The University of Pennsylvania

Public Health Certificate Program

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PHCP Students


PHCP Requirements in Progress

Annie Chen

Annie Chen
Start Year: 2013
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Mark Goulian

 anniei@mail.med.upenn.edu


Enrique Lin Shiao

Enrique Lin Shiao
Start Year: 2013
Graduate Group: BMB
PhD Advisor: Shelley Berger

 lenrique@mail.med.upenn.edu

Enrique is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He currently is studying epigenetic mechanisms involved in the establishment and maintenance of cell identity in normal and cancerous cells in the laboratory of Dr. Shelley L. Berger. Enrique joined PHCP to further understand how science and analytical skills can be applied to solve global health challenges. He believes that many of the solutions lie in the intersection between different disciplines.


Sarah Sneed

Sarah Sneed
Start Year: 2013
Graduate Group: IGG
PhD Advisor: Mike Povelones

 ssneed@mail.med.upenn.edu


Elisabet Bjanes

Elisabet Bjanes
Start Year: 2014
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Igor Brodsky

 ebjanes@mail.med.upenn.edu

Elisabet is a Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Igor Brodsky. Her research interests include the molecular mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics, innate immunity and host-pathogen interactions, and cell death. She is investigating the role of programmed cell death in the response of the innate immune system to bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia. For her PHCP project, Elisabet is collaborating with Dr. Christopher Vinnard at Rutgers to perform pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis on the use of last resort antibiotics for ventilator associated pneumonia.


Alexandra Delaney

Alexandra Delaney
Start Year: 2014
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Igor Brodsky

 adelan@mail.med.upenn.edu


Mary Margaret Addison

Mary Margaret Addison
Start Year: 2015
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Ike Eisenlohr

 maryadd@mail.med.upenn.edu

Mary's research focuses on the ways in which antigen presenting cells (APCs) process and present virally-derived antigens to CD4+ T cells. Her work focuses specifically on HIV-1 and poxviruses. On the public health side, she is interested in issues such as vaccine access, HIV eradication, and maternal mortality.


Shannon Barbour

Shannon Barbour
Start Year: 2015
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Scott Hensley

 sbarbour@mail.med.upenn.edu

Shannon is in the CAMB graduate group, MVP concentration, and is a member of Scott Hensley’s lab in the Microbiology Department. Her thesis project focuses on defining how antibody specificity and functionality changes between a primary and secondary flavivirus infection. Her interests in research and public health are closely aligned: she wants to contribute to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Her PHCP project is going to focus on how health and financial status are closely related in this country.


Courtney Comar

Courtney Comar
Start Year: 2015
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Susan Weiss

 ccomar@mail.med.upenn.edu

For her thesis work Courtney will be studying the recently emerged zoonosis, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), and its interactions with the host innate immune system. She is specifically interested in how MERS proteins prevent host cells from sensing foreign double-stranded RNA during viral infection. In the public health realm, she is interested in emerging infectious diseases and global health. Courtney spent two months in Gaborone, Botswana on a global health rotation doing research and field work with Dr. Chelsea Morroni by shadowing and helping with various women's health studies in the clinics. She completed her PHCP project in Botswana on issues of family planning (pregnancy and contraception) and tuberculosis infection in women. Outside of her scientific and public health interests, she also loves singing, running, and baking cookies!


Sangya Agarwal

Sangya Agarwal
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: CAMB GTV
PhD Advisor: Carl June

 sangya@mail.med.upenn.edu

Sangya received her B.Tech. degree in 2014 from the Jaypee Institute of Technology, India where she majored in Biotechnology and worked on designing inhibitor molecules against MDX Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. She then came to UPenn for a Master’s in Biotechnology at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, concentrating in Biopharmaceutical Sciences and Engineering Biotechnology. During her Master’s she worked on testing synthetic nucleic acid antibodies, DNA vaccines and molecular adjuvants against cancer and infectious diseases. Sangya began her PhD program at UPenn in 2016. Her scientific interests comprise of designing and testing gene based therapies for cancers and virus infections.


Andrew Hart

Andrew Hart
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: IGG

 hartand@mail.med.upenn.edu

Andrew graduated with a BS in Molecular Biology from Marshall University in May of 2016. His research interests in science encompass bacterial immunity and innate signaling cascades. He hopes to incorporate these passions into public health, focusing on the social determinants of health that influence bacterial infections and recovery. In his free time, Andrew enjoys running, baking, and watching movies with friends.


Nawar Naseer

Nawar Naseer
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Sunny Shin

 nnawar@mail.med.upenn.edu

Nawar received her BA in Biology from Bryn Mawr College in 2014. She developed an interest in Microbiology in undergrad, where she investigated antibiotic resistance in Streptomyces coelicolor. After graduation, she worked as a Research Specialist at Penn, studying how the pathogen Vibrio cholerae modulates gene expression in response to environmental and chemical signals from the host. As a graduate student, Nawar would like to explore host-pathogen interactions and the impact of infectious diseases on global public health issues. In her spare time, Nawar enjoys reading mystery novels, cooking, and attempting to garden.


Sophia Reeder

Sophia Reeder
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: IGG
PhD Advisor: David Weiner

 sophiamr@mail.med.upenn.edu

Sophia is an Immunology PhD student interested in infectious diseases and host-pathogen interactions.  She is participating in PHCP because she is interested in Global Health, and creating global health interventions for neglected diseases that are efficient, effective, sustainable, and socially conscious. In her spare time Sophia enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.


Prioty Sarwar

Prioty Sarwar
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Paul Planet

 priotyf@mail.med.upenn.edu

Prioty is an MVP student interested in disease/vector evolution. She studied the evolutionary development of insects in undergrad and still ponders sometime why CAMB thought she'd be a good fit (she's glad they did, though). Her interest in public health varies from disease epidemiology to health care access; however, Prioty has a special place her heart for qualitative research after the two years she spent doing qualitative research on communication networks of middle schoolers regarding sex and relationships. She enjoys qualitative research because it allows her to personally connect to people's stories and experiences and (in her opinion) is a great way to give voice to communities. Prioty also writes fiction in her free time (yes, you have free time in grad school!) and hopes to one day compile a monologue/short story collection about the experiences of POC LGBTQIA+ people.


Elisha Segrist

Elisha Segrist
Start Year: 2016
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP
PhD Advisor: Sara Cherry

 relisha@mail.med.upenn.edu

Elisha's research interests are viral interaction with and manipulation of a host.


Emily Cribas

Emily Cribas
Start Year: 2017
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP

 ecribas@mail.med.upenn.edu

Emily received her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Penn State in May 2017. She is primarily interested in bacterial pathogenesis as well as the relationship between the human microbiota and disease. In terms of global health, she is interested in malnutrition and women's health issues after participating in a medical/public health brigade in Nicaragua. In her spare time, Emily enjoys weightlifting, video games (occasionally), and exploring new places.


Dan Ju

Dan Ju
Start Year: 2017
Graduate Group: CAMB G&E

 danju@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dan is a Genetics and Epigenetics student fascinated by human origins. Before graduate school, he did research in bat echolocation at Johns Hopkins University and cancer epidemiology at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. He is interested in the intersection of evolution and public health, and believes these two fields more often than not run in tandem. Besides learning about biology, he enjoys music and plays tuba.


Nina Montoya

Nina Montoya
Start Year: 2017
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP

 nmontoya@mail.med.upenn.edu

Nina is a CAMB graduate student interested in the interface between virology and immunology with emphasis on immune evasion and immune cell functionality. Before coming to Penn, Nina served as an AmeriCorps member for City Year Seattle/King County where she worked as an academic and social-emotional mentor for middle school students. Her time with AmeriCorps informed her love of school based health and the power of youth to advocate for healthy lifestyles in their communities. She hopes to continue to explore these themes through the Public Health Certificate Program. Outside of the lab, Nina can almost always be found in a Zumba class!


Dana Robertson

Dana Robertson
Start Year: 2017
Graduate Group: EPID

 danaka@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dana is a PhD student in the Epidemiology program. She is interested in addressing the crisis of opioid abuse. Prior to enrolling at Penn, she received a Master's in Neuroscience from the University of California San Francisco. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and playing with her cocker spaniel.


Katie Strelau

Katie Strelau
Start Year: 2017
Graduate Group: CAMB MVP

 kstrelau@mail.med.upenn.edu

Katie is a Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology student within the CAMB program. She is interested in viral infection and emerging infectious diseases, and in her thesis work she wants to ask questions that are relevant to public health. For her PHCP project, she is considering exploring determinants and solutions for vaccine stigma within the Philadelphia area. In her career, Katie wants to translate science from the laboratory to population-based settings. Beyond virology and public health, she enjoys running and playing with dogs.



PHCP Requirements Complete

Kristel Emmer

Kristel Emmer
Start Year: 2011
Graduate Group: CAMB GTV
PhD Advisor: Hildegund Ertl
PHCP Project: Memory T cell responses to heterologous prime-boost Ad35/AERAS-402 and MVA85A in BCG-vaccinated adults
PHCP Advisor: Alex Hanlon & Aeras Institute

 kemmer@mail.med.upenn.edu


Jamie DeNizio

Jamie DeNizio
Start Year: 2013
Graduate Group: BMB
PhD Advisor: Rahul Kohli
PHCP Project: Review of environmental pathogens and recommendations for safe-participation in outdoor mud-sports
PHCP Advisor: David Hewitt, University of Pennsylvania

 jdenizio@mail.med.upenn.edu

Jamie's dissertation work focuses on the Ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of enzymes and the epigenetic roles of the oxidized cytosine modifications they catalyze. From a broader health perspective, she is interested in how external factors, such as diet and other lifestyle choices, cause phenotypic and pathologic changes as the result of altered gene regulatory processes, such as the chemical changes mediated by TET enzymes.

She is also interested in science communication and science-based policymaking. For her PHCP project she is writing a literature review and policy proposal with Dr. David Hewitt on the infection risk associated with mud sports, such as obstacle course races, and policies that could make these events safer.