HeeJae Choi is currently in the PharmD program. She mentions that the concept of precision health is deeply embedded in her various major courses throughout her three years of learning. For example, she learned how to perform dosing adjustment based on patients’ individual renal and hepatic performance. She also studied individual patient's pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics and applied concepts to make a better therapeutic drug monitoring decisions. In the summer of 2019, HeeJae completed a summer research fellowship at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and participated in a "Precision Dosing Workshop" held by the FDA and University of North Carolina. During the workshop, the participants investigated opportunities in drug development and real-world settings to generate the information needed to support precision drug dosing in clinical practice.
Luke DeRoos is currently a PhD candidate in Industrial and Operations Engineering. Growing up in a remote farming community, Luke saw the massive burden of cancer diagnoses multiplied by a several hour drive to and from the hospital every week. His research encompasses his passion: bringing quality healthcare to underserved communities. Helping patients and providers understand the optimal timing of treatment can have a major impact on patient quality of life. Luke feels the Precision Health Graduate Certificate program will empower him to make his research goals a reality. The program’s emphasis on taking courses in discovery, treatment, and health will provide him with the breadth to understand the many stakeholders in healthcare, while the certificate courses will give him the depth to drive change. High-quality research is never done in a vacuum, and he hopes to leverage the network of experts in the program that span many other colleges and domains. He will use precision health to help reduce barriers to care and ensure that rural communities are able to get the quality healthcare they need and deserve.
Stephanie Hall, MPH
Stephanie Hall is a 2nd year PhD student and a Graduate Student Research Assistant in the Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems (HILS) program. By enrolling in the Precision Health Graduate Certificate program, Stephanie hopes to (1) develop advanced methodological skills that she can apply to her dissertation, (2) network with other students and professionals interested in similar topics, and (3) learn more about the current state of Precision Health. As she enters her final year of doctoral coursework in HILS, she is refining her dissertation topic and is exploring the possibility of using electronic health record (EHR) data to identify, predict, and act upon important clinical factors in maternal health. However, utilizing EHR data requires robust skills in bioinformatics, data science, and analytics. The coursework in the precision health certificate program will help Stephanie to develop skills relevant to her dissertation work, including data mining, natural language processing, and machine learning. Professionally, Stephanie served as a project manager for a VA research study that used EHR data to personalize smoking cessation pharmacotherapy recommendations for veteran smokers.
Mariana Masteling Pereira
Mariana Masteling Pereira is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. Her PhD research is on injury prevention during childbirth. In current clinical practice, it is not possible to know which women are at risk for injury, besides by using simple capacity-demand analysis between fetal head size and the mothers’ pelvis. Mariana’s research goal is to be able to assess the risk for injury before delivery and suggest a Caesarean section to women at high risk of injury. Mariana has been working with her current research group for 2.5 years on different projects including defining a method to measure the cross-sectional area of the Pubovisceral muscle using an MRI. This method allows for extrapolating the forces the pelvic floor can withstand. She was also highly involved in an MRI study that compared qualitative and quantitative age-related differences in the pelvic floor of nulliparous women. Mariana also worked with hyperacute serum and platelet- rich plasma for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Roshan Paudel, MPH
Roshan Paudel is a 2nd year PhD student in the Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems program. Roshan has an interest in how precision health impacts cancer care in terms of cancer risk assessment, diagnostic testing and treatment strategies. The intersection of precision health and cancer care is likely to grow exponentially, and new therapeutic strategies will emerge as more research is conducted. Additionally, Roshan is also interested in understanding how scholars in learning health sciences could help clinicians make better treatment decisions in rapidly evolving therapeutic areas. The implications of novel therapies are enormous in cancer care and this is where precision health stands to make a huge impact. Additionally, Roshan is committed to understanding the process of developing treatment algorithms for common and rare cancers that are specific to patients. His goal is to use precision health methodologies to achieve these goals.