Class 17 (2018-2020)

Emilya Huseynova, Azerbaijan

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Department of Epidemiology

Born in Azerbaijan, Emilya’s first major achievement was becoming a Future Leaders Exchange student, instituted by the US Government in Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries, including Azerbaijan. This gave her a wonderful chance to attend a high school in Reno, Nevada for one year and discover a world of educational and cultural opportunities. After returning to Azerbaijan in 2001, she gained admission to Azerbaijan Medical University and graduated in 2008 with a degree of Medical Doctor (MD) in Internal Diseases.

In 2010, she was introduced to and gained employment in, The Collaborative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), a collaborative public health effort between the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DoD, US, where she worked as a clinical research specialist in a number of epidemiologic and clinical research projects for over seven years. This program aims to strengthen Azerbaijan’s capabilities to detect, diagnose, report, and control infectious diseases caused by agents with bioterrorism potential, through education, training, and research. The CBEP program is designed to establish local biodefense capacity for both established and emerging/re-emerging biological threats. As part of the clinical research team, Emilya worked with multinational study groups, which represented renowned international research organizations in US and Europe. Such a rich and diverse environment has played an important role in tailoring her goals towards becoming an infectious disease research epidemiologist.

Emilya set a career goal of continuing the study of specific infectious diseases, to aid in the protection of Azerbaijan and other countries, from the deliberate as well as accidental release of biological threat agents. Her dream came true upon receiving a Rotary Peace Fellowship and then gaining admission to one of the most prestigious public health schools in the United States, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Through her studies in the Department of Epidemiology, she hopes to advance her expertise in the epidemiology of infectious diseases in order to design and implement research studies to enhance public health awareness and produce data that will guide development of public health policies and interventions by the government of Azerbaijan.

In addition to her major career path during these years, Emilya has enjoyed doing written translation and simultaneous/consecutive interpretation for significant medical projects and large conferences, providing Azerbaijan’s medical scientists with high quality, specialized, and professional English-Azerbaijani medical translations. She envisions this as an important aid for Azerbaijani scientists and is dedicated to continuing this endeavor in the future.