SCHOLARS 2015

Rachel Cabugao graduated from San Francisco State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Education with an emphasis in Community-based Public Health and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. Her interests include health inequities, substance abuse, and harm reduction. As a SHARP scholar, she worked within the Substance Use Research Unit (SURU) under Emily Behar and Dr. Phillip Coffin. Rachel collaborated with her mentors as well as Dr. Emily Hurstak to conduct a quantitative analysis of medical examiner records of participants who overdosed and the impact of syringe access programs that distributed naloxone to intravenous injection drug users between 2005-2012. Rachel ultimately plans to attend graduate school for a Master’s in Public Health for Epidemiology and anticipates pursuing a Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH).

Saad Dawoodi graduated from Texas A&M University with majors in biochemistry and genetics and a minor in art history. Working under his mentors Dr. Erin Wilson and Sean Arayasirikul for SHARP 2015, Saad analyzed data collected under the SHINE study. Specifically, Saad examined the possible links between undiagnosed mental health illnesses and HIV risk behavior among young Trans* females in the Bay Area. He is currently applying to medical school.

Jabou Jagne is a rising senior at Spelman College, studying Biology. As a SHARP Scholar, Jabou worked closely with Dr. Stephanie Cohen at San Francisco City Clinic. Her project included creating a waiting room survey to determine the client-level barriers in implementing third party billing. She explored the proportion and demographics of insured clients that are unwilling to use insurance to pay for their visits and if that has changed since a previous study conducted in 2012. Her project highlighted these issues and assisted in the restructuring of billing for STD clinics in SFDPH. Jabou also became involved in city-wide projects against the increase of gonorrhea and chlamydia amongst African-American adolescent women of color. After completing SHARP, Jabou returned to Spelman and ultimately plans to enter into a graduate program to complete a Master’s of Public Health. Jabou hopes to continue to explore the various career paths that can potentially lead her to conduct research in fields related to reducing sexual risk behaviors as well as HIV prevention in the global health and infectious disease realm.

Todd Liou graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Public Health and a minor in Chinese in 2015. He applied to the SHARP Internship to build a foundation in public health research methods, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS. As a SHARP scholar, he worked closely with Dr. Glenn-Milo Santos in Substance Use Research Unit (SURU), assisting in two ongoing studies. One examined the patterns of behavior in substance-using men who have sex with men; the other investigated the use of a drug taken on an as-needed basis in reducing binge drinking and high-risk sexual behavior. Independently, Todd developed a data analysis project on a previous study conducted by Dr. Santos to elucidate associations between patterns of heavy alcohol use and high-risk sexual behavior in MSM living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He aspires to continue working in the HIV/AIDS field through a career in medicine and public health.

Jason Melo is a rising senior at University of California, San Diego studying Public Health and Biology. He has strong interests in HIV/AIDS research, infectious disease, migrant and refugee health, and global health. As a SHARP scholar, he worked closely with his mentor, May Sudhinaraset, PhD at UCSF. Jason spent the summer on the Documenting DREAMers study, which aimed to explore the barriers and challenges in health access among undocumented Asian and Pacific Islanders in Northern California. Following SHARP and his undergraduate career, Jason hopes to pursue his MPH in epidemiology followed by a PhD or DrPH.