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Look Out Nola, Here We Come

Cailin Deal, PhD '14

Alumna and former Sommer Scholar Cailin Deal brings some Bloomberg blue to APHA.

 

Bloomberg School faculty, students and alumni will be joining public health professionals from around the world who have gathered in New Orleans for the APHA’s 142nd Annual Meeting & Exposition. The conference spans November 15-19.

Among attendees is Cailin Deal, PhD ’14, whose malaria vaccine work under MMI professor Gary Ketner, PhD, won first place for laboratory research in the 2014 Delta Omega Scientific Poster Competition.

“The malaria research community hasn’t developed a licensed malaria vaccine yet. And we’ve been working on it for decades,” says Deal. “It was time to think outside the box and try a very radical approach.”

She collaborated with the CalTech lab of David Baltimore, an esteemed biologist and Nobel laureate, to adapt a powerful tactic—proven to work with viruses like influenza, HIV and hepatitis C—to the malaria parasite: using a virus to deliver antibodies. Viruses are known for effectively entering cells, explains Deal, making them a versatile delivery tool.

Her innovative experiment involved injecting mice with the antibodies known to protect against malaria. “It worked better than we had hoped,” says Deal, who is optimistic that using viruses as vectors could usher in a new era of malaria control.

JHSPH Admissions Team at APHA 2014Attending APHA for the first time, Deal will be presenting her research during the Delta Omega Poster Session I on Monday, November 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m. The Bloomberg School admissions team will stand close by at booth 2024, not far from the Global Health NOW editors at booth 1615.

Deal, now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, looks forward to reconnecting with fellow Sommer Scholars alumni and faculty.

“The Bloomberg School exposed me to a lot of brilliant minds and brilliant research,” she says. “I had a great experience with the people I worked with and their help on my journey was invaluable.”

—Salma Warshanna-Sparklin

Photograph of Cailin Deal by Alejandro Balazs.