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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC Alumnus Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Dr. Matthew Wheeler, alumnus of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government upon science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.


[Photo: Dr. Matthew Wheeler]

President Barack Obama announced the award for Dr. Wheeler and 101 other American scientists on Jan. 9.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama said. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

The awards, established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

Dr. Wheeler works on the development of risk assessment methods at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

“Matt distinguished himself by being an excellent researcher from Day 1, with a great knack for identifying important scientific problems and relentlessly pursuing a solution,” said Dr. Amy Herring, Carol Remmer Angle Distinguished Professor of Children’s Environmental Health and associate chair in the Gillings School’s Department of Biostatistics. “I am delighted the President chose to honor him for his strong contributions to health science.”

Dr. Wheeler earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Miami University (Ohio) and a doctoral degree in biostatistics from the Gillings School in 2013.