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Eve Abraha, Undergraduate Researcher and Co-Teacher

Winter 2020 Featured Trainee:

Eve AbrahaEve Abraha

  • Undergraduate Researcher at Tufts Medical Center working with the Levy CIMAR’s Dr. Shira Doron
  • Co-teacher in the PARE (Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment) program’s short course, PARE-Seq, under the guidance of the Levy CIMAR’s Drs. Carol Bascom-Slack and Amy Pickering

Eve Abraha is a senior Biology major, Premedical track, at the Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences interested in equitable medical and educational practices. In addition to her studies, she has taken on several research and teaching projects with Levy CIMAR faculty, including her current roles as a co-teacher working under the guidance of Dr. Carol Bascom-Slack at the Tufts University Center for Science Education (CSE) and as an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Shira Doron, a hospital epidemiologist and antimicrobial steward at Tufts Medical Center.

Eve teaches in a CSE short course called PARE-Seq, which she helped design, and which offers a bioinformatics-based approach to studying the growing public health crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). PARE-Seq is part of the larger PARE (Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment) Project at CSE and aims to teach high school and undergraduate students about how AMR pathogens can be found in our environment and all around us. PARE-Seq began as a collaboration with Dr. Amy Pickering, formerly of the Tufts University School of Engineering and now a Levy CIMAR Affiliate Member based at UC Berkeley.

Eve’s responsibilities include producing short videos to help explain complex scientific topics in a way that younger trainees can understand. Another of her roles is to ensure that both the curriculum design and teaching practices in PARE-Seq create accessible and balanced learning experiences for students from all backgrounds. Equitable educational practices are the focus of Eve’s minor in Education, as well as one of her personal passions.

“Understanding Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance” – A video produced by Eve Abraha for PARE-Seq

Eve is also interested in applying these concepts to her scientific research, particularly in primary care medicine for patients who do not have easy access to healthcare, whether for economic or social reasons.  At Tufts Medical Center, Eve works as a researcher in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases under the guidance of Dr. Shira Doron. Eve has assisted with several projects including writing literature reviews for new medical devices and products that have been considered for use in determining how antibiotic use correlates to increased rates of prostate cancer in particular patient groups. She is interested in how antimicrobial resistance affects patient health, as well as in best antimicrobial prescribing practices.

Previously, Eve conducted research for three years in the Tufts Department of Biology’s Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Lab where she worked under the supervision of Drs. Barry Trimmer and Jacqueline Clark Ludwig. There, she studied the mechanisms related to how functional muscles form in insects through metamorphosis. She examined the effect of manipulating larval precursor muscles in muscle fiber development with an aim to observe such development in vitro for later use of bio actuators in soft biohybrid machines.

She also worked as a student partner with the Pedagogical Partnership Program for Inclusive, Learner-Centered Teaching (P3) at the Tufts University Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. P3 provides opportunities for students and faculty across departments to spend a semester together creating innovative strategies for enhancing classroom student engagement, reflecting on equity, and improving learning outcomes.

Eve spent a semester working with Dr. Lauren Crowe in her BIO 13 Cells and Organisms course (a required course for students in pre-health tracks) to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze how moving to a more equitable and inclusive curriculum design better servers students. With some major changes in design, the duo found that nearly all students self-reported that they felt included and supported in their learning. Of all Tufts BIO 13 courses from years past, this had among the lowest class dropout rates of underrepresented students. Eve is continuing this work this semester in one of the major Tufts Computer Science courses.

After graduation, Eve hopes to pursue education policy work and continue her community organizing efforts. She hopes to help change education policies to push for more equitable curriculum design and teacher training on inclusivity practices on a broad scale.