Adam Kinalski, 2014, Woodrow Wilson School
Pneumonia is the leading killer of children globally, with 1.4 million children dying of the disease before their fifth birthday in 2010 alone. Whilst vaccines against some pneumonia pathogens are being rolled out, simple, low-cost, and scalable interventions to reduce the burden of pneumonia are elusive. An entirely unexplored area is the impact of the hydration state of people with acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI) on the risk of progression to severe pneumonia. At Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I researched the subject by analyzing two data sets compiled by OUCRU and wrote a systematic review on relationships between blood volume status and outcomes in community-acquired pneumonia. The internship not only provided me with the necessary support , both professional and technological , to complete my literature review but also allowed me an opportunity to visit people afflicted with the illness I was researching at the nearby Hospital for Tropical Diseases. I learned how to write research reports professionally and compassionately, a style I found both challenging and rewarding. The internship also exposed me to a new and completely unfamiliar culture and helped me find purpose within my academic work.