John Patrick Renschler ’13
Woodrow Wilson School
As an intern at the OUCRU in Hanoi,Vietnam, my project was to assess the performance of microscopic-observation drug-susceptibility (MODS) culture as a diagnostic test for pediatric tuberculosis. Pediatric TB is a serious concern within resource-limited areas where the failure to rapidly diagnose and instigate appropriate treatment leads to fatalities and aids the persistence of epidemics. At OUCRU I analyzed the demographic, clinical, and diagnostic data of 726 suspected pediatric TB cases who were enrolled in a two-year study performed at the National Pediatric Hospital. I was responsible for writing a manuscript that describes this study and discusses its findings. My analysis reveals that MODS is significantly more sensitive, and more rapid, than the conventional Lowestein-Jensen culture and Ziehl-Neelsen staining methods. The use of MODS in general pediatric hospitals allows for improved identification of TB meningitis cases that would otherwise fail to receive appropriate treatment. This internship was an incredible opportunity for me to apply the quantitative methods I’ve learned at Princeton while working with experts in epidemiology and tropical medicine. My summer was an exceptionally valuable experience that I cherish as I continue my studies in the field of global health.
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Vietnam
Bryan Grenfell, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Woodrow Wilson School; Jeremy Farrar, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and Princeton University Global Scholar; Nulda Beyers, Desmond Tutu TB Centre