Jonathan Kramer-Feldman ‘16

Jonathan Kramer-Feldman“During Field Work Term, I volunteered for a clinical research study in Uganda. The study is the result of a collaboration between UCSF and SF General in San Francisco, and Mulago Hospital in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. My main contact in San Francisco was pulmonologist and Principal Investigator Dr. Laurence Huang from UCSF, who has been conducting research and helping treat patients in Kampala for several years. The main focus of the study is to follow patients with active tuberculosis or other opportunistic pulmonary diseases that can be caused by HIV. I worked with a team at Mulago Hospital that was responsible for performing bronchoscopies, blood draws, and sputum collections, in addition to processing and testing these specimens in the laboratory. We collected these specimens to study the lung microbiome of these patients along with specific biomarkers like telomere length and telomerase activity.

“I spent approximately a month in Uganda and had the experience of a lifetime. I formed close friendships with the clinical and lab team at Mulago Hospital as I shadowed and worked with them. I was exposed to human suffering, but also to bravery in the face of serious illness. In my time off, I went on safaris, rafted down the Nile River, and explored the vibrant city of Kampala. I hope to return to Mulago Hospital during my glide year, and continue working with the clinical and lab teams and contributing to research and patient care, which I think is incredibly important.”