TREC Trainees


 Su Hsin Chang
Su-Hsin Chang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of Public Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
changsh@wudosis.wustl.edu
(314) 362-8623

EDUCATION
PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2010
SM, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004

ABOUT DR. CHANG
Describe your work with TREC@WUSTL projects.
I worked with Dr. Graham Colditz on multiple projects to examine the relationship between obesity, cancer and cancer mortality. I was also affiliated with the TREC Cost-Effectiveness Working Group and am conducting economic evaluations and comparative effectiveness analyses of different treatments of obesity.

What do you see as the benefit to working on a transdisciplinary project?
TREC has brought in researchers trained in a wide variety of disciplines. Interacting with them has broadened my thinking and led me to approach research from many different perspectives. Trained as an economist, I am learning the languages of their disciplines and will speak their languages in the future; likewise, they will learn to speak the language of economics as well. TREC has provided a perfect environment for me to transition my research in economics to research in public health and has enriched my research via interactions with multidisciplinary investigators in a public health context.

How will the skill sets you learn while working on TREC@WUSTL projects advance your research career?
TREC offers an opportunity for post-docs to be trained in an interdisciplinary setting. This not only positively impacts my research but also creates opportunities for me to identify potential collaborations with investigators from other disciplines, which will facilitate new collaborations and initiation of further transdisciplinary projects in the future.


 

Emily Cross 
Emily C. Benesh, PhD

‎Analyst, Clinical and Scientific Assessment at Kantar Health - ‎Kantar Health

EDUCATION
PhD, Vanderbilt University, 2012
BS, Gannon University, 2005

Describe your work with TREC@WUSTL projects.
Dr. Kelle Moley and I are generally interested in the role of modifiable maternal factors before and during pregnancy in the occurrence of late-onset diseases in offspring. Specifically, we utilize mouse model systems to investigate the influence of maternal diet on the development of prostate cancer in adult male progeny. Additionally, we plan to characterize the molecular origins of any observed deleterious maternal effects that occur as a result of our dietary manipulations. Successful completion of these studies will provide critical insight into maternal lifestyle choices that promote optimal long-term health in offspring.

What do you see as a benefit of working on a transdisciplinary project?
My project uses basic science techniques and animal models to address issues of relevance to public health. As such, it is very beneficial to work collaboratively with individuals with expertise in handling population data, behavioral studies and modeling. As a group we frequently identify questions that are uniquely approached across our disciplines. We also teach one another the respective languages of our disciplines through bi-weekly journal club forums. I foresee participating in collaborations with my colleagues in the TREC program to reach a broad audience by unifying basic science findings with population-based public health studies.

How will the skill sets you learn while working on TREC@WUSTL projects advance your research career?
My career goal is to pursue basic scientific research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of obesity at critical life points on adult health and disease. The TREC program will inform my understanding of public health, human behavior and economics by introducing me to the methodologies employed by this diverse group of scientists. This knowledge will serve me as I identify obesity-related public health issues for future avenues of study. Additionally, the relationships forged through TREC will provide a base of colleagues as ideal collaborators, who can provide insight into their respective fields as I develop my research path.



 Mallory Yeung
Man Yee (Mallory) Leung, PhD, MSc

EDUCATION
PhD, University of Minnesota, 2011
MSc, London School of Economics, 2004
BA, University of Hong Kong, 2003

ABOUT DR. LEUNG
Describe your work with TREC@WUSTL projects.

I worked with Dr. Graham Colditz on the impact of childhood and adolescence obesity on breast cancer incidence in the U.S. I also worked with Dr Su-Hsin Chang to analyze total cost and health care expenditures associated with obesity-related diseases. I am also interested in the effect of maternal obesity on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) outcomes and childhood obesity.

What do you see as the benefit to working on a transdisciplinary project?
The transdisciplinary approach incorporates experiences and knowledge from different disciplines which helps to generate new research ideas and methods to solve complex public health problems. It integrates knowledge and brings different perspectives to a given research question. Through collaboration in transdisciplinary projects, we benefit from each other's expertise and it opens up new research opportunities.

How will the skill sets you learn while working on TREC@WUSTL projects advance your research career?
The TREC program provides an excellent platform for post docs to interact with scholars from different disciplines. The program provides professional development activities to enhance our exposure to the transdisciplinary environment which facilitate collaborations and generations of new research ideas.



JungAeLee SizedJung Ae Lee, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas

EDUCATION
PhD, University of Georgia, 2013
MS, University of Georgia, 2009
MA, Ewha Womans University, South Korea, 2004





Faustine WilliamsFaustine Williams, PhD, MPH, MS
Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University

EDUCATION
PhD, University of Missouri, 2012
MPH, University of Missouri, 2011
MS, University of Missouri, 2007

ABOUT DR. WILLIAMS 
Describe your work with TREC@WUSTL projects.
I worked with Dr. Peter Hovmand on multiple projects exploring social determinants' influence on cancer to develop appropriate models to understand stages of breast cancer in the community, as well as interventions needed. Another aspect of this research is to apply system dynamics theory to identify how social determinants impact energy balance, fertility, and maternal and child health from international perspective.

What do you feel is the benefit(s) to working on a transdisciplinary project?
Cancer research and public health challenges are particularly complex, because they are often intertwined with much larger organizational, social, environmental, and cultural problems. Understanding these issues is essential to enhance the design and implementation of programs and policies to meet the needs of each specific environment and patient. TREC has provided an opportunity to work and collaborate with diverse investigators on transdisciplinary research projects, thereby enhancing my understanding on the burden of cancer, and learning how to develop effective social policies, intervention and partnerships, to improve the health and well-being of our communities.

How will the skill sets you learn while working on TREC@WUSTL projects advance your career?
The TREC program offers an opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge in areas such as system dynamics and public health genetics. These skills will foster new interdisciplinary collaborative research that supports public health practices and community well-being regarding cancer prevention, treatment and control. 



Lin YangLin Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

EDUCATION
PhD, University of Cambridge, UK, 2012
MS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
BS, Beijing Sport University, China, 2003

ABOUT DR. YANG
Describe your work with TREC@WUSTL projects.

I worked on TREC Project 3, which examines work site environments and policies relevant for physical activity and diet behaviors and their association with obesity. I was also involved in TREC Project 2, which examines the surgical outcomes of prostate cancer patients and survivorship in relation to their weight status and physical activity behavior.  

What do you see as the benefit to working on a transdisciplinary project?

Public health itself is a multidisciplinary issue that requires the collaborations of researchers trained in various disciplines. In order to improve the work in cancer prevention, complex interventions are needed and this involves knowledge from basic scientists, medical doctors, statisticians, environment scientists, social scientists, psychologists and more. While working on a transdisciplinary project, the interaction among researchers from multiple disciplines enriches the research team’s capacity to investigate the research question from different angles, as a result making the project output applicable to the real world for dissemination and implementation.  

How will the skill sets you learn while working on TREC@WUSTL projects advance your research career?
TREC provides excellent opportunities for postdocs to interact and build collaboration with researchers of various background and disciplines. This platform assists postdocs in identifying research projects and ideas with the input from a wider environment.