Akshata Shirahatti, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I spent this summer researching pediatric tuberculosis (TB) from a clinical perspective at The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Vietnam. I was involved in two major clinical studies, both which had the ultimate goal of assisting TB doctors to provide more effective intervention and treatment to reduce mortality from TB. In the first, I independently developed a clinical study to determine major risk factors associated with pediatric TB patients in Vietnam. The findings from this study will provide physicians with information regarding how best to pilot an interventional plan to improve retention and adherence amongst patients. In the second project, I assisted an OUCRU doctor in analyzing data and creating statistical models for his study investigating the most influential symptoms contributing to morality in TB meningitis cases. OUCRU also gave me the opportunity to attend a variety of seminars, PhD courses, and discussions that exposed me to a variety of global health issues and groundbreaking studies being conducted across the world. Having the chance to work at an organization dedicated to infectious disease provided me with incredible insight which has inspired the focus of the independent work that I will pursue my remaining two years at Princeton.