Eliezer Santos León, PhD student, biostatistics
Calculates COVID's impact in healthcare
“While Eliezer is a wonderful mentee and student researcher in our department, he also serves to teach and mentor other trainees on research approaches and concepts in biostatistics. He uses passion, a sense of humor, and his own teaching style in developing research training materials that are tailored for each audience.” -Priyanka Vakkalanka, adjunct assistant professor, emergency medicine and epidemiology
Hometown: Cidra, Puerto Rico
Faculty mentor/advisor: Brian J. Smith, PhD, professor, Biostatistics Core director, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, College of Public Health
What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date? PhD in biostatistics; May 2025
Please describe your research: My research focuses on analyzing COVID-related data, specifically in the hospital and healthcare personnel setting. We are looking at those factors that influenced healthcare workers to get vaccinated and boosted. In addition, we are also interested in the effect vaccines and boosters have on symptoms that are present weeks after being affected by COVID.
In simple terms, why does this research matter? This research matters because part of it can shed light on the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines and boosters. The other part that is related to the factors that influenced healthcare workers to get vaccinated can help to tackle future pandemic scenarios, since knowing which factors had better influence will help in future administrative decision-making processes.
How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started in my second year.
How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research has helped me appreciate teamwork and apply all the knowledge I have gathered over the years, but most importantly, it has helped to have a structured schedule in order to be efficient both in school and in my research work.
What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? My career goal/plan after graduation is to work as a biostatistician doing research in the medical/biomedical/health sciences field.
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