Dr. Alain Labrique is an infectious disease epidemiologist by training, with a background in molecular biology. Dr. Labrique serves on the faculty in the Global Disease Epidemiology and Control Program of the Department of International Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology. Having completed graduate research at UNC-Chapel Hill, studying centromere dynamics in yeast, Dr. Labrique shifted focus from the microscopic to human populations by pursuing a master’s and doctorate in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
With colleagues at the ICDDR-B, Dr. Labrique conducted the first epidemiologic studies of hepatitis E virus infections in rural Bangladesh, characterizing this emerging pathogen. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Labrique served as the resident JHU Project Scientist and Country Representative for the JiVitA Project, a large maternal and child health research project in northwestern rural Bangladesh, testing the impact of low-dose vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy and lactation on reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as an infant mortality reduction trial through high-dose vitamin A supplementation of newborns.
In addition to teaching and mentoring students at the School, for which he was recently awarded an Excellence in Advising Award from President Ronald Daniels, and continued involvement as a Lead Investigator with the JiVitA micronutrient research projects, Dr. Labrique is working on defining the consequences of hepatitis E infections in pregnant women in South Asia, reducing nosocomial infections in hospitalized neonates, and exploring the role of intrapartum infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, on pregnancy outcomes and neonatal mortality. Dr. Labrique is also working to describe the “trajectories to mortality” in resource-limited settings experienced by women of reproductive age and infants, to identify novel opportunities for intervention. Leading an interdisciplinary team spanning the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Labrique and colleagues are exploring the potential for mobile information and communications technologies to facilitate timely emergency obstetric and neonatal care to reduce perinatal mortality and maternal morbidity in rural Bangladesh.
Dr. Labrique is also actively engaged in designing and exploring appropriate diagnostic and public health technologies, and is the inventor of a number of devices (3 patents pending), including the Portable Field Dark Adaptometer – a novel device currently being validated as a non-invasive method for vitamin A assessment.