I am pursuing combined DVM-PhD training because I want to develop multidisciplinary skills in epidemiology, computational biology, statistics and veterinary medicine so that I can drive impactful research in ecological health. I want to be a leader in quantitative epidemiology research aimed at understanding and preventing infectious disease transmission using data driven, computational approaches, and by taking advantage of natural host-pathogen paired animal models of disease transmission and evolution where appropriate. I plan to use each part of my diverse training in epidemiology, statistics, genomics and veterinary medicine, and bridge these experiences together to become a leader in comparative computational infectious disease epidemiology.
Humans are not separate from nature, we are of nature. Our health is directly linked to the health of the natural spaces we inhabit. To ensure we have clean water, adequate food, and to control emerging and endemic infectious diseases, smart natural resource management is critical. My main motivation is to protect and improve animal health and human health by focusing on ecological health systems. Instead of focusing on the health of the individual, I prefer to study the health of the ecological system, which involves animals, humans, and the natural resources they share.
I'm interested in combining pathogen genome sequencing, population genetics theory and epidemiology to look backward in time in order to understand how pathogens are transmitted within and between populations and how they evolve. I'm particularly interested in leveraging my comparative veterinary medicine background to study the evolution of pathogens in diverse host species.
Most statistical genetics tools were developed for diploid eukaryotes and may be inappropriate for understanding the molecular evolution of prokaryotes. I'm interested in developing new computational tools that specialize in prokaryotic evolution to aid in epidemiologic investigations and to help us make clinical decisions that shape the evolutionary tragectories towards less antimicrobial resistance.
I want to be a leader in sustainable agriculture through infectious disease control in a future where climate change will alter global infectious disease dynamics, and human population growth will demand an increase in animal food products. Producing enough healthy food to feed the world is and will continue to be a demanding task that will require innovation to accomplish. I plan to use my specialized training to find novel solutions to infectious disease control at the intersection of domestic animals, humans, and wildlife to ensure that we produce enough, safe, and sustainable animal-based products to feed the world