Georgia CTSA Scholar Looks at the Long-term Complications of Ebola

Jessica Shantha, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, is currently studying clinical research through Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance’s (Georgia CTSA) Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program and is also an Emory Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) scholar.

Her work with Steven Yeh, MD, one of her mentors and the Louise M. Simpson, Professor of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine and Brent Hayek, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Ebola survivors and Emory patient Ian Crozier, MD, NIH, on the long-term eye-related disease complications of Ebola was recently featured in the New York Times. Ebola's Legacy: Children with cataracts

“We made a series of visits to West Africa to study eye complications in Ebola survivors, and find ways to prevent blindness if more Ebola outbreaks occur,” said Shantha. “One goal was to look for the virus in the eyes of survivors with cataracts, to let local surgeons know whether it is safe to operate.”

“There is close collaboration between the K12-BIRCWH and the Georgia CTSA KL2 program,” said Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc, professor of infectious disease, Emory University School of Medicine, program director, BIRCWH, and MSCR graduate and leader. 

The Emory BIRCWH, is a highly selective career development program for junior faculty interested in women's health research and/or sex/gender science. The ultimate goal of the BIRCWH program is to train junior faculty, through a mentored research and career development experience, to become independent investigators who use novel, interdisciplinary approaches to advance the science of women’s health and sex/gender research. The program is accepting applications until March 1.

The Emory MSCR degree program, from the Laney Graduate School at Emory University, provides didactic and mentored clinical and translational research training. The degree is designed for participants at Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and University of Georgia (UGA) who hold a doctorate or equivalent degree (such as physicians and PhD-level scientists) or predoctoral trainees (medical students or PhD students) enrolled in a dual degree program (MD/MSCR and PhD/MSCR tracks) and have demonstrated a commitment to a career in clinical investigation.

The Georgia CTSA is a statewide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and UGA and is one of over 50 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.