2019-2020 TRAINING GRANT RECIPIENTS
“Identification of biochemical signatures of pyrethroid resistance in invasive Aedes aegypti”
Erin “Taylor” Kelly is a Ph.D. student in vector biology, interested in vector metabolism, reproduction, and mechanisms of insecticide resistance. Kelly completed her Bachelor of Science in biology and minor in chemistry at Santa Clara University. Kelly’s long-term goal is to either pursue work as a professor with an appointment that combines teaching and research or work as a vector control biologist at the state or county level.
Our center offers training that is intended to provide career development opportunities for individuals interested in public-health-relevant research on vector-borne diseases and to enable additional research and training opportunities that will be sought from other sponsors.
“Transcriptomic profiles of Ixodes pacificus under acaricide treatment and host blood meal“
Kacie Ring is a Ph.D. student in ecology, evolution, and marine sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed her master’s degree in microbiology at San Francisco State University in August 2020. Ring plans to continue her research on tick-borne pathogens, expanding on the research funded by PacVec. Moving forward, Ring hopes to either stay in academia or pursue a career in public health.
“Identification of social determinants of health associated with Aedes aegypti prevalence across Maricopa County“
Whitney Holeva-Eklund is a Ph.D. student in interdisciplinary health at Northern Arizona University. Holeva-Eklund’s work in Dr. Crystal Hepp’s lab focused on understanding the relationship between health equity and the invasive mosquito vector Aedes aegypti in Maricopa County, Arizona. She hopes that these projects will directly inform mosquito control practices in Maricopa County, Arizona by creating a better understanding of mosquito habitat that will allow vector control units to employ mosquito control efforts in an extremely targeted fashion that conserves resources and decreases the risks associated with overuse of pesticides. Eklund just defended her prospectus in October 2020. She plans to move forward with her dissertation work in the next year and a half and defend her dissertation by the spring of 2022. After completing her Ph.D., She hopes to apply and get accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellowship through CDC.
“Larval ecology of invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in southern California“
Xiaoming Chloe Wang is a postdoctoral fellow in vector biology at the University of California, Irvine. In the long-term, Wang would like to establish a career as a leading faculty researcher in vector biology at a major research university, a vector biologist at a state health department, or local mosquito and vector control district.
“Wolbachia infections in mosquitoes of Merced County”
Ryan Jacob Torres is a public health Ph.D. student at the University of California, Merced. His research interests are in vector-ecology, biological control, population genetics, and infectious disease. Torres is currently preparing for qualifying exams to transition to the candidacy phase of his Ph.D. program. Moving forward, he intends to continue developing collaborations with vector biology research, with the goal of pursuing a tenure-track position within academia.
“Northern California physician assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and practices for Lyme disease in a low-endemic state“
Sharon Ichiko Brummitt is a Ph.D. student in epidemiology at the University of California, Davis. In the short-term, she aims to complete her Ph.D. career at UC Davis with a dissertation topic that may have immediate implications in public health, specifically taking an analytical and serological approach to the understanding of human Lyme disease in California. In the long-term, she hopes to obtain a position (e.g. federal or state level) where she can use her epidemiological knowledge and skills to develop programs or directly impact public health knowledge and practice.
“Next-generation-sequencing-based means for mosquito surveillance and detection of mosquito-borne pathogens“
Aurélie Kapusta is a bioinformatics scientist at IDbyDNA (80%) who also works for the University of Utah Pediatrics Infectious Disease department (20%). Kapusta’s goals are to improve her skills in bioinformatics and knowledge in infectious diseases diagnosis (with metagenomics). She hopes to keep working at IDbyDNA as a bioinformatics scientist, and keep being involved in research collaborations.