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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Washington: Alumna Wins NIH Postdoc Fellowship to Study Role of Vaginal Bacteria in HIV Acquisition Among Kenyan Women

Dr. Erica Lokken, a recent doctoral graduate from the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

This fellowship will support her long-term career goal to become an independent investigator conducting research that informs interventions to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health, including outcomes such as sexually transmitted disease/human immunodeficiency virus (STI/HIV) acquisition, fertility and miscarriage.

The three-year award will allow Dr. Lokken to study how alterations in the vaginal microbiota may partly explain the increased risk of HIV acquisition among pregnant and postpartum women compared to non-pregnant women. Understanding the relationship between high-risk bacterial species and vaginal inflammation across the pregnancy and postpartum periods may inform the development of prevention strategies to reduce risks of reproductive health complications.

She is working with Drs. Grace John-Stewart, Scott McClelland, John Kinuthia, David Fredricks and Tim Randolph.

Learn more.

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