Lyndelle LeBruin, a project manager at the Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research (LCBR) at the UVM College of Medicine, has spent most of her academic career studying chemistry. But when her interest in clinical trials research led to her job at LCBR, she decided to enroll in the UVM Master of Public Health Program to enhance her skillset.
Lyndelle, who grew up in the West Indies on the island of Dominica, describes herself as a dedicated, conscientious, and goal-oriented professional. Her goals are to continue to make positive contributions to the fields of public health and translational research in the future.
We talked to Lyndelle about her work and how the fields of chemistry and public health play a role in helping people live better lives.
What made you decide to pursue the master of public health?
I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in chemistry and went on to earn a master’s in chemistry at UVM. While working on my master’s thesis on the self-assembly of collagen mimetic peptides, I always felt the need to connect my science background to population health and to further translational research that could improve public health.
I decided to pursue the Master of Public Health upon joining the LCBR to both enhance my knowledge base and skillset as I continued to work in clinical trials research, and to make a greater contribution to both public health and translational research.
Could you describe your job at LCBR?
The LCBR focuses on understanding risk factors for heart disease, stroke, venous thrombosis, obesity, diabetes, aging, and frailty using a wide variety of assays in population and family-based research settings. Faculty and staff at the lab are trained in medicine, the basic sciences, epidemiology, and biostatistics, and they apply their training to large-scale, multi-center clinical trials and epidemiological-based studies.
I work in a project management role on the D2d Study at the LCBR. We are the Central Laboratory for this double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, coordinated out of Tufts University. In my current role, I use quality control measures on a daily basis to monitor sample processing, storage, and data quality. In addition, my role allows active participation in designing study research protocols, training and certifying clinical staff, and managing requests from the Coordinating Center and active field centers in this clinical trial.
What is the most important skill you learned in the UVM Public Health program?
I appreciated the emphasis placed on the proper dissemination of data and public health information. This included, but was not limited to, the effective use of short reports, blogs, discussion boards, and journal reports to communicate information. The correct dissemination of health information and findings is a skill that is integral to public health and research, and this was constantly reinforced throughout the program.
Why would you recommend the program to others?
The program has many positive attributes. It is a flexible yet robust program that allows students to work full time while pursuing graduate school online. The program also has many well-trained, resourceful, and very personable instructors who offer great guidance to students. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who has the desire to become formally trained in public health.
What are some of the common threads between chemistry and public health?
The fields of chemistry and public health both play a role in helping people to live better lives. Chemistry, allows for the molecular design of tools and systems to facilitate this process. Public health encompasses conducting of research, the dissemination of findings, and ultimately policy implementation, in an effort to improve population health.
Why are you passionate about your work?
My work combines health, science, and clinical research, and I trust that it will provide a wealth of information and resources for future research and policies to improve population health. I know that every skill that I learn, and every task that I do, plays an integral role in improving the health of the United States, and by extension global public health. This is something that I remain passionate about, and do not take for granted.