A native of Korea, Jenny Lee came to Yale with a strong background in mathematics, statistics and computational science. Now a second year student in the Master of Science biostatistics program, Jenny is fascinated by how these tools can be utilized to deal with clinical problems at both a personal and population level.
This summer, while interning at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Jenny assessed data on mixtures of environmental pollutants especially persistent organic pollutants (POPS) such as PCBs, OCPs, and PFCs, and their effects on birth weight, birth length and head circumference. These chemicals are commonly used in agriculture, disease control and manufacturing.
POPs are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological and photolytic processes. Because of their persistence, POPs bioaccumulate with potentially significant impacts on human health and the environment. So, even though the international community has worked to reduce or eliminate some of these toxins, their persistence can lead to second-generation exposure through both parents.
One of the things Jenny loves most about Yale is her student colleagues. “People all over campus are really motivated and always willing to discuss their work. I’m motivated by that,” says Jenny.