Research Mentor: Cecilia Chung, M.D., M.P.H.
Thesis Topic: Pharmacoepidemiology
I received my BA in Epidemiology from the University of Rochester in 2017. During my time as an undergraduate student, I spent two summers interning at the National Institutes of Health. As an intern in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), my work centered around identifying factors that were associated with higher costs per participant in NHLBI-funded clinical trials. The following summer I interned in the National Institute on Aging and, using data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, I completed a study on the potential of a reciprocal relationship between obesity and symptoms of sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia. After completing my undergraduate degree, I went on to receive my Masters of Public Health from the University of Minnesota in 2019 where I gained in depth exposure to the field of pharmacoepidemiology. I completed a summer internship during my M.P.H. as a pharmacoepidemiology intern at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals where I contributed to orphan drug applications and pediatric study plans. I currently work with Dr. Cecilia Chung in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology where I conduct pharmacoepidemiology research on non-opioid pain medications using Medicare data.
When I visited Vanderbilt, I was impressed by how all of the faculty members—whether they currently were mentoring students or not—wanted the students in the Epidemiology Ph.D. program to succeed. I also really appreciated that students are able to start working with their research team at the start of the program and that the program itself is relatively small, allowing for more support and attention for students. Further, I knew I wanted to contribute to Dr. Chung’s pharmacoepidemiology research.