Erin Jaske

Kintampo, Ghana

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Career goal: Become an epidemiologist at a local health department or the CDC.

Internship outline: Erin spent her summer studying hookworm infection and drug resistance in Kintampo, Ghana. With the help of a field team, she screened 180 children from four villages for hookworm infection by collecting fecal samples from each child. She then treated those children that were infected with Albendazole, a drug that is commonly used to treat hookworm infection. Ten days following treatment, Erin collected a second fecal sample in order to observe their response to the treatment. By comparing the treatment responses across several communities where responses to the drug were very different, she hoped to better understand the factors involved in the increasing resistance to Albendazole.

Value of experience: This internship provided me with the unique opportunity to conduct research in a global health setting. I was part of a research team with two other Yale students and colleagues from the University of Ghana, and was able to see how much collaboration goes into even a brief summer project. Carrying out my own project allowed me to apply what I had learned in the classroom in all stages of research. I learned a variety of new laboratory techniques over the course of the summer and gained a better understanding of the challenges and limitations of conducting research in this setting.

Best moment/experience: I went on a trip to Mole National Park in northern Ghana with two other Yale students. We went on safari and got to see elephants, monkeys and warthogs!