Ximena is a public health professional with 10 years of experience in the prevention and control of infectious diseases of medical, veterinary and public health importance, in both developed and resource-limited countries. Her international assignments include supporting public health laboratories in Pacific Island Countries and a stint at PAHO/WHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Department at the Regional Office for the Americas.
After completing her PhD in molecular microbiology, Ximena worked as a scientist conducting laboratory-based research in veterinary diagnostics at Biosecurity Queensland, a government agency tasked with preventing and responding to communicable diseases in livestock and wildlife. Ximena’s work responding to animal disease outbreaks -including high-risk zoonosis- ignited her interest in field epidemiology and gave her the perspective to appreciate the link between animal, human and environmental health.
Undertaking MAE will help Ximena build on and formalise her experiences in infectious diseases detection and control and prepare her for the challenges of preventing and responding to outbreaks of new, rare, and re-emerging diseases wherever they may occur. As a field epidemiologist Ximena hopes to join efforts to improve the health of Indigenous populations and to contribute to disease control in humanitarian emergencies and disasters.