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Melissa Jay ’16 Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Jay Heading to Harvard for Ph.D. in Biostatistics

Melissa Jay ’16, who graduated from Colorado College cum laude with a BA in mathematics, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is one of six recent CC graduates to receive the award. Jay also was named a Goldwater Scholar while a junior at Colorado College.

Currently she is working for a healthcare analytics start-up company in the San Francisco Bay Area. In August she will start work toward a Ph.D. in biostatistics at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“I'm interested in developing statistical methods to analyze clinical trial results when there are missing outcome data. I’m particularly interested in cancer clinical trials and research,” says Jay. “One reason I'm attracted to Harvard’s program is its location in the Longwood Medical Area in Boston. I’ll have the opportunity to work with collaborators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or at a nearby hospital such as Brigham and Women’s, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Mass General, on current studies in public health and medicine.

“I’m also excited to gain statistical consulting experience, so I can help scientists on campus and in the community design their clinical trials,” she says.

Jay’s work this past year with the healthcare analytics company involved developing predictive algorithms for sepsis and patient instability using machine learning.

“Through this experience, I've had the opportunity to write articles for medical journals, analyze patient data, and develop ideas for grants.” Jay says. “It has been really exciting to work with a team that uses statistics with the vision of improving patient care and has been a great experience for me before starting graduate school.”

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