Lab Matters Summer 2019 - Page 87

a career in a science related field. It also gives us a chance to educate families on the importance of good hygiene and the microbial world around us. Presenter: Jamie Yeadon-Fabohun, Indiana State Department of Health Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN, jhadley@isdh.in.gov What Can a Postdoctoral Fellow Do For Your Public Health Laboratory? Examples from Two Postdocs at the New York City Public Health Lab S. LaVoie, C. Harrison and J. Rakeman, New York City Public Health Laboratory The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Public Health Laboratory (PHL) began a two year postdoctoral fellowship program in the fall of 2016 and is currently hosting its second and third fellows. This program is designed to address the national shortage of qualified individuals needed to fulfill future leadership roles at public health laboratories. The first year of the fellowship is structured around rotations through all laboratory sections at PHL and hospital clinical laboratories in order to gain experience and technical skills in each area of the lab. Fellows are also expected to take on leadership projects of interest that address lab needs during rotations and more significant leadership roles in the second year in order to gain laboratory management experience. These projects allow fellows to learn laboratory operations and regulations, while gaining valuable experience working with laboratory staff, quality management, biosafety officers, laboratory information management systems, financial management, and public health collaborators outside of PHL. Some of the projects currently being worked on by PHL fellows involve validation and implementation of new assays, updating current laboratory workflows to improve efficiency and safety, reviewing laboratory data to assess best practices, and participating in responses to public health emergencies. New assays being validated at PHL include detection of active botulinum neurotoxin direct from human specimen using MALDI-TOF MS, Mycobacteria species identification using MALDI-TOF MS, and the Qiagen QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus assay using the Dynex Agility automated platform for latent tuberculosis infection screening. In addition to validations, new workflows are being implemented into the general bacteriology laboratory to improve specimen processing efficiency and select agent rule-out screening of isolates before proceeding to identification workup to improve lab safety. The fellows are also reviewing laboratory data to look for ways to optimize TB lab workflows and investigating incidence of discrepant results between conventional biochemical methods and MALDI-TOF MS identification in the general bacteriology lab to determine best practices for reporting and potential effects on treatment outcomes as a result. The goal of this poster is to provide an overview of projects taken on by the two PHL postdoc fellows and to invite discussion and feedback on these projects and the fellowship program overall. Presenter: Stephen LaVoie, New York City Public Health Laboratory, New York, NY, slavoie@health.nyc.gov PublicHealthLabs @APHL APHL.org Summer 2019 LAB MATTERS 85