Kevin Tang, B.S. 2014

After graduating from UCLA, Kevin Tang spent two years in Cameroon with the Peace Corps. Then he got his master’s degree in public health. Now, he’s a researcher with Médecins Sans Frontières in Paris. Tang coordinates clinical research in pediatric health, particularly in the treatment of acute malnutrition and vaccination against infectious diseases. This required frequent communication with field workers in sub-Saharan Africa to make sure the work of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals is as effective and efficient as possible. In addition to famines resulting from conflict or natural disaster—which get the bulk of media attention—a more tenacious problem is the steady drone of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity, Tang says. His focus is on malnutrition in children under age five, a critical period for physiological development and growth. To help solve the problem, he draws on what he learned at IoES, in particular, the critical role of the environment as a risk factor for human health and GIS spatial analysis for epidemiology. His advice to current students: take the world-class education UCLA provides and apply it in real situations.