Chemistry and Global Health T'18
Current PositionMD/MPH Candidate, Tufts University School of Medicine
Healthy people need healthy environments in order to thrive. The latter is not a convenience, but a necessity. My Bass Connections experience gave me the opportunity to delve into the intimate connection between human and environmental health, and in doing so, experience working with communities to address population health needs.
The first project I joined focused on the environmental epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis and malaria. We wanted to know “Who gets sick and why?” Both parts of that question were critical first steps to any intervention the community might undertake. My second year focused on another region of the Peruvian Amazon and non-communicable disease (mercury exposure), but the fundamental question was the same. This time, however, we had the chance to pilot an intervention and examine how diet and associated behavior affected health.
Our work set me along my current path, from my undergraduate experience, to my research at the Fogarty International Center at NIH, and now the MD/MPH degree I am pursuing at Tufts. Two threads tie each of these together — the importance of people’s environments to leading healthy lives and the necessity of working in teams to meet this goal. I am incredibly grateful for the dedicated team that not only taught me, but gave me a chance to lead. Ultimately, my biggest thanks goes out to the communities that supported and taught us during our work.