Author Archives: Duncan Mahood

Inside APE: Christina Chandra & TREAT Asia/amfAR

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI GLEPI

For our inaugural Inside APE segment, we sat down with Christina Chandra, rising 2nd year GLEPI MPH student to talk about her work this summer with TREAT Asia/amfAR in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tell us about your APE project.

My project is called “Assessing Barriers and Facilitators to Integrating Mental Health Services and Related Guidelines into HIV Clinical Care among HIV Providers in Bangkok, Thailand” and I am working with TREAT Asia/amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research in – you guessed it – Bangkok, Thailand.

The study aims are:

  1. Understand how mental health services are or are not integrated into HIV care settings
  2. Assess the facilitators and barriers to the integration of mental health services in HIV care settings in Bangkok

As the principal investigator, I am responsible for everything from study design, IRB compliance, data collection, and data analysis. My co-investigators and colleagues at TREAT Asia provide guidance on all aspects of the study, translate study tools, support with participant recruitment, and more.

How did you find your APE project?

One of my former colleagues at amfAR connected me with my current field advisor, Dr. Annette Sohn, at TREAT Asia. After a few Skype discussions with the TREAT Asia/amfAR team and brainstorming sessions with my faculty mentor, Dr. Kristin Wall, we conceptualized this project.

What has the experience been like so far?

Data collection has not started, but I have already gained some insights from a few key informant interviews. For example, clinic staff seem to like simple, questionnaire screening tools for depression and anxiety, but when routine screening leads to the detection of more potential cases, it can burden referral systems to psychiatric care. Therefore, making diagnosis and treatment of common mental health conditions available in HIV clinics may be preferable but more difficult to implement than screening.

My APE has been an incredible learning experience so far, and I have also had the opportunity to meet with other public health professionals to learn about their HIV-related research in Bangkok.

Christina Chandra is a rising 2nd year GLEPI MPH student. Her research interests at Rollins include HIV and co-infections, aging, and mental health. The featured image includes (from left to right) Dr. Annette Sohn (VP, amfAR; Director, TREAT Asia), Christina Chandra, Tor Petersen (Project Manager), and Dr. Jeremy Ross (Director of Research).

Outstanding Teaching Assistant – Katie Labgold

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Katie Labgold is a 2nd year Epi PhD student with Dr. Michael Kramer and was this year’s winner of the 2nd Annual Epidemiology Program Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award! Over half of the students in Katie’s lab section of Epi 591U (Applications of Epi Concepts) took the time to write about their appreciation for her efforts as their TA and to explain why she is deserving of this award.  Her name will be added to a plaque that will be hung in the Epidemiology Department, and each year a new name will be added.

We sat down with Katie this week to chat about her experience at Rollins:

Q: What are your research interests?

A: I’m interested in all things social, spatial, and reproductive epi! My current research interests include the application of epidemiological theory and methods to explore the socio-political determinants of family planning access and reproductive health outcomes. I am an incoming doctoral fellow with the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE) at Emory.

Q: What is it like to be a Teaching Assistant?

A: One of the best aspects of TAing 591U is that it is a two-way learning experience. I had a great set of students who were very engaged during our lab section. This allowed us to work through the concepts they found challenging, and in the process I gained a deeper understanding of the material. I think these concepts are critical to becoming a better epidemiologist (we didn’t have this class in my program), so it was a great experience to help facilitate our Emory epi students’ engagement with these topics.

Q: Are you going to TA again anytime soon?

I’ll be TAing spatial epidemiology with Michael in the fall, and I am very excited to TA this course for so many reasons, I don’t think I can list them all here! An exciting aspect of this course is the combination of spatial epidemiology thinking/theory with hands-on analysis in R – I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

Katie studied Archaeology and Chemistry during her undergrad at the University of Virginia, followed by an MPH in Population Health Research at UVa.

Thursday: CFAR Special Seminar

Category : News/Events

Exploiting Oxidative Stress to Tackle the HIV Reservoir: From Basic Science to Clinical Trials

Speaker: Dr. Andrea Savarino, MD, Istituto Superiore di Sanitá (ISS) – Rome, Italy

Health Science Research Building Auditorium
1760 Haygood Drive

Time: 5pm

More Information: Click Here

Thursday: EPI Mock Interview Night

Category : News/Events

You asked and we delivered! Come chat with seasoned epidemiology professionals and hone your interview skills at the best epi-specific career development event of the year – Don’t miss it!

Surveillance Coordinator: IHRC

Category : Alumni

The Surveillance Coordinator will provide technical and intellectual support for MVPDB projects, including, but not limited to, the development, management, and enhancement of surveillance activities.

IHRC, Inc. provides scientific, information management, management consulting, bioinformatics, and administrative program support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other Federal and private sector clients. The successful candidate will be a full-time employee of IHRC, Inc., and will be assigned to the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch (MVPDB), Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), at the CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, to provide scientific and technical support.

For more information: Click Here

Research Assistant – Analytics: HRA

Category : Alumni

Health Research and Analysis (HRA) provides data-driven, contextual, timely and actionable solutions that address the Nation’s health and healthcare priorities. The Research Assistant will support ongoing research studies by conducting literature searches, preparing graphs and tables, summarizing results, and managing and cleaning data.

Full-Time, 2 Openings

Location: Bethesda, MD

Apply by emailing: recruiting [at] health-ra [dot] com

For more information: Click Here

Closing Date: 3/15/2019

KEEP CALM AND EPI ON: Emotional Intelligence and Epidemiology

You’ve probably heard about emotional intelligence (EQ). Google tells us that EQ is,  “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”. But what does that mean in the workplace, and how do we apply that to careers as epidemiologists? 

Take a look at a recent take on Emotional Intelligence from, a high-end career development site. How do qualities exhibited by the high-EQ apply to our careers as epidemiologists? 

People with emotional intelligence…

  1. Respond rather than react: So often we react and get defensive when faced with an emotionally charged situation or a difficult co-worker or client. In high-EQ people, once they get a handle on the root cause of a negative emotion (what’s pushing their buttons), they typically respond with a more patient, “keep calm” approach. They’ll process a situation about to go south, get perspective, listen with without judgment, and hold back from reacting head on. 
  2. Show up with their real selves: A common tendency for people at work is to put on a mask that hides who they truly are when faced with difficult people or situations. An emotionally-intelligent worker or leader shows up with integrity and her best and most authentic self; she’ll face those difficult people and situations with unfettered, emotional honesty and transparency.
  3. Think before they speak: There’s a nifty conversational technique called the “six second pause,” used by people with emotional intelligence to gather their thoughts before they speak. Why six seconds? The chemicals of emotion inside our brains and bodies usually last about six seconds. During a heated exchange, if we can pause for a short moment, the flood of chemicals being produced slows down. When you are frustrated or upset, before you say something harsh, this precious pause helps you to quickly assess the costs and benefits of your actions and make more careful choices.
  4. Handle tough situations better: Take an unhappy customer or a disgruntled coworker, for example. A high level of EQ in a colleague or manager will show up by staying calm and positive during tough conversations; it also shows up with firmness and boundaries to set limits on people during spiraling disagreements and unhealthy conflict.
  5. Practice self-control: Psychologist and best-selling author Daniel Goleman says this about people with self-control:”Reasonable people–the ones who maintain control over their emotions–are the people who can sustain safe, fair environments. In these settings, drama is very low and productivity is very high. Top performers flock to these organizations and are not apt to leave them”.Self-control is a learned skill to help you be more present, calmer, and focused during times of high stress. It’s a necessary emotional skill with long-term payoff.
  6. Look at the whole picture: Because they operate with a high degree of self-awareness, they’re able to see both sides of an issue and tap into their feelings and those of others to choose a different, and better, outcome. Quoting Daniel Goleman again, he says this about self-awareness:“If you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Originally published on

Upcoming Events

  • The Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID) July 15, 2024 – July 31, 2024 Conference / Symposium Event Type: Conference / SymposiumSeries: The Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID)Speaker: Leaders in the FieldContact Name: Pia ValerianoContact Email: pvaleri@emory.eduLink: Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID) is designed to introduce infectious disease researchers to modern methods of statistical analysis and mathematical modeling.
  • The Second Annual RSPH Staff and Post-Doctoral Ice Cream Social August 14, 2024 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Networking and Special Event Event Type: Networking,Special EventContact Name: Staff CouncilContact Email: rsphstaffcouncil@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_Terrace 2nd FloorRSPH staff and post-docs are invited to join us for ice cream and delightful conversation. This event is hosted by the RSPH Staff Council.
  • Tricks and Treats with the Council, hosted by the RSPH Staff Council October 31, 2024 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am Networking and Special Event Event Type: Networking,Special EventContact Name: Staff CouncilContact Email: rsphstaffcouncil@emory.eduRoom Location: CNR_8030 Lawrence P. &Ann Estes Klamon roomRSPH staff and post-docs are invited to join the RSPH Staff Council for a festive gathering featuring sweet treats and refreshments. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

Follow Us on Social Media: