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Meet Health Grand Challenge Past Interns: 2010

Sheila Agiti, 2011, Economics

Shiela Agiti

Project:
Malaria Control In Liberia

Organization:
National Malaria Control Program, Liberia

Adviser:
Kristina Graff, Associate Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School

"I interned at Liberia’s National Malaria Control Program. I managed the documentation and preparation for Liberia’s revised five-year strategic plan for malaria control. As part of the core technical team writing a proposal for the Global Fund for to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, I also developed and updated several sections of the program – particularly those that dealt with economic evaluation and value for money. In addition, I participated in technical meetings, stakeholder consultations, proposal-writing sessions and a major national health conference." (See presentation.)


Neha Bansal, 2011, Economics

Neha Bansal

Project:
Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation

Adviser:
Lois Okudzeto, The Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation

"I interned in Accra, Ghana, with the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, an NGO that works to prevent and treat malaria in children and pregnant women, the most vulnerable populations to malaria. We performed a variety of tasks for the foundation, including several outreach programs. We tested women and children for malaria and provided medicine to those who tested positive. We also distributed insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention. In addition to the outreach programs, we shadowed doctors in the pediatric ward of a public hospital in Accra. We also worked on a project for the Grameen Foundation developing short messages about malaria to be incorporated into a health text message alert system." (See presentation.)


Angelina Caruso, 2012, Anthropology

Angela Caruso

Project:
Defending the Right to Health: A Summer at Human Rights Watch

Organization:
Human Rights Watch

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I was an intern in the Health and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch in New York City. I was given a fascinating look into the crucial work that HRW is doing to defend the human right to health, particularly among marginalized populations like women, prisoners, children, drug users, and the LGBT community. I assisted with research initiatives about transgender health, access to palliative care, legislation that criminalizes being HIV-positive, lead poisoning, drug rehabilitation programs, and access to HIV treatment. I also tracked press coverage of the department’s work and helped prepare presentations and reports for publication. This opportunity taught me a great deal about the inner workings of the organization, the intricacies of global health and the arguments surrounding the protection of the universal right to health." (See presentation.)


Courtney Crumpler, 2013, Undecided

Courtney Crumpler

Project:
The Arts of Healthcare in Brazil: Alternative Approaches to Health Promotion and Education

Organization:
Associacćo Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS (ABIA) - Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I carried out an independent research project in Brazil with ABIA’s Companhia da Saśde, a group of adolescent performers who use street theater, song and dance, colorful costumes and even some circus techniques to present messages of AIDS prevention and solidarity in a fun and creative way. I spent five weeks observing rehearsals, taking photographs, and conducting interviews with the members of the company and its directors. This was my first formal field research experience, and one I found both interesting and rewarding. I am excited to continue analysis of my findings and to write more about my work with ABIA." (See presentation.)


Allison Daminger, 2012, Anthropology

Allison Daminger

Project:
Dinner in Huamanzańa:Exploring Rural Peruvian Diet and its Implications for Health in the Region

Organization:
Princeton Engineers Without Borders, Huamanzańa, Peru

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I did an independent study of regional dietary practices and beliefs regarding food and health in Huamanzańa, Peru, a town of about 120 people located along the country’s northern coast. My goal was to explore possible connections between the rural Peruvian diet and health in the region, as well as to determine some of the cultural, educational, and practical factors shaping their food choices over time. This primary data on nutritional knowledge, common health problems and culinary perspectives will support my further exploration into the causes and consequences of the food practices I observed, and help me determine the potential for the Peruvian government and various non-governmental organizations to improve regional health through nutrition." (See presentation.)


Ameer Elbuluk, 2013, Economics

Ameer Ebuluk

Project:
An Analysis of the Economical Costs and Trends of Treating Adults versus Children at Project Alajuelita

Organization:
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)

Advisers:
Jeffrey Hammer, Lecturer in Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. Charles and Marie Robertson, Visiting Professor in Economic Development

"I worked for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in Costa Rica, addressing the question of whether a children’s free clinic should continue to serve adult patients. With a maximum allowance of 15 patients per day and care offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, the increasingly popular clinic worried that adults had begun crowding out children in need of care. My project took into account the clinic’s history, including its initial purpose and the reasons that it originally accepted adult patients. By calculating the costs of treating adults versus children, we were better able to analyze the economical consequences of treating adults."


Raphael Frankfurter, 2013, Anthropology

Raphael Frankfurter

Project:
Mental Health Among Kono's War Wounded: Chronic Pain, PTSD and the Trauma of Everyday Life

Organization:
Global Action Foundation/National Organization for Wellbody

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I worked in rural Sierra Leone at the Global Action Foundation’s Wellbody clinic, which provides free healthcare to war-wounded civilians. For my internship I conducted a mental-health needs assessment of amputees to determine the prevalence of PTSD-like symptoms and develop a potential intervention. My research showed that a truly effective psychosocial program should address the 'trauma of everyday life' first and foremost in order to improve quality of life. I designed a program that involves heavily-monitored microloans, financial and life coaching, and psychological and family counseling by trained community members. I believe this will be a successful program to help alleviate the destitute poverty and I hope it will be piloted within the next year." (See presentation.)


Eden Full, 2013, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Eden Full

Project:
Exploring the Potential of HA Ceramic Water Filtration, Solar Power and Bamboo Material as Viable Appropriate Technologies

Organization:
Mpala Research Centre

Adviser:
Wole Soboyejo, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials

"The purpose of my internship was to gain an understanding of how appropriate technologies can be used to improve quality of life, particularly in global health. I spent eight weeks conducting lab research at Princeton on a ceramic water filter, in addition to analyzing the strength of bamboo materials. I gained an understanding of how the water filters were made, their history, and how hydroxyapatite (HA) can remove fluoride. I conducted flow rate testing and other activities to prepare me for field application of the filters in Kenya. I spent three weeks in Kenya continuing the ceramic water filtration research, while installing two solar charging stations in the villages there. I visited a ceramic filter factory in Limuru, while running daily performance tests on three types of filters." (See presentation.)


M. Derek Gideon, 2012, Comparative Literature

Derek Gideon

Project:
Kubadilisha Tabi: Facilitating Positive HIV Behavior Change through Theatre in Nakuru, Kenya

Organization:
REPACTED, Kenya

Advisers:
Mahiri Mwita, Lecturer in Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Bryan T. Grenfell, Director, Health Grand Challenge Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School Kristina M. Graff, Associate Director Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School

"I interned with REPACTED, a community-based organization in Nakuru, Kenya that uses an innovative form of community theatre called "Magnet Theatre" to facilitate positive behavior change in relation to HIV. I worked as a member of the troupe, an office assistant, and a blogger in order to learn as much as possible about the organization. In this position, I accompanied REPACTED on community theatre outreaches, developed the organization's blog, and wrote several funding applications and project reports. I also assisted with my professor’s research on the effectiveness of REPACTED's programs in the informal sector workplace by carrying out surveys throughout the sites where the organization has performed." (See presentation.)


Jonathan Hezghia, 2013, Economics

Jonathan Hezghia

Project:
Improving Accessibility to Clean Water and Healthy Foods

Organization:
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)

Advisers:
Jeffrey Hammer, Lecturer in Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. Charles and Marie Robertson, Visiting Professor in Economic Development

" I worked for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in El Salvador. My projects targeted water and food in order to help my host community’s inhabitants live a healthier lifestyle, prevent the spread of diseases and fight malnutrition. I helped implement a water purification system at the local school, aimed at decreasing the persistent rate of water-borne illnesses affecting children. To help with nutrition and address the need for more well-balanced diets, we arranged a Healthy Foods Festival attended by over 250 community members. Finally, I did research on a plant called Moringa oleifera, the seeds of which can be used to purify drinking water at virtually no cost. The Foundation is now considering this as one option to help make potable water an affordable possibility for the community." (See presentation.)


Kulani Jalata, 2012, Anthropology

Kulani Jalata

Project:
Ethnographic Fieldwork on HIV/AIDS Community Health Work in Kono, Sierra Leone

Organization:
Global Action Foundation, Sierra Leone

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I worked in rural Sierra Leone at the Global Action Foundation’s Wellbody clinic, which provides free healthcare to war-wounded civilians. I conducted an ethnographic study on its new HIV/AIDS Community-Based health outreach program, examining the impact that home-based care makes on treating people living with HIV/AIDS and on the outlooks and the daily activities of community-health workers. Through my research I find that although the clinic offers free access to HIV/AIDS, social stigma and other factors prevent full utilization of the free clinical services. My research plans to help show what the work of community-health workers entails and how home-based care attempts to answer the challenges of treating HIV/AIDS." (See presentation.)


Erica Leavitt, 2011, Economics

Project:
Social Welfare Impacts of Suggested Retail Prices Under Uncertainty

Adviser:
Ramanan Laxminarayan, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton Environmental Institute

"I worked at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where I conducted research on the social welfare impacts of suggested retail prices. I plan to develop my project into a senior thesis and eventually publish a paper in an economic journal. Each intern was granted a large amount of freedom, which taught us to independently pursue a fruitful research project from start to finish. We also attended various events hosted by Resources for the Future such as conferences and lecture series." (See presentation).


Edward Lee, 2012, Physics

Edward Lee

Project:
Phenotypic Characterization of HIV-1 Virulence Using Recombinant Virus

Organization:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain

Adviser:
David Botstein, Anthony B. Evnin ‘62 Professor of Genomics. Professor of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Director, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

"I did a laboratory research internship at Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Spain. I worked in the AIDS Immunopathology Unit, which develops new and efficient systems to analyze the characteristics and factors of virulence in viral strains from HIV-infected patients such as tropism, replicative capacity, drug resistance and susceptibility to neutralising antibodies. These in vitro models are based on the generation of replicative-competent chimeras carrying different genomic fragments from HIV-1 that have been obtained from plasma of patients, and they are useful for the screening and characterization of the mechanism of action of new antiretrovirals and new approaches using this experimental model are currently being developed in the laboratory. In particular, I helped with analyzing the mechanism of action of a CCR5 antagonist (Maraviroc) and the mechanism of resistance of viral strains resistant to this drug." (See presentation.)


Joseph Park, 2013, Molecular Biology/Anthropology

Joseph Park

Project:
Predicting Outcomes of Treatment for Recurrent Hepatitis C in Post-Transplant Patients at KUMC

Organization:
University of Kansas Medical Center

Adviser:
David Botstein, Anthony B. Evnin ‘62 Professor of Genomics. Professor of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Director, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

"I interned at the Liver Center of the University of Kansas Medical Center. This leading transplantation center performed the first domino liver transplant in 2008. Hepatitis C is one of the most frequent indications for liver transplantation in the United States, and my project was on recurrent Hepatitis in post-transplant patients. I contributed to a working research paper by performing biostatistical analysis, sorting through patient records and gathering data in spreadsheets. The paper looked at bilirubin, a organic compound found in the blood, as a marker for progression of fibrosis following transplantation." (See presentation.)


Nisha Rao, 2012, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,

Nisha Rao

Project:
Endemic Fluorosis in Rural Villages of Northeastern India

Adviser:
Peter Jaffe, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

"I worked in a Civil and Environmental Engineering Lab here at Princeton, participating in a fluoride filtration project. I helped a graduate student to test various materials for their effectiveness as filter material. We experimented with several combinations of clay, flour, and hydroxyapatite and took measurements of their pH, surface area, and fluoride sorption. Although the work I was doing was physically removed from the villagers in India suffering from excess fluoride in their groundwater, I felt inspired to be a part of the process of intervention-development. We had to constantly evaluate our implicit assumptions regarding the sustainability of the filter in the context of the villagers’ relationships with one another and their limited material resources." (See presentation.)


Yuna Sakuma, 2011, Woodrow Wilson School

Project:
Resources for the Future

Adviser:
Ramanan Laxminarayan, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton Environmental Institute

"I interned in Washington, DC, at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy (CDDEP), a branch of environmental economics think tank Resources for the Future. In addition to assisting with ongoing projects at CDDEP, I conducted an independent research project on the correlation between pollution levels and hospitalizations in Taiyuan City, China. I am continuing the project as my senior thesis this coming year." (See presentation.)


Olaf Sakkers, 2011, Anthropology

Olaf Sakkers

Project:
Snake Hill: Mythologies, Medicines and Misunderstandings surrounding HIV in Rural South Africa

Organization:
Zithulele Hospital, South Africa

Advisers:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy and Peter Locke

"Based at a rural hospital in South Africa, my research is focused on understanding the interaction between religion at the hospital and the treatment and recovery of patients who are HIV positive as well as how conceptions of religion affect interpretations of health care and HIV stigma."

"Patients grapple with disease and suffering, negotiating different descriptions of the world given by traditional African religion and Christianity. Many patients associate the hospital with Christianity and their recovery on ARVs with the work of God. Religion is important to many of the hospital staff too, with nurses and patients gathering each morning to sing hymns and pray."

"The ARV roll-out at the hospital has been successful, with over 2000 people on ARVs, yet stigma around HIV persists and the hospital wards remain filled with gaunt patients infected with TB and HIV."


Joongyu Song, 2013, Chemistry

Joongyu Song

Project:
Kubadilisha Tabi: Facilitating Positive HIV Behavior Change through Theatre in Nakuru, Kenya

Organization:
REPACTED, Kenya

Advisers:
Mahiri Mwita, Lecturer in Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Bryan T. Grenfell, Director, Health Grand Challenge Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School Kristina M. Graff, Associate Director Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School

"I interned in Nakuru, Kenya at REPACTED, a community-based organization that uses theatre as a medium of outreach to bring about behavior change in the community regarding issues in sexual health. Through its outreaches, REPACTED both challenges misconceptions about sexually transmitted diseases and encourages members in the community to be proactive in preventing such diseases. I, along with a fellow Princeton student Derek Gideon, completed surveys of the target audience in an attempt to analyze the effectiveness of these outreaches in actually effecting behavior change. We are currently writing a report based on the collected data." (See presentation.)


Benjamin Stone, 2011, History

Ben Stone

Project:
Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation

Organization:
Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, Accra, Ghana

Adviser:
Lois Okudzeto, The Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation

"I interned in Accra, Ghana, with the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, an NGO that works to prevent and treat malaria in children and pregnant women, the most vulnerable populations to malaria. We performed a variety of tasks for the foundation, including several outreach programs. We tested women and children for malaria and provided medicine to those who tested positive. We also distributed insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention. In addition to the outreach programs, we shadowed doctors in the pediatric ward of a public hospital in Accra. We also worked on a project for the Grameen Foundation developing short messages about malaria to be incorporated into a health text message alert system." (See presentation.)


Lova Sun, 2011, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project:
Seasonality of Antibiotic Prescriptions and Resistance

Adviser:
Ramanan Laxminarayan, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton Environmental Institute

"I worked at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where I did statistical research on national datasets of antibiotic prescription and antibiotic resistance data. I used Stata to perform my work, and did a literature review to gather data for my project. I looked at antibiotic resistance of various bacteria including E. coli, S. aureus, and Enterococci. This work was for my senior thesis. At the end of the internship I presented my results, which found that antibiotic prescriptions peak in the winter, and antibiotic resistance also peaks in the winter, a few months afterward." (See presentation.)


Emily Trautner, 2011, Economics

Emily Trautner

Project:
The Global Fund: A Look at Health Systems Strengthening

Organization:
The Global Fund, Switzerland

Adviser:
Kristina Graff, Associate Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School

"I interned at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (TGF). Since its creation in 2002 TGF has committed nearly $20 billion to health programs worldwide. My summer project was a qualitative summary of TGF’s contributions to health systems strengthening. I read through all proposals in funding rounds 8 and 9 that were approved for health systems strengthening funding. I summarized the type of intervention that was funded and coded for several other factors. At the conclusion of the internship I produced an excel spreadsheet with a summary of all of my results and delivered a PowerPoint presentation to my department. During the summer I also took a French course at The Global Fund, visited the United Nations for a presentation, and attended many guest lectures and information sessions." (See presentation.)


Alan Utria, 2012, Molecular Biology

Alan Utria

Project:
Nutrition Scarcity and HIV/AIDS Education in South Africa

Organization:
Nkanyiso, South Africa

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I interned at Nkanyiso, a grassroots organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa that strives to address the pervasive problem of poverty in South Africa by providing comprehensive educational programs on HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and positive life skills. Nkanyiso focuses on HIV/AIDS education by incorporating practical prevention methods and specific knowledge on how to live with the disease – including a sustainable model of gardening and nutrition education that is integrated into schools. My internship responsibilities included helping to implement the garden programs, procuring grants, and researching and writing educational packets about the importance of nutrition assistance in response to HIV/AID." (See presentation.)


Sojung Yi, 2012, Anthropology

Sojung Yi

Project:
Nutrition Scarcity and HIV/AIDS Education in South Africa

Organization:
Nkanyiso, South Africa

Adviser:
Joćo Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology. Co-Director, Program in Global Health and Health Policy

"I interned at Nkanyiso, a grassroots organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa that strives to address the pervasive problem of poverty in South Africa by providing comprehensive educational programs on HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and positive life skills. Nkanyiso focuses on HIV/AIDS education by incorporating practical prevention methods and specific knowledge on how to live with the disease – including a sustainable model of gardening and nutrition education that is integrated into schools. My internship responsibilities included helping to implement the garden programs, procuring grants, and researching and writing educational packets about the importance of nutrition assistance in response to HIV/AID." (See presentation.)