IDM Student Stories

In the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, students are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are a few profiles and some of the latest news about our students.

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IDM Student News

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service providers, users, and experts via a content-mapping research methodology to isolate what matters most and to establish metrics for monitoring this vit... 

Cheyenne Annarumo awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Cheyenne Annarumo (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship. A native of Ellwood City, PA, Annarumo is pursuing an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease management, intervention, and community practice (MPH-MIC). She studied biology and was pre-med at Gannon University.   

Kelsey Simon awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Kelsey Simon (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship in recognition of academic excellence. A native of Buffalo, NY, Simon is pursuing an MPH in infectious disease pathogenesis, eradication, and laboratory practice (MPH-PEL). She holds an undergraduate biology degree from the University of Pittsburgh.   

Subramanian Thothathri awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Subramanian Thothathri (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship. A native of Chennai, India, Thothathri is pursuing an MS in infectious diseases and microbiology. He holds an undergraduate bioengineering degree from Sastra University.   

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Dean's Day 2019 IDM departmental award recipients

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology awards during our annual Dean's Day student research competition were given to Lindsay Summers (MPH '21), and Roberta Reis (PhD '19).  

Mailliard and Rinaldo on the quest to cure HIV using immunotherapy

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INFECTION CONTROL TODAY - IDM's Robbie Mailliard and Charles Rinaldo are on the quest to cure HIV using an all-in-one immunotherapy approach that not only kicks HIV out of hiding in the immune system but also kills it. The key lies in immune cells designed to recognize an entirely different virus.   

Meet Kelsey Simon (IDM '20), Dean's Scholar

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With a keen interest in biology and medicine since childhood, Kelsey Simon (IDM '20) planned to pursue a graduate degree in the hard sciences until a course requirement got her thinking about working at a population level. "I … really wanted a career where I could put all of these things together: biology, working with people, social/ethics, global health. An MPH combined all of these interests perfectly."  

Hartman and team study tropical mosquito-borne virus linked to miscarriage, stillbirth in animals

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WESA-FM - Research suggests the Rift Valley Fever can affect developing human fetuses. IDM's Amy Hartman, along with first author Cynthia McMillen who is an IDM postdoc, chose to study Rift Valley’s effects on pregnant rats, since humans and rats have similar placental structures. They found that 65 percent of pups born to infected rats died, even when the mother rats appeared healthy.   

Student Noreen Chatta shares her analysis of endoscope procedures and bacterial cultures at APHA 2018

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APHA - Noreen Chatta (IDM) presented her research on Safety of Gastrointestinal (GI) Endoscopic Procedures at a Large Academic Medical Center during a poster symposium at APHA's 2018 annual meeting. In this study, she assessed and monitored the safety of endoscopic procedures using microbiologic cultures and electronic medical records, evaluating for 30-day microbiologic results after endoscopic procedures.  

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IDM Student Profiles

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Meet Kelsey Simon (IDM '20), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Kelsey Simon (IDM '20), Dean's Scholar

With a keen interest in biology and medicine since childhood, Kelsey Simon (IDM '20) planned to pursue a graduate degree in the hard sciences until a course requirement got her thinking about working at a population level. "I … really wanted a career where I could put all of these things together: ... (02/20/2019)
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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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Meet Joanna Shaw (IDM ’18), Dean’s Scholar 

Meet Joanna Shaw (IDM ’18), Dean’s Scholar

Unsure of whether to pursue an MD, a PhD, or both, incoming Dean's Scholar JOANNA SHAW chose Pitt Public Health's Department of Infections Diseases and Microbiology to further develop her research and lab skills while she solidifies her research and career plans... (10/06/2016)
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Rodriguez serves on raccoon oral rabies vaccination team 

Rodriguez serves on raccoon oral rabies vaccination team

As a participant in the Allegheny County Health Department’s Pittsburgh Summer Institute (ACHD PSI), Samantha Rodriguez (IDM) helped to plan, execute, and review the county’s Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Program, as well as assisted with ORV distribution. (09/08/2016)
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Lowery conducts West Nile Virus surveillance with ACHD 

Lowery conducts West Nile Virus surveillance with ACHD

Joel Lowery (IDM ’17) assisted the ACHD in conducting its annual surveillance of West Nile Virus (WNV) in order to make informed decisions on vector control related to mosquitoes. In addition to WNV, the team monitored Aedes albopictus , a possible mosquito vector for the Zika virus. Lowery was ... (09/07/2016)
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Recent Publications

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN 

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Delucia, Rinaldo, Rappocciolo demonstrate that the use of SIMV to decrease macrophage-mediated virus transfer should be considered for future HIV therapeutic development.  (05/18/2018)

Widespread virus replication in alveoli drives acute respiratory distress syndrome in aerosolized H5N1 influenza infection of macaques 

Widespread virus replication in alveoli drives acute respiratory distress syndrome in aerosolized H5N1 influenza infection of macaques

JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY - Wonderlich, Swan, Bissel, Hartman, Carney, O'Malley, Obadan, Santos, Walker, Sturgeon, Frye, Maiello, Scanga, Bowling, Duangkhae, Wiley, Flynn, Wang, Cole, Reed, Barratt-Boyes establish a new nonhuman primate disease model for evaluation of vaccine and therapeutic approaches... (02/14/2018)

IDM Student Videos

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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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