Miss Yuzana Khine Zaw
Research Degree Student
I am a research degree student under the social science component of the FIEBRE study. Previously, I completed a BSc in Human Science (human biology) at Georgetown University and an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford.
For my MSc dissertation, I conducted qualitative research comparing local conceptions of illness and medicines in the context of C-reactive protein biomarker testing in Chiang Rai, Thailand and Yangon, Myanmar. My research interests include understanding people’s healthcare seeking patterns, provider choices, and barriers to access. I am also keen to explore the role of gender and patriarchy in healthcare (in the context of Myanmar) through a gender lens.
I am currently funded for a doctoral studentship under the social science arm of the broader FIEBRE study. This study aims to explore the causes of febrile illness in South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Laos, Myanmar). The social science component (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Myanmar) will focus on understanding how care-seekers, clinicians, and other stakeholders conceptualise fever and appropriate antimicrobial use. My specific research area is in Myanmar and I am interested in employing a gender lens to explore the role of private (formal and informal) healthcare providers in antimicrobial use and distribution among households and communities.
My previous research background has been varied with my most recent research experience being a MSc dissertation which explored patients’ conceptions of illness and medicines in the context of C-reactive protein (CRP) biomarker point-of-care testing. The social science study took place as part of a larger experimental trial on the introduction of CRP point-of-care testing, aimed at reducing antibiotic prescription in primary health services in Yangon, Myanmar and Chiang Rai, Thailand. For this research, I was based at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand and worked with qualitative data from Yangon and Chiang Rai. I compared and explored patients' conceptions of illness, medicines, and point-of-care tests; treatment seeking patterns; and inequitable exclusion patterns in the two settings.
Prior to this, I conducted research in a molecular oncology lab at the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center in the United States. My project which initially started out as a part-time internship culminated towards an optional honors BSc dissertation. For this, I studied the molecular anti-cancer effects of isothiocyanates (dietary compounds derived from cruciferous vegetables) on the mutant p53 pathway in oral cancer cells.