My post-doctoral research was in the Division
of Malaria Research at the University of Maryland,
Baltimore, Institute for Global Health. There, I worked under Dr.
Christopher Plowe on various aspects of malaria
immunology and transmission. I was initially hired to provide
entomological expertise for the group, as there had never been
an entomologist there before. However, my mosquito-based
projects never got much traction, due to a lack of dedicated funding. Luckily, I was able
to find a home with the serology group working on aspects of
human serology related to malaria control. We used both
whole-protein and short peptide arrays to measure the human
antibody response to malaria and related antigens, allowing us
to measure the immune response of people to these antigens for
predicting vaccine efficacy and as markers of exposure.
Additionally, my work with this group allowed me to gain
further field experience. Our group works with local
scientists in Mali, Malawi, Myanmar, and other malaria-endemic
countries in order to build capacity and provide access to
quality samples. I was able to go to Malawi for a month in
order to work with the entomology team at the Blantyre Malaria
Project and gain more experience working in a field setting. I
also helped our collaborators in Myanmar increase their
ability to perform mosquito surveillance as part of their
malaria control program.