Student Profiles

Amy Bei

Doctoral student, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

“As a little girl, I used to collect microorganisms in the creek behind my house,” Amy Bei recounts. A native of Santa Rosa, California, and the first scientist in her family, Amy began her serious foray into the study of diseases during three summers at the University of California, San Francisco. Her experience there in a “very international” lab working on schistosomaisis and other parasites confirmed her interest in “research on diseases of the developing world, diseases that are often neglected.” As an undergraduate at Harvard, Amy was involved in malaria research at HSPH. Then she won a one-year Fulbright fellowship to work on malaria in Tanzania. Now back at HSPH as a doctoral student, Amy reports that she had three great lab rotations before joining her dissertation lab. (Students in her program can apply to work in any laboratory at Harvard.) She spent the fall of 2007 doing malaria research in Senegal and has learned basic Wolof, the Senegalese language—one of eight she has studied. Amy likes the school’s approach to international collaborations: “I admire the way HSPH feels a responsibility to train and build capacity within developing countries.” When she completes her PhD, Amy intends to go to medical school. She wants to provide immediate care to developing-world populations as well as work toward longer-term research-based solutions