We’ll be featuring mini-profiles of our new PhD students over the next few weeks. We look forward to welcoming them into our community!
Sarah BoeseHello! My name is Sarah Boese and I am excited to join Harvard’s Biostatistics PhD program this fall. I grew up in Oakland, CA and went to college at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. During most of my undergraduate education, my focus was in theoretical math. However, the summer before my senior year, I participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in which I examined the stability of a model which optimized pricing strategies for call options on stocks. That experience exposed me to probability theory and mathematical modeling and I got really excited about the applications of statistics (even if I was not very excited about financial math). Fortunately, I was able to do a quick pivot and take a Bayesian Statistics course as well as a seminar course in generating synthetic micro-level data for the dual purposes of data privacy and data utility. After graduation, I started working for Epic Systems, a large EHR company. There, I became very interested in methods to better use EHR data to inform interventions. I was also exposed to how messy EHR data is and why it is dependably so messy. In 2022, I joined Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services in the Division of Public Health. In one project, I helped create a system to distribute suspected overdose rates captured by emergency services data to local health departments. Paramedics and other Emergency Response Service (EMS) personnel document overdose incidents highly variably, which makes developing overdose syndromes based on EMS data an ever evolving challenge. We linked our EMS data to hospital discharge data (or claims data) in order to evaluate the effectiveness of existing overdose syndromes. We also developed a jittering algorithm in T-SQL to add noise to our address-level location data points to satisfy our privacy requirements without leaving the original point’s census tract. Outside of work and school, I love to be outside with my dog Star. We enjoy hiking, running, kayaking and laying in the sun. I also love cooking and trying new board games with my partner Aidan.
Tejasvi ChannagiriMy path to biostatistics started with a statistics MA at the University of South Florida. I was fortunate to be involved in several collaborative bioinformatics research projects with a math and biology lab. The research involved analysis of genome sequencing and annotations to study DNA repair and DNA-replication errors. A rewarding aspect of this research was working closely with biologists and learning the subject-area knowledge required to do effective cross-disciplinary research. While I learned a lot, I felt that I lacked the statistical knowledge to make the most of the large genomic datasets available. I also realized the importance of having the right statistical tools to reach rigorous scientific conclusions. This has motivated me to pursue a biostatistics PhD with a tentative research interest in genomics and bioinformatics. I have a strong interest in continuing to work on collaborative projects and developing practical software tools. Before my MA, I did a mathematics BA also at the University of South Florida where I focused on pure mathematics. After graduating, I decided to change tracks and try to self-train as a digital artist for a few years. During that time I worked as a technician in an industrial recycling company and then at an internet company. Ultimately, I decided that my talents were more technical than artistic though I continue to have a great appreciation for entertainment art & design. In my free time I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and exercising. I’m lucky to have a large extended family both in the US and India and have enjoyed traveling to meet them. I’m excited to be joining the biostatistics PhD program at Harvard and hope to learn to use statistics to address challenges in public health and medicine. Moreover, I look forward to being part of a great research community.