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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

BU Student Paper Wins Top Epidemiology Award

Ms. Alana Brennan, a doctoral candidate and statistical manager in the department of global health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), has won the 2016 Carol Buck Student Prize Paper Award from the Epidemiology Congress of the Americas.

[Photo: Ms. Alana Brennan]

Ms. Brennan was the lead author of “HIV Treatment Outcomes in Patients Initiating Tenofovir: a Regression Discontinuity Analysis.” Co-authors included BUSPH assistant professor of global health Dr. Jacob Bor and BUSPH associate professor of epidemiology Dr. Matthew Fox, who are both on Ms. Brennan’s dissertation committee.

The paper uses a novel method to evaluate a major change in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for HIV treatment in Zambia and South Africa. In the guidelines for first-line antiretroviral therapy, the drug stavudine has been replaced with tenofovir, which has lower toxicity and fewer side effects. South Africa followed the WHO guideline change in 2010, while Zambia made the same change in 2007.

Because each country made the switch nationwide at specific points in time, “it offered a natural experiment to evaluate the impact of tenofovir as standard of care on patient outcomes,” Ms. Brennan says.

To read more about the honor, go to: