Public Health

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Latrice Pichon, PhD, MPH, CHES Faculty Mentor’s Department: Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health

Contact Information: (901) 678-1675; lcpichon@memphis.edu

Project Description: The project team has recognized several unmet needs experienced by youth and young adults living with HIV, including internalized HIV-related stigma and lack of social support. One of the project’s goals is to implement a photovoice intervention to promote supportive environments for people living with HIV (PLWH) to equip PLWH with skills to improve health outcomes. Another aspect of this program is to explain health systems barriers to HIV prevention (PrEP) delivery and linkage to HIV care for HIV+ individuals. Project members will be working with state and local health departments, the University of Washington, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The project team also will work to create a rapid planning process that engages the community, HIV planning bodies, HIV prevention and care providers, and other partners in aligning resources and bolstering existing activities to develop and release an Ending the HIV Epidemic (EtHE) plan for Shelby County. Under the supervision of Dr. Pichon in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, the undergraduate research fellow will assist with interview transcription, data entry, coding, and other data collection activities in the community. Other tasks will be assigned as needed for the research projects. The undergraduate research fellow will have direct contact with community partners who are leaders in the effort to end the HIV epidemic.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Participant in community-based and community engagement programs Strong oral and written communication skills Proficient using Microsoft Office programs Reliable transportation and attendance at community meetings.

Application or Interview Process: Provide cover letter, letter of reference from a University of Memphis Faculty member, and unofficial transcripts

Hours per Week the Student Will Work: Must be able to work 10 hours per week during standard business hours; may include some evening and weekend events. Schedule and hours to be arranged with immediate supervisor.

Starting Date: Immediately

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Pratik Banerjee

Department: School of Public Health, Environmental Health Program

Contact Information: (901) 678-4443/pbnerjee@memphis.edu

Project Description: We are looking for motivated students for assistance in multiple research projects on microbiological investigation of pathogens causing human health risks. The student(s) will assist in laboratory experimentations and will gain hands-on experience in laboratory analysis (such as PCR, ELISA, aseptic techniques, imaging of living cells/microscopy, etc.). There is also an opportunity to participate in the preparation of manuscripts for publication.

Requirements for Student Applicants: High school level chemistry and biology. Use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Application or Interview Process: Letter of interest and in-person interview.

Hours per week/Starting Date: Flexible, 10-20 hours; Starting immediately

Method of Compensation:  Volunteer

Faculty Mentors:  Drs. Wilfried Karmaus, Yu Jiang, Su Chen

Departments:  Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, and Department of Mathematical Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Contact Information:  901/678-2491; karmaus1@memphis.edu

Project Description: (1) Our overall research interest is to identify etiologic factors, especially epigenetic markers, related to allergic diseases, lung function, obesity, pubertal changes, and growth. Epigenetic markers of our interest are DNA-methylation, the addition of a methyl-group (due to environmental influences) to the DNA, which makes the DNA more or less readable.

(2) We have multiple NIH-funded projects working on life-style/environmental changes between infancy and early adulthood, changes of epigenetic markers measured in infancy, at age 10 and 18 years, during pregnancy, and in the offspring of the cohort members and their impact on diseases. We are also interested to understand whether DNA-methylation at birth predicts the onset of puberty.

(3) We are investigating the effects of maternal pregnancy conditions on DNA-methylation and the role of these epigenetic changes on lung function of their children.

(4) We are team-working with Faculty and PhD and Masters students at the UofM. At the UofM, our task is to bring different pieces of information and different measurements conducted at other Universities together. These are epidemiologic and biostatistical tasks and applications that require environmental, biological understanding, and understanding of social and developmental processes. In addition, we are collaborating with multiple national and international scientists.

(5) We have regular 'lab' meetings and always love to integrate new students. Undergraduate students are welcome. Working with this group offers a lot of ideas and opportunities on how and where to continue in graduate studies.

For our work, see:   https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Karmaus_Wilfried

Requirements for Student Applicants: Interest in biological and statistical sciences, or environmental health. Ability to learn by doing. Willingness to read a large number of scientific publications. At least 12 months of commitment to successfully complete or participate in a successful analysis of a study of your interest.

Application or Interview Process:  Interested applicants should apply to Drs. Yu Jiang (yjiang4@memphis.edu), Wilfried Karmaus (karmaus1@memphis.edu) at the School of Public Health or Dr. Su Chen (schen4@memphis.edu) in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Please include a resume and a paragraph about your research interests.

Starting Date:  Immediately

Method of Compensation:  Volunteer

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan

Faculty Mentor's Department: Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, School of Public Health

Telephone/Email: 901-678-3740 / sbhuyan@memphis.edu

Project Description: Three current research projects may benefit interested honor students:

1)      Comparative effectiveness of intervention approaches to address breast cancer disparities among minority women

2)      Use of robot-assisted surgeries and its impact on treatment cost for radical prostatectomies

3)      Based on the findings from the Project 1, we will design an intervention program to reduce breast cancer mortality between white and African American women in Memphis. A recent study reported that Memphis is the deadliest major American city (of the largest 25 largest cities) for African-American women with breast cancer.

Requirements: Good academic standing, excellent writing skills, and high motivation to learn. Interested applicants should apply directly to Dr. Bhuyan at sbhuyan@memphis.edu. Please include a resume and a paragraph about your research interests and goals. Special focus and mentorship will be provided towards conducting literature review, basic statistical analysis, and manuscript/proposal writing.

Starting Date: Open

Method of Compensation:  Volunteer