2017 CGH SUMMER RESEARCH FELLOWS
Chinye Ljeli is a rising fourth year undergraduate in the College majoring in Biological Sciences. This summer, she spent seven weeks working on a sickle cell disease-focused public health project in Abuja, Nigeria. Specifically, she aided the setup of sickle cell screening programs in Abuja schools. She conducted interviews and administered surveys at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in order to explore the relationship between gender and psychosocial effects of the disease. After graduation, she hopes to obtain MD and MPH degrees and work as a public health administrator.
Sarah Chung is a first-year Master of Public Policy/ Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP) student at the Harris School with a particular interest in environmental health. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she majored in International Development at UCLA, and she hopes to do a Ph.D in either Public Policy or Public Health after obtaining her master's degree. In the summer of 2017, she spent eight weeks in Nigeria working on the Lagos-based Household Air Pollution (HAP) case study, which is funded by the African Development Bank and National Institute of Health. Within this research study, she was interested in barriers and adoption of clean cooking technology through estimating willingness to pay for the clean cookstoves.
Isabella Pan is a fourth-year undergraduate in the College who is majoring in Comparative Human Development, with an interest in global health and human rights. This summer, worked on a Household Air Pollution (HAP) project in Ibadan, Nigeria. She sought to characterize the relationship between pollution exposure and loss in olfactory function in order to understand the broader public health implications of HAP. She worked under the direction of Dr. Sola Olapade and the Healthy Life for All Foundation.
Whitney George is a third-year undergraduate majoring in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS). This summer, she traveled to Kumasi, Ghana to study barriers and challenges to immunization under the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI). She surveyed caregivers and healthcare providers in immunization facilities in both urban and rural settings under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Ansong. She hopes to continue to engage in global health work in the future and go to medical school after college.
Cindy Du is a fourth-year in the College majoring in biological sciences and minoring in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Medicine (HIPS). This summer, Cindy worked at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She worked on two projects on breast cancer in South Africa, and was mentored by Dr. Funmi Olopade, Dr. Sarah Rayne, Dr. Amanda Krause, and Ms. Tasha Wainstein. One project studied genetic counseling, family history, and outcomes at Helen Joseph Breast Care Clinic. The other studied variants of unknown significance in the BRCA2 gene. These two studies both aim to address the growing issue of breast cancer and its treatment in middle income countries like South Africa.
Jenny Kim is a third-year majoring in Biological Sciences who plans to go to medical school after college. This summer she spent ten weeks in Cape Town, South Africa working for the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), a non-profit that promotes improved cancer outcomes in Africa. At AORTIC, she helped formulate and survey a special interest group that brings radiation oncologists together in order to identify research needs, share treatment practices, and address education targets. She also developed a comprehensive resource directory that maps the availability of cancer resources throughout the African continent - information that previously had not been kept up-to-date or otherwise been made readily accessible.
Davina Moossazadeh is a fourth-year majoring in Statistics and minoring in Spanish. This summer, she studied the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in Panama City, Panama, where the prevalence of the disease is estimated to be 50-80%. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that can cause severe birth defects, as well as neural defects in immunocompromised individuals. Davina worked to replicate studies done in other South American countries in order to determine how toxoplasmosis is spread throughout the population of Panama, what the risk factors are, and who is most susceptible to contracting the disease. Additionally, Davina examined the correlation between prevalence of the disease in Panama and other variables such as geography, race, sex, and education. Through this study, Davina hopes to add to the growing body of research aimed at developing proper prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this disease.
Stratton Tolmie The College 2018, Biological Sciences
University of Chicago Mentor: Dr. Funmi Olopade
Stratton Tolmie is a fourth-year undergraduate in The College majoring in Biological Sciences. This summer, Stratton worked with the Kapoor Foundation, Tata Memorial Hospital, and other health workers and providers in the Metro Mumbai Area, India. Stratton helped perform a needs assessment with physicians, patients, and other stakeholders for the preventative oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital. He also developed informational 'one-pagers' for waiting rooms at Tata that dispel common cancer myths, discuss available resources, and inform patients on the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment. He also performed econometric research on the efficacy of local programs for women affected by breast cancer. After graduation, Stratton wishes to pursue a career in global health, either through a clinical degree or through further exploring his interests in economic development and health policy.
Rashad Crosby is a fourth-year majoring in Public Policy with an interest in Public Health, and with a minor in Cinema and Media Studies. He spent his summer studying the correlations between adolescent health and in-school policies regarding physical activity in Ibadan, Nigeria. The association between behavioral factors (attitude, social support from friends or family, eating patterns, etc.) and the levels of physical activity were assessed. He spent the first two weeks conducting interviews in classrooms from selected schools within different communities around the Oyo state. He then spent the rest of his time conducting a quantitative analysis of the observations and aid in creation of augmented health policies. Rashad's work focused on highlighting the spread of non-communicable diseases within the country among in-school adolescents.
Vivek Sarma is a fourth-year undergraduate in The College and a double major in Economics and South Asian Languages and Civilizations, with a concentration in South Asian language. This summer, Vivek spent eight weeks working on Household Air Pollution research in Lagos, Nigeria. The aim of this comprehensive research study was to stimulate and facilitate the wide-scale, sustainable adoption of safe, clean cooking solutions in underprivileged areas. After graduation, Vivek hopes to continue to pursue his interest in public and global health through either pursuing graduate school in Health Policy and Biostatistics, or through Medical School.
Gracie Caraballo is a fourth-year undergraduate in The College. She is pursuing a double major in Biological Sciences and Sociology, and is particularly interested in the way socio-cultural factors affect health disparities. This summer, Gracie explored the barriers to hypertension identification, treatment, and management in rural and urban communities in Ghana. Specifically, she surveyed and interviewed healthcare providers and hypertensive patients in order to determine what they believe are the biggest obstacles preventing adequate hypertension care in their communities. After graduation, Gracie hopes to continue to pursue her interest in global health by attending medical school.
Mercy Loyo is a fourth-year in The College and a major in Public Policy Studies, with a concentration in Global Health Policy, along with a minor in Human Rights. This summer, she spent ten weeks at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa examining the role post-apartheid health policies play in determining the access and provision of genetic counseling services for breast cancer patients. Within this comprehensive research study, she specifically focused her time on the intersection of human rights and health care in implementing and drafting health policy that is aimed at promoting equity and social justice. After graduation, Mercy hopes to attend law school to continue to pursue her interest in international law and global health policy.
Bruno Osorio Harris School of Public Policy
Site Mentor: Tria Raimundo
Bruno Osorio is a Master in Public Policy Candidate and Co-Executive Director of the Inter-Policy School Summit at The Harris School. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship and the Hank Paulson Fellowship for his graduate studies. He previously worked as Chief of Staff of the Directorate General for the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project at the Mexican Foreign Ministry. This summer, Bruno was a Global Development Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where he worked on issues related to development, food security, sustainable development, and gender equality.
Meera Mody The College 2018, Economics and Mathematics
University of Chicago Mentor: Dr. Funmi Olopade, MD, FACP
Meera Mody is a fourth-year in The College, double-majoring in Economics and Mathematics. This summer, she worked with the Kapoor Foundation and Tata Memorial Hospital in India, under the mentorship of Dr. Funmi Olopade. She helped to conduct a needs assessment in preventative oncology and developed waiting room material for patients. She also worked on a project regarding financial barriers patients face while undergoing cancer treatment. Her projects were informed by data from the Cancer Directory that is compiled by the Kapoor Foundation. In the future, Meera is interested in going to graduate school to pursue health economics and policy.
Margarita Ramirez is a third-year in The College, majoring in Biology and minoring in Human Rights. This summer, Margarita worked in Panama, a country with one of the highest seroprevalences of the zoonotic infection, toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by the parasite toxoplasma gondii. Margarita spent ten weeks analyzing the genetic diversity of toxoplasma gondii isolates in Panamanian wild animals. This study seeks to inform to a better understanding of pathogen-host interactions, dynamics in circles of transmission, and the evolution of the parasite, which can ultimately be applied in the medical field. After graduation, Margarita hopes to pursue her interest in global health through an MD-PhD.