ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Trainee: Tamika Payne, graduate student, Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Mentor: Georgia Tomaras, PhD 
Tamika Payne, a graduate student in the Tomaras Laboratory, Duke Human Vaccine Institute and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, was recently awarded the prestigious ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This fellowship provides opportunities for interdisciplinary training on global issues and the opportunity to pursue Tamika’s approved research plan at the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID) at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. Tamika’s Ph.D. thesis work focuses on the regulation of antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses in HIV-1 virus controllers that was recently published (J Virology, 88 (17):9514-9528. Sept 2014).
After completing her Ph.D. this fall, Payne will join the laboratory of Dr. Ellen Kersh where she will study the effects of contraception use on HIV acquisition. Ultimately, Payne hopes to apply knowledge gained during her graduate training in the Tomaras lab to improve understanding of the link between hormonal contraceptives and HIV risk, contributing to the field of HIV prevention and to the betterment of global health. She is optimistic that completing her postdoctoral training alongside leading scientists in the highly collaborative research environment of the CDC will provide ample opportunities for the continuation of her intellectual growth and mastery of research skills. Although research will be her first priority, she plans to supplement her research activities with professional development opportunities offered in the resource-rich environment of the CDC and neighboring Emory University.
Payne’s graduate work is currently supported by NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31). She is currently serving as co-President of the Duke University Bouchet Society which works to strengthen the efforts of underrepresented minority graduate students in achieving their career goals in science research and education while encouraging values that will promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences. In 2013, Payne was selected as the Graduate Life of the Mind Award recipient which is given to a student that demonstrates personal and academic excellence in both the Duke and Durham communities. Payne previously served as an Executive Board member of Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA), as a mentor and assistant coordinator for the B.O.O.S.T. (a mentoring program which served to expose underprivileged middle-school children to science), and in multiple volunteer roles in the greater Durham community.
2013 Milton Huppert Graduate Student Award from the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas
Trainee: Stephanie Holmer, PhD candidate, graduate student, Department of Cell Biology, Duke University
Project title: "The Impact of Surfactant Protein-D, IL-5, and Eosinophilia on Cryptococcosis" -abstract submitted to the 2013 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
Mentor: Greg Sempowski, PhD 
National Science Foundation
Trainee: Casey Perley, graduate student, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University
Project title: "Identifying the substrates and signal peptide for the ESX-5 secretion system in M. tuberculosis"
Mentor: Richard Frothingham, MD 
Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) Young Investigator-of-the-Month Recipients
The CHAVI Young-Investigator-of-the-Month award recognizes outstanding young investigators who have made significant contributions to the CHAVI mission and who have been nominated by their mentors for their exceptional leadership and valuable research. The CHAVI SLG began presenting this award each month in January 2009 to recognize the accomplishments of dedicated and talented young investigators whose contributions have been outstanding and essential to the success of CHAVI programs and initiatives. CHAVI respects the unique efforts from our young investigators and values their continued dedication to CHAVI.
Mentor: Georgia Tomaras, PhD
- Howard Hughes Fellowship
- AIDS Training Grant for Postdoctoral Fellows
- Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Small Grant Award
- F31 NIH Pre-doctoral Fellowship