This summer I worked alongside Beryl Chen under the mentorship of Dr. Melanie Kornides to track state-by-state HPV legislative changes in order to observe their effects on vaccination interest and uptake. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, it has no cure, and over time it can develop into various forms of cancer. Legislation regarding the vaccine remains at the state level, although the CDC recommends the vaccination for children ages 11-12. Beryl and I read legislation introduced from 2006 to 2018 in order to determine the types of bills that have been introduced and passed. We will continue our research into the semester and cross analyze our findings against google trend data to observe changes in public interest and against the National Immunization Survey – Teen (NIS-Teen) to observe changes in vaccine uptake.
This experience introduced me to many useful online and in person resources which I will be able to use throughout the remainder of school and into my professional career. I learned a significant amount about the Human Papillomavirus, the vaccine for HPV and the process legislation must go through in order to pass into law. Additionally, I learned how to comb through legislative archives to find desired bills and how to interpret them once they are found.
I enjoyed working with Dr. Kornides because she maintained a collaborative atmosphere in which we each held an equal say in the direction of our project during every step. She introduced Beryl and I to a variety of other influential researchers so that we could learn about their work and engage in thoughtful conversations about project-specific information as well as broad information on the fundamental research process.