Education / Training




Your future in laboratory science starts here

Through internships, practicums and fellowships at the State Hygienic Laboratory, students and recent graduates can gain hands-on experience working with laboratory professionals.

Internships and Practicums

If you are interested in applying for an internship or practicum please review the opportunities listed below.

Please email your updated resume, cover letter and dates of availability directly to the mentor of the project you are interested in. That mentor will follow up with you to determine next steps in the process.

Questions? Email Beth Hochstedler or Julie Cunningham.


Build SDWA Permit Management Tool

Build a data base to store testing information from Iowa public water supply permits. The data base would hold the public water supply identifying number, name, year issued, etc. It would also have the capability to input testing needs by test name, method, etc. The user would need to be able to pull information from the database based on test/method needs and number of samples to collect in order to put together bottle orders. Capability to add order #'s to the database would be desirable. Collection time frames are weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and multiple years (every 6 years).

Specimen Storage Access Database Project

This project will use an existing Access database specimen storage application designed by a staff member in Coralville and expand/modify it for use at the Ankeny Laboratory. The project also includes the initial data input for the current specimens in storage.

Measuring Success in Response to an Infectious Disease Outbreak

The purpose of this study is to determine how to measure the public health laboratory response to an infectious outbreak.

The questions to be answered are:

  • What are the key events that trigger recognition that the laboratory must respond to an outbreak?
  • What are the variables for which the responses are similar regardless of the infectious disease?
  • What are the variables for which the response is dissimilar?
  • What key metrics could be used by a public health laboratory to determine if the response to the outbreak is successful from the laboratory’s perspective?

Statewide Antibiogram for Iowa

An antibiogram is an overall profile of antimicrobial susceptibility testing results of a specific microorganism to a battery of antimicrobial drugs. Each hospital produces a periodic summary of the antimicrobial susceptibilities of local bacterial isolates submitted to the hospital’s clinical microbiology laboratory. While the hospital’s antibiogram is used to assess local susceptibility rates, there is not a statewide antibiogram for Iowa, and this project will focus on developing one.

Regression Analysis

SHL tests for many different STDs for both screening and diagnostic purposes. Different test methods are run in different sections using different methods, from separate specimens and data collection. One of our test method collects a lot of information on various risk factors. Some of these same patients are tested for multiple other tests at the same time. We will be specifically looking at results from Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhea, Trichomonas vaginalis using Transcription Mediated Assay (TMA), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 using PCR, Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), and Syphilis tests-Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) and Treponema Pallidum Particle Agglutination Assay (TPPA).

We would like to see how these risk factors, facility location or type, correlate to other tests results, dual or possibly even multi-infections. This information could be used to determine better testing algorithms or the need for specific panels of tests.


Fellowships provide students and recent graduates an opportunity to build their expertise in a professional environment. In coordination with national partners, the State Hygienic Laboratory hosts environmental, infectious disease and management/leadership fellows.

Environmental Public Health (EPH) Laboratory Fellowship Program

The EPH Laboratory Fellowship Program aims to attract and prepare laboratory scientists for careers in public health with an environmental focus. The fellowship is sponsored by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public Health Associate Program

The Public Health Associate Program is a competitive, two-year paid training program sponsored by the CDC. Associates are assigned to public health agencies or nongovernmental organizations, and work alongside professionals across a variety of public health settings.

Bioinformatics in Public Health Fellowship Program

The Bioinformatics Fellowship aims to train and prepare students interested in bioinformatics to apply their expertise in public health. The fellowship is co-sponsored by the APHL and CDC.

Newborn Screening Fellowship

The Ronald H. Laessig Memorial Newborn Screening Fellowship Program prepares laboratory scientists for careers in newborn screening and/or genetics research while strengthening local, state and federal public health infrastructures. The fellowship is co-sponsored by the APHL and CDC.

Laboratory Leadership Service

The Laboratory Leadership Service fellowship prepares early career laboratory scientists to become future public health laboratory leaders. Through on-the-job service at CDC and other public health laboratories, fellows acquire and apply skills in quality management, biosafety and leadership. The fellowship is sponsored by the CDC.

Questions? Email Beth Hochstedler.

Mentorship Program

The Student Mentorship Program has been placed on hold. Applications are not being accepted at this time.

To learn more about the Student Mentorship Program, check out these videos featuring our past student mentees.

Questions? Email Beth Hochstedler.


Last updated April 22, 2019