Public Release: 

National Academy of Medicine and FDA select 4 individuals for 2016-2017 Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) have named the 2016-2017 class of FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows. Four individuals were selected 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, where 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 CTP's 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 tobacco regulatory activities of a prominent public health regulatory agency.

"The fellowship offers a distinct opportunity for fellows to learn directly from the experts at CTP and apply their diverse skills and knowledge to CTP's important work," said NAM President Victor J. Dzau. "The NAM is proud to provide guidance for the fellowship and work alongside CTP to offer this uniquely synergistic and productive program in the emerging field of tobacco regulatory science."

The 2016-2017 fellows are:

  • Babita Das, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow, Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park

  • Alison Kulas, M.S.P.H., former tobacco program manager, division of public health, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, Anchorage

  • Dana Lauterstein, M.S., graduate assistant and Ph.D. candidate, department of environmental medicine, New York University, New York City

  • Michelle Snortland, M.B.A., former branch chief, tobacco prevention and cessation program, Arkansas Department of Health, Little Rock

"We are thrilled to welcome a new class of fellows to CTP and provide them with the opportunity to see tobacco regulation from the inside," said Mitch Zeller, director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. "In turn, these fellows bring their own unique experiences and knowledge to FDA that will help inform and advance the Center's public health and regulatory mission. The CTP team and 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. For more information, visit

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as advisers to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors.

Jennifer Walsh, Senior Media Relations Officer
Emily Raschke, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail
Twitter: @theNASEM and @theNAMedicine

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