Current PhD Students

Please note: This directory does not include all the current PhD students in this department.

Alexander R. Bazazi

Year started: 2012

E-mail: alexander.bazazi@yale.edu

Research interest:
Alexander Bazazi is in the MD-PhD Program at YSM and the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at YSPH. His research focuses on quantitative methods for evaluating harm reduction interventions and characterizing the epidemiology of HIV among people who inject drugs. Currently, he is studying the epidemiology of HIV among people who inject drugs in Malaysia and is evaluating a drug treatment intervention for incarcerated opioid-dependent individuals living with HIV. Alex has methodological interests in techniques for generalizing randomized controlled trial findings, drawing causal inference with observational data, and network-based sampling methods.


Megan Cahill

Year started: 2014

E-mail: megan.cahill@yale.edu

Research interest:
My research interests broadly include the spread of infectious agents through populations and the interventions that seek to limit or reverse epidemic spread. I am most interested in the transmission of infectious agents and the variability of immune responses to pathogens.



Gregg Gonsalves

Year started: 2011

E-mail: gregg.gonsalves@yale.edu

Research interest:
Operations research; mathematical modeling; cost-effectiveness; stochastic processes; HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis; harm reduction and substance use; access to medicines; health and human rights.

Selected publications:

  • S. Keshavjee., M. Harrington, G. Gonsalves, L. Chesire, and P. E. Farmer. Time for zero deaths from tuberculosis. Lancet (2011) 378: 1449-1450.
  • G. Gonsalves, E. Kaplan, D. Paltiel. Reducing sexual violence by increasing the supply of toilets in Khayelitsha, South Africa: a mathematical model, 2012, submitted.

Joseph Lewnard

Date started: 2013

E-mail: joseph.lewnard@yale.edu

Research interest: 
I am interested in endemic and epidemic dynamics of infectious diseases, and relatedly in Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods for parameter estimation in partially-observed systems. In my dissertation work I seek to contribute a differential equation modeling framework linking within-host competition to inter-host transmission dynamics of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Selected publications

  • Lewnard JA, Ndeffo Mbah ML, Alfaro-Murillo JA, Altice FL, Bawo L, Nyenswah TG, Galvani AP. Dynamics and control of Ebola virus transmission in Montserrado, Liberia: a mathematical modelling analysis. Lancet Infect Dis 2014. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70995-8.
  • Lewnard JA, Jirmanus L, Nery Júnior N, Machado PR, Glesby MJ, Ko AI, Carvalho EM, Schriefer A, Weinberger DM. Forecasting temporal dynamics of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Northeast Brazil. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014. In press.

Kelsey Loeliger

Year started: 2013

E-mail: Kelsey.loeliger@yale.edu

Research interest:
Kelsey Loeliger was admitted to MD/PhD program in 2011, affiliating with the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases Department in 2013 after three years of medical school. She is interested in conducting clinical and community-based research with an emphasis on marginalized populations and the social constructs surrounding infectious diseases. Her work is aimed at developing a better understanding of the many interconnected factors that play a role in the prevention, progression, transmission, and treatment of these diseases. Her most recent ongoing research with Dr. Gerald Friedland and Dr. Sheela Shenoi explores the personal and systematic barriers HIV+ patients face with regard to initiating and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Under the direction of Dr. Frederick Altice, current areas of interest also include women with substance use disorders in Malaysia and how the interplay between substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, mental health disorders, and violence as well as other social circumstances impact the health of the individual. Prior to joining the MD/PhD program, Kelsey earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Maryland-Baltimore County where she studied the retroviral mechanism for genome packaging in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute biochemistry laboratory of Dr. Michael Summers. After graduating, she worked as a post-baccalaureate research fellow (IRTA) at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute where she conducted translational research on the role of chronic inflammation in Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Aplastic Anemia.

Selected Publications:

  • Al-Darraji, H. A., Wong, K. C., Yeow, D. G., Fu, J. J., Loeliger, K., Paiji, C., Kamarulzaman, A., Altice, F. L. (2014). Tuberculosis screening in a novel substance abuse treatment center in Malaysia: implications for a comprehensive approach for integrated care. J Subst Abuse Treat, 46(2), 144-149. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.08.023 
  • Zhao, Y. O., Kurscheid, S., Zhang, Y., Liu, L., Zhang, L., Loeliger, K., & Fikrig, E. (2012). Enhanced survival of Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes during starvation. PLoS One, 7(7), e40556. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040556

Olga Morozova

Year started: 2013

E-mail: olga.morozova@yale.edu

Research interest:
Interface between substance abuse and infectious diseases; provision of integrated care to people who suffer from HIV, TB, and HCV co-morbidities; interventions research and implementation science; cost-effectiveness evaluation; regulatory affairs; global health.

Selected publications

  • MOROZOVA, O., DVORYAK, S. & ALTICE, F.L. 2013. Methadone Treatment Improves Tuberculosis Treatment Among Hospitalized Opioid Dependent Patients in Ukraine. International Journal of Drug Policy. 24(6): e91-e98. 
  • MOROZOVA, O., AZBEL, L., GRISHAEV, Y., DVORYAK, S., WICKERSHAM, J. A. & ALTICE, F. L. 2013. Ukrainian Prisoners and Community Reentry Challenges: Implications for Transitional Care. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 9(1): 5-19.

Katharine (Katie) Owers

Year started: 2013

E-mail: katharine.owers@yale.edu

Research interest:
I am interested in spatio-temporal disease patterns and their socioeconomic and environmental correlates.  I currently work on leptospirosis, an emerging environmentally-transmitted bacterial disease. My dissertation research with Dr. Albert Ko will apply spatio-temporal modeling to the study of leptospirosis at several spatial and temporal scales.


Katharine Walter

Year started: 2011

E-mail:katharine.walter@yale.edu

Research interest:
Katharine Walter is interested in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, specifically, vector-borne and zoonotic pathogens. Her dissertation research investigates the origins and emergence history of the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease was first described in Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1976 and over the past forty years, Lyme reports have rapidly spread across the Northeastern United States as well as from a separate disease focus in the Midwest. Despite its epidemiological importance, the source and trajectory of the ongoing invasion remains poorly described: why was Lyme first described in Connecticut and why in the seventies? Where is it coming from and what is driving this ongoing emergence? Her dissertation project incorporates spatial modeling and bacterial phylogeography to reconstruct the invasion history of the Lyme disease bacteria.