Meredith Duncan, Ph.D., M.A.

Research Mentors: Matthew Freiberg, M.D., M.Sc. and Loren Lipworth-Elliot, Sc.D.

Thesis Topic: Lifetime Smoking and its Impact on Risk for Lung Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease: Results from the Framingham Heart Study

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, University of Kentucky

Biography
My undergraduate degree is in Applied Mathematics from Murray State University (2011), and I obtained a Master of Arts degree in Biostatistics from Boston University in 2013. Following my time as a student at BU, I worked as a research assistant for the Framingham Heart Study and then joined Vanderbilt Center for Clinical Cardiovascular Outcomes Research and Trials Evaluation (V-C3REATE)  as an analyst in 2016. My research has predominantly focused on longitudinal analysis of data from observational studies and electronic health record (EHR) cohorts including the Framingham Heart Study, Women’s Health Initiative, and Veterans Aging Cohort Study. The majority of my research has been in the arena of cardiovascular disease, but I am eager to expand my skillset to other areas of public health throughout my PhD program. I currently work with Dr. Matthew Frieberg in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Dr. Loren Lipworth in the Department of Epidemiology.

Why Vanderbilt?
As an employee at VUMC, Vanderbilt was a natural choice as this would allow seamless integration of my work experience and educational pursuits. But even more than that was the atmosphere. From my very first interactions with faculty members in the Epi department, it was clear that members of the department took a lot of pride in the success of their students and understood the importance of a healthy work/life balance. As someone who values quality time with friends and family as much as I value my career and education, this was a huge selling point for me. I also appreciate the small class sizes and the encouragement of students to weave their research into assignments so that your coursework is truly relevant to your research.