Taylor Moehling

Track: PhD + MPH

Taylor Moehling

Tell us about yourself:

I am really passionate about global health and infectious diseases. My PhD thesis project in BME is developing a low-cost, rapid device to detect cholera in environmental water. I spent 2 months in Haiti during the summer of 2016 working alongside local researchers. I learned how they currently detect cholera in water and asked them about their needs regarding a rapid device. I am very involved in the BME Graduate Student Association. I was vice-president last school year and this year I am the professional development chair. This year I am organizing two Midwest student speaker exchanges and research symposium. I am very interested in outreach. BMEGSA does quite a bit of outreach in the West Lafayette/Lafayette area. We set up booths at farmers markets to help the community understand what we do in BME. Also, we travel to high schools and lead a BME-related workshop to help the students understand BME in a hands-on way. I really love traveling and experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. After finishing my MPH-PhD, I am considering continuing my education with a post-doc. 

Your education:

I completed my Bachelor of BME at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Your Vision:

I want to bridge the gap between public health and engineering/life sciences. I think it is very important that we start collaborating across disciplines in order to tackle some of these global problems. I wanted to gain knowledge that would complement and challenge my undergraduate and graduate training in BME. Engineering and life science students learn a lot about the medical field and medical treatments, but I wanted to further my knowledge in regards to prevention. I would like to find a job that integrates my engineering skills with my public health knowledge, specifically in the global health field.

Why pair a MPH degree with your PhD/MS at Purdue:

I applied to Purdue originally for my PhD because they have excellent engineering programs. Additionally, my PhD advisor seemed like the perfect fit. She was passionate about global health and developing diagnostics that could help people around the world. When I arrived, I learned about the MPH program and the dual degree program. I started looking into the MPH-PhD program my second year of graduate school and immediately knew it would be the right fit.

Your goals on the first year of the program:

I am excited for my practicum next summer. I am writing an IRB application for a survey study that I would like to complete in Haiti next summer. The study focuses on gathering information on water quality, use, and availability. Additionally, I will be asking questions about common illnesses caused by consuming environmental water. I will use my connections I made during my last trip to Haiti to recruit participants and hire a translator. As a backup plan, I am applying to internships at the CDC and USAID.


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