Research Mentor: Jennifer Below, Ph.D.
Thesis Topic: Phenome-wide IBD Mapping in BioVU
My undergraduate training is in biomedical engineering with a computational focus from the University of Texas at Austin, and my prior graduate training is in epidemiology from UT Health Science Center at Houston. Following my MS, I have worked for several years as a research assistant for Dr. Jennifer Below, and followed her in her move to Vanderbilt earlier this year. My research throughout and since my MS has spanned several areas of genetic epidemiology, including use of penalized regression methods in GWAS, characterization of variation in transmembrane domains, evaluation of the impact of relatedness on genotype imputation, genetic analyses of developmental stuttering, tooth agenesis, and blood lipids traits and type 2 diabetes. I am now pursuing my PhD building on my work with Dr. Below, and will focus on analysis of shared haplotypes in BioVU.
The Epi doctoral program at Vanderbilt is unique in that you are paired upon entry with a research team, which meant that it was a great fit for my particular situation and that you are able to progress immediately to work relevant to your dissertation. I also enjoy that courses are small, allowing for them to be very conversational, and the fact that programming is expected and incorporated into coursework assignments.