Aubri Carman is from Tucson, Arizona, where she is a second year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona in 2012 with degrees in biochemistry/molecular biophysics and molecular/cellular biology, and minors in Spanish, political science, and chemistry. Her undergraduate thesis work involved studies of pediatric S. aureus infections and the applications of PCR/MS-MS for bacterial characterization.
Clinically, Carman intends to become a pediatric infectious disease specialist and hopes to practice at a tertiary care center with a focus in global health. She plans to get a master in public health degree and wants her career to combine clinical and policy work aimed at reducing disease burdens worldwide. Particularly, she is interested in HIV/AIDS and the socio-cultural and clinical impacts of the current epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.
An avid athlete, Carman was active as a soccer player for both the NCAA and club programs at the University of Arizona and has completed a handful of half marathons, triathlons, and a full marathon. She is heavily involved in the Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) program, where she serves as a coordinator for a pediatric vaccination program, a clinic for women who have been victims of domestic violence, and a sports program for children with physical disabilities. Additionally, she is active in the Global Health Forum as a co-coordinator for their annual conference.
Project: "A Comparison of Tuberculosis Diagnostic Methods in HIV-positive Adolescents at a Community Clinic in Urban Zambia"
June 6, 2013 - August 6, 2013
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I was honored to learn that I had been chosen as a Kean fellow. I am very thankful to both the Society and Dr. and Mrs. Kean for their support. This fellowship will begin to connect me with medical students, researchers, and clinicians at the forefront of tropical medicine and global health. Having completed most of my externship, I now know that this study has served as an amazing learning experience, and one that will certainly shape my future pursuits.
What do you anticipate learning?
The Kean Fellowship will enable me to obtain on-the-ground field experience in tropical medicine and global health, which I believe is the most important part of my development as a clinician and researcher interested in such topics. I have found that it is nearly impossible to understand the complexities and barriers presented in practicing tropical medicine and implementing research projects in developing countries unless one has had experience on the ground, as the day-to-day challenges are unique and can be immensely frustrating. Through my externship, I anticipate learning how to better cope with challenges, and understand and overcome cultural differences in clinical and research practice. I also look forward to developing my skills in project design and practical implication and gaining a great deal of knowledge about tuberculosis diagnosis. Additionally, I anticipate gaining a better understanding of my own goals and aspirations as they pertain to future projects abroad.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in tropical medicine lies in decoding some of the ‘mystery’ behind clinical diseases that are not often seen here at home. I am fascinated by the rarity of tropical diseases and the myriad of diagnostic difficulties and complex clinical presentations. I also enjoy exploring the socio-cultural aspects of such diseases, having realized that the roots of many lay outside hospitals and clinical treatment, engrained in vicious cycles of poverty, corruption, barriers to care, a lack of education, and (sometimes) ignorance.
Thus far, I have been most interested in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, and trying to understand how societal factors have influenced the spread of the virus as well as other co-infective tropical diseases. Both clinical and public health-based interventions are of interest to me, as well as understanding how health policy can affect spread and treatment.