Nisha Bhat, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

This summer I spent two months in Nepal working for the OUCRU based at the Patan Hospital in Kathmandu. I assisted with studies on enteric fever, which is endemic in Nepal. The primary project I worked on sought to determine whether typhoid carrier screening could be accurately conducted by collecting saliva samples, as opposed to the commonly used blood or bile samples. I also assisted with a study evaluating the hospital’s current antibiotic resistance testing method, which is used to determine whether a particular strain of bacteria is susceptible to specific antibiotics. My internship involved quite a bit of lab work related to infectious disease – collecting, storing and culturing samples as well as performing basic tests for resistance – which I had not been exposed to before. After samples were collected, I also assisted with data management. I was able to attend talks and lectures in the hospital on infectious disease-related issues throughout the internship. In addition to learning a lot about the biology of infectious diseases, I learned microbiological techniques, which will be useful when I conduct independent research later on.