Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Scientist Professional Advisory Committee

Executive Board 2019–2020

Chair: CDR Loren Rodgers

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CDR Loren Rodgers completed his Ph.D. in Biology in 2008 at the University of California San Diego, specializing in molecular pathogenesis. Subsequently, CDR Rodgers was commissioned into the US Public Health Service, serving as a Vaccine Reviewer and Regulatory Project Manager at the US Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Maryland. In his next assignment, CDR Rodgers was attached to the Ohio Department of Health as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, where he contributed to 17 outbreak investigations, including leading a multidisciplinary partnership to document a novel cause of pertussis-like illness. Beginning in 2012, CDR Rodgers joined the CDC Immunization Services Division, where he led development and operation of a novel vaccine surveillance system that aggregates and analyzes approximately one billion de-identified vaccination records annually, enabling rapid studies of vaccine usage. CDR Rodgers is currently a Team Lead, where he supervises public health scientists, medical epidemiologists, and programmers in evaluating and improving aspects of the national health information technology infrastructure related to vaccination.  Throughout his career, CDR Rodgers has additionally contributed to ten domestic and international TDYs/deployments, including leading disease surveillance among displaced persons in Haiti and leading teams of Ebola contact tracers in Guinea.

Since his call to active duty, CDR Rodgers has served SciPAC in a variety of leadership roles, including service as Executive Secretary, and on the Visibility Subcommittee (Chair, Co-Chair, Newsletter Editor in Chief, PHS Combined Category Newsletter Board), Category Day Subcommittee (Keynote Speaker Deputy Team Lead), and Science Subcommittee.

Vice Chair: LCDR Jason Wilken

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LCDR Jason Wilken commissioned into the Corps in 2012 as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, after which he joined CDC's Career Epidemiology Field Officer (CEFO) program in CDC's Center for Preparedness and Response. Assigned as a CEFO to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), LCDR Wilken builds capacity for disease surveillance and epidemiology, particularly in the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster response, and environmental and occupational epidemiology. LCDR Wilken has deployed for CDC responses to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Liberia and Zika virus disease outbreak in American Samoa. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, an MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University, and is credentialed as an Emergency Operations Center Director by the state of California.

LCDR Wilken has previously served as the Chair of the Website Subcommittee and as the SciPAC COF Liaison, and has served on the PHS Regional Incident Support Team 9 since 2014.

Immediate Past Chairperson: CAPT Jennifer Thomas

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CAPT Jennifer (Jennie) Thomas is the Lead of the Biological Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory in the Laboratory Preparedness and Response Branch of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at CDC. Prior to joining the BRRAT Laboratory, CAPT Thomas was a Microbiologist in the CDC Meningitis Laboratory (2007-2016). While there, she developed and led validation of real-time PCR assays for detection of Neisseria meningitidis species and 6 Haemophilus influenzae serotypes. She worked closely with WHO-AFRO and ministries of health to transfer these technologies and to help establish real-time PCR based bacterial meningitis surveillance networks in the least developed countries in West and Central Africa. She continued to support introduction and evaluation of a new, epidemic-ending meningitis vaccine in the “African Meningitis Belt” through her laboratory leadership in the Surveillance in Central Africa (SURVAC) and MenAfriNet Projects. CAPT Thomas’s public health emergency response work includes deployment for CDC to its Influenza Diagnostics Team for the H1N1 Pandemic Response (2009); to Mali for Ebola response (2014); to Niger and Oregon for meningitis outbreaks (2015-2016); and as an agency-level leader in the Zika response (2016).  CAPT Thomas has extensive laboratory and public health emergency response leadership and is passionate about laboratory capacity building via development of cutting-edge pathogen detection capabilities, mentoring, and preparedness through strong public health partnerships.

CAPT Thomas completed her B.A. in French at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia (1995).  She earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics and completed her dissertation on the “Genetic Basis for Nongroupable Neisseria meningitidis” at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (1997-2002). After graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University where she studied genetic regulation of virulence in enteropathogenic E. coli (2002-2004). She was an Adjunct Professor at Edison College and a Visiting Instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where she was also a Research Associate investigating inhibition of influenza virus binding to mammalian cells (2004-2006).  In 2006, CAPT Thomas joined CDC as a Microbiologist in the Poxvirus Laboratory to study monkeypox virus virulence factor regulation. She commissioned into the United States Public Health Service in 2007. She served on PHS Rapid Deployment Force 3 for seven years, deploying for Operation Foothold (2011), Hurricane Irene (2011), and Major Flooding Louisiana (2016). CAPT Thomas has been actively involved in SciPAC, including as a Recruitment, Readiness, and Retention Subcommittee member (2014-2015), the Science Subcommittee Co-chair (2012-2014), and as Category Day Subcommittee Social Team Lead (2014-2015). She became a SciPAC Voting Member in 2015 and served as Co-Chair of the Mentoring Subcommittee (2015-2016) and Chair of the Policy (2016-2017) and the Rules and Membership (2017-2018) Subcommittees. She is the first laboratory scientist to serve as SciPAC Chair in over a decade.

Executive Secretary: LCDR Alice Shumate

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LCDR Alice Shumate is a researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She serves as the Co-Director of the NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies. In this role she provides scientific guidance to NIOSH and extramural researchers; fosters collaborations among NIOSH researchers, industry, labor groups, and other stakeholders; and develops maritime safety and health research priorities for NIOSH as well as the nation as part of the National Occupational Research Agenda. LCDR Shumate is an epidemiologist with expertise in infectious diseases, environmental health, and the occupational health of maritime workers, wildland fire fighters, miners, and emergency responders. She previously served as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, and has worked for the NIOSH Respiratory Health Division as well as the Western States Division. LCDR Shumate holds a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College and an MPH from the University of Washington.

LCDR Shumate has previously Chaired the SciPAC Career Development Subcommittee, Co-Chaired the Recruitment, Retention, and Readiness Subcommittee, and served as the JOAG Liaison to SciPAC. She serves on both the PHS Regional Incident Support Team (RIST) 10 and the CDC Global Rapid Response Team as a first-level responder for natural disasters and outbreaks both nationally and internationally. 

COF Liaison: CDR Kamil Barbour 

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CDR Kamil Barbour is the Team Lead for the State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program at the CDC’s Division of Population Health. His team of Commissioned Corps Officers are tasked to build chronic disease epidemiology capacity at state health departments across the country.  CDR Barbour’s research interests include general arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, osteoporosis, and fractures. He has also deployed for numerous public health emergencies including cholera, polio, Ebola, and Zika. CDR Barbour received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and M.S. in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a MPH from Brown University. He trained in epidemiology with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Services Officer. He has authored over 65 journal articles and received numerous Public Health Service Awards. CDR Barbour is an active member of the American College of Rheumatology.

CDR Barbour has been a committed member and leader within SciPAC since 2010. He is currently serving his 2nd term as a SciPAC Voting Member.  His past leadership roles include Chair of the Visibility Subcommittee for 3-years, Co-Chair of the Visibility Subcommittee (1-year), and Keynote Speaker Team Lead for the Category Day Subcommittee. In addition, he served SciPAC as an active member on the following Subcommittees: Website, Category Day, and Recruitment, Retention, and Readiness.      

SciPAC Chairs 1984–Present
Officer Agency Term                    
RADM Barry L. Johnson CDC 1984-1986
CDR Andrea A. Wargo FDA 1986-1988
CAPT Harry Milman EPA Sep 1988-Aug 1989
CAPT Jerry Johnson USCG Sep 1989-Aug 1990
CAPT John Bartko ADAMHA Sep 1990-Aug 1991
CAPT Derek Dunn CDC Sep 1991-Aug 1992
CDR Stephen Wilson FDA Sep 1992-Aug 1993
CAPT John Pennington FDA Sep 1993-Aug 1994
CDR Roland Garcia HRSA Sep 1994-Aug 1995
CAPT Joe Sun FDA Sep 1995-Aug 1996
CAPT Michael Alavanja NIH Sep 1996-Aug 1997
CDR S. Lori Brown FDA Sep 1997-Aug 1998
CDR Francois Lalonde NIH Sep 1998-Aug 1999
CDR Rebecca Sheets FDA Sep 1999-Aug 2000
CDR Richard Troiano NIH Sep 2000-Aug 2001
CDR Angela González Williams HRSA Sep 2001-Aug 2002
CDR Joe Despins FDA Sep 2002-Aug 2003
CDR Doug Thoroughman CDC Sep 2003-Mar 2004
LCDR Daphne Moffett CDC Apr 2004-Aug 2005
LCDR Ross Spears CDC Sep 2005-Aug 2006
CDR Martin Sanders CDC Sep 2006-Aug 2007
CDR Sara Newman NPS Sep 2007-Aug 2008
CDR Rachel Avchen CDC Sep 2008-Aug 2009
CDR Diana Bensyl CDC Sep 2009-Aug 2010
CDR Matthew Newland HRSA Sep 2010-Aug 2011
CDR Karon Abe CDC Sep 2011-Aug 2012
CDR Ryan Novak CDC Sep 2012-Aug 2013
CDR Nicole Frazer DOD Sep 2013-Aug 2014
CAPT Nisha Robbins DOD Sep 2014-Aug 2015
CDR Matthew Murphy CDC Sep 2015-Aug 2016
CDR Jennifer Adjemian NIH Sep 2016-Aug 2017
CDR Robin Toblin DOD Sep 2017-Aug 2018
CAPT Jennifer Thomas CDC Sep 2018-Aug 2019
CDR Loren Rodgers CDC Sep 2019-present

ADAMHA: Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DOD: Department of Defense
EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
FDA: Food and Drug Administration
HRSA: Health Resources and Services Administration
NIH: National Institutes of Health
USCG: United States Coast Guard

Page Last Modified on 9/30/2019

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