Jennifer Friedman, MD, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School. Since 1995, she has led population-based studies in Brazil, western Kenya and the Philippines.
Together with Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD, she designed and implemented a study of water contact patterns in a cohort of 86 volunteers in an S. mansoni endemic area of Brazil. Direct observation of water contact patterns were compared with self-reported contact.
As a postdoctoral Fulbright fellow in western Kenya, Friedman led a study of the impact of insecticide-treated bednets on malnutrition and body composition in 867 school-age children. In addition, she participated in the design and execution of malaria morbidity surveillance for outcomes in pregnancy and in children under five years of age.
Friedman has also participated in basic science studies of the mechanisms of hepatocyte invasion by malaria sporozoites. Together with Kurtis, she has studied the relationship between pro-inflammatory cytokines and malnutrition in an area of intense perennial transmission of malaria in western Kenya.
Friedman is currently leading a National Institues of Health (NIH)-funded population-based study in the Philippines examining pro-inflammatory mediators of malnutrition and anemia in S. japonicum. For this project, she has developed and field deployed a culturally adapted questionnaire that allows quantification of socio-economic status. In addition, together with Kurtis, she has developed multi-plexed lab assays to support hypotheses involving malnutrition (leptin, albumin), and anemia (ferritin, erythropoietin, soluble transferrin receptor).
Friedman is currently leading an NIH R-01 funded randomized controlled trial of praziquantel (PZQ) during pregnancy. This study began recruitment in January of 2007. The study will enroll 500 S. japonicum-infected pregnant women, randomize them to PZQ or placebo treatment at twelve weeks of gestation, and assess birth outcomes.