I am a statistically trained biomedical data scientist who develops statistically rigorous and computationally scalable machine-learning methods and open-source software to integratively analyze population-scale multi-omics data, working in the intersection of population health and genomics study.
What is your favorite part about your current occupation/position?
I work in an interdisciplinary research team that consists of scientists with diverse expertise, including neuroscience, brain anatomy, molecular biology, behavioral science, and quantitive analysis. There’s always room to learn something new, both research-wise and skillset-wise.
How did you get to where you are now (education, internship, mentors, chance encounters, etc.)?
I pivoted my research interest from theoretical statistics to applied statistics during my doctoral training as a biostatistician. During the training, I encountered a couple of good mentors who encourage me to explore different career path as well as research topics, which lead me to find my current topic of interest, computational biology.
What aspects of your Illinois education have been most beneficial to your career?
The statistical theory training I received at Illinois set me up with a solid knowledge foundation to understand cutting-edge theoretical analytic frameworks, enabling me to focus on the translation, extension, and adaptation of theoretical frameworks to solve specific biology questions.
What advice would you give to current students about the professional realm?
If possible, take your time to explore different possibilities, regardless it is research questions or career path. Don’t let your personal prejudice prevent you from realizing your full potential.
What did you enjoy about being a student at the University of Illinois? What was your favorite place, thing, or activity while on campus?
My favorite place is the old library/computer lab on the first floor of Illini Hall.
BS in Statistics '14 - UIUC
BS in Computer Science '14 - UIUC
MS in Statistics '17 - UIUC
Ph.D. in Biostatistics - University of Alabama at Birmingham