Inaugural Cohort of Students Graduate from DCRI/Forge Health Data Science Internship Program

May 3, 2018

The first cohort of students to graduate from the Duke Health Data Science (HDS) internship program were honored with a reception on April 27, 2018 as they prepare to pursue new opportunities.

 “All we can do as staff and mentors is provide opportunities for the HDS interns; I’m happy to say that the inaugural cohort has seized each and every one of these. They’ve demonstrated ownership of their experience in the program and have grown an impressive amount during their tenure,” said Larisa Rodgers, coordinator for the internship program.

“We couldn’t be any prouder of our interns. They’ve shown true grit in their ability to adapt to and navigate in transdisciplinary teams.”

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The HDS internship program began in May 2017 with an initial group of six students who were selected through a competitive process from candidates enrolled in quantitative master’s programs at Duke. Interns are paired with staff biostatistician mentors from the DCRI Center for Predictive Medicine and embedded in projects addressing health data science challenges with transdisciplinary teams. The program is a partnership between the Duke Clinical Research Institute, which manages the students and administers the internships, and Duke Forge, which convenes and catalyzes the projects.

A new junior cohort of students entered the HDS program in January 2018. Throughout the spring semester, during which the two groups overlapped, the junior cohort was able to mingle with and learn from the senior group.

2017-2018 HDS Interns: Moving on to New Challenges

The 2017-2018 cohort are moving on to a variety of new challenges in academia and industry:

Yimeng Jia, who is graduating from Duke’s Master of Statistical Science program, will begin a new role as product scientist at Indeed this summer. Her typical tasks will include investigating related products, designing A/B testing schemes, and modeling with log data and resume data to improve product performance.

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Arpita Mandan will continue her studies in the Master of Statistical Science program and plans to graduate in the fall and seek a position as a data scientist. Arpita is especially interested in working with medical and biological data, which is what drew her to the HDS internship program at Duke.

Xilin Cecilia Shi is graduating from the Master of Statistical Science program and will be moving to Boston to join QuantumBlack as a data scientist. This data consulting company works with clients from many different industries, including healthcare, automotive, sports, and more to provide them with data science solutions.

Muyao Sun is graduating from the Master of Statistical Science program. She is currently attending interviews and will be deciding between offers in the coming weeks. Muyao is excited about transitioning to the retail industry and believes the skills learned in her internship will be directly applicable to the work she will be doing there.


Lanqiu Kate Yao is graduating from the Master of Biostatistics program in the Duke School of Medicine and will join New York University’s doctoral program in biostatistics in the fall. This program is directed by Professor Andrea Troxel, an expert in statistical methods for longitudinal and missing data. Kate plans to study under Dr. Troxel’s guidance, and learn more theory in the design of trials and in data analysis. After completing this program, she plans to use her skills and experience to pursue a faculty position.

Ran Zhou is graduating from the Master of Statistical Science program and has secured a position in the Insight Data Engineering Fellows program, an intensive 7-week professional training program based in Silicon Valley. This competitive fellowship not only prepares participants for their new roles as data scientists, but also connects them with opportunities in industry.