CTD Summer Intern
CTD Summer Internship in Tropical Diseases::
Allison Bauer, a senior student at Yale University, was selected by the CTD for the first Undergraduate Summer Internship in Tropical Diseases. She spent the summer of 2011 working with Dr. Martin Montes at the Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Alexander von Humboldt" in Lima, Peru. Dr. Montes holds an adjunct faculty position at UTMB and is a collaborator with Dr. Clinton White, Director of Global Health and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UTMB. Allison is an exceptional student and will graduate from Yale in 2012 with degree in Political Science and Public Health. We are proud that she was the first recipient of this award. The CTD Summer Internship in Tropical Diseases will be an annual award given to an undergraduate student who has excelled academically and has a demonstrated interest in global health and tropical diseases. The intern will work with one of the CTD's international collaborating members at an international site.
In the words of Allison Bauer:
For the past two months, I have been working with Dr. Martin Montes and his research group at the Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Alexander von Humboldt". The lab's research concerns the immunology and pathogenesis of prevalent infectious diseases in Peru, including TB, HIV, HTLV-1, Leishmania, and Strongyloides. Thanks to the generosity of the researchers here, I have both observed and conducted numerous laboratory techniques, which ranged from testing a new PCR-based diagnostic to determine strongyloides status, to staining PBMCs to determine Tregulatory cell populations, to conducting ELISAs for Tuberculosis-associated antibodies. Exposure to these techniques was highly rewarding in that I have garnered experience that will aid me in my future laboratory endeavors. Furthermore, the lab's setting gave me the unique opportunity to work with infectious diseases that are not as prevalent in the United States, yet pose a serious public health concern here in Peru.
I should also mention that one of my favorite parts of my time here has been the grand rounds that take place between Cayetano Heredia and other medical universities from around the world. The importance of geographical context in positing a differential diagnosis is truly fascinating!
Overall, I have had an exceptional time here and I have learned a lot. The Montes lab has been extremely gracious in teaching me numerous laboratory protocols and the science behind them, arranging visits to the hospitals to meet patients, and in helping me experience Peru to the fullest. Furthermore, they set me on the path of authoring an article, which more than exceeds my initial expectations for the summer. I plan on staying in touch with the lab and the many contacts I have made here as I start to formulate my senior thesis for Yale, which will concern the Peruvian health infrastructure and the socioeconomic and political considerations that underpin the endemicity of Tuberculosis in the country.