Pursuing a master of science degree in epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health while simultaneously completing an infectious disease fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine might sound like a lot of work. But for Dr. Lauren Pischel it was a combination that fit perfectly with her academic career path.
Pischel is currently studying the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the lab of Professor Saad Omer, an internationally acclaimed expert in epidemiology, infectious diseases and respiratory viruses who serves as director of the Yale Institute for Global Health among other responsibilities.
She hopes to continue pursuing research in academic medicine after graduation with a focus on pandemic emergence, zoonotic infections and environmental pathogens.
Pischel said her time at Yale has been extremely beneficial and she has been impressed by the dedication, drive and support of the faculty at the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Medicine.
“The teaching has been incredible,” Pischel said. “For all of my courses, the teachers have been so earnest about the content they are sharing. They have thought out their lectures and content so well, and they are so attuned to how the class is feeling in these tumultuous times.”
Pischel is one of two fellows in the Infectious Disease Fellowship program’s academic/research track. The three- (or more) year program includes one year of full-time clinical training and two (or more) years of clinical or laboratory research. As part of their research training, infectious disease fellows, like Pischel, may also pursue a master of science degree with a concentration in the epidemiology of infectious diseases concurrently at the Yale School of Public Health.
Throughout her Yale experience, Pischel says faculty support has been outstanding.
“I have very much appreciated how open the different professors are across the university to meet and talk with me to offer career advice and guidance,” said Pischel.
Pischel obtained her undergraduate degree in biology at Brown University, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Jake Kurtis on the development of a pediatric malaria vaccine. She then spent a year conducting malaria and vector research at the National Institutes of Health before moving on to obtain her medical degree at Stanford University, where she conducted research with Dr. Julie Parsonnet on the impact of an antimicrobial triclosan on the human microbiome. She completed her internal medicine residency at Yale, during which time she was awarded the primary care award for her work with the Fair Haven Community Health Center. When not in the lab or expanding her knowledge of epidemiology at YSPH, Pischel likes to savor the occasional fine vintage at New Haven’s August wine bar. “It’s my favorite spot for a nice treat!,” she said.