1st Year MSPH: Mitch Lee

1st Year MSPH: Mitch Lee

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Mitch Lee!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I earned my BS in Biology in 2017 from Duke University, where I studied genetic toggling and oscillations in E.coli. I then worked at the NIH for two years as a postbac fellow studying Legionella virulence mechanisms and pathogenesis before coming to Emory to earn my MSPH in epidemiology.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interest is applying molecular epidemiology toward improving technologies that use genetic data and/or biomarkers to diagnose or predict diseases earlier, faster, and more accurately. I especially want to learn how to incorporate (caution: buzzwords incoming!) ~machine learning~ and big data science into that pursuit.

What are you looking forward to this Spring Semester?

Thinking of big-picture goals, I’m most looking forward to finalizing plans for a summer APE and finding a thesis project and advisor related to my interests. Thinking of day-to-day endeavors, I’m most looking forward to steadily (if slowly) improving my data science and programming skills, particularly with R. Beyond schooling and career-building, I’m looking forward to exploring Atlanta more with my friends!

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I’ve been working lately to help prepare a manuscript I contributed to at the NIH—seeing the final product take form has been so rewarding!

What is your favorite part about earning your MSPH at Rollins?

My favorite aspect of earning my MSPH at Emory is the uniquely open access it provides to so many public health entities—local, national, and international— that turn to Rollins as a source of expertise, eager students, and skilled workers. On top of that, I get to study and work with bright, talented, and motivated students who elevate my performance.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MSPH?

Presentation skills are so important to hone, so find someone who’s known for giving great presentations and study how they manage to be clear, compelling, and efficient. Then, learn to do what they do. Along the way, find people who will constructively tell you how to improve your presentation skills. Their input will help you get better, faster, and more confident.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I enjoy science fiction—it’s a great escape that (mostly) doesn’t allow for lazy thinking. So I’ve been burning through a few novels recently. I finally managed to finish Frank Herbert’s Dune and Andy Weir’s The Martian through some far-too-late-at-night binges. Next up is finishing Rebecca’s Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for Rollins’s new Epicurious book club sponsored by Dr. Guest!

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I’m a certified open-water scuba diver with 35+ dives on record.
  2. I’ve lived in 7 cities across 5 states.
  3. I shook Mark Cuban’s hand once


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