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Gohlke Awarded AAAS Policy Fellowship

By Eddy Ball
September 2009

Julia Gohlke, Ph.D.
Gohlke is one of the 190 Fellows in the 2009-2010 cohort - the largest in the history of the program.
(Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced in August that NIEHS Postdoctoral Fellow Julia Gohlke, Ph.D., has been selected to participate in its prestigious Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellows program during 2009-2010. She will work as an AAAS Diplomacy Fellow in the U.S. State Department Office of Global Change following a two-week orientation organized by AAAS that began on September 1.

Gohlke worked with NIEHS Associate Director Chris Portier, Ph.D., during her tenure at NIEHS in the Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology. She pursued policy interests in energy sustainability, climate change, children's health, quantification of human health impacts, risk assessment for global threats, life cycle analysis and cost-benefit analysis.

Gohlke was among representatives from NIEHS at several high-profile meetings and workshops on global health, including the January 2008 National Council for Science and the Environment Climate Change: Science and Solutions conference ( in Washington and the December 2008 International EcoHealth Forum ( in Merida, Mexico. She has published several peer-reviewed studies during her time at NIEHS in molecular toxicology and systems approaches to human health research.

Since the program began in 1973, nearly 2,200 scientists and engineers have participated in AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. Some have gone back to the laboratory or science classroom. But many have established new careers in government or with policy-oriented organizations. According to AAAS, the Fellows program continues to grow as more and more government agencies seek scientific expertise. In fact, the demand for S&T experts far outweighed the number of finalists in the program.

NIEHS scientists and fellows who have participated in the S&T Policy Fellows program include Principal Investigator Traci Hall, Ph.D., and former Laboratory of Molecular Genetics Fellow John Fortune, Ph.D. (, who now works at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a program manager in the Science and Technology Directorate's Infrastructure and Geophysical Division.

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