Noah Hull, a 2013 Career Development Program (CDP) fellow, recently received the J. Lindsay Oaks Best Student Molecular Biology Award from the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). Hull participated in the CDP through the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Center of Excellence.
This award honors the late J. Lindsay Oaks, D.V.M., Ph.D. – a veterinarian, microbiologist and researcher at Washington State University – and is given to the best molecular biology presentation at each AAVLD annual meeting.
Hull, a graduate student in the laboratory of Brant Schumaker, DVM, MVPM, Ph.D., at the University of Wyoming, presented his findings on a field test of his lab’s novel quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay for the detection of field strains of Brucella abortus, the etiologic agent of brucellosis. This is part of his doctoral research on infectious disease epidemiology and molecular diagnostics in integrative biomedical sciences at the University of Wyoming. Hull credits the CDP for the opportunities he has had while earning his Ph.D. – especially through conference attendance and his internship with the DHS Office of Health Affairs, where he held a dual appointment with the Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Defense Division and the National Biosurveillance Integration Center.
“The CDP provided me support, both financially and professionally, to expand my training during my Ph.D.,” Hull said. “Through CDP, I was able to attend several DHS [Science, Math, Engineering and Mathematics] conferences that allowed me a forum to present my research, as well as interact with stakeholders from diverse areas.”
Hull encourages students to apply for the Program because the experiences gained and connections forged will greatly help their career aspirations.
“What was most helpful were the conferences and internship,” Hull said. “Both really give students a leg-up in making contacts that can serve us over our career. There were so many opportunities that were presented during my time with the CDP that it goes to show how invested the staff at IIAD are in your education and career development.”
After completing his Ph.D., Noah said he hopes to begin a career with federal government, concentrating on the animal and human interface of zoonotic diseases of international concern.
Prior to his Ph.D. work, Noah received a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology from the University of Wyoming.
IIAD’s Career Development Program was established in 2008 to provide graduate-level fellowships that promote workforce development into public and private practice and academia. Emphasis is placed on building future workforce capacity in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that also support the DHS mission space in transboundary, emerging and zoonotic disease defense. The program is made possible through funding awarded to the Institute through the DHS Office of University Programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture National Needs Fellowship.