Sifang (Kathy) Zhao, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Research Mentor: Dr. Katherine Hartmann

Thesis Title: Examining the Association Between Vigorous Physical Activity and Pregnancy-Related Outcomes

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Background
I completed my undergraduate degree at Brandeis University where I majored in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. An internship with the state Arbovirus Surveillance team sparked my interest in epidemiology and drove me to pursue a MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health. During this time, I had the opportunity to work with the prenatal team at Boston Medical Center in enhancing prenatal care, as well as the Research and Epidemiology Division at the state health department in conducting birth surveillance. To further my journey in maternal and child epidemiology, I joined the Vanderbilt Doctoral Program in Epidemiology under the mentorship of Dr. Katherine Hartmann and Dr. Digna Velez Edwards. I hope to continue my research in the broad arena of maternal and child health with a focus on adverse birth outcomes.

Why Vanderbilt?
Hosted in the Institute of Medicine and Public Health, the Epidemiology PhD program is free of disciplinary boundaries. The collaborative environment here is ideal for students to grow and excel through fostering personal and professional relationships with faculty, researchers, as well as each other. The program is also innovative in the way that students are matched with research preceptor teams from the very beginning to ensure students can actively engage in research early on.

Personal Quote
"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." -Robert Brault