Student Profiles


Academic Qualifications: BSc. Public Health; MPH (Epidemiology)

Professional Experience: Assistant Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health, Adeleke University Ede, Nigeria

Graduate Assistant, Dept. of Public Health, Adeleke University Ede, Nigeria

Research Projects: Awareness, knowledge and uptake of cervical cancer screening among women of reproductive age in Ede, Osun state

 Determinants of Prostate Specific Antigen Testing among Men in Ede, Osun state

Research Interests: Chronic Disease Epidemiology: Cardiovascular Diseases; Cancer and Mental Health disorders

Reason for choosing UNC: The first attraction I had to UNC Charlotte was the beautiful campus and diverse community. I chose UNC Charlotte for its collaborative interdisciplinary approach to advancing Public Health.

Farzana RAHMAN

I hold dual degrees—an MD (Doctor of Medicine) and an MPH (Master of Public Health).
My MD degree provides a strong foundation in clinical medicine, enabling a comprehensive
understanding and management of patient health. In addition to this, my MPH degree equips
me with expertise in public health principles, and practices, focusing on population health.
The combination of these degrees empowers me to integrate clinical insights with public
health strategies, contributing to well-rounded healthcare solutions.
As a public health enthusiast, I have worked on several research projects to identify the roots
of the prevalent issues of society by working at the ground level. During the COVID
pandemic, I worked with healthcare professionals, to measure sleep patterns associated with
their job stressors, among those serving severely ill patients fighting for their lives. To
continue the surge, I extended my work on evidence synthesis projects to assess the
symptoms of long COVID-19 haulers. I also contributed to some projects on early childhood
development, intimate partner violence, and some mental health issues. Apart from this, I was
serving as a faculty in the Armed Forces Medical College, Dhaka.
However, being a citizen of Dhaka, the third most polluted city in the world, the grievous
health impacts of environmental pollution were not surprising to me, but undoubtedly, the
number of annual deaths pertaining to environmental pollution triggered my conscience
miserably. Therefore, I developed an immense urge to work on environmental issues to
ensure a better life expectancy for the people of my country.
UNC Charlotte has piqued my interest because of its multi-disciplinary and research-oriented
approach. The Ph.D. program at UNC Charlotte has a flexible curriculum to attract a diverse range of
faculty members and students from different institutions and disciplines, which brings fresh
perspectives and expertise to the program. Therefore, I believe, this program will equip me
with enhanced knowledge to facilitate my learning experience and arm me with the skill sets
to address specific health issues more elaborately. My goal of establishing health equity and
my values also align perfectly with UNC Charlotte’s mission statement. I could not think of a
better place than the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Charlotte, for taking my first steps
to fulfill my dreams and it is an absolute honor to be a part of UNC Charlotte.

Jessica Miller

Background: My name is Jessica and I am a Charlotte native. I have been at UNC charlotte since 2016 where I completed my undergraduate degrees in biology and anthropology and went on to complete my master’s in biology. Throughout my time at UNC Charlotte I have been a part of many different lab settings. During my undergraduate studies and my master’s program, the lab I worked in focused on oncolytic virotherapy for pancreatic cancer treatment. While completing my master’s, I also worked in the COVID-19 Testing Facility on campus for COVID-19 diagnostics. I then transitioned into working in Bioinformatics as a gene sequencer for SARS-CoV-2. Currently, I am a research assistant in Dr. Rafael Vieira’s lab, which focuses on tick-borne diseases. Outside of school and the lab, I enjoy doing jiu-jitsu and drawing in my free time, as well as hanging out with my friends and seeing new movies.

Research interest: My research interests are focused on infectious diseases and vector-borne pathogens. I currently work within the Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks (CIPHER) department in Bioinformatics under Dr. Vieira. After completing my PhD in the epidemiology program, I would like to work in some type of collaborative environment troubleshooting infectious diseases through research that utilizes my background in the wet lab and my current studies in epidemiology.

Why you choose UNC Charlotte: I chose UNC Charlotte because of the new epidemiology program being offered as well as the faculty and research being conducted on campus. The research opportunities on campus offer invaluable opportunities to learn wet lab and dry lab skills, while the program curriculum allows students to gain critical knowledge on how to be successful in the public health/epidemiology field.