Welcome our Summer 2022 PhD Students

Mark Britton 

Mentor: Dr. Robert Cook 

What inspired you to study epidemiology? While I began my graduate career on a clinical track, and my background is in cognitive neuroscience, I was ultimately really impressed by epidemiological methods and population-level approaches to public health, and I think this is where I can make the biggest difference for the most people. 

What do you look forward to most as a future epidemiologist? I look forward to tackling the evolving challenges of public health as vulnerable segments of the population (e.g., people living with HIV) age and the world changes rapidly around us. In particular, I hope that my background in neuroscience will prepare me to understand and work with risk factors for cognitive decline (such as HIV, polypharmacy, and heavy substance use) in the US population. 

Vijaya SeegulumĀ 

Vijaya Seegulum 

Mentor: Dr. Linda Cottler 

What do you look forward to most as a future epidemiologist and your career in epidemiology? 
Throughout the rest of my career as a psychiatric epidemiologist, I look forward to continuing to foster multidisciplinary collaborations among other epidemiologists and scientists to produce both meaningful and impactful research to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations, particularly those with psychiatric disorders and/or substance use disorders. I am truly looking forward to seeing what the field of epidemiology will look like years from now and to hopefully have made both a sincere and consequential mark in the field of psychiatric epidemiology at that point.  
What inspired you to study epidemiology? 
Despite the current spotlight on epidemiology, my interest started pre-pandemic through the process of earning my MPH at USC and working with renowned researchers at BU. I was then able to understand and appreciate the immense impact epidemiological research has in our daily lives and ultimately chose to continue to study in this inspiring, dynamic field of research. Choosing to pursue my Ph.D. in Epidemiology has not only given me a sense of purpose, but also has been a personally fulfilling and socially beneficial journey, one that I am truly excited to continue at the University of Florida under the mentorship of Dr. Cottler as a NIDA T32 Predoctoral Fellow.