• 2024 Vaccine Science Fellows Will Help Advance Public Health

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

    Emily Holwick

    LEAWOOD, Kan. – The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is pleased to announce the 2024 Vaccine Science Fellows. This cornerstone fellowship program helps develop family physicians’ skills and knowledge around vaccination and addresses connections between public health and family medicine. In a time of increasing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, this program is critical to helping family physicians do what they do best: keeping patients healthy.  

    This year’s Vaccine Science Fellows are:

    LaTasha Seliby Perkins, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and staff physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She is also core faculty for the MedStar Georgetown Family Medicine Residency Program. She completed her internship and residency at the Spartanburg Regional Family Medicine Program in South Carolina and received her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. 

    “I want to know vaccine-related science, research and policies and how that intersects with family medicine,” said Seliby Perkins. “I want to understand the barriers, reasons for shortages, trends and concerns that exist in the immunization space. I am ready to be a part of eliminating misinformation and disinformation that permeate our communities, and what better time to do it than now.”

    Kathleen Harder Brouwer, MD, is a physician owner of a rural health clinic in Hamilton, Montana. She is also a clinical instructor and preceptor for students in two programs at the University of Washington School of Medicine She completed her residency at Grand Rapids Family Medicine Practice in Michigan and received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. 

    “As a family physician, vaccination has always been an integral part of my practice,” said Harder Brouwer. “As a member of the medical community in a county with a very low rates of vaccination, I see the Vaccine Science Fellowship as a pathway to helping me become the kind of expert that could improve the health of those in my community. I feel it could help me be a better advocate for my patients, and lastly, it could help me train the next generation of physicians to be better able to handle public health crises and issues.”

    “We are pleased to welcome this year’s Vaccine Science Fellows and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish and the knowledge they will gain over the next year,” said Ryan Lester, AAFP's vice president of Education and Health of the Public and Science. “Family physicians are trusted sources of information for their patients and their role in addressing vaccine misinformation has never been more crucial. Vaccines save lives, and this experience will equip fellows with invaluable experiences that will help them best serve their communities.”

    The fellows will be guided by AAFP physician mentors, including three past Vaccine Science Fellows, as they gain practical hands-on experience in vaccine science and policy by meeting with experts in immunization, public health, policy groups and vaccine manufacturers. Fellows will also develop a self-study project to be disseminated to AAFP membership, public health officials and others.

    You can find more information about the AAFP Vaccine Science Fellowship Program here


    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 130,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits — that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.