PhD Epidemiology graduate scores prestigious fellowship to Princeton

June 10, 2022 • News

By Sally Crocker

Esther AnnanEsther Annan is moving to Princeton this summer.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) School of Public Health (SPH) student completes her PhD in Epidemiology in June 2022 and will leave for a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship where she will teach and advance her research in dengue fever, malaria and other mosquito-borne infectious diseases prevalent in hot, humid climates around the globe.

Annan’s fellowship will be with Princeton’s global health program. The opportunity fits her background and career interests well.

She holds a medical degree from her home country of Ghana, where she previously served as a medical officer in general practice and outpatient care before moving to the U.S. Her medical experience covered rotations in surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.

She moved to New York in 2016, completing a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management through NYU before finding her way to North Texas in 2018.

“I was looking for a different pace in Texas, a place where I could enjoy a more relaxed community life while studying hard and focusing on my doctoral program,” Annan said.

“What’s nice about moving to Princeton now is that, while it’s conveniently close to New York and all that I enjoy about the area, the campus community offers a way of living that closely matches Fort Worth’s easy lifestyle.”

Annan said she feels that HSC prepared her well for this next big career step with such a prestigious institution.

“I have learned so much at HSC and increased both my perspective and confidence in where I want to go with my research and teaching,” she said.

At HSC, Annan collaborated with different public health professors on projects related to tuberculosis and CDC’s efforts in protecting communities from this infectious bacterial disease, as well as life-threatening infections spread by mosquitos, including Chikungunya, Zika, malaria and West Nile fever.

With global climate change, the threat of these types of diseases in areas previously unaffected could now become a reality, and the consequences to populations where these infections already exist could become more severe.

“At the start of my HSC doctoral program, I focused mainly on the intersection between epidemiological research and related policy implications while working with Dr. Miller (now retired). Over the course of my studies, I focused mostly on learning and applying rigorous methodological approaches to help support my publications. My move toward a more traditional academic approach was under the supervision of Dr. Haque,” she noted.

“This has broadened my experience and helped shape my career course for the future.”

Annan is most excited about the opportunities for collaboration with Princeton faculty.

“The university is so well respected and does remarkable work in public health, academics and research,” she said.

Having served as a student teaching assistant for some Epidemiology/Biostatistics courses at HSC, she also looks forward to gaining more experience in that area.

“I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in my life, and I have much appreciation for HSC and the School of Public Health in helping me prepare for this important step,” she said.