Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jessica received her honors BS in genetics and French from the University of Georgia followed by graduate diploma in biomedical sciences at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She received her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
From 2008 to 2009, she was an NIH Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali. Afterwards, as a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School, she completed a Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and received her master’s degree in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. While in Boston, she was affiliated with the non-governmental organization Partners in Health and worked as a physician at their hospitals in Haiti, Rwanda and Malawi. From 2013 to 2015, she worked as a research physician at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand running clinical trials related to multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria and malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In July 2015, she started an infectious diseases fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) where she completed a first-in-human Phase 1 universal mosquito-borne disease vaccine in healthy volunteers using mosquito saliva proteins. In November 2017, she was re-located to Cambodia as the NIAID Science Representative to continue translational science and clinical research related to mosquito saliva immunity in order to develop new vaccines for mosquito-borne viruses like dengue virus.
From Bench to Bedside: Translating Research in Global Health Diseases like malaria and dengue virus are transmitted by mosquito and are responsible for millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths in the world in each year. In order to develop treatments and vaccines for these diseases, biomedical research must first be done at the laboratory bench, in animal models, and ultimately in clinical trials in people. International clinical research is a field that requires a strong interest in basic sciences and data analysis, but also creativity, teamwork, compassion, and cultural appreciation. In today’s world where many mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for unexpected and explosive outbreaks, researchers are using new technologies like next generation sequencing as well as innovative approaches targeting the mosquito itself to curb these epidemics. Dr. Manning is a medical doctor and scientist who will discuss potentials and pitfalls of a career in translational research, infectious diseases, and global health.