What Are Our Trainees Reading This Summer

Posted 30 July 2019

Each year around this time we like to take a break from the rigors of science and explore what our leadership is reading for fun. This year we decided to focus on our younger researchers by asking the Trainee Membership Committee. Here are the replies:

Koya C. Allen, PhD, MS, MSPH
Board Member
Trainee Committee Co-Chair

by James Rollins
"What started as a quick read of 'airport fiction' during a trip more than a decade ago immediately became anticipated reads of one of my favorite authors. I love his novels for the intriguing stories he develops combining historical fact, scientific curiosities and a touch of mystery; all while pushing the bar on the what-ifs of current issues in the field. I enjoy the suspenseful nature of his books and suspect his newest book will be an excellent companion for the dog days of summer!"

Anna Uehara, MSc, PhD (Candidate)
Board Member
Trainee Committee Co-Chair

Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah
"This book is a powerful memoir filled with insight from growing up in South Africa that brings about questions on identity, culture, humanity and so much more - and telling these stories from his childhood with love and humor."


Elizabeth J. Anderson, MPH (PhD Student)
University of Arizona College of Public Health

Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
"I’m working a piecemeal path through Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is a dense pop science take on behavioral economics and the psychology of decision-making. Nobel laureate Kahneman walks through thought-processing systems in our minds that prevent us from making truly rational choices related to our health or well-being. It’s not exactly bedtime reading, but I have recently found myself thinking about my own research through a new lens using core health behavior concepts from this book." 

Dibyadyuti Datta, MS, PhD
Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases & Global Health

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of The Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery
by Sam Kean
"The human brain is capable of remarkable and unimaginable feats, and no one tells its story better than Sam Kean. I’ve read and re-read this and others by him more times than I remember (The Disappearing Spoon is my other constant companion)."


Shyam Prakash Dumre, PhD
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University

Educated by Tara Westover 
"This is about a girl who was born as the youngest daughter of a very conservative father and her family who never trusted in public schools/education, modern medicine, etc. It is very exciting to read how she decided and managed to scrape out into the wider world and finally achieved something unachievable – getting a doctorate from Cambridge. Her courage, dedication and struggle are all inspiring. I have actually seen a couple of true stories similar to hers. Happy reading. Next, I am planning to read Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, talking about the wealth and poverty of nation. I hope it's going to be a good read. I am interested in this book as national failure directly impacts the diseases control."

Cusi Ferradas Carrillo, DVM, MPH 
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
by Henry Marsh
"Besides my interest in medicine and how amazing I consider the work of neurosurgeons, I was particularly caught by how Marsh described his personal feelings and self-doubt. I am highly interested in the human side of scientists. I believe it is extremely valuable that people involved in science share their doubts and even mistakes openly, and not only their achievements." 

Krutika Kuppalli, MD
Stanford Health Care

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
"The take-home message of this inspiring book is simple: When we empower and lift up women and girls it benefits us all. Melinda Gates uses personal experiences and stories from individuals she has encountered all over the world to illustrate that when women are supported to better in their lives, it translates to improved communities for all. She argues that when women are lifted up they feel more confident and powerful to make decisions that benefit their families, thereby allowing societies to flourish. It’s also in audiobook and narrated by her. I sometimes listen to audiobooks and podcasts during my commute."


Iset Vera, PhD
University of South Florida

Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren
"This book was a gift from my boss  to motivate and inspire me. In her memoir, paleobotanist Hope Jahren is invinsible and full of energy as she explores the natural world. On my hiking excursions, trees, seeds, leaves, flowers have taken on new meaning. Taking on challenges and responsibilities, she depicts her mental diversity (bipolar), converting an obstacle into a blessing. Charging through to become a great scientist and role model."