Finding novel health interventions

Written by Vineeth Amba, biology/public health major at College of New Jersey and participant in the 2019 Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track

Coming into this program, I had experience in plant genetics and nutritional epidemiology research, and am currently evaluating a hip-hop dance obesity intervention at my home institution. However, this is the first time I have been exposed to research in a clinical setting.

This summer, I am working with Dr. Jason Newland, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, to analyze the rate at which children being discharged with urinary tract infections are receiving the appropriate antibiotics.

My goal in life is to research and implement novel health interventions to improve adolescent health, and the skills I have already learned in my laboratory–ranging from experiment design to chart review–have prepared me to work toward my mission. Additionally, I believe I have developed a much more open-minded approach to conducting research.

Vineeth at Nutrition 2019, where he presented his research.
Vineeth at Nutrition 2019, where he presented his research.

The scientists I have met inside and outside of the summer program laboratory experience have taught me how to bring my research to the next level. The process of converting research into policy is a topic I have always been curious about, but never had the chance to directly explore.

My research mentor, who specializes in implementing and running antibiotic stewardship programs, has shown me the process of converting research findings into interventions that people can benefit from. Through a journal discussion with Dr. Darrell Hudson, associate professor at the Brown School, I was able to learn more about social epidemiology and the numerous roads one can take with novel research findings.

By the end of the summer program I hope to gain a strong network of peers and mentors. So far, my network has expanded to including multiple physicians in the field of infectious diseases that directly support me in my research. I have also received excellent support from my cohort and the IPH staff, who have challenged and broadened my thinking on multiple occasions.

I hope to become a physician in the future and later pursue further education in public health. I believe the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public and Global Health Track  has been an excellent fit for my future goals, and I am excited to continue learning.