Lynette Ametewee wants to develop her research expertise so she can play a role in raising the standard of health for global communities. “The common thread throughout my career has been developing, implementing and evaluating strategies and policies to improve systems to ensure equal access for underserved communities in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean,” she said. Ametewee has worked as a health policy lecturer, consultant and researcher in the United Kingdom and Ghana. She holds an MBA from Aston University and a Master of Laws in Corporate Finance from the University of Westminster in England.
Sarah Anderson has been working for the last decade at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a chemist and public health analyst. “Working in the field solidified my passion for researching health effects of environmental pollutants,” she said. “My goal is to study environmental epidemiology and the mechanisms in which persistent organic pollutants influence susceptibility of disease and population based health issues.” Anderson earned her MPH from Georgia State University in 2011.
Srimoyee Bose, whose background is in economics and spatial econometrics, is pursuing her Ph.D. in health services and policy research to find a balance between increasing healthcare costs in the United States and the quality of services available to the public. “I want to see how efficiently we can allocate the available resources across the population through well-constructed health policies that will be beneficial to everyone,” she said. Bose already has a Ph.D. in economics from West Virginia University, as well as a master’s degree in the subject from the same institution.
Melissa Cowart Osborne first became interested in public health as a child, when her mother worked on a project educating pregnant women about the importance of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects. “Later, I took an interest in violence prevention—especially child maltreatment prevention—and taking a public health approach to this problem,” she said. “Using research to make an impact on this issue is exciting to me.” Osborne earned an MPH from Georgia State in 2012 and worked as a research coordinator for the National SafeCare Training & Research Center, housed within the School of Public Health.
Rachel Culbreth worked as a respiratory therapist for several years in the emergency room, cardiac intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit of an Atlanta hospital. “I began observing health disparities in all settings, and I wanted to pursue a research career examining health disparities with the intent to ultimately eliminate them,” she said. She’s particularly interested in studying and addressing disparities related to HIV/AIDS, adolescent health and global health. Culbreth earned her MPH from the School of Public Health in 2015 and is a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.
Linh Dinh’s research interests lie in disease transmission dynamics and effectiveness of interventions. She earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2013 from the Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam and an MPH in 2015 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She sees public health as “similar to clinical medicine but targeting broader populations.” Dinh is pursuing a Ph.D. in public health to blend her quantitative skills and clinical background with research to improve population health.
Dina Jones is a graduate research assistant in the School of Public Health’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. “From an early age, I recognized my desire to help others and, after learning of public health, I realized epidemiology would by my way of helping,” she said. Jones, who is focusing her Ph.D. studies on epidemiology, said her goal is to be a tobacco researcher, studying what drives people to use novel tobacco products and working toward reducing it. She has an MPH from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Jamal Jones became interested in public health after taking an undergraduate class that looked at how different minority communities are affected by health care policies. “I soon wanted to learn more about various determinants of health and the epidemiological methods used to identify these determinants,” he said. His research is focused on gaining insights into what young, black men think of HIV prevention and testing campaigns, as well as how social media can be used to deliver effective HIV prevention messages.
Fiona Kelly, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been working in public health since she was in high school. She began her career with the CDC as a microbiologist in 2007. “I want to get my Ph.D. in epidemiology because I want to learn more advanced analytic techniques,” she said. Her research has focused on prevention and treatment of the bleeding disorder known as hemophilia. Kemp has an MPH and B.S. in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University.
Catherine Kemp’s public health goal is to be a leader in developing public policy and programs to improve population health. “I am particularly interested in psychological, social and behavioral health determinants affecting adolescent and young adult populations, as this is the period in life when habituating healthy behaviors and preventing harmful behaviors is most critical,” she said. Kemp has experience in nursing and health care management. She earned a master of health care administration from Worcester State University.
Krishna Kota’s public health interests lie in studying the underlying factors for high-risk behaviors among populations that are vulnerable to HIV/AIDs and other STDs. He joined the Ph.D. program to hone his research skills. “Studying public health, in particular health promotion and behavior, provides me with theoretical, epidemiological, and statistical methodologies, enabling me to conduct independent research,” he said. Kota currently is studying environmental stressors and health outcomes among transgender women in metro Atlanta. He has a master’s degree in biotechnology from Georgetown University.
Leah Moriarty has been interested in public health since volunteering in the pediatric ward of a tuberculosis hospital outside of Cape Town, South African, when she was an undergrad. “Since then, my experiences working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, researching influenza vaccines, and responding to Ebola with the CDC have led me to working on global health security,” she said. Moriarty is a public health analyst at the CDC and wants to research best practices in preparing for and responding to infectious disease threats around the world. She has an MPH from Emory University.
Desiree Mustaquim has worked as a surveillance epidemiologist for the CDC’s Influenza Division since 2008. She enjoys analyzing data and using creativity to solve problems. “Epidemiology is a fascinating field, crossing into many topics—from sociology to economics to biology,” she said. “Looking at the intersection of these to better understand causes of public health problems is one of the things I love most about the work that I do.” Mustaquim has an MPH from Emory University and a certificate in public health informatics from Johns Hopkins University.
Wellington C. Onyenwe is a health scientist and environmental toxicologist at the CDC. His work includes assisting in emergency response efforts involving exposure to environmental toxins and infectious diseases, such as the Ebola and Zika viruses. “As a first generation college graduate, I made a promise to use my opportunity and access to higher education toward eradicating complex issues related to environmental health both domestically and abroad,” he said. Onyenwe earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular toxicology from the University of California, Berkeley and his MPH from Emory University.
Jessica Rogers-Brown grew up in a small textile mill town in Appalachia and then moved to Los Angeles as a young adult. “While these two areas were vastly different in so many ways, they shared one common motivator—both areas had vast disparities in health and income,” she said. The desire to diminish those disparities inspired Rogers-Brown to earn her MPH and pursue a Ph.D. at Georgia State, where she now researches child maltreatment prevention and works at the Mark Chaffin Center for Health Development. “I believe that all children deserve a safe home, where they are loved and nurtured,” she said.
Rebecca Wells is a graduate research assistant in the Center for Leadership in Disability at the School of Public Health. “As a disability scholar and public health researcher, my primary interests are improving health and human services for individuals with disabilities, which can then impact their health and quality of life outcomes,” she said. Wells said she wants to improve public policy through a career in public health research. She has master’s degrees in social work and public health from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.
Rebecca Wilson’s interest in public health began years ago when she worked as a behavioral health specialist in the children’s unit of a residential treatment facility. “This is where I discovered not only my passion for working with child victims, but for the first time, I began to see how my personal childhood experiences could be used to understand and help child victims obtain an improved quality of life,” she said. Wilson is now a public health advisor, overseeing how states are implementing a national surveillance system for violence involving families and children. She has an MPH from Georgia Southern University.
In addition to being a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Public Health, Heather Zesiger is director of the Office of Health Promotion at Emory University where she leads efforts to address sexual violence prevention; alcohol risk reduction and recovery support; promote sexual health; combat health disparities among students. “My setting as a practitioner leads me to study public health promotion in a higher education context,” she said. Zesiger’s research interests include the health impacts of microaggressions and opiate abuse in college and university settings. She has an MPH from Emory.