AVC student to present research poster at APHA conference

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Veterinary student Alison Reindel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Alison Reindel, a fourth-year student at UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College, has been selected to present a research poster at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual conference in Denver, Colorado, on November 2, 2016.

Reindel’s poster will describe the research project she conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Last summer Reindel was accepted into the prestigious Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, a nine-week summer program funded by the CDC. The program provides educational and professional development opportunities for Fellows interested in research into infectious diseases and health disparities.

During her time at the CDC, Reindel worked on a research project exploring the development of an in vitro model to study respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a major cause of severe lower respiratory tract illness in infant, elderly and immunocompromised patients. Clinical manifestations of RSV range from symptoms associated with a mild common cold to severe respiratory distress and failure. By the age of two, the vast majority of children will have already had an RSV infection that often goes unnoticed; however in infants born premature, the immunocompromised, or the elderly, an RSV infection is much more severe, causing bronchiolitis or pneumonia which often requires hospitalization.

RSV poses significant health and financial burdens on a global scale. Currently, there are only two US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments available for RSV, and both come with significant drawbacks. With the vast burden of disease, raising health care costs, and concerns regarding the effectiveness and risks associated with the current RSV antiviral therapies, additional research in the development of alternative treatment methods is a priority. Reindel’s research project aids in providing a mechanism to study RSV infection to further advance potential treatment options.

Reindel, who hails from Rochester, New York,  hopes to incorporate her interest in public health into her career as a veterinarian. Her experiences in teaching, veterinary medicine, and infectious disease studies will be used to advance the education, detection, prevention, and treatment of infectious and zoonotic diseases and thus positively advance both animal and human health.

“The intersection of animal, human, and environmental health is exciting. Through the “One Health” concept, I plan to use what I learn in veterinary medicine to help people and their animals to be safe and healthy.”

Following graduation in 2017, Reindel plans on completing a Master of Public Health degree, while gaining experience in mixed-animal clinical practice.

Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786
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