Graduate Program in Life Sciences– PhD in Epidemiology and Human Genetics, Molecular Epidemiology Track
Shannon Takala Harrison, PhD
Summary of the Research Project:
With our experience during covid, we are all now aware that pathogens develop novel mutations to avoid vaccines. Covid is but one of many pathogens that employ this evasion method. I study immune evasion in the malaria parasite, specifically, looking at how the parasite mutates antigens to escape our natural immune system. Understanding the mechanisms of evasion early in the vaccine development pipeline, can help to create novel vaccines that are resistant to parasite evasion. Additionally, my work involves using machine learning techniques to identify correlates of protection and novel candidate vaccine antigens from seroreactive responses to microarrays.
BS in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland College Park
Achievements and Honors:
The Patricia Langenberg Endowment in Women’s Health and Epidemiology Award Recipient
I am a computational epidemiologist training to use modern statistical techniques to solve complex biological problems. In the warmer months you might find me riding my bicycle around the BWI trail or hiking in Patapsco Valley State Park. In the colder months, I play board games with my friends. Risk is my personal favorite.