Dr. O'Donnell's research interests center around global health including tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and severe acute respiratory infections. Current research is centered in South Africa and Uganda with training/education and capacity building work in Ethiopia. Important collaborators include the Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute on TB/HIV (K-RITH), the Jacobs' and Larsen labs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Drug-resistant tuberculosis is an important global public health concern because of increasing incidence, low cure rates, and high reported mortality. Nowhere has this increased incidence generated more concern than in South Africa where interactions between TB and generalized HIV/AIDS epidemics are causing explosive increases in TB incidence and TB case-fatality rates. The most drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), is increasingly prevalent in South Africa. Acute respiratory infections continue to be responsible for approximately 3.9 million deaths worldwide, predominantly in children, without a substantial decrease in estimated mortality over the past 2 decades. In addition, outbreaks of emergent viral respiratory infections with pandemic potential and periodic outbreaks of severe acute respiratory infection caused by vaccine-preventable pathogens continue to threaten global health security.
BA, 1995, St John's College
MPH, 2003, Tufts University
MD, 2003, Tufts University
Other, 2006, Internal Medicine Residency Columbia University
Other, 2010, Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship Boston University
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Volunteer Physician NYC DOHMH Fort Greene Chest Clinic: Provide clinical care to patients presenting to city chest clinic in Brooklyn including evaluation and management of tuberculosis. Study access to TB care in the city public health system.
Select Global Activities
Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA): Study epidemiology and translational biology of drug resistant TB including co-PI of NIH funded study of adherence with Bedaquiline
East Africa Training Iniitative: Research director for a Pulmonary critical care fellowship based at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Uganda virus research institute: Co-investigator and collaborator on projects looking at the molecular epidemiology of severe acute respiratory infection and sepsis.