PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2003
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1998
BA, Wesleyan University, 1995
My primary research interest is on the host genetic susceptibility to infectious disease. Infectious diseases epitomize a complex disease because both genetic and environmental factors must play a role in susceptibility and progression of disease. The exposure to an environmental pathogen is critical to risk, but genes in the host can influence innate and adaptive immunity and thus the risk of disease and its severity. My goal is to identify the underlying mechanisms of infectious disease by identifying host genetic variants that alter or influence our immune response.
I work with adult and pediatric populations within the United States and Internationally (Bangladesh, Brazil) to identify host genes associated with parasitic (E. histolytica, Cryptosporidium, Giardia) and viral (hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus, rotavirus) infections. I am especially interested in the role of malnutrition in diarrheal disease and the identification of ancestry specific mutations. My work has led to the identification of loci for several infectious diseases. I am also currently enrolling families with Acute Flaccid Myelitis into a study focused on identifying genes that may explain paralysis following a viral infection.
And I am leading the genetics arm of the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) study 50,000 children and mothers.
Honors and Awards
2002 NHGRI Directors Distinguished Service Award, NIH
2004 Fellows Award for Research Excellence, NIH
2005 NHGRI Intramural Research Award, NIH (1 of 3 awarded to an outstanding research fellow)
2012 Teaching Excellence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health