2021-2022 TRAINING GRANT RECIPIENTS
“Prevalence of two emerging Rickettsia species (Rickettsia species phylotype G022 and Rickettsia tillamookensis) in nymphal Ixodes pacificus in Northern California”
Erin Trent is a graduate student at Humboldt State University. She has a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences, systems physiology from San Jose State University. Trent became interested in tick research after her sister was diagnosed with Lyme disease, as well as Babesia and Bartonella coinfections. In the time she’s been in graduate school working in Dr. Zhong’s lab, she has gained a deeper interest in ticks and their pathogens. Trent plans to pursue a career in public health to continue expanding her knowledge of tick-borne diseases and help identify high-risk areas.
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.
“Inhibition of the pentose phosphate pathway to disable metabolic mechanisms of insecticide resistance: Evaluation of a potential pyrethroid synergist”
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.
“Habitat connectivity and transmission dynamics of tick-borne diseases”
Grace Shaw is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at San Francisco State University. Shaw earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Lewis & Clark College, before going on to work for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy where she managed the Mission blue butterfly translocation project. Working in the Swei Lab, Shaw is interested in the link between anthropogenic pressures and newly emerging diseases. After completing her Master’s, Grace plans to work for the National Park Service’s Vector-Borne Disease Project or Wildlife Health Branch.
“Quantifying tick-borne disease risk across a spatiotemporal gradient in California”
Samantha Sambado is currently pursuing an ecology, evolution, and marine biology Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara with Dr. Cherie Briggs and Dr. Andy MacDonald to better understand how vector-borne diseases spread using empirical and theoretical frameworks. She is also a Master of Arts student in statistics with emphasis on data science. She hopes to stay connected with other PacVec researchers to continue collaboration on vector-borne disease projects and exchange ideas of how to make basic science applicable to public health.
“Investigating climate adaptation for improved Aedes sierrensis control”
Lisa Couper is a Ph.D. student in biology at Stanford University interested in the impacts of global change on vector-borne disease dynamics. She completed her Master’s Degree in microbiology at San Francisco State University in 2018 and her Bachelors in environmental science at the University of North Carolina in 2014. Currently, Couper is using experimental and genomic approaches to investigate mosquito adaptations to climate warming. Moving forward, Couper intends to pursue a career in academic ecological research and establish a research program that is strongly aligned with applied vector management needs.
“Comparative genomics of Aedes albopictus in the Pacific Islands for developing arbovirus vector dispersal models”
Christine Anne Tabuloc is a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Davis. Part of her current thesis research focuses on characterizing the role of BRHAMA (BRM), a chromatin remodeling complex, in establishing a dynamic chromatin landscape to enable rhythmic gene expression. Thus far, Tabuloc found that two core clock proteins, CLOCK and TIMELESS, regulate rhythmic BRM binding to the promoter of period, another core clock gene. Working in Dr. Chiu’s lab has helped her realize how much she enjoys mentoring, teaching, and conducting research. After completing her PhD, Tabuloc would like to pursue a career in teaching at a primarily undergraduate research university.
“Population phylogenomics of the West Nile virus vector: Culex quinquefasciatus in the southwestern United States”
Zachary Barrand is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. He graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with a research emphasis in the phylogenetic diversity of tick-borne co-infections throughout the United States. Barrand’s research interests focus on the vector genetic and microbiome influences on the maintenance, evolution, and transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases between reservoir, wildlife, and human hosts. Barrand plans to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship following completion of his Ph.D. to establish a career as a vector-borne infectious disease researcher in academia.
“Virus testing of Aedes aegypti pools for dengue surveillance”
Joshua Arnbrister is currently pursuing a Master of Science in entomology at the University of Arizona and he plans to continue in a Ph.D. program. After completing his Ph.D., he hopes to pursue a career in vector control and surveillance.
“Flea-borne typhus in California: socioeconomic associations and mathematical transmission model”
Kyle Yomogida is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Group of Epidemiology at UC Davis. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2017 with a degree in health science – community health education. His experiences in public health include health behavior research projects regarding prescription stimulant misuse and two years of work for Long Beach Communicable Disease Control Program in southern California. His interests include infectious and zoonotic diseases with his Ph.D. work, specifically focused on socioeconomic and environmental factors related to human flea-borne typhus incidences in southern California.