Graduating PhD candidates


Sarah webSarah Ackley, BS (2013) 

I am interested in mathematical modeling of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Working in Travis Porco’s research group at UCSF, I am currently studying tuberculosis epidemics in communities of First Nations (native) Canadians in the early 20th century.  I also have been working in the Immunizations branch at the California Department of Public Health on measles surveillance in California. As a graduate student at UCSF, I am interested in continuing to learn about epidemiology and medicine, as well as statistics. As a graduate student, I am potentially interested in continuing work on tuberculosis modeling with molecular data.


Joshua webJoshua Demb, MPH (2014)

My academic and professional careers have focused on learning about all aspects of cancer: screening/prevention, treatment planning, and outcomes.  My background includes a strong foundation in epidemiologic and statistical methods, as well as strong interests in shared decision-making and health information technology.  In the PhD program, I hope to improve upon my current understanding of epidemiologic methods, and learn more advanced statistical methods more pertinent to chronic disease and, more specifically, cancer epidemiology.  It is my goal to learn more about different aspects of cancer screening, particularly the decision support a provider offers a patient throughout the screening process, and potentially upon diagnosis.

Alyssa webAlyssa Mooney, MPH (2014)

Education: John Hopkins University (MPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences); University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Psychology)

I am interested in the relationship between social conditions and population health, which I've explored through research and program implementation in the contexts of California, South Africa and Zambia. My current work examines the effects of policing and incarceration on individual and community health and health disparities. The focus of my dissertation is how Proposition 47 - reducing criminal penalties for drug possession in California - impacted racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and the service access and outcomes of individuals with substance use disorders.


Caroline webCaroline Tai (2013)

Caroline has a BS in Microbiology from UC San Diego, an MPH in Epidemiology from Emory, and has previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Caroline joined the Witte lab in August 2014 and is interested in developing risk prediction tools for cancer-related outcomes using genomic data. 

Dissertation:Integrating Germline Genetics Into Population Based Studies


 KKathryn webathryn Ray, MA (2013)

My background includes experience in epidemiological ophthalmic medical research as well as statistical programming and analysis. In the PhD program, I’d like to expand and cement my epidemiological and statistical methods as well as learn more about RCTs (Bayesian methods applied to RCTs, adaptive trials, and large simple trials). I’m also interested in analysis methods with large data sets in medical research, for example, RCTs collecting samples for deep sequencing (microbiomes), social network data for detecting epidemics, or analysis of large simple trial data.  My goal is to encompass my technical skills along with epidemiological and scientific knowledge in order to contribute to more to medical research.