Charity Perkins (’10) works as a biologist for the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria Entomology Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Given the current issues of insecticide resistance that malaria control efforts are currently facing, real-time information will better guide strategies on reducing the mosquito populations and ultimately the prevalence of malaria,” Charity said. Her project involves the use of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP), a novel method of DNA amplification that requires as little as a single mosquito leg. Charity said, “This will be of significant public health importance since using LAMP for DNA amplification is highly sensitive and specific, extremely cost-effective, and will give real-time surveillance data in the field without the use of expensive technologies or even a laboratory.”
After obtaining her B.S. in pre-physical therapy from PCC, Charity graduated with honors from both the University of West Georgia and Georgia State University, earning master’s degrees in both biology and public health. “Although I did not pursue a career in physical therapy, having a background in medical knowledge has greatly helped me to understand certain aspects of public health, particularly in relation to the manifestation of malaria in humans,” Charity said. “I have always loved learning, but I never knew what capacity I had to learn until I attended PCC.” Charity continues to apply the principles she gained from her classes to her job. “The emphasis on punctuality, having pride in one’s work, and integrity are attributes that I continue to carry into my daily work routine,” Charity said.
Along with her work at the CDC to combat the insecticide resistance in mosquitos that carry malaria, Charity has also been involved with the fight against Ebola. “I was given the opportunity to participate in a 30-day rotation within the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center during the 2014 Ebola Response,” she said. While working on this project, Charity drafted three children’s publications about Ebola and helped deployers throughout their entire deployment process. “It was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am truly grateful to have been part of,” Charity said.
For Charity, the chance to make a difference on a global scale is a dream come true. She said, “To have a part in two of the top global public health concerns is both exciting and surreal.”