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Victoria Avanzato

Victoria Avanzato

Scholar Type:

NIH Oxford Scholar MD/PhD

Entry Year: 2017

B.S. Immunology and Infectious Diseases and B.S. in Toxicology,
Pennsylvania State University, 2015
Emory University School of Medicine (In progress)




Dr. Vincent Munster (NIAID-RML) and
Prof. Thomas Bowden (Oxford)

Research Interest:

Virology, Emerging pathogens, Tropical medicine

Vicky graduated with highest distinction and honors from The Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College, earning dual degrees in Immunology and Infectious Disease, and Toxicology, with a minor in French Horn Performance. She worked in the lab of Dr. Girish Kirimanjeswara, where she completed her honors thesis. Her research tested small molecule inhibitors of the trans translation pathway used by Francisella tularensis and evaluated virulence factors in a mutant strain as a potential for a vaccine lead. Vicky spent a summer working with Dr. Kah Whye Peng at the Mayo Clinic evaluating oncolytic virus therapy against endometrial cancer. The following summer, she worked with Dr. Nikos Vasilakis at the University of Texas Medical Branch characterizing the immune response to dengue fever and optimizing detection techniques. Additionally, she coauthored four publications and presented two posters at the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting.

As an undergraduate, Vicky traveled to Panama, Ghana, and Nicaragua with the Global Medical Brigades. These trips fueled her interest in global health and tropical medicine, leading her to pursue a medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine. At Emory, Vicky served as the president for Emory Health Against Human Trafficking (EHAHT) and led a trip to Thailand to volunteer at a children’s shelter and build relations with local hospitals.

Outside the classroom, Vicky is very passionate about playing the French horn and performed with multiple ensembles at PSU, as well as the orchestra at Emory. 

As a clinician scientist, she hopes to research emerging viral pathogens, particularly understanding the factors that lead to cross species transmission and drivers of human outbreaks. Clinically, she wants to combine her research interests with the treatment of infectious diseases, specializing in tropical medicine and global health.

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