October 19, 2022
Alison Tribble, MD, MSCE, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, at the University of Michigan Medical School. She obtained her medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine and completed residency in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, she also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. After fellowship, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan to develop and lead the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In 2013, Dr. Tribble submitted the first grant application of her medical career and received the PIDS fellowship award (PIDS now offers several fellowship awards). Her proposed research looked at the epidemiology of pertussis following a resurgence of the vaccine preventable disease, with a focus on the Philadelphia area.
The project was undertaken after speaking with her mentors regarding pertussis’s resurgence, changes in diagnosis of the disease, as well as the rise in vaccine hesitancy even then. Overall, it was a complex project with an extensive data set that Dr. Tribble utilized to study the sociodemographic, clinical and community factors associated with testing for pertussis and who ultimately tested positive for the disease. Dr. Tribble would go on to present her research at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, IDWeek, and the St. Jude/PIDS Pediatric Research Conference.
The complete “straightforward” fellowship award application and research-funded experience – learning and understanding the application process, exposure at national conferences, and building epidemiological research skills – proved to be foundational to Dr. Tribble’s career. She has subsequently pivoted away from pertussis to antimicrobial stewardship but still relies heavily on her epidemiology background. She also credits the award with helping her to prepare applications for other research grants and for positioning her to secure a faculty position in academic medicine and to have success in that role.
Not only did the fellowship award experience demonstrate her ability to successfully conduct research, but it also provided confidence to go further, to aim higher, knowing she was capable of such a significant achievement.
Dr. Tribble encourages her mentees, as she was encouraged by her mentors, to pursue awards like the one she received as it “helps young researchers hone their skills and think through all aspects of their project in putting together a competitive application that is worthy of consideration. Show yourself you can do it.”
Dr. Tribble led the publication of the Sharing Antimicrobial Reports in Pediatric Stewardship (SHARPS) collaborative’s first national point prevalence survey, reporting on inappropriate antibiotic use for hospitalized children. She currently serves as Vice-Chair for the Pediatric Committee on Antimicrobial Stewardship, leads the PIDS ASP Fellowship Award Subcommittee, and is a member of the Nominations and Awards Committee.