2006 Major: Biology with Pharmacology Concentration; minor in Mathematics
"Duke Biology taught me cutting edge approaches in biology and pharmacology that set the basis for my PhD research in biostatistics and genomics. The pharmacology department at Duke is one of the best in the country, and I was able to learn many aspects of the drug discovery process that informs some of the translational work and clinical trials that I help to design a the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. This foundation, combined with the statistics courses I took with my mathematics minor, prepared me well for my PhD work and allowed me to be better understand the biological mechanisms behind the genomic assays that I current develop statistical methods for."
"I would emphasize that all students, including those that go on to pursue advanced degrees in biology or the life sciences, should learn at least one programming language (R, python, etc). Biological research is become more and more data-driven, with genomic platforms generating gigabytes of data for a single sample. Knowing how to manage, process, analyze, and visualize such data will give you a significant leg up relative to your peers, and will make you less dependent on others to tell you what your data is saying. The more formal training you have in statistics and programming the more you will be to do!"