Ian Eisenhauer is a 2nd year medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM). Originally from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, Ian graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 2013 with a B.S. in Chemistry. In 2012, Ian worked in Peru with Naval Medical Research Unit 6 during a tropical medicine course, while assisting in their Proyecto Dengue, among other projects. This course brought him into contact with tropical medicine, and he has continued a passion for the field since.
This summer, Ian researched water quality and quantity issues in the rural communities of Guatemala in conjunction with the University of Colorado Center for Global Health. In his spare time, Ian enjoys running, biking, hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor sports. Ian’s future plans include a tour of duty as a Naval Flight Surgeon, continued travel, and future medical relief efforts.
Project: "Drinking Water Source and Quality Mapping in Trifinio: Understanding the Issues Surrounding Periodic Flooding."
June 15, 2014 - August 1, 2014
Trifinio Region of Guatemala
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
Upon starting medical school, I knew that I wanted to pursue global health. I had taken part in medical missions in Peru and Mexico, and I knew that I wanted to do more than I had in the past. When I was accepted to the Global Health Track at the University of Colorado, I was elated that I could continue this type of work, but what it might entail was still impossible to ascertain. When I found the need that brought me to water quality and sanitation work in Guatemala, I was humbled that so many pieces of the puzzle had come together; little did I know that I had just begun.
I applied to the Kean Fellowship, understanding that it would force me to think critically and ask questions about my project that I would not have done otherwise. Upon completing the application, I felt extremely accomplished as I had completed a major part of preparation for my project, and felt more ready than ever. Still, my acceptance as a Kean Fellow came as a joyous shock. I will use this Fellowship to further my aim at helping communities of rural Guatemala as well as to better understand the problems of Global Tropical Medicine. I feel truly honored to receive this Fellowship, and hope that I can do it proud.
What do you anticipate learning?
Medicine is a geographically moving target. In the United States, CT scans, blood tests, and laboratory analysis are available in minutes and it is easy to become reliant on such technology. While my work includes laboratory research, it also aims to solve the problem in an area that does not use much technology. I have no delusions that I will solve all the issues concerning water quality and quantity for this community, let alone a larger population, but I hope that I can learn the issues that determine the cause of disease so that in the future, I can be more adept at finding preventative solutions applicable to tropical diseases in low-resource areas.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Tropical Medicine is interesting because of the population it affects and, in return, the effect a solution could have. Solutions to global tropical disease issues have effects that go beyond what could be completed in a clinic or even what an individual could do in a lifetime of treating patients. To me, the problem of unclean drinking water holds my interest, as the solution to this problem would have widespread affects on decreasing malnutrition and diarrheal disease. I would also like to understand completely why diarrheal disease is caused by unclean water. Unlike the method of E. coli and other viruses in causing disease disease, we cannot claim to explain the phenomenons regarding clean water adequately. Such an understanding could continue to build the case towards providing clean drinking water around the world.