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Richard Bido-Medina is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Neuroscience. He was a CLACS Summer Graduate Research Fellow in 2017 to support his research on the effects of Zika in adult populations in the Dominican Republic. As a result of the research he conducted while a SGRF fellow, he was awarded the Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award.
“Yes! The mosquito did it again. Since the beginning of the Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in 2016, 3-4 million adults have been infected, a subset of which has suffered severe neurological complications. This raised multiple questions about how arboviruses, a traditional cause of mosquito-borne infection, may impact both human brain structure and function. The Dominican Republic, endemic for mosquito-borne diseases, was one of the most affected countries. With the support of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the CONNECT lab was able to develop a collaboration with the Dominican Republic that derived the first case-control neuroimaging study in adults suffering from ZIKV with severe neurological manifestations. This is expanding the horizons of research in the neuroscience field and reducing the scientific gap between developed and developing countries. This is the history of how the mosquito contributed to awaken the scientific spirit of this, otherwise dormant, Caribbean paradise.”
-Richard Bido-Medina, CLACS Annual Review 17-18