Molly Steele – NoroCORE Food Virology

Molly Steele

Molly Steele
M.P.H., Epidemiology
Emory University
Advisors: Drs. Christine Moe (Emory), Ben Lopman (CDC), and Justin Remais (Emory)

Molly’s project involved the mathematical modeling of different vaccine strategies, such as by age group and targeted vs. mass vaccination, to see how these variables would impact the transmission of foodborne viruses. She planed on incorporating food handlers into the study as they are a particular risk group in the population, to model what would happen to the risk dynamics if these people were vaccinated.

Molly said this was the first time she had done a lot of computer-based modeling, and she had also been gaining experience writing grants and presenting her work, which is technically complex, to a variety of audiences. She had the following to say about being part of the Collaborative:

“Being able to connect with professionals in the field, and being able to communicate with people who have been doing this for many years is a great opportunity.”

According to Molly, her NoroCORE support also allowed her to go to conferences and gave her opportunities to network, which she probably wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. The funding has also allowed her to focus on her research. Down the road, Molly hopes to work with a federal, state, or local health agency and be involved in public health education and epidemiological practice. She sees her research project as directly relating to her career goals and real-world applications, since epidemiologists seek to know how vaccines will affect a population.