Erica Lin

Erica Lin is a fourth-year medical student and global health scholarly concentrator at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Rhode Island. Prior to medical school, she pursued a ScB in Applied Mathematics-Biology and conducted research in Asia and Brazil. She is drawn to developing a better understanding of disease development and a more equitable approach to management through mathematical modeling and research. Erica is also passionate about improving access to care in resource-limited settings, particularly through education.

Effects of Trauma on Pemphigus Foliaceus
Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo


What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I strongly believe in the power of international research collaborations and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue my work at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. I am excited to learn from leading figures in the field and grow with the vibrant ASTMH and Kean Fellowship communities.

What do you anticipate learning?
Through my research project, I anticipate gaining a better understanding of the effects of trauma on pemphigus foliaceus (PF). Brazil is a unique location to conduct research on PF as it is home to a significant patient population with endemic disease. These cases may be caused by chronic exposure to sand fly bites, which introduce salivary proteins to immunogenetically predisposed individuals. The resultant antibodies may then cross-react with human desmogleins through molecular mimicry, with intramolecular epitope spreading and isotope switch leading to pathogenic autoantibody production and resultant disease development. I am interested in characterizing populations with increased susceptibility to disease and whether differential treatment is necessary to prevent both PF inception and resurgence. I also hope to increase my understanding of how research can be a tool for health equity.

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in tropical medicine is rooted in my Brazilian-Asian-American heritage and passion for global health. Having spent a significant portion of my childhood in Brazil, I witnessed the burden of tropical diseases firsthand, particularly due to arboviruses. The interconnectedness between tropical medicine and health disparities reflects the unique opportunity to harness the power of research and clinical care to mitigate the disproportionate burden of disease in low-resource settings. As the world continues to become increasingly interconnected, I am committed to an academic career pursuing health equity and effective knowledge transfer between settings.