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Featured Alumni

Our Graduates Have Great Success Stories

Alumni of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are profiles of a few of our notable alumni.

Lauren Lepone Brodd (PhD ’12)
After graduation, Lauren worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute. During her three years at the NIH, her research focused on evaluating immune cell subsets in the peripheral blood of cancer patients who were treated with therapeutic vaccines or immunotherapy drugs in Phase I, II, and III clinical trials. Currently, Lauren is a science policy analyst for The American Association of Immunologists, which is the nation's largest professional association of research scientists and physicians working to advance the field of immunology. In this position, she analyzes issues that affect immunological and biomedical research, assist in developing policy statements and testimony, and writes articles for AAI publications.

Emilee Knowlton (PhD ’12)
After completing her PhD and a 9 month post doc in Dr. Charles Rinaldo’s laboratory, Emilee joined ProImmune, a contract resource organization based in Oxford, UK. Emilee is a Pittsburgh- based Immunology Sales Specialist servicing the southeast, Midwest and western territories. She works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic institutes, to provide novel solutions to understanding pre-clinical adaptive immune responses. Emilee frequently speaks at conferences presenting tools for immunogenicity assessment and antigen characterization, as well as epitope discovery and immune monitoring. She also frequently provides webinars and webcasts describing the tools and technologies that ProImmune provides. To hear Emilee describe the ProMap Naïve T cell proliferation assay by clicking here.   Emilee lives with her husband, Theo, and their three dogs in Pittsburgh.

Emerson Evans (MPH ’12)
is an evaluation coordinator with the Philadelphia Integrative Behavioral Health Initiative (PIBHI) at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health AIDS Activities Coordinating Office. He serves as a targeted capacity expansion evaluation coordinator for PIBHI, which integrates substance abuse treatment and mental and behavioral health into HIV care and treatment in Philadelphia’s largest HIV clinics. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) is funding the initiative, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) is overseeing it. The grant is a collaborative effort between AACO and HIV clinics run by Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as ambulatory, federally qualified health centers that offer HIV care and treatment. Evans coordinates the collection of data at these sites, disseminates findings, and reports to SAMSHA.

Leah M. Lamonte
(MS ’06) has served since 2006 as a vector control specialist with the Allegheny County Health Department, one of only two employees in the Vector Control Program and responsible for all surveillance, control, education, and prevention of vector-borne disease in the county. Her primary work involves conducting mosquito-borne disease surveillance to determine the activity of arboviruses like West Nile Virus as well as tracking the spread of invasive mosquito species (e.g., Asian Tiger mosquito) that have the potential to introduce new viruses like Zika. She engages with the public through educational efforts such as community and academic presentations, science and health fairs, and interviews with local media outlets. She also helps to train county municipal workers seeking a pesticide applicator’s license and enforces public health laws relative to preventing mosquito-breeding habitats.

Leah mentors and trains future public health graduates through her participation in the Pitt Public Health Alumni Mentor Program and Pittsburgh Summer Institute, which the school facilitates. She actively participates on the board and currently serves as president of the Pennsylvania Vector Control Association, an organization providing educational enrichment and professional networking to all Commonwealth health personnel engaged in vector control activities.


Roaming Photo-Story Exhibit Brings ‘Acceptance Journeys Pittsburgh’ to Campus

A free exhibit called “Acceptance Journeys Pittsburgh” will be popping up throughout the University of Pittsburgh campus over the next several weeks, spreading a message of love and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.Conducted by the Department of Infectious Disease and Microbiology at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, the exhibit is a part of Pitt’s “Year of the Humanities” and addresses LGBT stigma through s... 

Debra Cen (IDM '91)

A passion for science, business, and American culture has propelled Hui “Debra” Cen (ScDHy ’91) to a sweet spot. Having sold one successful biotech start-up and handed off another, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur is now turning her attention to a high-tech way to promote the cultural strength of the United States and China to each other. 

Emily Robbins (IDM '16) joins Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Congratulations to EMILY ROBBINS (IDM '16)  on her new position with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH). She will work as an epidemiology program associate in waterborne diseases with an initial primary focus on Legionella prevention within the community.  

DC alumni reception brings together friends and colleagues

Dozens of Pitt Public Health grads from the capital area gathered at Penn Social during the 2017 ASPPH annual meeting, joining Dean Burke and host faculty for hearty conversations and refreshments. If the forecast of snow scared you away, we missed you! Access our photo albums anytime at 

2017 IDM grad Noah Salama heading to Rochester for MD/PhD

Congratulations to NOAH SALAMA (IDM '17) on his recent acceptance into University of Rochester's 8-year MD/PhD program. As a Pitt MS student, Salama worked with Dr. Amy Hartman on research into viral immune response. His thesis was entitled "Analysis of Peripheral Immune Responses for the Development of an NHP Animal Model for Encephalitic Alphaviruses EEEV, VEEV, and WEEV." 

2017 faculty and staff Delta Omega initiates

The following four individuals will be inducted into the Omicron chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society at the Graduate School of Public Health, recognizing merit and encouraging further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work: Nancy W. Glynn (EPI '94), faculty and alumna; Leah M. Lamonte (IDM '06), alumna; Natalie A. Solomon-Brimage (BCHS '06), alumna; Christopher A. Taylor (EPI '10), alumnus. 

Salcido returns as epidemiology seminar speaker

Alumnus DAVID SALCIDO (EPI ’08) was guest lecturer for the September 21, 2017, epidemiology seminar with a talk titled “Cardiac Arrest, Resuscitation and the Opioid Epidemic.” He began his resuscitation research work in 2006. Since then he has developed interests in cardiac arrest physiology (acute phase), resuscitation device and robotics development, signal analysis, and emergency medicine epidemiology. 

Schleupner, IDM alumnus, appointed to Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Dean's Council on Advancement

Congratulations to alumnus CHARLES JOHN SCHLEUPNER (IDM ’68), who has been appointed to the Dean’s Council on Advancement for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The council is a committee of volunteers created to advance the stature of the medical school by providing guidance, assistance, advocacy, and philanthropic investment in support of the school’s strategic objectives. 

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