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Research of Current M2M Students

Rachel Burke
Track: Population Processes and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Research focus:

  • The interaction of nutritional status and immune function, focusing on subclinical inflammation as well as active infections
  • Epidemiology of nutritional status and enteric infections in pediatric populations in developing country settings

Mary Bushman
Track: Population Processes and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Research focus:

  • Interaction of pathogen population dynamics at within-host and between-host scales in shaping pathogen evolution
  • Specific interest (thesis research): Effect of within-host dynamics of mixed-strain malaria infections on the evolution and spread of drug resistance

Catherine Eldridge
Track: Population Processes and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Research focus:

  • Molecular epidemiology of respiratory pathogens, particularly respiratory viruses that commonly cause community-acquired pneumonia
  • Application of statistical techniques to distinguish between colonization and infection of specific pathogens and to elucidate the role of each pathogen when more than one pathogen is detected from laboratory diagnostic tests for pneumonia
  • Recommendations of laboratory diagnostic testing for community-acquired pneumonia in inpatient settings to minimize any unnecessary antibiotic use and to maximize clinical knowledge used to inform appropriate antibiotic/antiviral therapy

Kristen Howery
Track:  Population Processes and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Research focus:

  • Studying a form of motility known as swarming, an important virulence factor in the human host, in Proteus mirabilis
  • Elucidating the impact of global gene regulators on the expression of factors necessary for swarming
  • Examining protein-protein interactions at the cell surface that signal swarming in Proteus

Chandresh Ladva
Track: Biomarkers and Development of Acute and Chronic Diseases
Research focus:

  • Developing new metrics of in-car exposures to air pollution mixtures in a panel study of Atlanta commuters
  • Measuring acute-phase cardiorespiratory responses to traffic pollution exposures
  • Using metabolomic technologies to measure and analyze low-abundant, air pollution exposures in plasma

M. Elizabeth Marder
Track: Biomarkers and Development of Acute and Chronic Diseases
Research Focus:

  • Method development for quantification of environmental exposures, specifically those of interest within the Michigan PBB Registry’s multigenerational cohort (including polybrominated / polychlorinated biphenyls, hexabromobenzene and DDT/DDE)
  • Exposure-related human health effects

Amanda Mummert
Track: Predictive Health and Society
Research focus:

  • Mechanisms associated with intergenerational health, with particular attention to how the process of growth is implicated in health across the lifespan
  • The development/identification of biomarkers associated with growth during infancy
  • The implications of exposure to chronic psychosocial stress and high fat diets for early development
  • Bioarchaeological approaches to understanding the relationships between diet and nutrition with skeletal indicators of health and disease

Sasha Parets
Track:  Public Health Genomics
Research focus:

  • The role of DNA methylation in preterm birth and pregnancy 

Ben Rambo-Martin
Track: Public Health Genomics
Research focus:

  • Identify copy number variants on chromosome 21 associated with atrioventricular septal defects in a Down syndrome cohort using dense chromosome 21 specific array comparative genomic hybridization. 
  • Using the above dataset, identify candidate genes which may contribute to congenital heart defect in the Down syndrome and general population.
  • Combine this dense chromosome 21 CNV dataset with both a genome-wide CNV and SNP dataset produced from the same cohort to strengthen genetic associations with AVSD by pathway analyses. 

Erica Smearman
Track: Predictive Health and Society
Research focus:

  • The intersection of biology and psychology and its role in human behavior, especially as it applies to public health and behavioral interventions
  • The role of oxytocin in social behavior and development

Sarah Whitaker
Track: Population Processes and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Research focus:

  • To examine the ways in which culture, history, economics, and environment affect the emergence, spread, and persistence of infectious diseases
  • To understand how human behavior influences the spread of illness and to learn how to engineer environments that promote better health outcomes