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Turning Points: Making Policy, A Career

Passion leads many scientists away from the bench and into world policy organizations. But policy making and diplomacy require both art and science, and universities and fellowship programs can help life scientists acquire skills they don't always learn in their labs. Take Achal Bhatt, an analyst in the National Immunization Program (NIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. As Bhatt worked toward her PhD on mycobacteria, which cause tuberculosis, she became incre

Karen Young Kreeger
Passion leads many scientists away from the bench and into world policy organizations. But policy making and diplomacy require both art and science, and universities and fellowship programs can help life scientists acquire skills they don't always learn in their labs.

Take Achal Bhatt, an analyst in the National Immunization Program (NIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. As Bhatt worked toward her PhD on mycobacteria, which cause tuberculosis, she became increasingly disturbed by the politics of TB inoculations.

"Some would talk about ... political pressures that prevent the people who need [vaccines] from getting them," says Bhatt, who did her graduate work at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "It would always boil my blood. There I am doing research on a new vaccine and even the vaccines that we currently have aren't getting to the people who need them."...

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