Gene Expression Evolution
I am working in Hunter Fraser’s lab on several projects investigating the role of changes in gene expression on complex human phenotypes, including human depression and mitochondrial abundance. I am particularly interested in investigating poorly explained heritable diseases.
Medicine in Austere Environments
I am very interested in the practice of medicine in austere environments, particularly in areas of poverty and natural/man-made disaster, but also in inhospitable natural wild environments. In such places, resources are limited and prioritization of resources is essential. The practice of medicine in such places has historically suffered from a dearth of supporting research and has relied instead on the experience and best guesses of dedicated clinicians. While such experience should not be discounted, the ability of well-executed research to improve care should also not be discounted. As I progress through my medical education, I wish to investigate ways to improve access to access to high quality healthcare in places where such access is intrinsically limited.
Emerging Infectious Diseases
In the last few years we have witnessed the emergence of Zika virus and the re-emergence of Ebola virus alongside the emergence of other less publicized and more easily controlled zoonotic infections. As human populations continue to encroach on wild areas, it is likely that more such diseases will appear. I am interested in the specific traits that allow diseases to ‘jump’ species barriers and enter new populations, as well as in the immune mechanisms we use to fight them.