Get to Know Our New PhD Students!

Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our first year doctoral students.

Corri Sept

Hey everyone! My name is Corri Sept and I’m from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I graduated in May 2020 from Case Western Reserve University with a BS in Statistics and minors in Chem and Math. I entered college as a chemical engineering major, then became interested in medicine and switched to biochemistry pre-med. At NC State and Duke’s SIBS program the summer after my sophomore year, I discovered my passion for biostatistics, which combined all of my interests. When I returned back to campus, I changed majors and switched labs from cancer nanotechnology to genetic epidemiology, and I’ve been working with Professor Farren Briggs since. Most recently, I applied association rule mining in a novel context to determine clusters of multiple sclerosis (MS) risk SNPs that together confer increased risk for MS. Previously, I used survival analysis to investigate genetic and clinical factors that impact time to transition from relapsing remitting MS to secondary progressive MS. In addition to my work with Professor Briggs, I applied machine learning algorithms to predict efficacy of chemotherapies using methylation, copy number, and gene expression data at the University of Michigan’s Big Data Summer Institute the summer before my senior year. I’ve loved working on determining gene-gene interactions that impact MS risk with Professor Briggs and integrating different types of genetic data to predict efficacy of chemotherapies at UMich. I’m interested in further exploring these interests by developing methods to better uncover complex interactions in a genetics context. Outside of research, I enjoy swimming, playing volleyball, spending time outdoors, traveling, and reading. I also love trying new foods and listening to live music, and I’m super excited to explore the Boston food and music scene!

Sofia VegaHi, my name is Sofia Vega and I was born and raised in Naples, Florida. I just graduated from the University of Florida with a double major in Mathematics and Statistics and a minor in secondary education. The summer after my sophomore year I participated in the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics at Emory University which confirmed that I want to work in the intersection of statistics and public health. Eager to gain more research experience, I began working as a research assistant at the Machine Learning and Sensing Laboratory at UF. I worked on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency project that aimed to develop deployable plant systems to detect chemical and biological agents that pose threats to human health and agricultural production. Additionally, my interest in biostatistics led me to an internship at the National Institutes of Health. While at the NIH, I utilized Natural Language Processing to extract medication data from electronic health records and assessed their inclusivity and accuracy to evaluate hospital efficiency. I’m excited to be a recipient of the Zelen Family Fellowship and to have the flexibility to explore research areas in biostatistics I haven’t yet been able to explore! I’m particularly interested in learning more about environmental statistics, infectious diseases, and other biostatistics applications. I  just made the move to Boston so in my free time I’ve been decorating our apartment and exploring parks in the area. I also enjoy playing tennis, board games, and learning the piano.