Degrees Offered

Master of Public Health

The M.P.H. curriculum in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases is designed to train students to understand the epidemiology of the major infectious agents, the diseases they cause, and the host response to those diseases. The interaction of the agent (parasite, bacterium, or virus) with the host and the influence of the environment are studied. The curriculum considers the role of immunological response, genetics, natural history of vectors, geographic distribution, and transmission and transport of agents. 

Doctor of Philosophy

The goals of doctoral training with a concentration in EMD are to provide a current theoretical and practical base of epidemiological and microbiological principles, to master research methods, and to apply these skills to investigations of the biology of infectious organisms of public health importance and the epidemiology of the diseases they cause. The approach is multidisciplinary. It includes ecological, clinical, cellular, immunologic and molecular aspects of infectious diseases, their causative agents, vertebrate hosts, and vectors. In addition, opportunities exist for Ph.D. training through interdepartmental programs in which YSPH faculty participate, such as the Microbiology and Immunobiology tracks of the Biomedical and Biological Studies program.

EMD Students Share Their Research Experience

Lima, Peru

The Recruitment and Retention Team went out to lunch to celebrate everyone’s birthday. They included me in their birthday celebrations, and here we are celebrating Gonzalo’s birthday.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

This photo was taken during the Tour of Heroes. Here we are with two of our heroes EXA-MAN and PUMAX at one of the eight dance clubs we visited that night.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

IMPACTA celebrated its 15th anniversary on July 4. We played soccer and volleyball, and there was also live music and dancing. Here are all the 2015 summer fellows working with IMPACTA. We were on Team Pink for volleyball and soccer. We won volleyball, but our team sadly lost the soccer match.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

IMPACTA has two sites within Lima, one of which was located in the district of Barranco. Barranco is considered the bohemian district home to many of Lima’s artists, musicians, and photographers. There is a lot of street art located within Barranco, and this was one of my favorites.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

Lima is located on the coast of Peru. This photo was taken at Playa Waikiki in the Miraflores district of Lima, where there are great opportunities for surfing.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

Over Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Peru’s independence from Spain, I had the opportunity to travel to the city of Iquitos in Peru’s jungle. Iquitos is the largest city in the world inaccessible by road. You can either travel to Iquitos by plane or boat. Here I am visiting a reserve in Iquitos holding a baby sloth.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

At the end of my trip, two friends from the United States came to visit and travel with me throughout Peru. One place we traveled was Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. We stayed with a host family on one of the islands, and here we are dressed in our host’s traditional clothing.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

Peru is the gastronomic capital of Latin America, which essentially means that the food is amazing. This is my favorite dish, ceviche, which is made from fresh raw fish cured in lime juice. Although ceviche is found throughout the Americas, its origin is in Peru, and Peru arguably has the best ceviche in the world.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

At the end of my internship, I presented the preliminary results of my study to the clinic personnel.

- Not applicable

Lima, Peru

At the end of my internship, I traveled to Machu Picchu. Here I am at the summit.

- Not applicable

Cattle Farm

A typical beef cattle farm in Sa Kaeo province. Most cattle farms are really small, with an average of 5-7 cows. In some cases, members of the same family group their cattle together to save land and money and facilitate herd management.

- Not applicable

Teamwork

Data collection required teamwork and collaboration. I would often be in charge of making sure that the labels on blood tubes were corresponding to the tag number of each animal, to be able to trace back the animal in case the serum was positive for either Brucellosis or Q fever. I also took notes on the age, sex and body score (equivalent of BMI but for animals) of each individual sampled. The vets and paravets helping me in the field would take the blood samples for me most of the time because of the lack of structure for safe handling of the animals. They also conducted their annual vaccination campaign at the same time.

- Not applicable

Blood collection

I am taking blood from a 4-year old cow. I like this picture because it is a perfect One Health picture: dogs and cows can both be reservoirs of Brucellosis and Q fever and farmers and veterinarians are the most at risk of being infected through inhalation, injection or ingestion via occupational exposure.

- Not applicable

Department of Livestock Development

When my advisor from Yale, Dr. Albert Ko came (on left), we visited the head of Sa Kaeo Department of Livestock Development, Dr. Ampan Welutanti (second to the right) and Dr. Ekkarin, my mentor in the field (far right). It was a nice opportunity for both Dr. Ko and I to thank them for their tremendous help and for allowing the project to happen.

- Not applicable

Thailand

On each farm, one person from the Ministry of Public Health would accompany me to conduct an interview of the owner, in Thai, to obtain epidemiological information.

- Not applicable

The Thai Ministry of Public Health

The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand is located in Nonthaburi province, right outside Bangkok. It houses several sections such as chronic diseases, alternative medicine, mental health, health policy etc. I worked in the Department of Disease Control in the Bureau of Epidemiology with Dr. Soawapak Hinjoy as my advisor.

- Not applicable

The Ministry Team

Here is part of the team I was working with this summer. We went to Kanchanaburi province (where the river Kwai is) for a meeting and took advantage of the trip to visit a little. This picture depicts really well the never-ending happiness of the team.

- Not applicable

Presentation at the MBA

Presentation of my project to the One Health team of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration— one of the key experiences of my internship.

- Not applicable

The Field Team

This is part of the team that helped me collect the data in the field. None of them could speak English very well and I cannot speak Thai, so communication was not always easy. They were extremely patient and understanding and did an amazing job teaching me about Thai farms’ management and helping me get good quality data.

- Not applicable

One Health Conference

During the last week of my internship, my advisor, Dr. Soawapak Hinjoy, invited me to join their annual One Health conference in Phang-Nga, southern Thailand. Teams of public health officers, veterinarians and physicians from several provinces of Thailand met to present their work.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a country that defines itself as Christian, socialist and collectively responsible. The municipality where I lived, Quezalguaque, was strongly Sandinista and strongly is support of President Daniel Ortega.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

The Urrutia family comes from a community in Quezalguaque called San Agustín. Approximately 46 of the 90 or so families in this comarca have been affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The majority of local families work harvesting sugarcane (pictured in the background), leading many to believe that harsh working conditions and/or pesticides may contribute to causing the epidemic.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

The predominant portion of our work consisted of surveying households of CKD cases and of the general population to determine their knowledge, attitudes and practices surrounding the illness and peritoneal dialysis.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Many researchers and locals theorize that contaminated water may be in the causal pathway for CKD. Here I am taking water samples with Christian from Quezalguaque’s Mancomunidad, an annex of the mayor’s office that works with water systems and emergency preparedness. My summer research team tested for hardness, bacteria and pesticides in various local water sources.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

We also conducted sexual health charlas with local primary and secondary school students. During the second week of our three-week curriculum, we conducted oral health hygiene and practices assessments with the students.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a huge ecotourism destination. This is one of the pristine beaches surrounding the resort town of San Juan del Sur.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

The country also boasts a tremendous collection of mountains and both dormant and active volcanoes. Our team did A LOT of hikes. This is the view from the summit of San Cristóbal, the tallest volcano in the country.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Our group learned of the numerous ways in which to descend a volcano. I’m pictured here demonstrating the traditional “hiking” method on Las Maderas, one of the two volanoes that form Isla Ometepe.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Volcano boarding represents one of the more radical forms of volcano descent. This activity sits near the top of the list of the best activities in the world for thrill-seekers. Cerro Negro, León, Nicaragua.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

One of the less desirable forms of volcano descent that we experienced is the “run as quickly as possible from the eruption” method. It appears that climbing active volcanoes comes with its challenges.

- Not applicable

Quezalguaque, León, Nicaragua

Without a doubt, though, Nicaragua’s greatest resource is its people. My host family is pictured here engaging in the great Nicaraguan pastime of “porch sitting.” My family own one of the bars in Quezalguaque, and, needless to say, they were not an uptight bunch to live with. I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality!

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Five minutes before kickoff of the Spain-Netherlands World Cup match, the audience is clearly backing the Dutch. The presence of the games this summer overwhelmed all other priorities. In a country struggling to feed, educate, and care for its 200 million citizens, there was widespread grumbling among Brazilians about the cost of the games. Spectators – of which few were Brazilian – were more concerned about the spectacle.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Literally “Low City,” the Cidade Baixa is the old commercial district of Salvador located near the port. It is an interesting chimera of 19th century stucco warehouses, crumbling mid-20th century concrete edifices and modern steel-and-glass offices. But it’s this exact combination of old and new, preserving the past while also moving ahead on the world stage, that defines Salvador.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

YSPH PhD student Kate Hacker (right) and her Brazilian student assistant Carol Lisboa (left) compare notes while conducting a rat activity survey in the slum community of Pau da Lima. Kate’s work involves making direct measurements of rat activity in the community - interviewing locals and placing tracking boards throughout the area.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

While parts of Pau da Lima are densely packed, areas where the valley bottoms are constantly flooded tend to be left to the poorest residents. Open sewers drain the entire community, pulling all of the waste products, pollutants, and microbes down towards the most vulnerable. Contact with the sewage has been associated with leptospirosis, though past efforts to construct closed sewers have been unsuccessful. The brown stains on the white walls of the house indicate the height of past flooding events, when the waste-filled waters of the sewers fill the valley.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Brazil

The residents of Pau da Lima were often interested in the research that we were conducting in their back yards. Neighbors would often stop by to chat with us, and children were interested in our activities. Here I'm showing a local boy a sample of soil that I collected around his house.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Thousands of people live packed onto the hillsides of Pau da Lima. Waste and detritus from higher on the slope flows down through the lives of the less fortunate below. Social services are limited, and drug trafficking has introduced a great deal of violence into the community over the past few decades. In addition, the red, sandy soil is not well compacted, and constant excavation for new construction, combined with tropical rainfalls, has led to repeated slope failures.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Above the Cidade Baixa is the old town known as Palourinho. Home to dozens of colonial churches and hundreds of brightly-colored shops and apartments, Pelourinho is the heart of Salvador. The cobblestone streets are filled with vibrant music, performers, charming cafes, and hundreds of bland tourist shops. Salvador may be the original capital of Brazil, and Pelourinho may be filled with a wonderful appeal, but Brazil is a modern nation with a rapidly-developing middle class supported by strong capitalist beliefs.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

The Sao Joao (Saint John) festival is a major event in Brazil, particularly in the state of Bahia, which occurs in the middle of June. Celebrations are spread out over several days or weeks (sometimes simply referred to as the “June Party”), with multiple festivities in honor of Catholic saints. This year, the Sao Joao festival coincided with the opening of the World Cup, which meant that no one did any work for about two weeks straight. Although incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to get a project done on a short summer schedule, at least the party was good. The administration at Fiocruz put together a celebration on a Friday night and invited all the workers at the institute. A wide variety of local dishes were served, as was a healthy amount of a thick regional liqueur that tasted like Christmas (no better way to describe it). The highlight of the evening was the band – quite famous in Bahia – that played samba music for four hours straight.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Young men are at the greatest risk for contracting leptospirosis because they tend to come in contact with the open sewers and rats more often than other demographics. Although this young man was wearing rubber boots, he waded through the blue-gray sewer water several times while I watched. The residents of Pau da Lima, despite their disadvantaged living conditions, often maintain an upbeat outlook.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

This is a composite panorama of two adjacent neighborhoods in Salvador, separated only by a 6-lane thoroughfare. Despite the growing presence of a middle class, Brazil is still very much a country defined by a huge wealth gap. The haves live in gated communities and high-rise apartment complexes, while the have-nots are consigned to ad hoc brick structures pressed into the hillsides. Political, economic, and social values are often delimitated by class, and unrest – especially in the lead up to the World Cup – is becoming more common.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Kate and Carol again, this time investigating rat activity among homes near the valley bottom. Some walkways near the top of the valleys are paved, though they all become dirt (and mud) paths near the bottom. These particular paths were mostly used by goats and sheep. Banana trees line the open sewer, while a small rivulet in the lower left drains the waste of the local houses into the main water body. All workers associated with Fiocruz wear white lab coats in the field to identify themselves as researchers.

- Not applicable

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Starting and ending with the World Cup. Andrew Schneider (left, MPH student), Gili Hrusa (center, MPH student), and Katie Owers (right, PhD student) about 30 minutes before the start of the Spain-Netherlands match. Luckily, neither of the teams had blue as one of their primary colors, so we were able to blend somewhat well.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Located 10,000 feet above sea level, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery was certainly worth the hike. It is regarded as the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan and overlooks the spectacular Paro Valley.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Using an aspirator and a flashlight, cattle-baited catch was carried out hourly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Female, blood-seeking Anopheline mosquitoes were usually found on a cow’s abdomen or legs.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

While men wear ‘gho’, women wear ‘kira’ to government offices and temples.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Mr. Rinzin Namgay, the chief program officer of VDCP as well as my primary preceptor in Bhutan, gave a lesson on Anopheline larval sampling in Sarpang Town.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Punakha dzong, also called “the palace of great happiness or bliss”, is the second oldest and second largest administrative center in Bhutan. The current King and Queen of Bhutan got married at this beautiful location in October 2011.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

A visit to one of the Tibetan Buddhist temples in Gelephu Town during an auspicious day. The prayer wheels in the background were to be spinned to accumulate wisdom and good karma.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Made of bronze and gold, the Buddha Point in Thimpu is said to be one of the world’s largest Buddha statues.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

My friend, Karma, introduced me to this hidden gem of Chokuling. Pilgrims usually cross the holy stream multiple times before reaching a temple on a hill.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

An amazing view of Thimpu from Buddha Point.

- Not applicable

Gelephu Town, Sarpang District, Bhutan

Collecting Anopheles from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. was made possible by these supportive colleagues. Following a long night like this, we would take a short rest in the morning and begin species identification at noon.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

The Asia-Pacific Centre of Transfer of Technology (APCTT) is a specialized regional institution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) headquartered in New Delhi, India. Becky is all smiles to start “the internship of her dreams”!

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

APCTT was established in 1977 with the objective of facilitating technology development in the Asia-Pacific region. Today, the activities of APCTT are focused on three specific areas of activity: (1) Science, Technology, and Innovation; (2) Technology Transfer; and (3) Technology Intelligence. In particular, Becky worked on new and emerging technology (nanotechnology and biotechnology) R&D and innovation management.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

UN intern selfie taken by Michael Williamson, the Head of APCTT. One of the best aspects of Becky’s time at APCTT was her fellow New Delhi UN interns: hailing from all over the world (with no repeat countries!), including Ireland, China, India, Kenya, Pakistan, South Korea, Australia, and the US, the group of interns literally represented a mini United Nations.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Part of Becky’s research required visiting various biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Located in Hyderabad, India, Genome Valley (Knowledge Park) is a hot spot for high-tech business and biotech innovation not only in India, but also in all of the Asia-Pacific. Its 600+ acres have developed as a cluster for biomedical research, training, and manufacturing.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Becky at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand for a regional workshop on “Harnessing Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development” with top UN officials, various ministers of science and technology and/or health, and representatives from international humanitarian agencies and technology initiatives.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Becky’s desk at APCTT in New Delhi, India. Sometimes you just need neon sticky notes to map out innovation strategies and biotech policies before you can develop the analytical framework for evaluation and cross analysis.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Becky presenting at the International Conference on Nano-Science and Technology (ICNST) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on how to advance nanotechnologies and biotechnologies for neglected diseases using web-based, integrated knowledge networks (an open innovation strategy).

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Rooftop sunset in New Delhi. New Delhi, located within the National Capital Region (NCR) in Northern India, is the capital city of India and is home to more than 18 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in India.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

Becky had the opportunity to visit Piramal, a pharmaceutical company located in Mumbai, India in order to enhance her case study on open source drug discovery. As part of her research, Becky compared traditional pharmaceutical R&D efforts to web-based R&D initiatives in order to ascertain the most effective strategy for developing treatments and vaccines for neglected diseases that disproportionately affect the poor and are normally cost-prohibitive.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

At the end of her internship, Becky presented her preliminary research conclusions to the APCTT office. Becky was mentored by Dr. N. Srinivasan during her time at APCTT, who is shown on the left presenting Becky with a certificate of completion from the United Nations.

- Not applicable

New Delhi, India

As New Delhi is centrally located for travel, Becky utilized every free weekend she had to explore New Delhi/NCR and visit other cities in India. In total, she traveled to more than 10 different states. Here she is at at a spice plantation in Goa.

- Not applicable