Category Archives: #WeAreEmoryEPI

Thesis Spotlight: Ramya Ramaraju, EPI MPH 2019

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Ramya Ramaraju, EPI MPH 2019

Thesis: Assessing the Unexpected Impacts of Rotavirus Vaccination on Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in the United States

Advisor: Dr. Ben Lopman

My Experience: “I worked with Dr. Lopman and used the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database to assess whether there are any existing associations between Rotavirus Vaccination and ITP.

What’s next: “I’ll be completing the one year MBA at Emory’s Goizueta Business School.”


Share your #IamEmoryEpi story!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

We want to share the success of current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Let us know what you’re up to now & how Emory Epidemiology led you there! The Google form will take <5 minutes to complete! Feel free to email us at sphepidept [at] emory [dot] edu if you have questions! Click Here to Submit your Experience!

Student Spotlight: Ariana Gobaud, EPI MPH ’19

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Ariana Gobaud,  Second Year EPI MPH

Practicum Name and Organization: “Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Provider Inquiries in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Expert Medical Consultations, 2013-2017” at the CDC Division of TB Elimination, Field Services Branch

My Experience: Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the oldest diseases, and we are lucky that the rates of incidence are so low in the U.S. These low rates, however, mean that healthcare providers are not well trained in diagnosing and providing treatment for patients with TB. The CDC funds 5 centers to provide expert medical consultation and training to assist US providers in the management of TB. Medical consultations are saved as text documents in an online database. I quantitatively and qualitatively  analyzed consultations provided specifically for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB from 2013-2017 to identify the provider type, setting of caller, and year of the call, and to identify main themes of consultations regarding MDR TB. This week I am presenting these findings at the National TB Conference in Atlanta!

What’s Next for me:I will be attending Columbia in the Fall for my PhD in Epidemiology.

Congratulations, Ariana! The Epi Department will miss you!

First Year Students Emma Klein and Christina Chandra present at the HIV and Aging Conference

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

First year GLEPI MSPH student Emma Klein and EPI MPH student Christina Chandra presented this week at an HIV & Aging Conference.

Emma said:

“I was able to present research that I conducted at my REAL job about older adults using methadone for recovery from opioid use disorder. It was an honor for my abstract to be selected and for my PI to allow me to represent the team. My favorite thing about the conference was the opportunity to connect with more established researchers who were very supportive of my work and my career ambitions.”


Congratulations Emma and Christina!

Student Spotlight: Allison Foster, 2nd Year EPI

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Allison Foster, 2nd Year EPI MPH

Practicum: Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, WI

Last summer, I completed my practicum in Marshfield, Wisconsin at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI) in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health. For my REAL position, I work on domestic influenza surveillance efforts in the Influenza Division at CDC, and the MCRI is one of five sites in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network which provides annual estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness. During my practicum, I had the opportunity to be mentored by some of the nation’s leaders in flu research while working on a project to assess the association between asthma and serious outcomes following influenza illness among school-aged children. I was also able to lead a journal club discussion, shadow clinicians and other clinic staff members, and assist in drafting a funding application for vaccine research. I recently presented a poster of my project at the ASPPH Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA on March 21, and I am currently working on a manuscript for publication.

Student Spotlight: Pragati Prasad

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Pragati Prasad, 2nd Year EPI MPH Student

I have been a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Samuel Jenness at the Rollins School of Public Health for the past year and a half. Working on the ART-Net study, I was in charge of the entire data management pipeline: managing emails from survey participants, merging survey data, missing data imputation, and creating derived variables.

At EmoryEPI, I’ve learned: There is always more than one way to do something. Because of this, it is vital to understand *why* we chose the approach we end up going with, as it informs how the data can be interpreted for every analysis afterwards.

My favorite part of my EmoryEPI experience: Being responsible for data that is currently used for various projects – and will continue to be – made me aware of how important it was to always provide high quality work.

A good and resourceful supervisor can show you how to manage yourself.


Recent Publication: Jenness SM, Weiss KM, Prasad P, Zlotorzynska M, Sanchez T. Bacterial STI screening rates by symptomatic status among men who have sex with men in the United States: A hierarchical Bayesian analysis. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. July 24, 2018.

Student Spotlight: Cynthia Jones

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Cynthia Jones, 2nd Year MPH Student

I am a graduate research assistant with the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) support center. In partnership with other organizations, our team conducts operational research activities that address challenges faced by NTD control and elimination programs globally. My responsibilities include managing data from surveys that quantify the presence of helminthic infections – onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, and loiasis – and representing our findings to support and inform ongoing program activities.

At EmoryEPI, I’ve learned: The key to excellent data management is excellent documentation – the truth is always in the details. Much of my job requires extensive attention to detail, and thanks to the professors who require thorough descriptions of code work and study methods, activities such as reproducing data manipulations and performing trace-backs are no problem.

Being part of a team that supports disadvantaged populations around the world through its unique role in the fight against NTDs is extremely motivating and challenges me to continue learning and developing new skills so that I can contribute to the best of my abilities. It’s an exciting time to work in NTDs!




Student Practicum (APE) Spotlight: Zara Khan, Ibis Reproductive Health

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Zara Khan, 2nd Year EPI MPH

Undergrad: Rice University, Cognitive Sciences

Research Interests: Sexual and reproductive health, developmental origins of human disease

Summer Practicum Experience: I spent the summer working on my dream practicum in Oakland, CA with Ibis Reproductive Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing rigorous research and principled partnerships to advance sexual and reproductive autonomy, choices, and health worldwide. My work mostly entailed quantitative and qualitative analysis for several projects, including a randomized controlled trial of a smartphone app to provide women in Indonesia access to information about medication abortion. After my summer internship, I have continued my work with Ibis as a consultant. My supervisor, Ruvani (also a Rollins Epi grad!), remains one of my most trusted mentors, helping guide my trajectory both at RSPH and within the SRH field.

Lilly Boyer, 1st Year EPI & Alumni Kristina Lai, Rebecca Lewis, and Kristen Allen work together at CHOA

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

First year EPI student Lilly Boyer works alongside Kristina Lai, Rebecca Lewis, and Kristen Allen, Emory EPI Alumni at CHOA’s Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorder Center.

Lilly Boyer, EPI 2020: “I work with Rebecca on cancer survivorship research studies. I’m currently helping to review children’s oncology group centers who have survivor clinic. I really like working at CHOA because of the community and I can tell the staff really care about the patients we serve. I am very passionate about working in cancer survivorship to improve the quality of life of childhood cancer survivors.

Rebecca has been a great boss! She pays close attention to detail so she’s been incredible helpful in checking over the surveys. I have learned a lot from her about data analysis! (Also, she’s very kind- she made brownies for my birthday.)

I don’t work with Kristina in an official capacity but our desks are closeby. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and ask her questions about her experiences at Rollins, the field of epidemiology and about her work at CHOA.”

Rebecca Lewis, MPH EPI 2011: “I am a Research Epidemiologist with the survivorship team at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Our research focuses primarily on the late effects of therapy among pediatric cancer survivors. My day to day is filled with the spectrum of research from helping to design studies and write grants to cleaning and analyzing data to preparing manuscripts for publication.

I spend a lot of time cleaning and merging data so my SAS skills have been fundamental.

I truly enjoyed learning the course work — the curriculum focuses on instilling methods that can be used in a variety of fields.”

Kristina Lai, MPH GLEPI 2016: “I am a research epidemiologist for the sickle cell disease team here at CHOA. I mostly work on projects related to health services, but I frequently collaborate with psychologists, infectious disease physicians, and outside partners in public health for any research related to sickle cell disease. I also manage a large clinical database of sickle cell patients that is used by CHOA physicians and partners for clinical trials and outcomes research.

The training I received at Emory has provided me with a fantastic foundation for a career in epidemiology!”

Thanks to the CHOA Team for sharing their #IAmEmoryEPI story with us! If you work with other Emory EPI students and alumni, we’d love for you to share your stories with us! Email us or submit your answers here:

Meet your new RSGA EPI Reps!

Michelle McKinlay Nathan Quan
Hey y’all! My name is Michelle and I am so excited to have the opportunity to serve as one of your Epi Reps. I am originally from a small town called Enumclaw, Washington, completed my undergrad at UC Berkeley (GO BEARS!), moved to rural Alabama for two years to complete a community health fellowship, and am now here at RSPH with all of you. Within the department, I find myself most interested in social epidemiology, though am enjoying the opportunity to explore various topics at Rollins. Some of my favorite things include paddleboarding, eating yummy food, scary movies, gymnastics, the Seahawks, the Cal Bears, and spending time with my family. I’m also a self-proclaimed coffee shop connoisseur, so please share your favorite spots with me! One of my main goals as your Epi Rep is to create an environment within the department that allows everyone to feel welcome, and encourages students to extend beyond their typical comfort zones. And, of course, to help create an awesome Epi Department t-shirt! See you around Rollins.
I’m very excited to have begun my term as EPI student rep! I grew up in Vienna, VA and attended Virginia Tech for undergrad (GO HOKIES!!!). In my spare time, I love cooking, reading, and discovering new music. I’m also training to enter my first road cycling race this semester! One of my goals as EPI rep is to increase first and second year student body interaction. I hope to meet each and everyone of you!

Upcoming Events

  • Humphrey Fellows Noontime Seminar Series March 7, 2024 at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Networking and Guest Lecture and Meeting and Seminar Series and Student Event;… Online Location: Type: Networking,Guest Lecture,Meeting,Seminar Series,Student EventSeries: Noontime SeminarSpeaker: Waheed Ashgar, MSc PP, MPhil PH, MBBS & Evelyn Gavidia, MDContact Name: Kris ValerianoContact Email: kvaleri@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_R809Link: this series, Fellows will present on a topic pertaining to their home country, culture and/or their work in public health. In person and on zoom. Pizza…
  • Humphrey Fellows Noontime Seminar Series March 7, 2024 at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Networking and Guest Lecture and Seminar Series and Student Event;… Online Location: Type: Networking,Guest Lecture,Seminar Series,Student EventSeries: Noontime SeminarSpeaker: Various Humphrey Fellows - see detailsContact Name: Kris ValerianoContact Email: kvaleri@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_R809Link: present on a topic pertaining to their home country, culture and/or their work in public health.2.8:Roseline Yah Trokpao Chesson, RN, MPH &Antin Kushnir, MD, MPA2.22:Wendy Umave, BPharm&Abdul Basit, MBBS, MSPH3.7:Waheed Ashgar,…
  • GCDTR Seminar Series Presents: Dr. Alka Kanaya, MD March 18, 2024 at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Guest Lecture and Seminar Series;… Online Location: Type: Guest Lecture,Seminar SeriesSeries: GCDTR Seminar SeriesSpeaker: Dr. Alka Kanaya, MD, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Fransisco, Department of MedicineContact Name: Wendy GillContact Email: wggill@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_R809Link: Alka Kanaya, UCSF Professor and internist, leads research on diabetes and heart disease, focusing on South Asians through the…

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