In our Alumni Career Spotlight series, you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: Eli Lilly and Company
Current position: Senior research advisor
Degree(s): BA, Hanover College, 2002; MTSC, Miami University, 2004; MPH, Indiana University, 2013; DrPH, Indiana University, current/anticipated graduation 2023
Why did you choose your major/program?
Diverse interests and career path over time. Going back to school when I felt a “plateau” and needed a change in my career. I chose programs based on encounters with people doing work that appealed to my interests.
Do you have any research interests?
Real world evidence, real-world endpoint measurement, health services, health outcomes, health equity, oncology
Briefly describe your career path.
2004-2013: scientific communications at Lilly; 2013-present: research scientist in real-world evidence hub at Lilly. Multiple therapeutic and diverse roles within each of those departments.
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
Meetings to develop and review observational research studies we are conducting, learn about new real-world data sources and features. Analyzing real-world data and discussing results with study teams. Meeting with other scientists and analysts to triage new work and monitor/mitigate issues on current projects. Communicating with and connecting other researchers to develop and share emerging company capabilities around real-world data measurement.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
Find out what you are truly interested in doing by talking to people and different mentors over time and exploring and trying out different roles if you can. Reflect on how it’s going (be honest with yourself). It’s ok (good) to change over time. Growth opens doors to new opportunities so grow yourself. Timing is key and affects so much, but “chance favors the prepared mind” to quote Louis Pateur.
The role you will play in the future may not exist today so just moving in a direction, making steps day by day, is the key thing. I don’t personally believe I ever “arrive” because change is constant. The important thing for me (besides paying the bills) is finding joy in the day to day work and a good balance across many aspects of life. Career is a very important aspect but not the only one. If you are spiritually minded as such, prayer about your vocations including careers in life can help here too.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
During the MPH, I learned so much from biostats courses with Allen Nyhuis (e.g., have since programmed so many Kaplan Meier time to event analyses and others in different real-world datasets). In the DrPH, I think an overarching approach with supporting frameworks and tools for advancing a cause/leading change is what I will take away and already apply in my day to day professionally.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
Having children. They really do give you new perspective and priorities. I learn to be much more intentional with my time.
What’s next for you?
My current department is transforming in a direction that I believe (hope) will require me to flex expertise and skills gained through DrPH coursework.
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
The camaraderie of my DrPH cohort. Despite not being in person (has been entirely online due to COVID) students have bonded and developed meaningful friendships and support each other.