Nathan Lo is a native Houstonian and medical student at Stanford University. He hopes to combine his interest in medicine, infectious diseases, and global health policy as an academic physician. His research interests are mathematical modeling of infectious diseases with a focus on neglected tropical diseases, implementation of health technologies, and improving healthcare delivery in developing countries. He is currently taking a research year during medical school as a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grantee to study the challenges and interventions for elimination of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. He is also actively involved with studies on how we can optimize mass treatment strategies for these helminth infections. His work has resulted in peer-reviewed publications and has been featured in the New York Times. He is also deeply interested in how research can influence policy, and has worked on health policy topics at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and World Health Organization and advocacy through the END7 campaign. He has conducted international health work in Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Honduras, and Liberia. He is a 2013 graduate from Rice University, where he studied Bioengineering and global health technologies.
Project: "Evaluating and optimizing urine sample pooling for diagnosis of schistosomiasis"
June 22, 2015 - August 9, 2015
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am humbled and immensely grateful to ASTMH for this honor. ASTMH has been crucial in my development as a scientist and future clinician, including the annual conference where I was able to speak on my research and learn from so many world experts. I see the Kean Fellowship as the next stage of my training, where I can learn about research and tropical diseases in a developing setting and began creating fruitful international partnerships. This fellowship made my research study financially feasible, but also provided professional support to advance my academic career. <
What do you anticipate learning?
I have principally worked on mathematical models of disease transmission dynamics and health economics of mass drug administration against schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. While I have done my best to read, learn, and discuss with experts, the Kean Fellowship allowed me a chance to see these diseases and mass drug administration strategies firsthand. This has allowed me to better understand the constraints, but also opportunities to improve the way we deliver treatment for these diseases and provided ideas for future projects. I have also had a chance to learn more about the tropical diseases that I have only read about in medical textbooks. Finally, I have been able to build relationships with the inspiring local researchers and public health officials in Cote d'Ivoire, so I can continue to work productively with the settings where these diseases are highly prevalent.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
I hope to work towards the elimination of neglected tropical diseases, through optimization of current treatment strategies. Through a combination of mathematical modeling, health economics, and a sense of urgency, I hope to provide policy-relevant technical guidance on how to lower disease burden, interrupt transmission, and eventually eliminate these diseases.