Epidemiology and Translational Science Program Grants its First Degree

Dr. Elizabeth Rose Mayeda

The Graduate Division congratulates Dr. Elizabeth Rose Mayeda on being the first graduate of the Epidemiology and Translational Science program. We spoke with Dr. Mayeda in December about her experience in this young program.

GD: Taken as a whole, graduate programs at UC San Francisco have an excellent reputation, but it must have felt like a bit of a risk to join a brand new program. What led you to UCSF and to take that risk?

ERM: It did feel like a bit of a risk to join a new program, but it was also exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to building a program at a university with a wealth of outstanding researchers across the spectrum of basic, clinical, and population sciences. Prior to joining the PhD Program in Epidemiology and Translational Science, I was working at UCSF as a research associate for Dr. Mary Haan, a well-known epidemiologist. Working with Dr. Haan fostered my interest in cognitive aging and epidemiologic methods, and I decided to join the program to seek higher training in epidemiology.

GD: What has been the best thing about the Epi program?

ERM: Since the program was new, I feel especially fortunate to have gone through the program with a supportive cohort of fellow students and an experienced mentor, Dr. Haan, who was invested in my research and development. The program’s emphasis on translational research and collaboration with clinical providers distinguishes it from other epidemiology programs.

GD: What was the focus of your graduate research here? Are you continuing along the same research lines as a postdoc?

ERM: I am interested in epidemiology of aging and methods to overcome methodologic challenges in longitudinal studies of aging. My dissertation focused on the relation between diabetes and risk of dementia in older adults and the role of the competing risk of mortality in our ability to observe this association. For my postdoc, I am working with Dr. Maria Glymour and continuing to focus on determinants of cognitive decline and other health outcomes in late life and methodological challenges in this in this area.

GD: The Graduate Division wishes you the best of success, Elizabeth Rose!

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Students in the Epidemiology and Translational Science PhD program, which accepted its first students in 2010, are trained in the most advanced methods for studying disease etiology and prevention; for evaluating diagnostic tests and treatment efficacy in clinical settings; and for implementing evidence-based approaches in clinical practice and population health. The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF is the largest of its kind in the ten-campus UC system in terms of full-time primary faculty and number of affiliated faculty.

Read more about the Epi program at UCSF.