our alumni

Yang Yang, PhD

Yang Yang

How did you become interested in biostatistics/bioinformatics?

For my undergraduate study, I majored in mathematics but for my master’s degree I chose statistics. At that time, I thought of statistics as a more applied subject. It can be applied to many other areas, and the ability to process and analyze data is very important because we are in a data centric era. Then for my doctoral degree, I wanted to focus on something more specific and I thought about how I could use my degree to make lives better. My philosophy is that knowledge originates from people’s pursuit of better lives and curiosity about the unknown, forms through relentless exploration, and eventually should be applied to the improvement of people’s well-being. So, I chose biostatistics as my doctoral major. Through my ongoing training, I have become determined to be a biostatistician and contribute my strengths to make a difference in patients’ lives and make medicines accessible to more people in need. 

Why did you choose UB?

The PhD program of University of Buffalo attracted me because of its concentration on both theoretical learning and practical training. Real world practice can teach us many valuable experiences and the knowledge gained is not something that can be learned strictly through reading books. With that in mind, I always hold the opinion that practical application is as essential as theoretical learning. At UB’s biostatistics program, students can not only have solid theoretical training, but also have a tremendous opportunity to have hands-on experience with real world projects under supervision of senior faculty members.

Tell me about your experience in the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics program.

For my doctoral study, I worked with a passionate and diligent professor, Dr. Jiwei Zhao, to research statistical methodologies. I got systematical training on how to conduct research, and together with Dr. Jiwei Zhao, we have achieved some exciting results. Apart from research work, my experiences of being a research assistant to several multidisciplinary projects enabled me to understand how to communicate effectively with people from different fields and to apply theoretical work to real world study. 

What did you enjoy the most about the your program?

What I loved most about this program was that it perfectly combined theoretical learning and real-world practice, offering students hands-on experiences to better understand the information we learned in the classroom. Furthermore, this program also offered me the freedom to practice and expand on my own thoughts. 

How does receiving a degree from UB set you apart?

UB provides all-round resources to its students, allowing us to gain knowledge and develop skills necessary to help in the development of society. The solid theoretical foundation and accumulation of real world experience of UB students pave the road for their future success.