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Presentations By STI/HIV T-32 Trainees

April 5 @ 9:15 am - 10:00 am

The following STI/HIV T-32 trainees will present their projects during Friday Conference.

Cynthia Thomas: “Determining vaccine antigens that promote protection from Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection.” 

Thomas_CynthiaHeadshot2022Cynthia is a PhD candidate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Born in Haiti, she emigrated to the United States when she was very young. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate degree and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences with a minor in Africana Studies. After graduating from PITT, she became a STEM Coordinator at a life science community lab in Pittsburgh called the Citizen Science Lab (CSL). As a STEM Coordinator, she was the lead instructor for all of the workshops and after school initiatives. She taught students as young as pre-K age and as old as high school age laboratory bench techniques that are commonly used in biomedical research. She also served as a bench mentor for the high school students with independent research projects. Then, Cynthia became an NIH PREP Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill where she worked under the guidance of Dr. Rita Tamayo. Her PREP research focused on a unique signaling system in a bacterial pathogen, Clostridiodes difficile, used by the bacterium to promote pathogenesis in a human host. Currently, Cynthia is working in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Duncan. Her thesis project focuses identifying antigens in Neisseria gonorrhoeae as potential vaccine candidates for vaccine development against gonorrhea.

Grace Mulholland, PhD, MSPH: “HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis persistence in an STI clinic in urban Malawi”

Grace-MulhollandGrace is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill. She focuses on the application of modern analytic methods to imperfect, non-experimental data to improve the evidence base for public health decisions. While a doctoral student, she helped to implement and analyze data from studies describing unmet need for HIV services among vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, and she studied the relationships among tuberculosis treatment outcomes, geographic mobility, and clinic presentation delay in East Africa. As an STI/HIV T-32 trainee, she is examining longitudinal HIV PrEP use in the context of PrEP and STI services integration in Malawi.

Kacy Yount, PhD: “Deciphering Natural Immunity to Chlamydia trachomatis: Insights from T Cell Profiles of a Highly Exposed Cohort of Women”

KacyYountKacy completed her PhD in Immunology at Ohio State University under Drs. Purnima Dubey and Rajendar Deora where she investigated immune responses to preclinical mucosal vaccines against Bordetella pertussis. She is currently a postdoc in Toni Darville’s lab in the Department of Pediatrics, where the main goal of her project is to use findings from natural human immunity to Chlamydia trachomatis to inform the design and testing of chlamydia vaccines. She was funded by the GHID STI/HIV T32 for one year, and recently transitioned to an external fellowship awarded by the American Association of Immunologists to support bench-science trained immunologists as they pursue training in computational science.



April 5
9:15 am - 10:00 am
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