Alexandra is one of our grad students, studying Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her area of interest is children’s health and obesity, particularly adolescent children, as many hormonal changes are occurring around this age. She also wants to study factors that contribute to the onset of obesity as adolescents and into early adulthood. After she earns her MPH at USC, she’d like to pursue a Ph.D. in Epidemiology. This will enable her to run research studies while also teaching others who are interested in public health professions.
Hi. My name is Alexandra Bodan. I’m currently a second year graduate at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. I’m majoring in public health with my track degree in epidemiology and biostatistics. For this summer, 2016, I had the opportunity of doing an internship in clinical research at the University of Colorado [inaudible] Medical Campus in Denver, Colorado through a program called GEMS which stands for Graduate Experiences for Multicultural Students, and that was funded through the NIH.
I worked with a researcher that has both her MPH and PhD in epidemiology, and her area of interest is in complications associated with type one diabetes. Since my area of interest is in children’s health and obesity, we decided it would be nice to study the longitudinal effects on gender differences in glycemic control and weight in children with type one diabetes, age nine through 17.
I was able to experience the entire process of generating a publication from formulating the hypotheses, writing an introductory brief, requesting data through an electronic medical record system, cleaning the data, then using statistical analysis to analyze the data based on the most appropriate type of statistical model for the study at hand, to interpreting the data, then writing the scientific paper and generating a presentation to educate an audience.
It was definitely a challenging experience. I will tell you that. But it was very rewarding. I presented my research findings via PowerPoint presentation along with the 14 other students in the program to an audience and a committee review team. The committee judged our presentations along with our scientific papers in order to select two winters, and I’m glad to announce that I was one of those two winners.
The first winner went to an undergraduate group. And the second one, which was myself, went to the graduate students.
I was provided a stipend, and with the stipend, I’m going to utilize it for contributions towards attending a national scientific conference where I will get to present my research findings by generating both an abstract and a poster for the attendees, and I just really want to show how this research project helps to demonstrate the global burden faced by adolescents, particularly girls, during this very sensitive time of puberty where there’s many hormonal changes. And it really just demonstrates how much more research is needed in this area, and I look forward to being part of that group of doing additional research that will take place as we progressively work to advance our scientific understanding of complications associated with type one diabetes specifically by gender.
Thank you so much.