William Bruno grew up in the Philadelphia area. For as long as he can remember, William has strongly gravitated toward the natural sciences. After high school, he majored in music at a small liberal arts college not far from where he grew up. Quickly becoming disenchanted with the idea of a career in music, William decided to move to California and attend community college in Santa Barbara. It was during this time that his childhood fascination with science matured into a serious interest. After completing a BS degree in Bio-psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara, William decided that medicine could be an excellent way to combine his love for science with his budding awareness of social justice issues. While applying to medical school, in order to further pursue these two passions, William spent a year working in a virology lab studying the Hepatitis B virus followed by another year working as a science teacher working with underserved students in Philadelphia.
As a medical student at the University of California San Diego, William is currently working on serologic markers of Leptospirosis. This project has brought him to the Amazon jungle city of Iquitos, Peru, where he is working with doctors and biologists, both local and from the U.S. William hopes that this project will be the start of a long career of studying tropical diseases that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations of the world.
Project: "Quantitative Assessment of Leptospiral Species Burden in Symptomatic Patients in the Peruvian Amazon"
June 8, 2014 - August 29, 2014
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am truly honored to receive this fellowship. It was absolutely exhilarating to find out that the committee believed in my ideas and research plan.
What do you anticipate learning?
I think an important thing I will learn this summer is what it is like doing research in a resource-poor environment. Not only are there logistical constraints to working in a place like Iquitos, but there are also important ethical considerations that should not be ignored.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
I see tropical medicine as a way to combine my passion for scientific investigation with interest in social justice issues. I would like to spend my career working on eliminating infectious diseases that are devastating the world's poorest populations.