Introducing our 2023-2024 VN-BioStat fellows: Safiya Sada Sani

We are pleased to welcome Safiya Sada Sani to our department as one of the 2023-2024 fellows in our Vanderbilt-Nigeria Biostatistics Training Program (VN-BioStat). The program, which began last year, is a collaboration between the Department of Biostatistics, the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Nigeria. It aims to create a cohort of highly skilled Nigerian biostatisticians able to lead and supervise biostatistics activities for HIV research studies in West Africa.

Safiya is one of this year's two VN-BioStat trainees. Read more below about the work she'll be doing and her goals for the year.

Why did you want to join the VN-BioStat program?

I joined the VN-BioStat program because I am a statistician very much interested in biomedical research. I was looking for an opportunity to become a true biostatistician.

What kind of projects will you be working on?

HIV-related research projects using data mainly from Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, Nigeria.

What are you most looking forward to about your time here?

I look forward to collaborating with other researchers and scientists, which would be a first time for me. I see this as an opportunity for continuous learning, which would ensure my personal and professional growth.

What do you think will be the most challenging?

What I found most challenging, especially soon after my arrival, was the fast-paced approach used in VUMC to disseminate knowledge. It is not what I am used to. I found the weekly homework/assignments (which are more like a whole month's assignment) quite daunting. These all needed some getting used to, and I am happy that I am slowly easing up to these and am quite enjoying them. I think it is all for the best because, no doubt, I shall emerge a better statistician by the end of it all.   

What skills are you hoping to learn that you can bring back home?

Improved analytical skills. I am sure to gain valuable and advanced skills in statistical methods, data analysis, and interpretation of real-world problems. That way I can contribute to public health and medical advancements. Also, since I am here to tap into the wealth of knowledge that abounds in VUMC, my training is sure to add value to the Department of Statistics, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, where I engage in teaching and project supervision.

Safiya Sada Sani