I have always been interested in math and science, which led me on a somewhat convoluted path to epidemiology. After obtaining bachelor's degrees in biology and psychology from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, I worked in several academic research labs as well as in industry in the biotechnology field. A few years went by and I decided to pursue my MPH at Yale University. During my MPH studies, I became very interested in cancer epidemiology and lifestyle/behavioral risk factors. My research focused on nutrition and physical activity and various aspects of cancer survivorship. Immediately following my MPH, I started the PhD program at Vanderbilt. I am currently working on the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study under the mentorship of Dr. Xiao-Ou Shu.
Two main things attracted me to the program at Vanderbilt, the quantitative focus and the research opportunities. The program is very quantitative, which I believe is an extremely important aspect of epidemiology training. The program also allows you to go straight into research, contributing to a research group and a specific project right from the start. The professors are friendly and approachable, which makes for a great learning environment.
Nashville is also great and affordable. There are plenty of things going on and the weather is nice.
"One must have chaos within oneself to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietzsche