel tobacco products to inform regulation and product standards. Her dissertation explored the influence of e-cigarette device and liquid characteristics, and user puffing behavior on factors associated with dependence, such as nicotine delivery, withdrawal suppression, and product liking. In addition, she collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of scientists to investigate reasons for youth use of e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes and to examine clinical biomarkers specific to e-cigarette use. Previously, she served as a health educator at the University of California, Irvine. As an intern at Community Alliance Network of Orange County, she helped to advance initiatives to prevent tobacco and alcohol initiation and use among youth and advocated for smoke-free outdoor air policies. She is a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco and the Virginia Youth Tobacco Projects Research Coalition. Hiler earned her BA in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine, and her MS and PhD in health psychology from VCU.

Deeba Syed, PhD, MBBS
Deeba Syed, PhD, MBBS
Office of Science

Deeba Syed is a researcher in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies the effect of environmental toxins on human skin. Adopting a multidisciplinary team approach, she collaborated with scientists with expertise in toxicology, medicinal chemistry and lipidomics for development of novel mechanism-based dietary agents for chronic diseases, including cancer. yed is part of the team that first reported the potential role of green tea polyphenols in the prevention of lung and prostate cancers. Her current work is directed toward defining biomarkers predictive of cancer chemopreventive outcomes and identifying molecular targets for cancer treatment in various organ sites. As a physician at the Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases in Pakistan, she was involved in health care decisions for patients suffering from tuberculosis. Syed is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. She received an MBBS from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and a PhD in molecular and environmental toxicology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

➤ 2018-19 Fellows
2018-2019 Fellows

Frank Bandiera, PhD, MPH
Frank Bandiera, PhD, MPH,
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Frank Bandiera is an epidemiologist whose research has focused on tobacco use among special and vulnerable populations, especially ethnic minorities, people with mental disabilities, and populations with drug addictions. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, where he examined the complex interdisciplinary relationships among tobacco use, substance use, and mental health in diverse populations. Specifically, Bandiera has investigated mortality among persons with substance abuse and mental health challenges, and the difference in tobacco use among special populations. Bandiera received his BA in psychology from the University of Miami, his MPH from the University of Florida, and his PhD from the University of Miami. He completed his postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California System.

Megan Hicks, MPH
Megan Hicks, MPH
Office of the Center Director, FDA/CTP

Megan Hicks most recently served as the executive director of the South Carolina Tobacco-Free Collaborative (SCTFC), where she oversaw several community-level grant programs and supported local tobacco control campaigns. Hicks started at the SCTFC in 2010 as its state program director, working on numerous initiatives and campaigns, including the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant and the Community Transformation Grant. Hicks began working in tobacco control and prevention at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Tobacco Research Center (ITRC) where she assisted with the management, reporting, and development of educational materials for Quitline callers and supported numerous ITRC research projects. Hicks received her BA in communication studies and certificate in public health from the University of Iowa. She received her MPH from Emory University and is a member of its Delta Omega chapter.

Catherine Kemp, PhD, MHA
Catherine Kemp, PhD, MHA
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Catherine Kemp is a behavioral and health policy researcher with extensive experience in pharmaceutical product development, nursing, and health care management. She most recently worked as a graduate research fellow at Georgia State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, researching adults’ perceptions of and regulatory policy related to the use of novel and traditional tobacco products. Kemp’s dissertation explored adults’ perceptions of children’s exposure to nicotine through tobacco products and their perceptions of the harms nicotine can cause to children. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the American Public Health Association (APHA). She serves as a reviewer for peer-reviewed science journals and the APHA Annual Meeting program. Kemp earned her diploma in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center; her diploma in occupational health and safety from McMaster University; and her BS in nursing and MHA from Worcester State University. She earned her PhD in public health from the Georgia State University School of Public Health.

Mauricio Rangel-Gomez, PhD
Mauricio Rangel-Gomez, PhD
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Mauricio Rangel-Gomez is a neuroscientist with expertise in electrophysiology, brain imaging, and neuropsychopharmacology. His most recent research focused on the understanding of the neural correlates of addiction to nicotine and how reduced nicotine content can alter the addictive potential of tobacco products. Rangel-Gomez held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied the interactions among dopamine and nicotine and other components in electronic cigarettes. Rangel-Gomez has served as part of the organizing committee for the Tobacco Regulatory Science meeting and is a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Additionally, he is an ad hoc reviewer for several neuroscience journals. Rangel-Gomez earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology (Universidad El Bosque) and engineering (Universidad de los Andes) in Colombia, and a master’s degree in neuropsychology (Maastricht University) and doctorate in cognitive neuroscience (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) in the Netherlands.

Samantha Reilly, PhD
Samantha Reilly, PhD
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Catherine Kemp is a behavioral and health policy researcher with extensive experience in pharmaceutical product development, nursing, and health care management. She most recently worked as a graduate research fellow at Georgia State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, researching adults’ perceptions of and regulatory policy related to the use of novel and traditional tobacco products. Kemp’s dissertation explored adults’ perceptions of children’s exposure to nicotine through tobacco products and their perceptions of the harms nicotine can cause to children. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the American Public Health Association (APHA). She serves as a reviewer for peer-reviewed science journals and the APHA Annual Meeting program. Kemp earned her diploma in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center; her diploma in occupational health and safety from McMaster University; and her BS in nursing and MHA from Worcester State University. She earned her PhD in public health from the Georgia State University School of Public Health.

Jamie Tam, PhD, MPH
Jamie Tam, PhD, MPH
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Jamie Tam is a researcher who studies the effects of tobacco policies, patterns of smoking across populations, and domestic and global tobacco control issues. Her research uses systems science and epidemiological approaches to understand tobacco use among populations with behavioral health comorbidities. Her recent dissertation work examined the implications of the relationship between smoking and depression for mortality outcomes, and used modeling methods to evaluate interventions that address their co-occurrence. Tam was an investigator with the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network Lung Consortium, where she developed computational models that simulate the effects of policies on smoking and population health in the United States and launched a web-based interface that allows users to explore the potential health effects of different tobacco control policies. Tam’s other projects have considered the effects of demographic changes on smoking prevalence, longitudinal transitions between tobacco products, and youth exposure to nicotine through electronic cigarettes. Tam completed her MPH and PhD in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. She received a BS with honors in biology from Stanford University.

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➤ 2017-18 Fellows
2017-2018 Fellows

Shovaughn Chism, MSW
Shovaughn Chism, MSW
Office of Compliance and Enforcement, FDA/CTP

Shovaughn Chism previously was the tobacco enforcement and education coordinator for the Baltimore City Health Department. In this role, he addressed tobacco cessation and prevention through youth and community education and retail engagement. He developed events to raise awareness, engaged youth in Baltimore schools, conducted community town halls about youth access to tobacco products, and coordinated tobacco enforcement efforts. He also directed in-depth store education visits with 850 stores for store owners and clerks, helping them to remain compliant with federal and local laws regarding tobacco sales, and handled legal administrative matters regarding tobacco violations. Chism has more than 10 years of experience in social work and public health, engaging in the education of, outreach to, and case management with various vulnerable populations, including HIV/AIDS, chronic illness, and mental health patients; the LGBTQ community; and homeless youth. He has over five years of experience executing tobacco cessation, education, outreach, and recruitment that predominately serve the LGBTQ community. In his spare time, Chism mentors three disadvantaged Baltimore youth. He earned a BA in communications and mass media studies from Eastern University, as well as a clinical MSW from Rutgers University.

Karina Jimenez-Donovan, MSW
Karina Jimenez-Donovan, MSW
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Karina Jimenez-Donovan most recently served as a communications associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and has more than 15 years of experience in public health, social marketing, and health education. Jimenez-Donovan has led nationwide campaigns for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institutes of Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. As the qualitative research lead on tobacco-cessation efforts - including the DoD's "Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud." campaign and the Florida Department of Health's "Tobacco Free Florida" campaign - Jimenez-Donovan designed research and evaluation plans, moderated focus groups, and conducted site observations as well as in-depth interviews with military leadership, service members, children, pregnant smokers, and Spanish-only speakers across the country. A bilingual professional, Jimenez-Donovan is the recipient of three NCI Plain Language Awards. She received her BS in social work from George Mason University and her MSW from the University of Maryland. In 2016, she received a digital media and marketing certification from Duke University.

Mollie Miller, PhD
Mollie Miller, PhD
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Mollie Miller is an experimental psychologist trained in human behavioral psychopharmacology. Miller has conducted smoking research in vulnerable populations for the past eight years. Her research investigates the mechanisms contributing to increased smoking rates among vulnerable populations - particularly adults with comorbid psychopathology or substance dependence - and evaluates novel behavioral and pharmacological interventions to promote sustained smoking cessation in these populations. Miller completed a Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, working in collaboration with the Vermont Center on Tobacco Regulatory Science. During the fellowship, she evaluated the effects of reduced-nicotine-content cigarettes in smokers with comorbid mental illness, the reasons for alternative tobacco product use among those with mental illness, and the impact of socioeconomic status on tobacco-switching behavior. Miller has served as a member of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board, which ensures fiscal responsibility for state-funded tobacco control initiatives. She is a member of the American Psychological Association Division 28 and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and is an associate editor for Tobacco Regulatory Science. She received a BS in psychology from John Carroll University, and an MA and a PhD in experimental psychology from The University of Vermont.

Y. Tony Yang, ScD
Y. Tony Yang, ScD
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Y. Tony Yang is a tenured professor at George Washington University. His research areas include public health law and policy, patient safety, and maternal and child health. Yang's recent research includes e-cigarettes and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) "deeming" regulation, FDA approval of extended-release oxycodone for children with severe pain, and social media marketing by the pharmaceutical industry. Funded by organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Yang's research has appeared in journals focusing on health law (Food and Drug Law Journal; The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics), health policy and services (Health Affairs, Medical Care), medicine (Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine), and public health (American Journal of Public Health). Yang was the 2015 recipient of the Early Career Award for Excellence in Public Health Law from the American Public Health Association's Law Section. Yang earned an ScD in health policy and management and an MPH from Harvard University, and an LLM and LLCM from The University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

➤ 2016-17 Fellows
2016-2017 Fellows

Babita Das, PhD
Babita Das, PhD
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Babita Das has more than 15 years of research experience studying responses to smoking denicotinized cigarettes, pharmacological and behavioral treatments for opiate use, and cognitive enhancement in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Das formerly held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science at the University of Maryland School (UMD) of Public Health. She completed a National Institutes of Health/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subaward to compare puff and inhalation behaviors during little cigar use with those during cigarette use to identify potential differences in smoke exposure. She is a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, the Tobacco Centers for Regulatory Science Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory Working Group, the Society for Neuroscience, and the UMD Postdoctoral Scholars Society. Das earned a BS in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an MS in psychology from Shippensburg University, and a PhD in behavior, cognition, and neuroscience from American University.

Alison Kulas, MSPH
Alison Kulas, MSPH
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Alison Kulas served as the program manager for Alaska's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program prior to the fellowship. In this role, she managed a comprehensive program focusing on eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, supporting adults to quit tobacco, and preventing youth from starting to use tobacco with a focus on incorporating health equity into every aspect of the work. The program reached Centers for Disease control and Preventio - recommended funding levels, serving more than 220 communities across Alaska. With more than 10 years of public health experience in Alaska, Kulas has served at the state, regional, and community levels raising public awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and providing technical assistance and training. She has provided strategic direction to health communication campaigns, quit-line services, and equity and policy improvements. Kulas received a BS from Michigan State University and an MSPH from Tulane University.

Dana Lauterstein, PhD, MS
Dana Lauterstein, PhD, MS
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Dana Lauterstein has specialized in conducting and evaluating nonclinical toxicology studies with conventional cigarettes and alternative tobacco products/electronic nicotine delivery systems. Specifically, Lauterstein has experience in conducting inhalation exposures to conventional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, as well as oral exposures to smokeless tobacco products. She received a BA in chemistry from the State University of New York, Purchase, an MS in environmental toxicology, and a PhD in systemic toxicology from the NYU School of Medicine. Her dissertation focused on the investigation of developmental neurotoxicology induced by exposure to electronic cigarettes during critical early life stages

Michelle Snortland, MBA
Michelle Snortland, MBA
Office of Compliance and Enforcement, FDA/CTP

Michelle Snortland most recently served as the branch chief for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), where she oversaw the implementation of numerous evidence-based interventions to decrease tobacco use in Arkansas. In this role, she provided leadership, program expertise, and technical assistance to community-based organizations, senior management, local health units, and other agencies. She also led projects such as development and implementation of educational campaigns and comprehensive media buy. Her career includes public health, education and business management, and marketing in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining TPCP, Snortland served as the section chief for Community and Clinical Linkages in Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at ADH. Snortland holds an MBA, a BS in international business and marketing, and graduate certification in nonprofit management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

➤ 2015-16 Fellows
2015-2016 Fellows

Amanda Berger, Ph.D., M.A.
Amanda Berger, Ph.D., M.A.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Amanda Berger is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and a faculty affiliate with the Maryland Population Research Center. She previously served as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) postdoctoral research fellow in the area of research and evaluation at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products' Office of Health Communication and Education. Prior to the ORISE Fellowship, she worked as a research scientist in the area of youth development at the nonprofit research organization Child Trends. Berger's professional expertise relates to adolescent and young adult health, with a particular focus on substance use (including tobacco use) and sexual risk-taking. She has expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research, and she has experience both in providing training and technical assistance and in disseminating health communications research in a variety of formats for diverse audiences. Berger earned a B.S. in psychology and cognitive studies from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in education and human development from The George Washington University. Berger holds a Ph.D. in public health from the University of Maryland. She also obtained a graduate certificate in university teaching and learning.

Shari Feirman, Ph.D., M.S.
Shari Feirman, Ph.D., M.S.
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Shari Feirman previously worked as a project director for regulatory science and policy at The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative. In this role, Feirman's research focused on providing evidence for policy decision making. Her projects included survey-based studies and systematic reviews of flavored tobacco, e-cigarettes, and methods used to evaluate tobacco control interventions. Feirman was responsible for drafting written comments, preparing oral presentations on proposed FDA regulations, and translating scientific findings for diverse audiences. This work built upon Feirman's doctoral dissertation, in which she applied systems science methods to analyze tobacco regulatory policy options. In addition to her tobacco control activities, Feirman has worked internationally with adolescents living with HIV/AIDS and has conducted HIV-related research. Feirman holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

José L. Medina Torres, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., CHES
José L. Medina Torres, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., CHES
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

José L. Medina Torres most recently served as a health communications specialist for Penngood, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., where he provided strategic support for a nationwide health communications campaign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to joining Penngood, Medina Torres held various positions in local, national, and international organizations, including the American Cancer Society, The University of Texas School of Public Health, the World Heart Federation, and the headquarters of the World Health Organization. His professional interests include promoting health by increasing healthy eating and physical activity, managing chronic disease, and preventing tobacco use. Medina Torres earned a B.A. in public communication from the University of Puerto Rico. He received both an M.P.H. and a Dr.P.H. in public health, the latter with a focus on health promotion and behavioral science, from the University of Texas. His dissertation research, conducted in Uruguay, was aimed at creating a social marketing campaign to prevent tobacco use. He used his research findings to develop an educational curriculum to prevent tobacco use in Uruguayan youth. Medina Torres is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Alexandra Merceron, M.A.
Alexandra Merceron, M.A.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Alexandra Merceron is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in strategic marketing, advertising, and public relations. She has held positions at The Boston Globe, The New York Times Company, Harvard Business Review, the Harvard Education Publishing Group, the Boston Public Library, Billboard magazine, and AOL Time Warner, and she has served as a social media and digital strategy consultant for numerous clients. Merceron has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in communications, research methods, and digital marketing at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Connecticut, Boston University, Capital Community College, and Middlesex Community College, and most recently, Georgetown University. Merceron received her B.A. in English from Pace University and her M.A. in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in communication at the University of Connecticut, where her research focuses on the adoption of new media platforms and the effects of communication technologies on health communication.

Kimberly Snyder, M.P.H.
Kimberly Snyder, M.P.H.
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Kimberly Snyder most recently served as a program and policy analyst at the Nemours National Office of Policy and Prevention in Wilmington, Delaware, where she supported Nemours' efforts to improve population health and to spread and scale solutions to childhood obesity. Before joining Nemours, Snyder was a project officer in the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this role, she was the primary liaison between CDC and five state tobacco control programs. Prior to working at the CDC, Snyder was an associate at ICF International, where she took part in projects evaluating CDC tobacco control programs, including Communities Putting Prevention to Work and Community Transformation Grants. She provided evaluation training and technical assistance to grantees and designed and conducted national evaluations of CDC-funded programs. In both roles, she provided subject matter expertise to colleagues and grantees on tobacco control, smoke-free policies, and evaluation. Snyder received a B.S. in health science from the State University of New York at Brockport and an M.P.H. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she focused on health behavior. During her graduate training, she completed an internship and an integrative project with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Department of Health Behavior.

➤ 2014-15 Fellows
2014-2015 Fellows

Jennifer Gross, M.P.H..
Jennifer Gross, J.D., M.Phil.
Office of Regulations, FDA/CTP

Jennifer Gross is an attorney and a former partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, and Bernstein. For the past three years, her practice has consisted almost entirely of litigating smoking-related wrongful death cases. Gross's law practice also included work on antitrust, securities, and consumer class actions, particularly those that required quantitative skills and drew on her experience in public policy research. Previously, Gross was a doctoral fellow in public policy at the RAND Corporation, where she spent 10 years conducting statistical and qualitative research on issues related to law and health, health economics, economics of the civil litigation system, and other topics related to law and economics. Gross has also focused on pharmaceutical litigation, including the Vioxx cases, in which she served as a member of the Plaintiff's Steering Committee's Science Subcommittee in the federal multidistrict litigation. She is a coauthor of a law school textbook, Class Actions: Public Good or Private Gain. Gross received her bachelor's degree in economics at Emory University, her MPhil from Rand Graduate School of Policy Studies, and her JD from the University of Southern California.

Darlene Huang, J.D., M.P.H.
Darlene Huang, J.D., M.P.H.
Office of Regulations, FDA/CTP

Darlene Huang most recently worked on health and human services issues with the government relations practice group at the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron. Prior to this position, Huang served as a legal and policy analyst with the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Her work focused on Medicaid health care integration and delivery reform efforts. She also worked at the Public Health Law Center's Tobacco Control Legal Consortium on a variety of tobacco control policy issues. Before starting graduate school, Huang was employed by a Colorado county health department. In this role, she served as the lead on smoke-free policy efforts and coordinated a campaign to develop and adopt a county administrative policy preventing tobacco giveaways. Huang received her BS in health and exercise science from Colorado State University. She graduated in 2014 with dual advanced degrees in law and public health (JD/MPH) from William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Nancy McGee, J.D.
Nancy McGee, J.D.
Office of Compliance and Enforcement, FDA/CTP

Retired Special Agent Nancy McGee spent nearly 30 years at the Missouri Department of Public Safety's Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control. McGee administered the state's alcohol compliance check program and coordinated the department's efforts on college campuses and with community coalition groups. McGee was also designated the division's liaison officer for local law enforcement agencies that received federal grants through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Program. In that role, she ensured that local law enforcement agencies were trained in best practice strategies to enforce laws to deter underage drinking. Since 2002, McGee has been a consultant for the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center. She trains regularly on the topics of: developing and sustaining community coalitions; environmental management; working effectively with college communities; compliance check investigations; controlled party dispersal; shoulder tap operations; false identification; media advocacy; managing special events; social media; and working effectively with retailers. McGee has been a featured speaker and panelist at numerous national and state conferences dealing with alcohol policy issues. She earned her BA in political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her JD from the St. Louis University School of Law. McGee is licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Illinois.

Mona Rahman, M.A.
Mona Rahman, M.A.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Mona Rahman was most recently senior brand manager, marketing at the Legacy Foundation in Washington, DC where she worked on adult cessation and youth prevention campaigns (EX® and truth® respectively). Rahman joined Legacy with seven years of marketing agency experience in New York City. While working on GlaxoSmithKline's Nicorette Gum and Lozenge cessation products at Arnold Worldwide, Rahman developed a deep interest in tobacco control. At Legacy, Rahman led a variety of public education efforts including content development for BecomeAnEx.org which provided smokers a distraction when cravings hit and the truthLIVE® tour, which brought fact-based messaging to college students in an effort to curb smoking rates in the 18-24 year-old demographic. In the summer of 2014, Rahman oversaw branding and TV efforts for the truth launch of Finish It, a mass media campaign that inspires youth to "Be the generation that ends smoking". Rahman holds a BA in government from the University of Virginia and an MA in culture and communication from New York University.

➤ 2013-14 Fellows
2013-2014 Fellows

Sara Bodnar, M.P.H..
Sara Bodnar, M.P.H.
Office of Policy, FDA/CTP

Sara Bodnar most recently served as the Regulatory Analyst within the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention   Tobacco Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). At NYC DOHMH, she identified and promoted effective regulatory mechanisms that help tobacco users quit, and also tracked emerging issues relating to tobacco control and health care. Prior to joining NYC DOHMH, Bodnar served as a Research Associate at Yale University for a clinical trial assessing the efficacy of a tobacco cessation intervention in an emergency department, and directly counseled patients in helping them end their tobacco use. She also worked in public affairs at New York Methodist Hospital, and contributed to numerous media-based initiatives that promoted hospital programs in the community. Her interest in public health began seven years ago when she was reporting on health issues for leading national magazines. She earned a BA from Bowdoin College, an MPH from Yale University, as well as various academic distinctions, including Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Amy Henes, M.P.H.
Amy Henes, M.P.H.
Office of Policy, FDA/CTP

Prior to the fellowship, Amy Henes served as Senior Program Analyst for the tobacco and diabetes projects at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). In this role, she provided training and technical assistance to local health departments, facilitated dialogue with local program staff across the country, and disseminated information about national policies, emerging issues, and challenges at the community level. Henes began her career in tobacco control as Communications Manager at the American Lung Association of New York, where she promoted advocacy initiatives and led campaigns to improve lung health, especially in the areas of asthma, influenza, and tobacco-related diseases. Previously, she worked in the communications department of Parenting magazine. Henes received her MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was elected to the Theta Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society, and her BA from Amherst College.

Darren Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Darren Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Office of Science, FDA/CTP

Darren Mays is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) and member of the Cancer Prevention Control Program at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC). Mays's training is in public health with a focus on behavioral sciences, or the interplay between health, behavior, and society. His research interests lie in understanding how to design high-impact public health interventions to prevent cancer by targeting behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use. Mays's work in this area includes studies to prevent youth smoking uptake and promote cessation among young adults. Ongoing studies include experiments to determine how persuasive smoking prevention messages, health warning labels, and other tobacco packaging regulations can be optimally designed to influence tobacco-related perceptions and behaviors. This work examines diverse contexts of implementation for these interventions (e.g., healthcare and community settings) and leverages novel experimental and assessment methods (e.g., behavioral experiments, neuroimaging). In addition to his work on tobacco prevention and control, Mays is also involved in research examining health behaviors, health promotion, and health outcomes among adolescent survivors of pediatric cancer. Mays earned his PhD and MPH in behavioral sciences from Emory University, and his BA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Xiaoquan Zhao, Ph.D.
Xiaoquan Zhao, Ph.D.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Xiaoquan Zhao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the George Mason University. Zhao's general research areas are health and risk communication, persuasion, media effects, and information seeking. The substantive topics of his work include smoking, drug use, cancer, medical adherence, and climate change. Zhao's recent projects include research on the effectiveness of graphic warning labels on cigarette packets, evaluation of climate change communication campaigns featuring TV meteorologists as message sources, and studies of self-affirmation as a method to reduce resistance to health and risk communication messages. Zhao has published in leading journals both within and outside of the field of communication, such as the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, and Nature Climate Change. His work has received support from both public and private foundations. Zhao received his PhD in communication from the University of Pennsylvania, his MA in mass communication from Indiana University, his MA in English linguistics from Beijing University, and his BA in English language and literature from Shaanxi Teacher's University in China.

➤ 2012-13 Fellows
2012-2013 Fellows

Atanaska Dineva, M.S.M.
Atanaska Dineva, M.S.M.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Atanaska (Nasi) Dineva joined FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) as an inaugural FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow in the Office of Health Communication and Education. Her fellowship project focused on evaluating CTP's communication efforts with stakeholders and identifying opportunities to increase their reach and impact. Dineva has over 10 years' experience working in tobacco control at the local, state, national, and international levels. Prior to joining CTP, she was a communications associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). In this capacity, she developed and implemented communication strategies to effectively disseminate the work of JHSPH's Institute for Global Tobacco Control through multiple channels, including the Web and electronic media. She also supported the Institute's capacity building activities under the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and played an instrumental role in the development, translation, and dissemination of JHSPH's online training, Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts. Dineva received her MS in marketing from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and a BA in communication and mass media studies from Goucher College.

Candice Jongsma, Ph.D..
Atanaska Dineva, M.S.M.
Office of Health Communication and Education, FDA/CTP

Atanaska (Nasi) Dineva joined FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) as an inaugural FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow in the Office of Health Communication and Education. Her fellowship project focused on evaluating CTP's communication efforts with stakeholders and identifying opportunities to increase their reach and impact. Dineva has over 10 years' experience working in tobacco control at the local, state, national, and international levels. Prior to joining CTP, she was a communications associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). In this capacity, she developed and implemented communication strategies to effectively disseminate the work of JHSPH's Institute for Global Tobacco Control through multiple channels, including the Web and electronic media. She also supported the Institute's capacity building activities under the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and played an instrumental role in the development, translation, and dissemination of JHSPH's online training, Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts. Dineva received her MS in marketing from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and a BA in communication and mass media studies from Goucher College.

Elizabeth Laposata, J.D.
Elizabeth Laposata, J.D.
Office of Policy, FDA/CTP

Elizabeth Laposata was an inaugural fellow in the Office of Policy at the FDA/CTP. Before becoming an FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow, she worked at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. In that capacity, she conducted research into the tobacco industry documents to examine tobacco industry tactics to affect state laws. Prior to that position, Laposata worked in childhood obesity as well as tobacco control at the Public Health Law and Policy (now Changelab Solutions), where she helped draft model ordinances. Laposata received her JD from University of California, Hastings, her MPH in environmental health sciences from University of California, Berkeley, and her BS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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