Research Assistant with Julianne Meisner

Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice (DrGH) program

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am currently a first-year student in the Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice (DrGH) program at the Department of Global Health (DGH) at the University of Washington (UW). I work as a research assistant in the INSIGHT project at I-TECH. I have also joined the UW SEAL team to learn and support public health activities in different communities.

As a public health veterinarian and disease detective, my area of expertise is working on surveillance systems and investigating outbreaks of diseases. I completed a US CDC-led advanced field epidemiology training program (FETP) fellowship in Bangladesh and a UK aid-led Fleming Fund fellowship on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance from the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya. My undergraduate degree was in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and I pursued a graduate degree in MSc in Applied Epidemiology in Bangladesh. I have worked in leadership roles in different government and non-government organizations in Bangladesh to promote health services for animals and humans.


Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school?  

There are three reasons why I chose to attend graduate school at UW. Firstly, the programs offered by DGH are designed to equip students with specialized training, professional experience, and networking opportunities to help them achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals. Secondly, UW's graduate and professional degree programs are tailored to meet the needs of different sectors, which means that the degrees offered are widely recognized worldwide. In light of the recent pandemic, leadership and technical skills were crucial in addressing the adverse health in a changing situation. The DrGH program was established in 2021 to meet this demand by preparing next-generation global health leaders to address health challenges. Lastly, UW provides a robust support system for students, which positively impacts creating a better world. This program's diversity, equity, and inclusion policy offers more opportunities for students worldwide to pursue their dreams. As a research assistant, I also receive financial and other support, which has made it easier for me to decide to study in this program.

What are your research interests?

My research interests involve preventing, detecting, and controlling emerging infectious diseases that pose pandemic threats to both animals and humans. I am also interested in researching AMR containment. I aim to integrate a leadership model to strengthen the One Health approach in surveillance and outbreak response of zoonotic diseases. Additionally, I want to learn the advantages of data interoperability and sharing among sectors to achieve better outcomes while using limited resources to safeguard human health, animal health, and their shared environment.

What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

The DrGH is a relatively new program designed for professionals aspiring to become leaders in various health organizations. I am interested in this program as it offers an excellent opportunity to learn the best practices for managing organizational leadership in real-life scenarios. The program includes leadership and practice experiences (LPEs) at different global health organizations, which enable students to work and learn from the leaders of renowned organizations. This experience will undoubtedly enhance my professional career.

The DrGH cohort consists of students from diverse backgrounds. This diversity provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with various students and teachers. The program offers full-time support systems to guide students in achieving their goals, which is a great advantage. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn and work with world-renowned faculty at UW.