Get to Know Our New PhD Students!

Tony ChenHi everyone! My name is Tony Chen, and I’m originally from around Memphis, TN. I recently graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Operations Research and a minor in Statistics and Machine Learning.

I started out planning to study chemical engineering, but quickly changed directions after taking my first statistics class freshman year. Before that, I had never realized the broad range of problems that could be solved through statistics, particularly in health. My research path started at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where I worked with Dr. Li Tang on model selection of longitudinal gut microbiome data and excess zero counts. I’ve also done research on breast density via CT imaging with Dr. Chaya Moskowitz at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as well as measles dynamics modeling with Professor Bryan Grenfell at Princeton. My senior thesis with Professor Jianqing Fan led me to my current research interests, where I studied high- dimensional variable selection with missing data, with applications to genetics. Through all these research opportunities, I am continually reminded of how quickly the field is evolving, which makes me very excited to be part of the PhD program at Harvard!

I’ll be part of the Statistical Genetics/Genomics training grant cohort, and I look forward to tackling some of the many complicated topics in biostatistics. I hope to continue down this track of research, and also get some experience in teaching and mentorship. Outside of academics, I typically split my time between cooking, dancing, playing piano, and listening to music.

Ellen ConsidineHello! My name is Ellen Considine and I am from Boulder, Colorado. In May 2020, I graduated from the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder with a BS in applied mathematics and minors in statistics, economics, and geography. During my undergrad, I gravitated towards academic opportunities that allowed me to combine my interest in data science with my commitment to social and environmental issues. For the past three years, I worked as a research assistant to Professor Colleen Reid in the Department of Geography. The overarching theme of our work together was estimating air pollution exposures across the western US and investigating the respiratory and cardiovascular health impacts of these exposures. I was also heavily involved in CU Engineers Without Borders, which fueled my interest in global public health and poverty reduction.

I am thrilled to be starting this PhD program under the environmental training grant. I hope to focus on policy-relevant projects related to climate change and air pollution epidemiology. Methodologically, I am intrigued by spatial statistics, measurement error, and disentangling the health effects of multiple exposures. That said, I look forward to attending a variety of seminars in the School of Public Health and beyond and continuing to gain new perspectives on health, society, and public policy.

In my free time, I enjoy running, biking, hiking, Nordic (XC) skiing, listening to live music, playing clarinet, dancing salsa or swing, volunteering, vegetarian cooking, and having lengthy conversations about life.