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From Economics to Epidemiology

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Driven by a desire to improve health among underserved populations, Lauren Graybill (BS, Economics 2013) capitalized on Northeastern University’s cooperative education program to gain experience designing, implementing, and evaluating public health programs by working at Pathfinder International and John Snow Incorporated. Her experiences at these organizations highlighted the value of applied global health research in the development of evidence-based policies for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities worldwide, and motivated her to pursue a Master of Science in Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

At Harvard, Lauren is developing a strong foundation in the quantitative sciences of epidemiology and biostatistics, and has had the opportunity to apply these skills while working alongside distinguished faculty. As part of the Forum on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health, Lauren conducted a feasibility assessment in Tanzania to inform the design of a cluster-randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of an integrated agricultural and nutrition intervention on nutritional outcomes among children in rural Tanzania. Currently, she is collaborating with Dr. Wafaie Fawzi, Dr. Günther Fink, and Dr. Ibironke Olofin on a series of systematic reviews regarding the effectiveness of agricultural interventions on improving nutrition and maternal and child health outcomes, and is writing her Master’s thesis on the impact improved water and sanitation has on diarrheal incidence in a cohort of Sudanese children.

Lauren was recently awarded a trainee position on University of North Carolina’s (UNC) prestigious T32 reproductive, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology training grant, funded by the National Institutes of Health. As a trainee on this grant, Lauren will begin her doctoral studies in epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in August 2015. There, Lauren anticipates collaborating with faculty members to generate new knowledge regarding the inter-relationship between nutrition, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and child health and development globally, and to develop methodologies that can be applied to bridge the gap between epidemiological research and implementation science.

Published On: April 29, 2015