Natalie Gasca

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Magnuson Health Sciences Center - F Wing
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I grew up in Fallbrook, CA, and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Mathematics (emphasis in Statistics) and minor in Spanish, engaging in several community service projects.

As a third year PhD student and NSF and ARCS fellow, I continue to work with Dr. Robyn McClelland at the Collaborative Health Studies Coordinating Center (CHSCC). We are currently investigating which combination of nutrients and foods contribute to a heart-healthy diet, and we are proposing using penalized regression instead of current methods in nutrition science. Though there are already several dietary guidelines in place, we are interested in focusing on foods that are specifically protective of cardiovascular disease, using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

At CHSCC I am also the lead statistician on a collaborative project involving MESA data. We aim to determine whether it is beneficial to have more than one cardiologist diagnose a patient with a potential stroke or transient ischemic attack. We are also curious about which type of stroke classification will be most feasible and accurate when diagnosing strokes. I also have experience consulting and collaborating with scientists from various fields (e.g. reproductive health, environmental health, dentistry, school psychology, and social work).

In general, my statistical interests include predictive risk scores, trajectory modeling, spatio-temporal modeling, and intervention evaluation. Applied topics that motivate me are preventive interventions, food justice, immigrant health, obesity, and complementary medicine, particularly in the context of community-engaged research. In any setting, I combine my detail-oriented, modeling, and interpretation training along with my visual, written, and oral communication skills. It is important to me to disseminate my findings at conferences and to other science and non-science audiences.

I grew up in Fallbrook, CA, and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Mathematics (emphasis in Statistics) and minor in Spanish, engaging in several community service projects.

As a third year PhD student and NSF and ARCS fellow, I continue to work with Dr. Robyn McClelland at the Collaborative Health Studies Coordinating Center (CHSCC). We are currently investigating which combination of nutrients and foods contribute to a heart-healthy diet, and we are proposing using penalized regression instead of current methods in nutrition science. Though there are already several dietary guidelines in place, we are interested in focusing on foods that are specifically protective of cardiovascular disease, using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

At CHSCC I am also the lead statistician on a collaborative project involving MESA data. We aim to determine whether it is beneficial to have more than one cardiologist diagnose a patient with a potential stroke or transient ischemic attack. We are also curious about which type of stroke classification will be most feasible and accurate when diagnosing strokes. I also have experience consulting and collaborating with scientists from various fields (e.g. reproductive health, environmental health, dentistry, school psychology, and social work).

In general, my statistical interests include predictive risk scores, trajectory modeling, spatio-temporal modeling, and intervention evaluation. Applied topics that motivate me are preventive interventions, food justice, immigrant health, obesity, and complementary medicine, particularly in the context of community-engaged research. In any setting, I combine my detail-oriented, modeling, and interpretation training along with my visual, written, and oral communication skills. It is important to me to disseminate my findings at conferences and to other science and non-science audiences.