Allison Chamberlain, PhD, MS
Allison Chamberlain, PhD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) in Atlanta, GA. An infectious disease epidemiologist, her research focuses on promotion of preventive health interventions like vaccines and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. She has done extensive research in maternal vaccine promotion, and she also has a background in public health preparedness. She is Acting Director of the Emory Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research, and she teaches an elective course on Public Health Preparedness. She serves as the faculty advisor for the Emory Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT), a competitive student-led organization established to provide student members with hands-on training and research experiences in preparedness and outbreak response.
In August 2017, she began working as an academic liaison to the Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH) located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. At FCBOH, she provides research expertise to the programmatic staff within the communicable diseases, epidemiology and public health preparedness divisions. She loves working at the intersection of academia and public health practice, especially in engaging MPH students in research projects that ultimately benefit local public health practice. Some examples of student projects include: revamping FCBOH’s county-wide points of dispensing (POD) plan for mass countermeasure distribution, examining risk factors for recurrent syphilis among Fulton County residents, and identifying correlates of HIV seroconversion among women seeking care at the FCBOH sexual health clinic. Her most fulfilling work to date was assisting the FCBOH HIV prevention team launch their first in-person survey at the Fall 2018 Atlanta Pride events. With Atlanta having one of the highest HIV diagnosis rates in the country, the purpose of the survey was to assess awareness and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV among at-risk populations like men who have sex with men and transgender individuals. She worked with the FCBOH survey planning team to identify and adopt best practices in survey design and administration, obtain technical assistance from the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and recruit (and train) student volunteers to administer the survey to over 700 participants. For FCBOH, the data is being used to inform FCBOH’s roadmap for HIV elimination, improve PrEP outreach campaigns and advance scientific knowledge via conference presentations and manuscripts; for Emory students and faculty, the data is being used for MPH theses and grant development. She is passionate about seeing academic-health department relationships thrive; there is so much to be gained from close collaborations between state and local health departments and their academic partners.