Kelsey Ripp is a 4th year medical student at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She grew up in California where she discovered a love of running and hiking. She attended Brown's eight-year combined program and studied Human Biology, with a focus on the environment and ecology. She went into college with an interest in global health and it only intensified throughout the past eight years. She is particularly interested in infectious disease, environmental/ecological health, and health disparities, having done research on schistosomiasis in the Philippines, studied in Costa Rica, volunteered in Madagascar, and worked clinically in Kenya.
She is currently applying into a combined Medicine-Pediatrics residency program, ideally with a global health track. But before she interviews she is excited to take a couple months off to do research on arbovirus-malaria coinfections in Kenya with the help of the Kean Fellowship.
Project: "Incidence and clinical presentation of dengue and chikungunya viral infections among malaria parasite-positive and -negative acutely febrile children in Kenya"
September 3, 2015 - October 28, 2015 Kenya
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am honored and excited to receive this fellowship. The project that I am working on through this fellowship means a lot to me -- I have been planning this for the past 3 years, ever since I met the PI I am working with at my first ASTMH conference. As I am now a 4th year medical student and currently applying to residency, I am excited to take a couple months off of clinical rotations to pursue my interest in global health.
What do you anticipate learning?
The Kean fellowship is allowing me to take time out of my 4th year to travel to Kenya and work on a project I have been looking forward to for a long time. I will be working on part of a larger study of arboviruses in children in Kenya, which is a topic that addresses my intersecting interests in infectious disease, environmental change, and public health. This project will provide me with the opportunity to get further experience in field and clinical research, as well as provide me with further knowledge about how to carry out research abroad, which is something I intend to do much of in my career. Finally, this fellowship will allow for me to attend the ASTMH conference, which I have been to once before, and where I learned a tremendous amount and met a lot of very inspiring people.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
I am really interested in the intersection of human health and environmental change, particularly as it pertains to infectious disease. I am passionate about working with vulnerable populations and tropical medicine focuses largely on these populations, which are at the same time, often affected most acutely by environmental changes (like drought, sea water rise, vector patterns). Big picture problems that I am interested in solving are how to both treat people with infectious diseases like malaria and cholera, while at the same time addressing the bigger issues of why certain populations are affected and how larger societal changes can be made to mitigate these problems.