Professional Development and Research Opportunities

Professional Development

Professional Associations

In addition to skills that are gained through classes and professional development seminars, students benefit greatly from joining professional associations.  These associations offer students opportunities to meet people working in public health, learn about job opportunities, understand trends in the field, and polish communication and presentation skills at annual meetings.  Students are strongly encouraged to become active in any of the following organizations:

Public Health Forum is a monthly presentation at which students, faculty, and colleagues gather to examine contemporary problems or issues in the public health world. Speakers include public health practitioners and policy experts from around the globe and faculty from other schools of public health and universities. The Forum is held monthly from 12 –1 PM during the academic year in room L-112, and topics for the Forum will be posted monthly throughout the school and medical campus as well as on the SPH website. If you have any questions about the Public Health Forum, please contact Kara Peterson at

Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities for MPH students offered through Biostatistics Department Faculty are as follows. If you are interested in other opportunities, see your Academic Advisor.

Throughout the academic year in the Department, faculty, students, and collaborators meet to discuss various research projects in progress. These meetings, or working groups are great opportunities for students to sit in and participate in research discussions in the areas of clinical trials, statistical genetics, and observational studies. Students gain firsthand experience in developing research with faculty and Master and PhD level students. Additionally, there are opportunities for students to present on a developing research area.

Clinical Trials Working Group

Alternating Tuesdays at 5pm in Crosstown 332
Lead Faculty: Gheorghe Doros (

Framingham Heart Study Working Group

Wednesdays at 2pm in Crosstown 335
Lead Faculty: Lisa Sullivan (


Statistical Genetics Working Group

Alternating Fridays at 9:30am in Crosstown 305
Lead Faculty: Ching-Ti Liu (


Genome Science Institute Seminars

Monthly student luncheon followed by seminar, which features innovative speakers in the area of statistical genetics.

Contact: Haldan Smith (
More information:


New England Centenarian Study

The student will be involved in the follow up of patients enrolled in the study, and perform tests for cognitive and physical performance in very old patients (ages 100+), their offspring and control over the phone. The data will be analyzed to examine trend of cognitive and functional decline and compare them to normative trends and trends in patients with evidence of accelerated aging.

Principal Investigator: Tom Perls
Mentoring Statistician: Paola Sebastiani (


Common Genetic Variation and Diabetes Traits in the Framingham Heart Study

The data collected for this project consist of over 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering the full genome.  The role of the trainee would be to help in the investigation of the relationship between these SNPs and glycemic phenotypes.  Depending on the phenotype, a variety of statistical techniques may be applied:  linear regression, logistic regression and survival analysis, amongst others.  In addition, techniques that take into consideration the correlation (linkage disequilibrium) between SNPs may be applied, as well as meta-analysis approaches to combine results from multiple cohorts. Requisite: taken or is taking BS858.

Principal Investigator: James Meigs, MD, MPH
Mentoring Statistician: Josée Dupuis (


Biomarkers of Ventricular and Vascular Coupling

The major goals of this project are: To examine the cross-sectional relations of tonometric measures of central aortic and peripheral arterial stiffness to select echocardiographic measures, including left ventricular mass, geometry, systolic and diastolic function; to characterize age- and gender-related differences in ventricular and vascular coupling; To examine the cross-sectional relations of serum biomarkers to clinical vascular risk factors including adiposity, and to left ventricular and vascular stiffness measures, and ventricular and vascular coupling; To investigate the relations of serum markers of vascular and ventricular remodeling, and ventricular and vascular coupling to incidence of hypertension, blood pressure tracking, and congestive heart failure.

Principal Investigator: Vasan S. Ramachandran, MD, DM, FACC, FAHA
Mentoring Statistician: Lisa Sullivan (


Biomarkers of Metabolic and Vascular Risk in Obesity

The major goals are: To examine the cross-sectional correlates of adiposity biomarkers, to assess the cross-sectional relations of adiposity biomarkers to microcirculatory function (peripheral arterial tonometry), conduit artery brachial artery endothelial function (ultrasound), and vascular stiffness (tonometry), and to prospectively relate adiposity biomarkers (individually and conjointly) to the tracking of metabolic traits, and the incidence of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension.

Principal Investigator: Vasan S. Ramachandran, MD, DM, FACC, FAHA
Mentoring Statistician: Lisa Sullivan (


Aging and Inflammation: Longitudinal Markers and Genetics in the Framingham Study

The specific aims are to examine the relation of serial inflammatory markers and SNPs to subclinical cardiovascular disease, frailty and declining physical function.

Principal Investigator: Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM
Mentoring Statistician: Lisa Sullivan (