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September 28, 2011

Bloomberg School Faculty Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

President Barack Obama greets the 2010 PECASE recipients in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 14, 2011.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) From left to right:  Francis Collins (NIH Director), Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services), Katherine O’Brien, and John Holdren (Assistant to the President, White House Office of Science and Technology) From left to right:  Francis Collins (NIH Director), Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services), Brian Caffo, and John Holdren (Assistant to the President, White House Office of Science and Technology)

Brian Caffo, PhD, and Katherine O’Brien, MD, MPH, faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, were among 94 researchers selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award, announced Monday, is the U.S. government's highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. The awards will be presented later this year.

Established by President Clinton in 1996, the Early Career Award recognizes scientists for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, mentoring, public education or community outreach.

caffo

Caffo is a statistician and associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biostatistics, where he works on statistical methods for complex data sets, especially focusing on brain imaging. Along with Ciprian Crainiceanu, also in Biostatistics, he co-founded the Statistical Methods and Applications for Research in Technology (SMART) group, which looks at difficult analytic problems in technology and health.

O’Brien is a pediatric infectious disease physician, an epidemiologist and a vaccinologist with the Bloomberg School’s departments of International Health and Epidemiology. She leads the Infectious Disease Prevention group in the School’s Center for American Indian Health, where she conducts clinical trials of vaccines for diseases of importance to American Indian tribes. She also serves as deputy director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC). Her work domestically and internationally has focused on vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses including epidemiologic and vaccine studies of pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza. 

o'brien

“The Presidential Early Career Award is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for both Brian and Kate as well as the Bloomberg School of Public Health. They are great colleagues, and I know that I speak for all of us when I say that we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Noah Cowan, PhD, director of Locomotion in Mechanical and Biological Systems Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering also received a Presidential Early Career Award for his research into how animals process sensory information to control their movements. Catherine Bradshaw, PhD, an associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health received the award in 2010. Debra Furr-Holden, PhD, also an associate professor in Mental Health, earned the honor in 2005.

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or  tmparson@jhsph.edu.