With all of our adventures, it's easy to forget that I am here to research. So, as our time in Beijing starts winding to a close, I wanted to update y'all about what I've been up to.
The main update is that I'm going to Portugal on May 4th to give an oral presentation about one of my projects: basically, how we used a study population of over 30,000 women to predict how common HPV and pre-cancerous lesions (for cervical cancer they're called CIN 1-3) are in China. That paper has been the death of me all year (no joke, I have 100s of revisions), but we are sending it to get the final feedback of all the co-authors this week, and Dr. Zhao promises it will be submitted before we go to Portugal!
The paper that has been rejected by Lancet and JAMA is STILL under review at JNCI (another 2.5 month review. Oy). But I was asked to give a presentation on it (as a foreign EXPERT! hahahaha) at the National Symposium for Cervical Cancer. It's about the diagnostic accuracy of HPV DNA testing of self-collected cervicovaginal samples for pre-cancerous and cancerous cervical lesions. Shangying, my Fogarty twin, will actually be translating for me, and she is more nervous than I am (which makes sense if you think about it--if I get flustered, I can just speak quickly and no one will understand me, but she can't get away with my tricks. Also, if I get nervous, I will focus on what is truly important: how dead sexy I look in my new tailored suit.)
My own research projects have also been about self-collection. I'm virtually done writing up a short article about the attitudes of 500 rural woman towards self-collection that will be submitted before I go to Portugal (nothing like using the promise of a vacation to work yourself to the bone, right?), and data has been collected for 2500 women the last few months. I originally thought I could write up this paper too, but it's just too demanding; I'll have to work on it when I get back home or even pass it on to the next year's Fogarty.
Jennifer Smith, my UNC mentor, and I on the cusp of submitting a paper describing rates of antibodies (indicating past infection) and DNA (indicating current infection) for the 4 HPV types that are in the Merck HPV vaccine. Fingers crossed that they accept that one quickly because I won't have as much time as Dr. Smith thinks I will when I return stateside.
Finally, with Sarah's Fogarty twin, LiRong, I've been work on two papers about another cervical cancer screening method called VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid). Those will go to an English-language Chinese journal, so they are very important for her career.
So in a nutshell, I've done tons of work, and it looks like many projects are wrapping themselves up, just in time for us to go back to Beautiful Land/Kingdom (what Chinese call America).
Most importantly, happy first day of Passover!!! As I write this, Alison has just set up our table with (from left) her mom's mashed cauliflower recipe, matzah, homemade hummus with veggies, matzah, and her homemade charoset for our Chinese Seder! Thanks, M&P for the matzah! Tomorrow, we're going to Kehillat Beijing for the second day Seder with Jeremy and Claire. Hopefully it's as fun as the seders we had growing up at my house and in NYC at the Bernstein's!
Miss you guys!