As an epidemiologist, I am engaged in pediatric asthma, allergic disease and infectious disease research. My work is focused on viral and environmental contributions to asthma and allergic diseases in children. I was drawn to this research because asthma and allergic diseases are major factors for children’s health problems and mortality worldwide, and they have also affected members of my family. I entered the Division of Asthma Research to follow my passion for directing clinical and translational research that advances prevention techniques to decrease childhood asthma and allergic diseases.
In my lab, my team and I utilize epidemiological, clinical, translational and molecular methods to determine how host, environmental and viral characteristics affect asthma and allergic disease development, progression and endurance. Our primary goal is to reduce and prevent detrimental environmental and viral exposures to boost children’s health outcomes. We are currently studying the role of differential gene expression of an epithelial cytokine, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), and how it impacts asthma and allergic disease pathogenesis. We are also studying the nasal transcriptome as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Children’s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup (CREW) consortium to define the mechanisms underlying allergic disease in order to halt childhood asthma. In addition, I am taking part in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Human Epidemiology and RespOnse to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS) study, where we are researching the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with allergic disease and transmission among family members. This study attempts to determine if children with allergic diseases are at higher risk of contracting a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
My research in asthma and allergic disease builds upon my training and experience in epidemiology, global public health and infectious diseases. At the beginning of my career, I conducted research on the global epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS by working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the South African Medical Research Council, and TB-REACH in India. I performed evaluations on the reliability of data in the Republic of South Africa's TB Surveillance System. In addition, I published one of the first studies showing excessive misuse of diagnostic tests and various delays in TB diagnoses in the Indian private sector. Our findings further advanced the understanding of the role diagnostic delays have on TB transmission and ways to care for patients in high-burden places. This experience drives my current research to improve diagnosis and prevention of childhood asthma and allergic diseases.
I am an elected member to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. I began my career in 2010 and started working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2018.
Epidemiology; translational research; environmental causes of asthma and allergic diseases; surveillance; monitoring and evaluation; global health; tuberculosis; HIV/AIDS
Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics