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Spotlight: Jiana Blaha, MHS '21

Jiana is a postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD). 


Jiana is a postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD). She conducts research related to tropical diseases, specifically neurocysticercosis. Earning the Intramural Research Training Award at the NIH has been the highlight of her career so far. Here’s what she had to say about her experiences in the program. 

What led you to choose this Bloomberg School of Public Health?   

The reason I choose Johns Hopkins is because they are leaders and pioneers in public health. I also wanted to be educated by distinguished professors in the field. This decision has not only expanded my knowledge but has afforded me with the lifelong pride of being a Blue Jay.  

What did you like about the MHS program? 

The program provided flexibility that allowed me to have time for outside passions and hobbies, as well as be part of the community through student organizations. Also, I wanted to pick a school and a program that was involved with the community. After learning about the program and joining, I was able to be part of projects with the community in relation to environmental health. What stood out to me during my time at JHSPH was how close the cohort was, even when it was virtual during the pandemic. The cohort was able to make a strong community with each other. For example, we studied together and had fun virtually through playing various games or having movie nights!  

What's your advice for prospective students?   

My advice to prospective students is to not be afraid to ask for help from your cohort or professors. Be prepared to learn a lot but have fun while doing so! Finally, don’t be afraid to network, it is very helpful. Hopkins has a strong networking system with the alumni community.  They have been very helpful in offering advice or guidance.   

What advice do you have for students interested in environmental health?   

The environmental health field is so big and there are so many paths you can go down. That is something that I really enjoy about the field, there is something for everyone. Also, you will also be learning about environmental health. It's a field that is constantly evolving and will always have you learn new things.