Introducing New Doctoral Students

We’re continuing to feature our 1st year doctoral students! We hope everyone is able to get to know this talented and diverse new group of students.

Jane Liang

I am from the small, San Francisco Bay Area city of Albany, where I spent my childhood reading voraciously and exploring the secret staircases of the East Bay Hills. I then traveled a vast distance of three miles to earn a bachelor’s degree in statistics from UC Berkeley. As an undergraduate, I wrote an honors thesis titled “Comparing Dependence Measures Using Simulations Studies” with Haiyan Huang and was affably confused by college sports. After graduating, I worked as a programming analysis associate at Kaiser Permanente before moving to Memphis to be a scientific programmer at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Biostatistics. Under the supervision of Śaunak Sen, I worked on matrix linear models for structured high-throughput data and helped maintain the division’s computing cluster. My research interests include statistical genetics, machine learning, and computational problems involving high-dimensional data. In my spare time, I enjoy optimization problems like minimizing time spent on food preparation and maximizing encounters with other people’s pets. I hope that at Harvard Biostatistics, my world will continue to grow bigger. 

Yuri Ahuja

I was born and raised in New York City, and graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry before starting my MD/PhD at Harvard Medical School. Since high school, I have had my heart set on pursuing an MD/PhD with the goal of both practicing medicine and pushing its boundaries through research. Originally, I thought I would pursue a PhD in one of the biological sciences; indeed, throughout college I conducted research in molecular biology, pharmacology, and cancer biology. However, after taking several mathematics, computer science, and statistics courses at Yale, I realized that my passion is really for the quantitative sciences. When I arrived at Harvard I switched focus, completing rotations in the Harvard Biomedical Informatics and MIT Computer Science departments. Currently, I am predominantly interested in designing better models to mine electronic medical record data with the goal of enhancing medical decision support, which I believe will revolutionize the concept of personalized medicine in coming years. I am very excited to start in the Biostatistics PhD program this Fall and begin working toward this goal! My main hobby is the violin, which I have played for over 15 years. I have played in numerous orchestra including the New York Youth Symphony and Yale Symphony Orchestras, and hope to join the Longwood Symphony in the Fall!