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Sarah Brattain

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Tufts School of Medicine

Department: Infectious Disease and Global Health (Cummings) and Public Health and Community Medicine (Medicine)

Research Interests: Conservation and Ecology, Animal Science,  Climate Change, Public Health, Zoonotic Disease, One Health

TIE Affiliation

Environmental Research Fellowship


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a serious threat to human, animal, and environmental health. Vietnam has some of the highest AMR levels in the world, and antibiotics are heavily abused in Vietnamese livestock production, especially on small-scale poultry farms. These practices pose serious food safety concerns and increase the risk that AMR bacteria will reach people through the food chain. Despite the urgency of AMR in Vietnam however, there is very little information on poultry farmers’ understanding of AMR and safe antibiotic use practices. This study attempts to address this issue by investigating the knowledge, attitudes, and practices on antibiotic use and AMR among poultry farmers in Thái Nguyên, Vietnam.  My long-term goal is to enhance community awareness of AMR and to improve AMU surveillance. The findings from this study will be used to propose feasible recommendations to Vietnamese policy makers and to advance the goals of the Vietnam ‘National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance’.


Sarah is a graduate student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the Tufts School of Medicine earning both her D.V.M. and her MPH. Sarah expects to complete her studies in May 2021. Before coming to Tufts, Sarah was a double major at Boston University where she earned a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Analysis/Policy. While at Boston University, Sarah studied White Nose syndrome in bats in the Kunz Ecology Laboratory. She has additionally held positions as an animal center intern with the Museum of Science and a wildlife rehabilitation intern at the New England Wildlife Center. She also spent a summer in Bhutan studying the ecotourism capacity of the Jakar region. For the past two years, Sarah was a veterinary technician in Chicago.

At Cummings, Sarah is a member of "Students for One Health" and "Veterinarians for Global Solutions". She also has attended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Veterinary Students Day" conference as well as the Cornell One Health Symposium.

Current Studies and Future Goals

When asked what she found most meaningful about her field of study, Sarah responded with the following: "Veterinary public health is a rewarding field because it provides veterinarians with the opportunity to protect human, animal, and environmental health on a daily basis. Emerging infectious diseases are, to my mind, the 21st century’s greatest social challenge. As global travel and international trade grow at unprecedented rates, new infectious diseases are emerging at a faster rate than ever before—all driven by human activity. Veterinarians, as experts in comparative biology and disease mutation, are uniquely situated to monitor these threats, and I want to develop my career right at that intersection. The Tufts dual DVM/MPH program is the perfect fit for me because it captures my interdisciplinary passions-- veterinary medicine and public health, infectious disease and biosecurity, environmental policy and food safety. As I begin to explore how to build a career that merges veterinary medicine, population health, environmental policy, infectious disease, and clinical practice, the opportunity to further study veterinary public health alongside experts with unmatched field experience has been invaluable. Tufts given me an incredibly opportunity to expand my professional network and to cultivate relationships with mentors who can advise me on how to best tailor my veterinary education for a career in global health."

When asked what interested her in becoming a TIE Fellow, Sarah responded with the following: "The TIE fellowship immediately captured my attention because of its interdisciplinary emphasis. As a current DVM/MPH student who comes from a dual background in biology and environmental policy, my academic pursuits have always been interdisciplinary in focus. I have always known that the health of humans, the health of animals, and the health of the environment are interconnected. The TIE fellowship is the perfect fit for me because it is a community where interdisciplinary collaboration is not only supported, but is encouraged. The TIE program is unique because it provides students with an invaluable opportunity to pursue their interdisciplinary passions and to conduct research that advances environmental health and by extension, also advance the health of humans and animals that live within the environment".

Sarah hopes to continue to explore the intersection between global health, food safety, emerging infectious disease and environmental policy following graduation. She hopes to work in the agricultural sector through the USDA or in the epidemiology department for the CDC. Sarah hopes to use her clinical training in conjunction with her epidemiology background to conduct research related to One Health policy.

Fun Facts!

When not doing school work, Sarah can be found teaching yoga as a certified instructor or taking yoga classes.

Favorite TV Show: The Wire

Favorite Place You've Visited: Bhutan and Singapore

Favorite Course Taken at Tufts: Anatomy

Dream Job: Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the CDC