CPHR Student, James Potts, MPH, Awarded Public Health Research Dissertation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted: December 02, 2009
Category: CPHR

James Potts, MPH

James A. Potts, MPH, is a fourth year student in the CPHR program with an interest in infectious disease research. He was recently awarded a public health research dissertation grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support his dissertation research on dengue illnesses in a Thai pediatric cohort. Alan L. Rothman, MD, Professor in the Department of Medicine and Assistant Director for the UMass Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research, is James’ mentor. James will use 12 years of systematically collected clinical data from Thai children to describe, classify, and predict severe dengue illnesses. The cohort consists of children aged 6 months to 15 years who presented to the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok, Thailand within 72 hours of fever onset and were suspected of dengue illness. The children were hospitalized and followed daily with routine clinical management until 24 hours after their fever subsided. Patients with dengue virus infections will typically have either dengue fever (DF), which is often a self-limited febrile illness, or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) where patients will develop severe symptoms, such as plasma leakage and thrombocytopenia, in the later stages of illness. Being that dengue is endemic in tropical/sub-tropical resource-poor regions, predicting those who will develop a more severe dengue illness, such as DHF, could help in the clinical management of patients with suspected dengue infection in areas with limited hospital resources.