PhD in Epidemiology and Clinical Research

PhD Students

2017 Cohort

Eileen B. Leary is a tenacious sleep nerd with over 20 years of research and data analysis experience. She began her career as a sleep technologist at UCSF before transitioning to data science and obtaining her Master in Epidemiology and Clinical Research from Stanford. As the Senior Manager of Clinical Research at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Eileen is directing a project to improve the understanding of the genetic basis of sleep and sleep disorders by creating a large cohort and making the data freely available to the scientific community. Eileen is pursuing her PhD with the goal of improving the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders through machine learning.

Yuan Jin Tan graduated with a B.S. in Biology (Microbes & Immunity) from Stanford University in 2016. Originally from an experimental virology background, YJ joined the PhD program in Epidemiology & Clinical Research to pursue his interest in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of translational medical research. He is currently working with the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) and SPARK Translational Research at Stanford to develop and implement some of his ideas. YJ is particularly interested in identifying best practices for research and designing more effective funding strategies for academic drug development. In his free time, YJ can often be found volunteering for non-profits, exploring the bay area, or prancing around his kitchen pretending to be a professional chef. 

2016 Cohort

Nathan Lo graduated with a BS in Bioengineering and minor in global health technologies from Rice University, and is an MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Stanford University. His research applies mathematical modeling, epidemiology, and health economics towards topics in infectious diseases and global health, with an interest in neglected tropical diseases. Nathan hopes to combine these interests as a physician-scientist with a focus on global health policy. His work has resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications, and has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, NPR, The Guardian, and other outlets. He has worked in policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and World Health Organization, and conducted international health work in Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Honduras, and Liberia. Nathan enjoys running, tennis, and caffeine.

Stylianos (Stelios) Serghiou joined the PhD program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research in 2016. After spending two years as a second lieutenant for the National Guard of Cyprus, he attended the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained a BSc with Honors in Neuroscience in 2012 and received his medical degree (MBChB) with Honors in 2015. He was then awarded a post and worked for a year as an Academic Foundation Doctor for NHS Lothian and as an Honorary Clinical Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. Over his time in Edinburgh, he obtained multiple awards, including scholarships by the Royal College of Physicians of UK and Ireland, Royal College of Ophthalmologists and being an AMGEN scholar. He is moving to Stanford to work on his interests in improving the quality of medical research and exploring the application of novel computational techniques to analyzing big data in medicine.  Alongside medicine, he is especially interested in music and had served with his violin as the leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Cyprus and a first violin of the University of Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Christophe Toukam Tchakoute joined the epidemiology PhD program in 2016. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and molecular cell biology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). After working in an immunology lab in Cape Town and Seattle for two years where he did research on vaccines strategies for HIV-exposed neonates, He did an internship in the HIV /AIDS department at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Switzerland. Before coming to Stanford, Christophe completed his MpH in infectious disease epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City, in May 2016. His research interests include HIV/Tuberculosis prevention and clinical trials. He is also particularly eager to learn how to use novel statistical methods in the context of clinical research. Christophe enjoys going to live music festivals, playing Jambo drums and doing outdoor physical activities.

2015 Cohort

Katherine Holsteen is a third-year graduate student in the Epidemiology & Clinical Research PhD and Statistics MS programs.  She is interested in contributing to health improvement through mobile technology, robust statistical analysis, and personalized medicine.  She completed her BS in Mathematical & Computational Science at Stanford in 2014.  As an undergraduate, she helped build statistical software to evaluate and promote model robustness in sociological studies.  Currently for her primary dissertation project, she is working with Professor Lorene Nelson to conduct a mobile-app based study on the triggers of episodic migraine headaches at the group and person (n-of-1) level.  Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband Aaron, and particularly running, cooking, and exploring the beautiful Bay Area together.

Tanya Podchiyska graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Religious Studies from Stanford University and is completing a Master at the Stanford Biomedical Informatics training program. She has worked as a knowledge and data integration engineer and clinical data warehouse curator. As a new PhD student in Epidemiology and Clinical Research, she is interested in building risk prediction models using EHR data and contextualizing them through meta-research to promote generalizable and reproducible clinical research findings. To increase her clinical domain knowledge and engineer useful features, Tanya is also pursuing a Master of Medicine. She is eager to explore the interdisciplinary nature of epidemiology and clinical research informatics.

Kathleen (Katie) Watson, MS received a BA in psychology and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at New York University.  From 2007 to 2012 she served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Microclinic International (MCI), during which time the organization established public health programs in Jordan, India, Kenya, and the United States. Katie currently serves MCI as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and as a research investigator.  In 2015, she received an MS in Epidemiology at Columbia University while managing research operations at the Stanford Center for Neuroscience and Women’s Health (SCWNH). Katie is currently a PhD candidate in Epidemiology and Clinical Research. Her research interests include global health, chronic disease management and epidemiologic methods including longitudinal data analysis, and network analysis/complex systems.

Not Pictured

Jessica Hinman

Tahmina Nasserie

Matthew Sigurdson

Student/Alum Publications and awards

Dec 2017: Congratulations Ph.D. candidate, Stelios Serghiou, for being awarded the David Sackett Young Investigator Award 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology for his paper on Field-wide meta-analyses!
"Field-wide meta-analyses of observational associations can map selective availability of risk factors and the impact of model specifications"

Nov 2017: Congrats to recent Ph.D. grad, Andrew Goldstone, on his recent publication with NEJM! Keep up the fantastic work!
"Mechanical or Biologic Prostheses for Aortic-Valve and Mitral-Valve Replacement"

July 2017: Congrats to MD/Ph.D. candidate, Nathan Lo, on his publication!
"Public Health and Economic Consequences of Vaccine Hesitancy for Measles in the United States"

April 2017: Congrats to Ph.D. candidate, Katherine Holsteen, for writing a competitive grant for the Center for Digital Health!

March 2017: Congrats Ph.D. candidate and guest speaker, Nathan Lo, for giving a talk in London for the Gates Neglected Tropical Disease Modeling Consortium meeting. Talk title: "Strengthening guidelines for helminths and NTDs: applications of cost-effectiveness analysis”

February 2017: Congrats Ph.D. candidate, Nathan Lo, for his publication in NEJM
"The Perils of Trumping Science in Global Health — The Mexico City Policy and Beyond"