[CVER] Inquiry about PhD position

cver at lists.upei.ca cver at lists.upei.ca
Tue Nov 15 08:38:30 AST 2016

Dear Dr. VanLeeuwen,

My name is Anna Kawiecki and I am currently working towards my Ph. D. at
the School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University. I would like
to inquire about the opportunities to join the PhD program in Veterinary
Epidemiological Research at the University of Prince Edward Island. I have
looked through your lab’s web- page and publications and I am very
interested in your work. I found especially interesting your papers on how
pathogens affect production in small farms, as that is the aspect of
infectious diseases that got me interested in the first place. I also
noticed that you state that you are interested in international sustainable
development. I have always been very interested in these issues and would
like to study how infectious diseases affect food security and agricultural

I have been working in the field of infectious diseases for several years,
and in that time have developed a strong interest in the epidemiological
aspect of diseases and in disease ecology.  I am especially curious about
diseases of wildlife, their interaction with domesticated animals and,
therefore, human populations and how these relationships can change due to
alterations in the environment.

I am currently enrolled in a PhD program at the School of Veterinary
Medicine at LSU working with arboviruses such as Zika, Dengue and
Chikungunya. My projects have included the evaluation of vector competence
of local *Aedes aegypti *and *Aedes albopictus* to Zika and Chikungunya
viruses, and characterizing Zika virus disease and immunity in mice.
However I have had ethical issues working with laboratory animals and wish
to distance myself from that line of work. Unfortunately I have realized
that the opportunities in my lab and university to pursue my
epidemiological interests are limited.  I am therefore in the process of
graduating with a Masters and looking for an opportunity to study diseases
in wildlife, and at the same time acquire experience in epidemiology,
modeling and field-work to be a able to branch out into this field.  The
program at UPEI is particularly interesting to me as I see it has a strong
emphasis on statistics, and I am looking for ways to acquire a strong base
knowledge in this area.

In an attempt to prepare for work in epidemiology I have taken additional
courses in statistics, R, and SAS that were offered in my university, but I
wish to expand my knowledge much further.  I have experience in writing and
publishing (*Kawiecki, A. B*. and R. C. Christofferson (2016).
"Zika-induced antibody response enhances dengue serotype 2 replication in
vitro." *Journal of Infectious Diseases**, *in print,
I am also a veterinarian, having received my degree from the Complutense
University of Madrid, Spain (for full background see attached CV).

I would like to know if there is an opportunity to work in your lab.
Otherwise, I would really appreciate any advice or comment on how I can
pursue my goals.

If you are interested, I would appreciate if you did not at the moment
contact my current advisor for references.

Thank you very much for your time,

Anna B. Kawiecki
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