2018 ISIB Participant Presentations and Feedback

As a part of the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics, participants are given a list of potential projects and choose the one that looks the most interesting to them.  They work as a biostatistician on the project and give a presentation on their findings at the Biostatistics 2018 Iowa Summer Research Symposium.

The 2018 participants’ presentations are listed below along with their comments about the program.

Adia Eleccion and Alexis Marsh


Assessing Imaging Data from the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative for use in Future Clinical Trials


Adia Eleccion: “ISIB was a great experience for me to explore a place beyond Hawaii. I’ve learned a lot both academically and culturally while making 15 new friends and networking with UIOWA grad students and faculty. This opportunity has allowed me to be more open-minded towards biostatistics, or mathematics in general, instead of only focusing on biology and pre-med.”

Alexis Marsh: I would highly recommend the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics program to anyone considering biostatistics as a career: it gives a great window into this dynamic field. Lectures by professors at the College of Public Health demonstrated the wide array of content in this field. Alumni presented a variety of careers. Further, it is obvious the amount of dedication the faculty and staff has towards making this an impactful experience for the students. Finally, the amazing highlight for me was the mentor supported research project in clinical trials which is my area of interest.”

Daniel Erik Boonstra, Katherine Rodríguez and Isaac Slagel


Intervening in Clostridium difficile Infections in California Hospitals


Daniel Erik Boonstra: “Coming to the University of Iowa for the ISIB program was great for me. This program allowed me to expand my knowledge by getting real research experience in the field of statistics/biostatistics. However, that wasn’t the best part of the summer; the best part was the day-to-day interaction with faculty members and other ISIB students.”

Katherine Rodriguez: “The Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience for me. I feel incredibly lucky to have had spent my summer with such great faculty and student peers. After this program, I feel prepared to pursue graduate school and have a successful career in the field of Biostatistics.”

Isaac Slagel: “I had an incredible summer experience at the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics. The program opened my eyes to all sorts of opportunities available after graduate studies in statistics. Beyond these career specific learning opportunities, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the faculty and students who make this opportunity possible.”

Emily Poehlein and Jan Figueroa


Understanding the Opioid Crisis in Iowa Through Data


Emily Poehlein: “I really enjoyed my time here at the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics. I had a valuable experience learning more about statistics, applications in the health-related setting and potential opportunities for biostatisticians through lectures, guest presentations and personal advising. I am excited to pursue the field of biostatistics and will always remember what I have learned through my time in Iowa.”

Jan Figueroa: “It’s fun and a great learning experience. Good for understanding what is biostats and stats. If you’re interested in this area and in graduate school, this is a great program for you.”

Alice Bewley and Faith Grice


The Role of Lithium in Suicide Prevention


Alice Bewley: “The Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics was a great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about biostatistics, as well as hearing from experts in the field. Attending this program confirmed that I want to pursue biostatistics in graduate school. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in math, statistics or public health.”

Faith Grice: “ISIB was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed learning about what it really means to be a biostatistician. This program did an excellent job of providing opportunities to learn about different branches of biostatistics while also creating a pleasant atmosphere.”

Sara Magnuson, Tabitha Peter and Michelle Smith


Radiomics for Disease Characterization: An Outcome Prediction in Cancer Patients


Sara Magnuson: “The Iowa Summer Institute of Biostatistics far exceeded my expectations. The speakers from the different areas of biostatistics were extremely informative and intriguing. It was also cool to experience the close-community of the Biostatistics Department through dinners, game nights, and day-trips with the graduate students. It also incredible to get to know and work closely with the faculty and professors here in the classroom and on research projects.”

Tabitha Peter: “The Iowa Summer in Biostatistics Program far exceeded my expectations; the hospitality of the department, the availability of the faculty and the graduate students, and the countless opportunities to hear personal narratives from biostatisticians made this summer truly exceptional. I came to the University of Iowa on the brink of burnout in my pursuit of math; this program has not only refreshed my interest in math, but it has given me a new vision for how my quantitative skills can be used to tangibly improve the lives of others. I have been inspired to pursue a terminal degree in biostatistics.”

Michelle Smith: This summer has provided me with an incredible look into both the field of Biostatistics and the research process through classroom learning, analyzing and interpreting data, and conversations with those immersed in the field. I have been given the opportunity to be mentored by a professor dedicated to my learning. This program has helped me see how I can use my mathematical and statistical skills in the health-related fields to benefit others.”

Emily Risley, Emely Garcia and Ian Ramos


Spatial Analysis of Risk Factors Affecting State Rates of Suicide in Young Americans


Emily Risley: “The program used a variety of ways – classroom, projects, hands-on experience – to teach students about biostatistics and what a career in biostatistics would look like.  Both the materials and the professors and TAs were very helpful and friendly.  I had a great experience and learned more than I would in an average class.

Emely Garcia: “I was first a little unsure about doing this summer program because I had no idea what was biostatistics, but ISIB gave me the tools to feel confident and to excel on my project. This opportunity was amazing because I learned so much about what it really is to be a biostatistician. I am so grateful for all of the faculty members that made this experience I’ll never forget. I am also very grateful for the graduate students for allowing this opportunity to be not just insightful, but also fun.”

Ian Ramos: “It was a lot of fun learning about biostatistics and meeting biostat students and faculty who showed me what it’s all about. ISIB was a great time with great people and It made me willing to pursue Biostats in the future.”

Siri Neerchal


Assessing the Descriptive Epidemiology of Idiopathic Clubfoot in Iowa


Siri Neerchal: “ISIB was an invaluable experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in wider applications of quantitative methods. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people through this program. I feel very grateful to have had this opportunity.”



Questions or comments? Contact Kirk, Terry. This page was last reviewed on August 1, 2018.