The PHASE program at the Maryland DHMH Laboratories Administration is entitled Public Health Internship with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Division of Virology and Immunology. PHASE interns working in this Division gain laboratory experiences in clinical virology and immunology through public health laboratory testing, laboratory data analysis and collection, as well as laboratory information management. Interns have opportunities to interact with laboratorians, epidem-iologists, and may participate in outbreak investigations.
During the internship, the students are expected to work on a long term project related to clinical diagnostics and associated data management and analysis. Possible projects include laboratory surveillance for influenza A and B viruses circulating in Maryland, development and strain typing of antiviral resistance testing for influenza viruses, epidemiological analysis of CDC National Respiratory and Enterovirus Surveillance Program (NREVVS), analysis of Lyme Disease test results, identification of respiratory viral pathogens using cell-based methods, and laboratory rotations (e.g., arbovirus, virus isolation, chlamydia, syphilis, and/or microbial serology programs).
The primary responsibility of the intern is to gain laboratory experience performing diagnostic tests and or assay development projects, as well as in laboratory data analysis and public health implications. The first two JHU PHASE interns selected to work with Dr. Carlos in the Laboratories Administration are Wenze Zhang and William Murtaugh. Their biosketches and projects follow below.
"Vincent" Wenze Zhang, an MPH/MBA student, was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. Before coming to the USA he joined Pfizer’s China practice in 2006 as a customer relationship management (CRM) specialist. In 2007-80 he served as a project manager with Naptunus Interlong. There he helped the company launch China’s largest GMP vaccine facility. Vincent graduated from Sun Yat-sen University with a degree in molecular biology and received training at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His academic interests include applying quantitative methods to facilitate health sector decision making processes. After completing the MPH/MBA Program at JHU, he plans to pursue an advanced degree in decision science or operations management with a healthcare-related context. His ultimate goal is to apply what he learns to resolving disparities in the allocation and delivery of healthcare resources in developing settings, especially in China.
William Murtaugh, a resident of Arlington, VA, is originally from the small town of Frankfort, NY. He obtained his B.S. degree in Biology from Syracuse University in 2007. Will began his introduction to the field of infectious diseases with an internship at the Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. There he studied the developmental regulation of ribosomal proteins in Trypanosoma brucei and developed an interest in the public health implications of laboratory research. He then joined the Department of Molecular Virology at the Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) in Rockville, MD. Through MHRP, Will is currently involved in HIV-candidate vaccine development and vaccine trial research. Will is currently pursuing an MPH at Johns Hopkins. He is looking forward to complementing his current research and academic studies with an opportunity to participate an internship providing experience on the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Will’s internship will include testing for respiratory viral pathogens, epidemiological analysis of the CDC National Respiratory and Enterovirus Surveillance Program, and influenza surveillance along with antiviral resistance testing.
Lyme Disease in Maryland: Trend Analysis Concept and Public Health Laboratory Implications
Purpose. Mr. Zhang will undertake an analysis of suspected Lyme disease specimens submitted to the DHMH Laboratories Administration from 2000 to 2010 to gain a better understanding of the patient demographic and geographic trends of Lyme disease within different regions and specific counties in Maryland. Mr. Zhang is expected to have the results of this project in the late spring of 2011.
Laboratory Surveillance of Respiratory and Enteric Viruses
Purpose. Mr. Murtaugh will undertake a project to summarize all the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) data submitted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Laboratories Administration beginning in 2002. This will include developing data for the current 2010-2011 influenza season to help support prevention and control of respiratory and enteric viral infections. Results of this laboratory surveillance are expected to be available in the late spring of 2011.