About Me

I am Albertina a student in the Epidemiology Ph.D. program at the University of Washington School of Public Health

PhD Student

I am Albertina a student in the Epidemiology Ph.D. program at the University of Washington School of Public Health

I am from Sierra Leone and attended school during the tumultuous period of civil war in Sierra Leone, which made learning science especially difficult because of the absence of proper school laboratories and long breaks off school due to political instability. Biology was my favorite, as learning about the complexities of living things fascinated me. However, the death of my best friend of sickle cell disease at age 14 finally cemented my decision to become a doctor. I cherished the moments when she was well but felt helpless whenever she fell ill. My determination to not be that helpless again gave me the strength to work hard throughout college, eventually graduating as a doctor with a Distinction in Medicine. My journey to public health was borne out of the urgent need for expertise exposed by the West African Ebola Epidemic. During the outbreak, I worked for the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone, in the capacities of program surveillance officer and as an Investigator for the Ebola vaccine trial. This moved me to apply for a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a masters degree in public health from the University of Washington, which I completed in 2018. I returned home upon completion and provided clinical care to pregnant women and children under Sierra Leone's Free health care Initiative until I commenced my Ph.D. studies in 2020. I am presently a research assistant working on the first trial to assess doxycycline's efficacy in reducing sexually transmitted infections in young women in Kenya. My main research focus is drug-vaginal microbiome interactions, and I am incorporating machine learning methods to understand this relationship better.