School of Data Science Graduate Students Join Prestigious ORISE Fellowship Program

Monday, May 11, 2020
FDA selects DSBA and HIA graduate students for Risk Based Assessment Inspection Fellowships

Two graduate students from UNC Charlotte’s School of Data Science master’s programs were selected to participate in the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship program. They are the first UNC Charlotte students to be selected to participate in the Silver Spring, MD, based program.

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset, dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives, ORISE offers fellowship and internship opportunities across the U.S. for graduate students in STEM disciplines, in an effort to expand their expertise beyond the traditional university setting. 

The two students selected as ORISE Fellows are: 

  • Michael Thuemmel, Health Informatics and Analytics,’19 

  • Gabriel Fair, Data Science and Business Analytics '20, Ph.D, CCI 

Both students were offered positions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as Risk Based Assessment Inspection fellows. This project aims to transform the drug quality review and inspections process, ensuring safe, effective, and high quality drugs for the public. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Gabriel Fair has been tasked with supporting the process for fast tracking drugs and treatments, such as Gilead’s Remdesivir. 

“This is a great opportunity to really make a difference in the world,” Fair said. “With the rapid development of COVID-19, we’ve been able to see how important the FDA is in drug development, approval, and risk management. The public needs the FDA, and I’m excited to be a part of it.” 

Throughout the one year contract, the fellows will rotate between four sectors within the FDA, gaining experience in project management, facilities management, database infrastructure, and more. 

“By combining traditional business practices with modern data science tools, we’ll be working to ensure that the collection of risk assessment data is streamlined and can be easily transitioned for drug trials,” Thuemmel said. “I’m looking forward to combining both my hard skills, like coding, with my knowledge of policy management to play an instrumental role in providing safe, clean, and effective medicines to the public.”