Interns Program




Hayley Chong, senior, Bioengineering, and Kirk Hutchison, junior, Biology. Both are heading up the Open Viral Load project under Dr. Matthew Strain, Department of Medicine. They are working to develop the diagnostic systems that will be able to detect, track, and diagnose HIV viral load at a fraction of the cost of commercial systems.



Dr. Garrison Cottrell, Professor in CSE, Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Cognitive Science; Director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center, an NSF-sponsored Science of Learning Center, and founding PI of the Perceptual Expertise Network. The goal of his intern's project is to automate the counting of cells and parasites using computer vision techniques. If an effective method for developing high-throughput cell and parasite countscan be developed, the resulting system will speed the development of drugs for Chagas disease by orders of magnitude. Chagas is a neglected tropical parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma Cruzi, and is estimated that over 8 million people are infected throughout Central and South America.



Andrea Mendoza-Vasconez is a PhD student in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health. Her research interests include the promotion of health behaviors among under-served populations, the translation of clinical research to community settings, and the use of technology to adequately communicate health messages and promote preventive behaviors. During the summer of 2016, through the GHI Intern Program grant, Andrea had the opportunity to return to her country of origin, Ecuador, to conduct research alongside Dr. Jose Ricardo Suarez. Andrea organized and led the training of community health workers, who played a vital role in the recruitment, consent, and data collection processes for the ESPINA study (Secondary Exposure to Pesticides among Infants, Children, and Adolescents).


Trisha Morshed, MD is a second year emergency medicine resident at UCSD under the mentorship of Dr. Radhika Sundrarajan. Her global health project, Characterizing the knowledge, attitudes and current practices of Mozambican Traditional Healers for patients in an HIV-endemic region, aims to gather formative data to identify gaps in HIV knowledge and characterize treatment practices among Traditional Healers in Maputo, Mozambique. This research is central to efforts to end the HIV epidemic in Mozambique, where HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of mortality. The focus of this study is on gathering qualitative data to characterize traditional healers knowledge and attitudes about HIV infection and testing services, identify gaps in healer knowledge regarding HIV, and to characterize the treatment and counseling performed by Mozambican traditional healers for patients in an area with high HIV prevalence. Results from this study will inform interventions aimed at expanding access and reducing delays to HIV testing.