Harrison Austin, ’15, pursues translational research in infectious disease

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
Austin’s research has taken him from Emory & Henry College to the University of Liverpool as he studies infectious diseases. 

At Emory & Henry, Harrison studied factors affecting the development of chick embryos. 

He went on to complete a masters in medical virology at the University of Manchester Medical School and is now working on his PhD at the University of Liverpool (U.K.). 

He has a recent co-authored publication in the journal Scientific Reports.  The article is entitled “Point-of-care screening for a current hepatitis C virus infection: Influence on uptake of a concomitant offer of HIV screening.”

Harrison says, “At the University of Liverpool I have been fortunate to find my way into translation research in infectious diseases. The A&E study on hepatitis C testing showed some aspects of infectious diseases research which are often neglected - the human factor. Specifically, we saw how perceived stigma toward HIV decreased the acceptance rate of hepatitis C testing. This study was important for me personally because it allowed me to see the entire process of translational clinical research; from careful patient recruitment, sample processing, and statistical analysis. This work persuaded me to pursue a PhD in infectious diseases where I have set up a clinical study on hepatitis B immunotherapy and predictive biomarkers.

After my PhD I would really like to build a career in translational medicine and infectious disease but would also like to find a way into more clinical practice.”
  • Harrison Austin in his research lab
    Harrison Austin
For me doing clinical research always has the end-point for improving patient care, and that interface between interacting with patients and laboratory work is where I think my strengths exist.

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