Current PhD Students
Please note: This directory does not include all the current PhD students in this department.
Alexander R. Bazazi
Year started: 2012
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.
Year started: 2014
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.
Year started: 2009
Louis’ research focuses on quality improvement in the delivery of community-based primary healthcare services through the implementation of information and clinical decision support (CDS) systems. His PhD research was conducted in Kenya, where he developed and implemented a cluster-randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile phone-based CDS tools to improve the community-based delivery of reproductive and pediatric primary care services. Following focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and regular meetings with CHVs from the Kosirai District, Louis developed a suite of software applications and a digital resource library to help CHVs organize longitudinal data for individual clients, pre-populate electronic forms with previously filled demographic data, encrypt and store electronic data locally, and transmit data to AMPATH’s existing OpenMRS Electronic Medical Record system for aggregation, analysis, and use by other clinicians. By integrating data from the central EMR with the Android devices, Louis was able to run CDS algorithms and deliver point-of-care clinical decision support for both data collection and dissemination of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials. This ‘SmartForm’ system alerted CHVs in the field not only to visit and collect specific data elements on specific individuals from their community, but further prompted CHVs to disseminate specific IEC materials (such as web pages or videos) and to make appropriate referrals based on the patient characteristics and the health information collected during each visit. All of the software produced for this project is open-source and can be found on github. Louis is currently conducting the final qualitative and quantitative data analysis while completing his MD degree at the Yale School of Medicine.
Meagan C Fitzpatrick
Year started: 2008
The goal of my research is to describe the transmission of infectious diseases and to evaluate active or potential control strategies. I am particularly interested in interventions which may provide extraordinary value for the investment, and accordingly my work has tended to focus on vaccines, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and high-risk communities. I use dynamic transmission models to answer questions about the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these control policies. I aim to produce clear analyses that are relevant and useful for public health policymakers, both nationally and internationally. My dissertation focuses specifically on proxy vaccination strategies, such as the vaccination of dogs to protect humans from rabies.
- Fitzpatrick, MC; Hampson, K; Cleaveland, S; Mzimbiri, I; Lankester, F; Lembo, T; Meyers, LA; Paltiel, AD; Galvani, AP. (2014) Cost-effectiveness of canine vaccination to prevent human rabies in rural Tanzania. Annals of Internal Medicine. 160(2): 91 – 100
- Fitzpatrick, MC; Hampson, K; Cleaveland, S; Meyers, LA; Townsend, JP; Galvani, AP. (2012) Potential for rabies control through dog vaccination in wildlife-abundant communities of Tanzania. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 6(8): e1796
Julie R. Gaither
Year started: 2009
Through an academic career in health-services research, my overarching aim is to develop a body of work that will translate into improved quality of care and outcomes for vulnerable patient groups. Specifically, my goal is to contribute to the field of substance abuse research through a focus on patients who are at elevated risk for adverse events related to poor quality of care, patients such as the mentally ill, veterans, and those infected with HIV. To this end, through my dissertation research, I am examining quality of pharmacotherapy among HIV-infected and uninfected veterans receiving prescription opioids long-term for chronic pain.
Jennifer A. Gilbert
Year started: 2010
My dissertation work focuses on evaluating the epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions on the tuberculosis (TB) and HIV epidemics in South Africa. Additional graduate research projects use mathematical modeling to analyze infectious disease-focused public health interventions and make recommendations regarding health policy and decision-making. Projects include: applying probabilistic uncertainty analysis to epidemiological models of disease transmission using influenza as an example, predicting the impact of novel sleeping sickness interventions on the trypanosomiasis epidemic in Uganda, and investigating the effects of vaccination on hookworm infection in Zanzibar.
- Gilbert JA, Meyers LA, Galvani AP and Townsend JP. Probabilistic Uncertainty Analysis of Epidemiological Modeling to Guide Public Health Intervention Policy. Epidemics 2014;6:37-45.
- Mbah MN, Gilbert JA, and Galvani AP. Evaluating the potential impact of mass praziquantel administration for HIV prevention in schistosoma haematobium high-risk communities. Epidemics 2014;7:22-27.
Year started: 2011
Operations research; mathematical modeling; cost-effectiveness; stochastic processes; HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis; harm reduction and substance use; access to medicines; health and human rights.
- 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.
Year started: 2013
As an MD/PhD student, my long-term goal is to practice clinical medicine while conducting public health research in under-served communities, both at a local and international level. I am interested in conducting clinical and community-based public health research, with a particular focus on the social constructs surrounding infectious disease. I find it perplexing and unacceptable how many diseases such as HIV and TB persist as major public health concerns in certain regions of the world despite the existence of effective drug therapies. In order to develop and effectively implement healthcare interventions, I feel that it is crucial to develop an understanding of the many interconnected factors that play a role in the prevention, progression, transmission, and treatment of disease. I am particularly interested in using mixed-methods to generate data that directly informs health policy and clinical interventions in resource-limited settings. Previous and current work includes HIV, substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and social support challenges among women who use drugs in urban Malaysia. I am also currently using qualitative methods to identify the barriers HIV+ patients face when attempting to enroll in ART and potential interventions to address these poor enrollment rates in rural South Africa.
Year started: 2013
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.
- 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
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.