Velma Lopez

Velma Lopez

Program/affiliation/area of  specialty:  Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Global Health

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Curriculum Vitae


MPH; International Health and Development; Tulane University (2009)
BS; Microbiology; Ohio University (2008)

Research Interests

My research focuses on diarrheal disease transmission and the health and well-being of children under five years old in developing countries. Both proximal risks, such as water, sanitation, and hygiene, and distal factors, including migration and infrastructure development, are important components to the diarrhea transmission cycle. Using a system-based approach to understand the mechanisms within the transmission cycle will lead to better prevention and control strategies at the community level, as well as within individual households. In addition to a focus on diarrheal disease, my research interests also include the role of WASH practices in environmental enteropathy and the feedback-loop between malnutrition and diarrheal disease. 

Current Research

My current research seeks to better characterize enteric pathogen transmission through elucidation of the social and environmental determinants that influence variability of individual-level and household-level WASH practices, the interaction of these WASH practices that impact disease and health outcomes at the community level, and how these processes influence the mechanisms driving enteric pathogen transmission.