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National Library of Medicine Grantee Dr. John Brownstein Wins Prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)


National Library of Medicine (NLM) grantee Dr. John S. Brownstein of Children's Hospital Boston is among 94 researchers named recipients of the 2010 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama. Dr. Brownstein's area of expertise is in novel statistical modeling and medical informatics approaches for accelerating the translation of public health surveillance research into practice. Recipients received their awards in a Washington, DC ceremony recently.

Launched in 1996, PECASE (// is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

In 2010, Dr. Brownstein was awarded his first research project (R01) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - $1.3 million over three years - to develop "A Platform for Modeling the Global Impact of Climate Change on Infectious Disease." As part of the presidential award, NIH will extend that grant, sponsored by NLM, with an additional three years of funding.

"I'm delighted that Dr. John Brownstein has received this honor," said Dr. Valerie Florance, Extramural Programs Director of the National Library of Medicine. "This young researcher already has a national reputation in the areas of public health surveillance systems and statistical modeling of public health surveillance data to improve prevention and control activities. His research is truly innovative. Modeling the impact of climate change on infectious disease is highly significant, with both national and international implications."

Trained as an epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, where he obtained his PhD, Dr. Brownstein completed his postdoctoral training at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. He is presently an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

The PECASE awards are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.  Sixteen Federal departments and agencies nominate their most meritorious young scientists and engineers who show promise in assuring America's preeminence in science and engineering.

Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: Pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their research.

Dr. Brownstein is the fifth NLM grantee to receive this honor.  Earlier awardees were Dr. Russ Altman (Stanford University), Dr. Ida Sim (University of California, San Francisco), Dr. Kenneth Mandl (Harvard University) and Dr. Bradley Malin (Vanderbilt University).

The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library, is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


More on the National Library of Medicine Extramural Programs Division at:



 Dr. J. S. Brownstein

 Dr. John S. Brownstein


 Group Photo

2010 PECASE winner Dr. John S. Brownstein (second from right) is congratulated by (left to right) NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen  Sebelius and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John P. Holdren.