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Meet Anubhav Nikunj Singh Sachan

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Mexico City where I attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico majoring in Applied Mathematics and Computing. After working a year and a half at a market research company, I realized that I needed something more to feel fulfilled, so I decided to return to academia and pursue a master's degree in Statistics at Imperial College London. Whilst there I spent some months researching Bayesian non-parametric methods that could be used on single-cell sequencing gene expression data to detect dependence between genes. It was a really exciting experience and motivated me to pursue a PhD so that I could continue to learn more about biostatistics and genomics, and also contribute to the field.

What are you studying/researching? I'm interested in various areas related to statistical genetics/omics, and have been working on several projects related to that. For example, as part of my Graduate Student Researcher position, I've been involved in Genome Wide Association Studies to find biomarkers associated with the development of Lewy Bodies in the brain, as well as Epigenome Wide Association Studies to investigate the role of DNA methylation in Parkinson's disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. A significant portion of this work has involved thinking about and developing robust statistical methodologies to reduce false findings.

Tell us about your campus involvement at UC San Diego: I lived on-campus in graduate housing for the first two years of my program, but went back to Mexico City last year (2020) when everything transitioned to being remote. I'm looking forward to being back in San Diego later this year (2021). One of my favorite on-campus activities was trying out food from a different country each week by attending the International Friday Café hosted by ISPO. I also liked exploring different food places in San Diego - at the moment I'm really craving some honey-lavender ice cream from Salt & Straw. Although things are remote, I think there are still several ways to engage with the university and take advantage of what it offers. I recently took an online 7-week Personal Wellness course hosted by UCSD Recreation - I highly recommend it! I was also the student lead in a workgroup in charge of providing recommendations for educational strategic priorities at the newly formed Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. I also enjoy participating in activities organized by HDH. For example, last year there was a haiku contest, and the top eight were sandblasted into pavement as part of an art installation at the new graduate housing buildings. One of my haikus was chosen to be part of this, so one could say I got a rare chance to make a mark on campus (literally).

Why UC San Diego? I chose to pursue a PhD in Biostatistics at UC San Diego mainly because of the kindness and commitment to student success that I sensed from the faculty members I interacted with when making my choice. I also liked that the program provided rigorous training in both mathematical and applied statistics, and allowed students to explore their interests by rotating with different professors as part of the curriculum.

Have you received any awards or fellowships? I was awarded a CONACYT fellowship from Mexico that covers half of my stipend (the rest is provided by my department) and student fees.

What has been your favorite part about your graduate experience at UC San Diego? It's hard to pick a favorite part, but I've enjoyed the personal growth I've seen in myself by being able to participate in a variety of endeavors - both academic and non-academic.