Kelly Kamm, PhD '14

Like many professionals today, Kelly Kamm worked a number of years in one field before determining that she wanted to explore a new career path.

“My first career was in microbiology, and I worked as a bench scientist in early pharmaceutical discovery,” she explained. “My interest had always been in public health, and I began to feel that the field I was in would not impact populations in the way I had envisioned when I started in the workforce. I wanted to find a field that looked at disease impact on populations and worked to develop solutions to improve health on a broader scale.”

Her search led her to the field of epidemiology, and when she made the decision to advance her education, she was in good company.

“My husband and I both decided to return to school for our PhDs,” she said. “UB was able to provide a high level of education and access to top quality researchers in both of our fields.” Her husband is studying structural engineering.

Faculty Mentors

Kamm’s favorite part of her program was the access to faculty members. She said that their interest and pride in educating students is apparent in both classroom and research settings.

“My dissertation research was with Dr. Pavani Ram, focusing on childhood infectious diseases in resource poor settings and hand washing as a method to reduce these illnesses,” she said. “Through this work, I had the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh and Kenya as part of my research, and worked with researchers from several types of organizations—non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, independent research organizations, other universities—to conduct studies. The practical experience of designing a study and implementing it in another country in collaboration with other researchers and organizations was a huge benefit to me as I prepare for a career in global health.”