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Rachel West, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate

Emerging infectious diseases vector borne diseases synthetic biology tools to bolster public health interventions health security policy outbreak preparedness and response

Rachel West, PhD
Rachel West, PhD

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Professional Profile

Dr. West is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her primary interests include emerging infectious diseases, vector-borne diseases, synthetic biology tools to bolster public health interventions, health security policy, and outbreak preparedness and response.

Dr. West began at the Center as a doctoral student intern in the fall of 2018. After completing her PhD in the spring of 2020, she transitioned to her current position. Dr. West’s dissertation research focused on malaria transmission stage development and dynamics; in particular, using Plasmodium falciparum culturing and mosquito infection assays to identify the molecular triggers of transmission stage development. She also worked on malaria transmission dynamics within vulnerable populations in Rwanda, using gene expression analyses to understand parasite development in pregnant women infected with malaria. Related projects gave her experience in drug inhibition assays, immunofluorescence microscopy, and parasite cryopreservation. She worked extensively within the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute as a predoctoral fellow, gaining an appreciation for the intersection of molecular biology, epidemiology, and effective science policy.

Dr. West earned a PhD in molecular microbiology and immunology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2020. She received a BS in microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014, where she researched the transcriptomics and related virulence factors of Trypanosoma cruzi.


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