Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 24, 2007

Emerging Infectious Diseases fellow joins University Hygienic Laboratory

The University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) this week welcomed a clinical laboratorian who will be researching influenza surveillance and pandemic preparedness as part of a fellowship through the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Erin Graf is one of 45 Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) fellows assigned to public health laboratories across the nation.

"The EID fellowship program matches talented researchers with veteran laboratorians who work together on initiatives to improve public health, which in Erin's case will focus on preparing for a pandemic influenza," explained UHL Director Chris Atchison. "UHL is nationally known for its advancements in public health emergency readiness. The EID fellowship program is an opportunity for UHL to contribute to scientific education while it aids in Iowa's preparedness efforts."

Graf graduated with honors from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in cell biology and molecular genetics.

Staff members in the infectious disease section of the laboratory will assist in training and educating Graf. UHL's Sandy Jirsa, supervisor of virology, and Trisha Kreman, microbiologist, will mentor Graf during her work at the laboratory. Kreman is one of several current staff members who began their began careers at UHL as EID fellows.

"Thanks to the efforts of Beth Hochstedler, UHL training and outreach coordinator, who has been actively involved in workforce development, UHL has successfully attracted EID fellows from throughout the nation for many years," said Mike Pentella, Ph.D., UHL associate director of infectious disease.

The EID Advanced Laboratory Training Fellowship is a one-year program designed for bachelor's- or master's-level scientists with emphasis on the practical application of technologies, methodologies and practices related to emerging infectious diseases. UHL has participating in the program since its inception in 1996.

The University Hygienic Laboratory is the state of Iowa's environmental and public health laboratory, with facilities located on the UI's Oakdale Campus in Iowa City and at the Iowa Lab Facilities in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb. Among its many services, the laboratory functions as a consultative and analytical support facility for state agencies, health professionals, and citizens. UHL is part of the University of Iowa and has developed and maintained effective and productive collaborations with the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and local public health agencies.

UHL performs analyses on samples from virtually all matrices, including human clinical specimens, air, drinking water, wastewater, soil, sediment, industrial effluents, oil and fish. In addition to performing analyses by specified methods, the UHL provides methods development and procedure verification for nonroutine analyses. Additional information about UHL, its programs and services is available online at

STORY SOURCE:  University Hygienic Laboratory, 102 Oakdale Campus, H101 OH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-5002

MEDIA CONTACT: Pat Blake, 319-335-4177,