Johanna Beulah Tria Sornillo

Johanna Beulah Tria Sornillo

Johanna Beulah Tria Sornillo
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine

Jobel Sornillo has a master’s degree in public health from the University of the Philippines and is a researcher in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), a TREAT Asia network site. She has been working with researchers in the institute on technical paper-writing, project coordination, and data management and analyses for research projects since 2011. She is a licensed medical technologist, with field and laboratory experience on malaria and other neglected tropical disease projects. Under the FIMP she is studying the following topics: “Pediatric disclosure of HIV status and associated treatment and disease outcomes of children and adolescents living with HIV in Asia” and “Trends in characteristics of children and adolescents living with HIV at enrollment and at ART initiation in Asia.” She is increasingly involved in large-scale research studies at RITM that contribute to improved health service delivery, and assesses interventions that address HIV and other infectious and tropical diseases.

[My research aims to provide] a basis or support for global and national recommendations on disclosure of HIV status to children, and earlier HIV diagnosis followed by immediate treatment of children. Despite some success reported in other parts of the region, program enhancements are still crucial.

The program has been beneficial in equipping me with skills to manage and analyze large clinical databases and, consequently, make correct interpretations and conclusions. I learned how to improve my competency in scientific manuscript writing and in responding to peer reviewer comments. I have also been taught to how to polish my oral presentation skills.

Through the program, we were able to publish two manuscripts during the COVID-19 pandemic, which coincided with the start of the mentorship sessions. It proved not to be a real hindrance though, because the learning experience carried on through weekly one-to-one mentorship meetings and monthly FIMPer sessions to discuss critical topics with a lineup of seasoned researchers, clinicians, and professors. Both approaches were integrated well, namely, focused learning and consultations with a mentor to manage and analyze regional data and subsequently write manuscripts, and group classroom-like sessions on relevant study designs and statistical techniques applicable for working with large clinical databases.

One notable experience was the skills-building session on scientific writing and responding to peer review, which I had the honor of co-moderating, allowing me to develop my own facilitating skills through coaching, and interact before the session with FIMPers from other regions to consolidate their experiences and best practices. 

The acquired knowledge and skills in this program have surely helped us mentees in our home research institutions, knowing also that we can contribute to the larger context of ongoing and thriving multiregional collaborations, such as IeDEA.