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Research at Mass General
Emily Hyle, MD, MSc, an infectious disease clinician investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, is investigating ways to improve outcomes for patients with HIV and to measure the effectiveness of medical interventions to prevent disease transmission during international travel.
Emily Hyle, MD, MSc
Emily Hyle, MD, MSc, is an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and a clinical investigator at the Medical Practice Evaluation Center (MPEC).
In her research, Dr. Hyle is using mathematical modeling and cost-effective analyses to assess the implications of different treatment policies for patients with HIV, both in the United States and abroad.
She also uses these methods to analyze the cost effectiveness of pre-travel medical interventions. Her work in this area has mostly focused on measles prevention. “A lot of people don’t know that 60 percent of initial measles cases in the United States come from residents who get infected when they are traveling abroad and bring it back home with them. If we can do a better job of vaccinating travelers against measles, we can reduce measles transmissions in the U.S.”
In 1989, the Centers for Disease Control updated their recommendations to support that all children should have two measles vaccinations, and any international travelers born after 1956 should also have two measles vaccinations. So people who were already adults in 1989 may have had only one measles vaccination, Hyle says. It is important for them, as well as for individuals who have never had a measles vaccination, to be up to date before traveling.
What contributions have women made in the field of medicine to influence your role or specialty?
I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of female mentors. When I was a high school student just thinking about going into medicine, I worked in the laboratory of a female investigator in New York City. She was very influential in demonstrating that you could combine a clinical career with investigation and was very supportive of my moving forward into medicine.
At Mass General, I’ve had tremendous mentorship from female clinicians, as well as investigators. In our research center (MPEC), for instance, we have a number of female clinician-investigators – that has been very important for me because I love continuing to practice clinical medicine, as well as having the opportunity to work in research.
How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences?
I think seeing examples of women who love science is really important. I have a young daughter – I’m excited that she will always know that not only am I involved in science, but her grandmother (my husband’s mother) is an engineer who holds two patents. Women in science will always be normal for her!
I think it’s also important to encourage girls that science is about figuring out a puzzle – it’s a process and a way of thinking. It’s about problem-solving and not necessarily getting all the answers right away.
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