Meredith Brooks Awarded Parker B. Francis Fellowship

Meredith has been awarded a three-year Parker B. Francis Fellowship. She proposes to use geospatial and genotypic analyses of transmission networks around adolescents with pulmonary TB to better characterize local TB transmission in high burden settings. These methods will elucidate important person, place, and time interactions of TB transmission in adolescents, and may inform priority areas for deployment and assessment of targeted public health interventions aimed at ending TB. Throughout this Fellowship period she will be mentored by Mercedes Becerra and Megan Murray.

Geospatial signals in adolescent tuberculosis transmission

Adolescents are a unique population due to their dynamic cognitive, psychological, social, and physical changes. Because they can spread tuberculosis through their expanding social networks, adolescents may be an important group to target to break cycles of tuberculosis transmission. Yet, adolescents have been neglected in the study of how tuberculosis spreads. The proposed research will use (1) spatial information about the individual-, household-, and population-level drivers of tuberculosis spread in adolescents, and (2) information about the tuberculosis strain type to identify whether adolescents are getting tuberculosis at home or in the community. Our study will elucidate important person, place, and time interactions of tuberculosis spread in adolescents; this can inform how to best deploy and evaluate public health interventions aimed at ending tuberculosis.

Mentor:  Mercedes C. Becerra, ScD
Institution:  Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School