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PHD Public Health Pharmacodpidemiology

March 31, 2017

I am now completing my Master’s Degree in epidemiology at the University of XXXX and would like very much to begin working towards my PHD right away. I am most enjoying the fullest of academic immersion possible in Epidemiology and wish to earn the terminal degree in my field so as to achieve my optimal career advancement. The XXXX School of Public Health at the University of XXXX is my first choice for doctoral study for a variety of reasons, principal of which is your thoroughly global focus and treatment of issues in epidemiology from a public health perspective with special attention to the world’s most vulnerable human beings. I also very much appreciate the way in which your program is recognized worldwide and how you place special emphasis on issues in the area of cardiovascular epidemiology, the area in which I am already published and highly motivated to continue. I would especially enjoy the opportunity to participate in research in this area as a student at UXX.

As a Chinese doctor and experienced researcher in China, I look forward to sharing in endless discussions in the Public Health Community at UXX with other doctors, scientists, and students from all over the world, helping us to better understand the unique challenges that we face, especially those of us from the Developing World where at-risk populations tend to be concentrated. While I look forward to the full gambit of courses in your curriculum, in addition to cardiovascular epidemiology, the other area in which I seek to cultivate a lifelong specialization is in Pharmacoepidemiology. Thus, UXX is by far the best fit for my interests, particularly as result of the enormous research resource represented by the “Center” (for Pharmacoepidemiology).

After graduating from high school, I was admitted to Peking University to study Medicine. This program consists not only of four years of undergraduate study but also three years of postgraduate study, including my rotations in Internal Medicine. I was selected as research fellow by our clinical pharmacology unit at my university during my residency rotation and so I stayed on at our university to conduct research for another year-and-a-half, which included 6 months spent in the United States at XXXX University (2012-2013) as a Clinical Research Trainee. Thus, since completing medical school, I have been closely engaged with and constantly learning as much as I can about clinical pharmacology, trial design, new drug regulations, etc., in both China and the USA. I have conducted my own studies and published my results as well as assisting other researchers. I have gotten especially skilled in the area of protocol development, trial design, and writing the full report for each study.

 

I chose to pursue the MPH Degree in Public Health Epidemiology in my studies here in the USA as a result of my very positive experiences in both clinical medicine and in my research fellowship, so as to fully prepare myself for doctoral study. I have vastly benefitted from systematic training in my Master’s Program, especially in methodology and quantitative skills. For me, the beauty of epidemiology is found in “saving lives, millions at a time” and this ideal has always inspired and empowered the long hours that I spend in research because I am focused, dedicated, and very committed and I grow more so every day as a student in my Master’s Program.

I look forward to a long professional lifetime ahead of me as a public health research scientist working with global issues and collaborating with numerous other scientists and institutions in both the USA and China. I believe strongly that high quality epidemiological research data is the type of knowledge upon which public policy and decisions should be based. Thus my mission is to always engage in research with an eye to having a progressive impact on public health policy. Throughout the course of my doctoral studies at UXX, I will continue to make progress at the development of a more in-depth and sophisticated understanding of public health issues at the same time that I become increasingly skilled as an independent researcher who is able to effectively lead research teams in the study of how to best prevent population morbidity and mortality.

Ever since I entered medical school, I have been actively curious about the study and practice of epidemiology. During my first year of rotations, I completed my first study by analyzing 444 heart failure patients and arrived at the conclusion that pre-diabetes hyperglycemia frequently exerted a negative effect on the prognosis of patients with cardiac failure. 

My research has left me shocked and dismayed by the gaps between trials and “real world” safety and efficacy. I participated in several research projects exploring cardiac safety issues and pharmacological intervention that were collaborative projects between Peking University and the Spaulding Clinical Research Unit in Wisconsin, studying, in particular, the potential ethnic difference of Moxifloxacin induced QT prolongation between Caucasians and Chinese. I just completed the first draft of the manuscript this past summer. I also completed an animal study investigating the potential efficacy of Metformin on Cardiotoxicity induced by the breast cancer chemotherapy medication doxorubicin; a dose-responded effect was found between the administration of Metformin and an improvement of cardiac diastolic function (serum brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and cardiac ultrasound).

I have been especially honored to have the opportunity to study towards my MPH Degree at the University of XXXX where I work closely with faculty members in both epidemiology and biostatistics doing data analysis. For my thesis, I am investigating the potential risk factors of arterial stiffness progression using 656 samples that serve as a basis for my conclusion that an accelerated increase of Systolic Blood Pressure and Aortic Calcium Score are positively associated with arterial stiffness progression as measured by brachial-ankle Pulse Wave Velocity (baPWV). I will publish this article as first author.

My chief interests are cardiac safety and anti-cancer therapies (like Metformin), especially with elderly cancer survivors. My other research interest in pharmacoepidmeiology is pharmacogenetics, making the most of public health genetics combined with precision medicine. Most specifically, I hope to conduct research in pharmacogenetics dealing with QT internal studies. I have a solid background in cardiology, experience with QT studies, completed coursework in the area of public health genetics, and have experience working on pharmacogenetics studies (Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Gene Subtype and Antibiotic Induced Drug Eruption in Chinese Population). Thus, I am confident that I will succeed.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in both the US and China and I am fascinated by environmental and ethnic factors as they influence cardiovascular health. A better understanding of the origins of ethnic differences and environmental influences may provide us with more effective tools for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. My other main research interest is the relationship between diabetes and cardiovascular health; factors mediating the risk of cardiovascular disease among patients with diabetes. I have enjoyed looking at genetic and biologic risk factors as well as innovative epidemiologic methods and statistical analysis in diabetes-related cardiovascular health research. I am also interested in research into general relationships between cardiac safety and pharmacological treatments, especially for QT interval pharmacokinetic studies.

I look forward to spending the balance of my professional life immersed in the cardiovascular health-learning loop from developing new epidemiological evidence for risks to influencing treatment guidelines with clinical trials and confirming impacts on patient outcomes. I want to contribute to decreasing the enormous burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by helping to develop creative behavioral and pharmacologic interventions that are safe for the patient.

I am beginning to understand much more fully the many complex relationships between clinical medicine, epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical research, public policy and globalization. While this may seem far-reaching, there are clear interdependencies that were not at all obvious to me several years ago. I hope to begin studying at UXX in the fall of 2016 and I look forward to 4-5 years of fascinating research in your program. I visited UXX and met several professors and students a few months ago and I see it as the ideal place for me to continue to advance as a research scientist in public health.

China’s leading causes of death has shifted to chronic disease such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After completing your program at UXX, I hope to serve as a clinical epidemiologist in the area of non-communicable disease in China, leading multidisciplinary investigations into chronic disease, always collaborating closely with government organizations and hospitals with specialized research programs, always working to insure the cardiovascular safety of commonly prescribed medications.

I thank you for considering my application to your unique and highly competitive doctoral program at UXX.

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