Arend Voorman, who received his PhD in Biostatistics in 2014, lined up a job with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation well before graduation. He is now working with its polio eradication team. "I am quite excited," says Voorman. "The potential for eradication in the next few years is very motivating." India was recently declared polio-free, he notes, but there have been outbreaks in countries previously declared polio-free, such as Syria and Cameroon. As a statistician, Voorman says he will help the Foundation with risk modeling in order to prioritize resources, and also with surveillance efforts to help detect circulating poliovirus.
Analyzing a vaccine to prevent dengue fever
Clara Oromendia grew up in Argentina and has been working on a trial of a vaccine to prevent dengue fever. Transmitted by mosquito bites, dengue is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. Under the supervision of Peter Gilbert, a UW Professor of Biostatistics based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Oremendia sought to determine whether the vaccine works differently in different parts of the world. Clara earned her MS in Biostatistics in 2015 and is now working as a biostatistician in New York.