The NAM, along with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), have named the 2015-2016 class of the FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows. These five individuals were chosen through a highly selective national competition based on their exceptional, diverse professional qualifications to contribute to the work of CTP.

The 12-month fellowship will begin in September at CTP headquarters in Maryland. Each fellow will be assigned to an office within CTP. They will lead specific projects related to tobacco-product regulation, as well as actively participate in the development of science-based public health strategies. In addition, the 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. The fellows will also receive mentorship from senior staff at CTP, who will guide them throughout the fellowship. The goal of the experience is to enrich the fellows’ understanding about tobacco products, including their health consequences, and afford opportunities to learn about and contribute to the work of a prominent public health regulatory agency.

“This fellowship provides a distinct opportunity for exceptional professionals to learn directly from the country’s leaders in tobacco-product regulation,” said NAM President Victor J. Dzau. “These fellows will have an amazing year helping develop science-based public health strategies.”

The 2015-2016 fellows are:

  • Amanda T. Berger, Ph.D., M.A., postdoctoral research fellow, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Silver Spring, MD.
  • Shari P. Feirman, Ph.D., M.S., project director for regulatory science and policy, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy®, Washington, D.C.
  • José L. Medina Torres, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., CHES, health communications specialist, Penngood, Washington, D.C.
  • Alexandra M. Merceron, M.A., visiting professor, department of public relations and corporate communications, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • Kimberly M. Snyder, M.P.H., program and policy analyst II, The Nemours Foundation, Wilmington, Del.

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“At FDA, the new class of fellows will gain a deeper understanding of tobacco-product regulation,” said Mitchell Zeller, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “These fellows bring an exceptional set of skills and knowledge to FDA that will help inform and advance the Center’s public health and regulatory mission. I look forward to working with them.”

Launched in 2012, the FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship Program aims to provide an opportunity for mid-career professionals to gain experience and expertise to further define and develop the field of regulatory science as it relates to tobacco products and FDA’s authorities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Additional information can be found at

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