Become A Public Health Hero

At KCU's next Science Friday Talk, Dr. Rena Fukunaga, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, will present "Become a Public Health Hero: Gateway to an Exciting Career in the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)."  


As the nation’s public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long been known for its Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers, also known as disease detectives. When disease outbreaks or other threats emerge, officers are on the scene providing rapid, creative and effective solutions to public health problems. EIS officers support more than 100 public health investigations each year in the U.S. and worldwide. 

EIS officers are comprised of physicians, veterinarians, doctoral scientists and other health professionals, who learn to apply epidemiology to solve public health problems through a two-year, on-the-job training and service fellowship. As an EIS officer, you can make a difference by serving on the front lines of public health. Come learn more about how to make EIS your gateway to an exciting and rewarding career in public health.

Dr. Fukunaga is an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer on the Global Reproductive Health Evidence for Action Team (GREAT) in the Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC. Dr. Fukunaga holds a dual-PhD degree in Neuroscience and Clinical Science from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Michigan. 

She completed her psychology internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and subsequently worked as a research postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining EIS, Dr. Fukunaga’s research focused on examining the underlying neural correlates of cognitive control, specifically identifying the brain regions involved in risk/reward processing using neuroeconomic paradigms in both healthy and clinical populations. After a decade of conducting neuroimaging research, Dr. Fukunaga began a new career at the CDC by learning to apply the science of epidemiology (e.g. surveillance methods) to solve public health problems. 

As the EIS officer for the GREAT team, Dr. Fukunaga designs, conducts, monitors and evaluates programs and studies in global maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in international settings with the aims to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve maternal health and progress toward sustainable development goals. Dr. Fukunaga is excited to share her own life-changing career experiences since joining the CDC and in the process hopes to encourage you to consider joining EIS and become a public health hero!