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PHD Biostatistics, Chinese Woman

I am a 23 year old woman from China who will be finishing my MPH Degree at  XXXX University this coming May of 2011. I have concentrated most of all in epidemiology but have also developed a profound interest in global health. I want very much to study in your Biostatistics Program at XXXX for the PHD because I am convinced that this will enable me to make the greatest contribution possible to the field of epidemiology on a global scale.

 I am especially interested in doing research in the struggle against both AIDS and cancer. In particular, I keenly look forward to undertaking further advanced research in the quantitative methods used to correlate data as it pertains to the study of chronic diseases such as AIDS and cancer. I look forward to studying the vast range of statistical methods as they related to complex sampling design and meta-analysis issues. My long term goal is to become an accomplished expert in the health sciences who is highly proficient at leasing teams of investigators in the field.

 I am a very dedicated and compassionate young woman who is very concerned with the wellness of societies most vulnerable groups and it is to the struggle against disease that I have chosen to dedicate my professional life. I have teaching and leadership experience and have completed an internship with the Disease Control Center that has proven invaluable insofar as it has provided me with first-hand experience in this area.

 I am well trained at the Master’s level in methodology, biostatistics, and epidemiology and have received all As in my biostatistics and epidemiology courses. I also have considerable laboratory experience in the biology sciences, completing an undergraduate thesis on the subject of AIDS and have also completed a great deal of research in the area of cancer. Finally, I am also an accomplished proposal writer who was awarded a GFE scholarship. I am enormously found of designing questionnaires and surveys, conducting experiments, and gathering and analyzing data. As a Chinese woman, I am especially interested in the numerous public health issues facing China which I have studied in depth. The new program at XXXX, “Molecules to Mankind” (M2M) has proven to be especially beneficial to me in helping me to confirm my career directions and integrating my laboratory skills with what I have learned in the area of population based science.

 I was born and raised up in a family of academics. Even very young, I often stayed late in the laboratory with my parents to do my homework and to play with rubber suction bulbs. I learned early on the value of working hard and dedicating oneself to science. In the summer of 2007, I joined a group of students that went deep into the countryside, conducted surveys and together we wrote a paper on the subject of the one child policy at it won the highest prize in a competition held by the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China.

My undergraduate education in the Fundamental Sciences Program at Tsinghua University provided me not only with profound theoretical knowledge in biomedicine and biochemistry but also considerable laboratory research skills in the area of chronic diseases—neurodegenerative diseases, oxidation, microbicide and HIV/AIDS. In 2007, I took part in a genetics research project using Drosophila Melanogaster to screen potential rescued transgenes for Parkinsons and studied potential drugs for treating Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s chorea and searched for microRNA that would respond to H2O2 treatments using high throughput sequencing technology. An opportunity of presented itself the following year at the Yunnan University of Chinese Traditional Medicine, detecting microbicide candidates from Salvia Yunnanensis, walnut tea, by ELISA of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibition.

 In 2008, Tsinghua University’s Comprehensive AIDS Research Center (CARC) began operation operation and I was able to collaborate with them for my final year, becoming the first student to complete my undergraduate thesis with the CARC. I adopted HIV backbone vector pNL4-3 to pack pseudovirus by co-transfecting them with pcDNA-ENV plasmid to 293T cells, utilizing ghost cell models of infection for titer-detection by luciferase assay. Within just two months, I obtained 38 HIV-1ENV pseudo-particles of high activity from different Chinese virulent strains and made up the first draft of optimized protocol for pseudovirus packaging which had the feature of high transfection efficiency and also benefitted other researchers in the lab. I not only established the Pseudovirus-based Assay for HIV-1, but I also displayed the HIV envelope gene (CNE3-ENV) on yeast surface by conducting DNaseI random cleavage and reassembly. The successful construction of HIV-1 ENV library in a yeast surface display system help us to realize a new speeded-up strategy for designing vaccines and resulted in a novel way to recognize relationships between antibodies and epidemics.

 I also enjoyed a summer practicum (2010) with the Bureau of Education. I designed a questionnaire for high school students and led a team that conducted surveys about mental health and health education, as well as performing the statistical analysis using SAS 9.2. I then prepared an evidence-based strategy report with my group members in order to assist in policy making. This experience inspired me to learn SUDDAN/WesVarPC so as to properly adjust for weights and design effect in complex samples. I am now working with Dr. XXXX focusing on the utility of biomarkers (Mib1), predicting the development of colorectal cancer. I hope to have the opportunity to continue my study on biomarkers in your program and continue to develop my skills in statistical methods for correlated, longitudinal, clustered and multi-level data.

I eventually want to return to China to work in the area of public health and hygiene. My home province, Yunnan, suffers even more from the ravages of disease than the general population. When I interned at the Yunnan Center for Disease Control (CDC), I got first-hand experience working with those who live with HIV/AIDS but know little to nothing about this disease. This was one of my first experiences in the joy of feeling really useful to those who need me most. Earning the PhD Degree in your highly esteemed program will provide me with the springboard that I need to become a world-class health professional and scientific investigator.

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