Ashley Petersen

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota
PhD, Biostatistics '16

Describe your typical day.

One thing I like about my position is the variety. Each day is a mix of meeting with graduate students about research projects, talking with collaborators about grant proposals or current research studies, planning and performing statistical analyses, and writing and editing manuscripts.

What motivates you to do this work?

The problems in public health and medicine that I work on and the people who I work with keep me motivated. My collaborators open my eyes to pressing problems, and it's fun to be part of the solution through biostatistics. The graduate students are very motivated and ask tough questions that push me to understand concepts even better that I thought I had mastered.

How has your training in biostatistics helped you?

My training in biostatistics at UW provided a rigorous foundation in statistical methods, but maybe even more importantly, it taught me to think carefully to ensure we are addressing the right scientific question.

What advice would you give to a current biostatistics MS or PhD graduate student?

In graduate school, I think it can be natural to feel a little lost somewhere along the way. I certainly did. In biostatistics, there are many different paths and no one is better than another, so try to focus on figuring out the right path for you.