Former Students

Whereabouts of recently graduated students, listed in reverse chronological order (most recently graduated first)

Britt Griffin

Britt graduated from the Global Infectious Diseases Program in October, 2014.   In her doctoral work she studied the structure of the ribonucleoprotein complex that is critical for replication of hepatitis delta virus. She found that the structure of this complex is reminiscent of that formed by DNA and histones. She proposed that the HDV ribonucleoprotein is a type of RNA nucleosome. Britt published two papers during her thesis work. She enjoyed attending several international conferences at which she was invited to give oral presentations. Dr. John Casey was her thesis advisor; her dissertation committee included Drs. Brent Korba, Radikrishnan Padmanabhan, William Fonzi and Adrian Ferre-D'Amare (National Institutes of Health).

Britt has returned to the midwest for her postdoctoral work. She has taken a position as postdoctoral scholar at the University of Iowa, where she is working with Dr. David Price on the processes by which HIV RNA transcription elongation is controlled.

Mary Kate Mohlman

Mary Kate graduated from the Global Infectious Diseases Program in September, 2014.   Her doctoral research focused studying the ways by which hepatitis C virus infection has spread through Egypt and developing mathematical models to determine how to most effectively limit further transmission.  Dr. Christopher Loffredo was her thesis mentor. Drs. Brent Korba, David Hartley, Sania Amr (University of Maryland School of Public Health) and Sivan Leviyang served on her dissertation committee.

Following her graduation, Mary Kate returned to her home state of Vermont, where she has become very active in Vermont's Blueprint for Health, the state's approach to this rapidly developing area in critical need of reform. Her current position is Health Services Researcher in the state's Department of Health Access. 

Emily Iarocci

Emily graduated from the Global Infectious Diseases Program in December 2013.  Her doctoral research focused on biosurveillance using text-based news media as her data source, and involved identifying and analyzing indicators related to early warning and situational awareness of important infectious disease events, especially influenza pandemics. Dr. David Hartley was her dissertation advisor and Drs. Jeff Collmann, Noele Nelson (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), John Brownstein (Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital), and Leonard Rosenthal comprised the remainder of her committee.

While completing her degree, Emily worked for GUMC and was responsible for developing and implementing methodological enhancements for their operational biosurveillance capability (that is no longer functioning).  She is currently employed as a Senior Researcher at the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) where she is the lead investigator for a project funded by the Department of Homeland Security that leverages her experience in taxonomy/ontology development and implementation for use in standardizing datasets, creating technical interfaces, and enabling interoperability and quantitative analysis.

Emily is trying to figure out how to fill her newly available free time!  So far, she’s been reconnecting with old friends/former colleagues and enjoying some of the many new restaurants in DC.

Ying Zhang

Originally from China, Ying received her B.Med in Basic Medical Sciences from Fudan University Shanghai Medical School in 2008. She did her undergraduate research project on the molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant tuberculosis at Prof. Qian Gao's lab in collaboration with the Shanghai CDC. She entered the Global Infectious Diseases program in Spring 2009, joining Prof. Michael Stoto's lab at the Department of Health Systems Administration at NHS when the H1N1 pandemic swept through North America. Since then, she has been focusing on influenza surveillance, especially syndromic surveillance as her dissertation research topic. She implemented syndromic surveillance systems on the Georgetown campus, collected and analyzed data on a weekly basis, composed weekly memoranda to university decision-makers, and drafted a look-back review report and academic publication after the pandemic. Using Hong Kong influenza surveillance data, she developed a Bayesian statistical model to characterize both traditional and novel influenza surveillance systems, and assessed how each surveillance systems is influenced by the information environment such as the Internet and media coverage. She also worked at the Institute of Medicine Board on Global Health from 2010 to 2011 as a part-time fellow, and participated in the FDA-commissioned study on strengthening the regulatory capacity of food and drug safety in developing countries.

Ying graduated in May 2013 and now continues her research on influenza surveillance modeling and exploring the usage of social media data at Georgetown University with Dr. Ali Arab from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

When Ying is not conducting research, she has a passion for photography, and she also does ballroom dance competitively. Being on the Georgetown University Ballroom Dance Team for six years, she started as a beginner and is now an open level standard dancer (semi-finalist at USA Dance National Dancesport Championships in 2012) and assistant coach for the team.

Nicholas Baro

Nick earned his PhD from Georgetown’s Global Infectious Diseases Program in December 2012 after completing his thesis work in Dr. Paul Roepe’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  His thesis work focused on elucidating the structure and function of a putative transport protein from malarial parasites.

He currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health in Dr. Dyann Wirth’s lab.  He is working on projects that include the development and application of genetic and genomic tools to parasite populations from malaria endemic countries to determine their utility in understanding and assessing malaria transmission dynamics.