Viral respiratory infections are a leading cause of hospitalizations and long-term medical complications in children throughout the world. These infections place infants and children at higher risk of developing wheezing and asthma later in life. When viral infections occur early in life, they may cause lung damage. Respiratory infections are a leading cause of hospitalizations in the United States and a major cause of mortality among children under age five worldwide. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and COVID-19 are all conditions that increase mortality risk among children. As such, scientific research in preventing respiratory viruses is essential for improving long-term health among children.
I enjoy learning how infections have shaped our world and society, and how interventions like antibiotics and vaccines can prevent infections. I enjoy figuring out what is causing an infection and how best to treat it. These interests stem from my work in various global healthcare settings, which made me determined to prevent respiratory viruses and other infections in children and infants.
One of my research interests involves vaccinating pregnant women to prevent their infants from contracting infectious diseases. In particular, my research aims to prevent respiratory viruses by focusing on maternal vaccination. I hope to help infants and children avoid respiratory infections early in life.
In addition to my respiratory virus research, my colleagues and I are currently using our research experience and knowledge of respiratory viruses to study COVID-19 infections.
For my role in teaching information about infectious diseases, I was awarded the Optime Magistrum Award (Most Excellent Teacher) in 2017 and 2019 at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. This award recognized my work in teaching medical students about preventing infections using vaccines. I was also awarded a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health in 2009. During this fellowship, I studied the etiology and seasonal factors of viral respiratory conditions in Honduran children under five years of age. In 2011, I was granted the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Blue Ribbon Research award for maternal vaccine research in Bangladesh.
I continued influenza vaccine research in 2011 with the support of the Procter Scholars award and a K12 Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) from the National Institutes of Health. My research has been published in respected journals, such as the Journal of Infectious Diseases, The Lancet Global Health, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Pediatric Research and Vaccine.