Graduate Students

Year 5+

headshot Cao, Yu
Hello! I am Yu Cao, and I am originally from China but have lived in Virginia for several years. Currently I am a trainee on a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grant. My research interests include Bayesian methods for repeated measures and cluster analysis.
headshot Di Pace, Brian S.
Hello, my name is Brian Di Pace. I am originally from Connecticut, and have spent the last 7 years in Virginia. I work as an Associate in the Biostatistical Consulting Laboratory (BCL), a student-led consulting laboratory within the VCU Department of Biostatistics. My research interests include adaptive allocation approaches in clinical trials, clustered designs, mixed effect modeling, spatial statistics, and Bayesian methods.
headshot Garcia, Victoria C.
Hi! I’m Victoria Garcia. I was born and bred in the Richmond area. My scientific interests began during my undergraduate career at VCU, where I studied Behavioral Pharmacology and Toxicology in animal laboratories. I decided to apply the knowledge I had gained from working with animal models to human subjects by studying Epidemiology at EVMS in Norfolk, VA. My interest in Biostatistics was piqued at EVMS, so I returned to VCU and enrolled in the Biostatistics program. I have had the opportunity to work with transplant data through my internship with the United Network for Organ Sharing, as well as other projects pertaining to dental data and quality of life data. In my free time, I like to cook, read design blogs, and play with my two cats.
headshot He, Jun (Jessie)
Hi! I’m Jessie. My research interests are clinical data analysis and trial design, but I am also a big fan of spatial data analysis and Bayesian methods. To relax, I like to cook, visit museums, sit at the lake and read books, travel, or play sports. I play badminton, which is my favorite sport, and I’ve just started learning taekwondo. During my travels, I like tasting new dishes. After so much studying and hard work, the stomach deserves the best food!
headshot Hochheimer, Camille J.
Hello! I’m Camille. I completed my undergraduate degree at UVA, where I majored in Spanish and minored in Math. At VCU, I am a Research Assistant for the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health where I’m involved in a variety of research from opioid prescribing patterns to medical guideline adherence. My personal research focuses on modeling patterns of survey dropout. In my free time, you can often find me upside-down at yoga or tending to my growing plant collection.
headshot Johns, Alicia M.
Hi! I’m Alicia Johns, and I have a BS in Mathematics from Hollins University. I spent a year after completing college working at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Although I am interested in women’s health, I really enjoy that biostatistics allows you to be flexible and research a range of topics. In my free time (which does not occur often), I enjoy playing soccer and kickball, reading outside when there is nice weather, and crafting.
headshot Joseph, Anny-Claude
Hello! I’m Anny Joseph. Many moons ago I completed an undergraduate and graduate degree in Mathematics at Stephen F. Austin State University followed by further graduate work in Operations Research Methods at Southern Methodist University. I went on to work as a Mathematics Instructor at various community colleges in Arizona before deciding to enroll at VCU. I am now a Research Assistant for the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. There, most of my research is focused on maternal and child outcomes and youth violence; however, my own dissertation work is concentrated on spatial statistics.
headshot Zirkle, Keith W.
Hello! I’m Keith Zirkle. I graduated from James Madison University in 2013 with my BS in Statistics. My research interests include spatial epidemiology and causal inference. Outside of research, I enjoy volunteering with the VCU Massey Cancer Center, finding cheap flights abroad, and drinking too much coffee.

Year 4

headshot Bradbrook, Keighly E.
Hello! My name is Keighly Bradbrook, and I am originally from New Jersey. I moved to Richmond after my undergraduate studies, and I love it here – especially all the great restaurants. I work as a Research Assistant in the Division of Epidemiology and serve as an Associate in our BCL. My dissertation focus is on SMART trial design. I have one dog named Bella, but I can’t wait to get another.
headshot Cresswell, Kellen G.
Hi! My name is Kellen Cresswell. I have a BA in Economics, Political Science and History from the University of Alabama. My research interests are in genomics, machine learning and imaging data. In my free time, I enjoy developing models for simulating and predicting the results of basketball games.
headshot Donahue, Erin E.
Hi! I’m Erin Donahue, and I am a 4th year PhD student. I received my undergraduate degree in Statistics from Elon University in North Carolina. I currently work as a Research Assistant in the School of Dentistry and the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. My research interests include adaptive clinical trial design. When I am not in the department, I enjoy exploring Richmond and traveling as much as I can.
headshot Liu, Jin
Hi! I am Jin Liu. I am a PhD student in the Biostatistics. I am originally from China but have lived in Virginia for several years. My research interests include frequentist and Bayesian methods for longitudinal data, latent class analysis, and Gaussian mixture models. Presently, I work as a Research Assistant in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy. My collaborative topics include childhood obesity, eating behavior, parenting styles, and nutrition intake.
headshot Rodriguez, Viviana Alejandra
Hi, I’m Vivi! As a Fulbright Scholar, I truly believe in the importance of cultural exchange, so when I’m not doing stats, I’m talking with friends, looking for new restaurants or baking cakes. Also, I love animals, so I am available to pet-sit if you need! To be honest, I like a wide range of clinical applications of statistical methods, but my current research focus includes survival analysis, Bayesian inference, and predictions models.
headshot Stansfield, John C.
I am interested in the genomics side of Biostatistics. My research focuses on the 3-dimensional organization of the genome using Hi-C data. My interests outside of research include Historical European Martial Arts and home brewing.
headshot Stromberg, Katharine A.
Hello! My name is Kate, and I am a third year graduate student. My current research includes work using classification trees to help traumatic brain injury patients, and improving current waitlist control clinical trial methods. Outside of school, I keep active by playing volleyball and participating in the department kickball team.

Year 3

headshot Orndahl, Christine
Hi! My name is Christine Orndahl, and I am a 3rd year PhD student. I am from northern Illinois before I ventured to the University of Miami for my undergraduate degree, where I graduated with majors in Mathematics and Economics and minors in Public Health and Psychology. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and kayaking; going to the dog park with my dog, Savannah; traveling to West Virginia; and eating all of the food in Richmond.
headshot Stilianoudakis, Spiro Christos
Hello! My name is Spiro Christos Stilianoudakis. I earned a BS/BA in Applied Mathematics and Secondary Math Education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. I went on to earn my Master’s in Mathematics with an emphasis in Statistics, also from Marshall. My research interests include the application of survival analysis to genomic data. I chose to pursue the field of Biostatistics because it offers a unique opportunity to apply statistics and data analysis toward the improvement of public health and personalized medicine, while collaborating with a wide variety of medical specialists. When I’m not doing statistics, I’m usually taking a nap. Otherwise, I enjoy playing soccer, cooking, hiking, and reading.
headshot Yu, Jonathan Wei-Cheng
Hi! My name is Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu. I am a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics at VCU and a Research Assistant in the VCU School of Dentistry. I studied and lived for most of my life in Pennsylvania, so I’m happy to be finally living in another state. Some of my pastimes involve eating, traveling, cooking, and hiking. My current research interests include applications of high dimensional statistic and machine learning techniques in clinical research and in computational neuroscience.

Year 2

headshot Forsthoffer, Brielle
Hi! My name is Brielle Forsthoffer, and I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. I received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from Monmouth University. I am currently working for PharPoint Research, Inc. as a Statistical Intern. When I am not in the department, I’m usually out running, exploring Richmond, or playing with my dog Belle.
headshot Haviland, Miranda S.
Hi! I’m Miranda Haviland, and I’m a 2nd MS student here at VCU. I received my undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from Norfolk State University in Virginia, but I grew up in Southern California. I applied to VCU to learn more about clinical trials and statistical consulting. During my free time I like to read, cook, and spend time with my cat.
headshot Huang, Qi
Hello! My name is Qi. I am from Shenzhen, China, and I have been in the U.S. since high school. I attained my BS degree in biology from Villanova University. I was first exposed to the power and glamour of statistics in biology research while I was taking a human microbiome course as an undergrad. Now as an M.S. student, I am eager to explore how statistics can be applied in and incorporated into various research disciplines. My favorite pastime is watching tennis (aside from being a lousy player myself). I am also self-learning to play the piano.
headshot Okhomina, Victoria I.
Hello! I received a BSE in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University before jumping ship to Public Health and earning my MPH in Biostatistics at the University of North Texas HSC. Prior to attending VCU, I worked as a Data Programmer and Biostatistician primarily assigned to projects involving cardiovascular health and psychosocial factors. During that time, my research interests developed around methods in health disparities research. I am a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Scholar and am working as an Associate in the Biostatistical Consulting Laboratory (BCL).
headshot Retnam, Reuben P.
My name is Reuben Retnam. . I became a student in the Department of Biostatistics in 2017, after earning a BS from Hampden-Sydney College with majors in Mathematics and Biology. My current methodological research is focused on robust parametric linear mixed models, while my applied projects center on gender disparities in oral health.
headshot Rustom, Salem
Hello! I’m Salem, a 2nd year PhD student in the program. Prior to Richmond, I have lived in several other cities and countries around the world. I was drawn to the field of biostatistics due to the stimulating intellectual challenge and benefit to society it provides. I presently work as a Research Assistant for the Department of Surgery. Other interests of mine include traveling/exploring hidden gems, playing basketball, and cartography.

Year 1

headshot Anderson, Matthew
Hello there! My name is Matthew Anderson. I graduated with a BS in Mathematics from Georgia Southern University. In 2017 I was fortunate to travel to Iowa and participate in Dordt College’s Summer Research in Statistical Genetics Program, where I worked on developing statistical methods in human and bacterial genetics. My current research interests include sampling, statistical methods in computational biology, particularly high dimensional data in genomics, statistical learning, and the use of genomics in personalized medicine. Outside of school I enjoy watching movies, visiting museums, and exploring Richmond.
headshot Carli, Matt
Hello, my name is Matt Carli. I’m a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. I received my undergraduate degree in English Lit and Chinese Language from Washington and Lee University in 2013. I spent two years teaching English in China, and after returning to the States took courses in mathematics at SUNY Albany. When I’m not studying for classes I enjoy running, reading, learning new languages, and traveling.
headshot Lavallee, Martin
Hi, my name is Martin Lavallee and I am from New Jersey. I received my Master’s in Statistics from Rutgers University and my Bachelor’s in World Politics from Hamilton College. Before starting at VCU, I worked for a year in the pharmaceutical industry developing a signal detection project mining temporal adverse drug events from electronic health records as a contribution to the OHDSI community. Outside of statistics, I like to read up on sports and pop culture.
headshot Richards, Alicia
Hello! My name is Alicia Richards, and I am a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. I grew up in Rhode Island and received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Catawba College. I first became interested in the field of biostatistics after participating in the Summer Institute of Biostatistics, and now I am excited to broaden my knowledge here at VCU. This year, I am a Teaching Assistant for BIOS 543 Graduate Research Methods I. In my free time, I enjoy paddle boarding, running, and baking.
headshot Sun, Xinxin
My name is Xinxin, and I am a 1st year Biostatistics student, after receiving a MS in Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh. I am also a Teaching Assistant for BIOS 543, Graduate Research Methods. In my spare time, I like to go to the gym and exercise a bit, or go out for a walk in a park.

Part Time

headshot Hargarten, Paul M.
Hey! I am Paul Hargarten, and I am a graduate of the University of Richmond with majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. I was introduced to and immediately fell in love with the field of Biostatistics by the SIBS program. At VCU, I successfully defended my Master’s thesis entitled: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Health Impacts of Inorganic Arsenic in Chemical Mixtures. I am now extending the work as my dissertation topic. When I am not working, I am involved in the youth ministry at a local church. I also enjoy hiking, backpacking, kayaking, tubing down the James, and playing anomalous board games.
headshot Jay, Christopher E.
Hey, I’m Chris Jay! I graduated from SUNY University at Buffalo in 2015 with my BS in Medicinal Chemistry. I am a PhD student in the VCU School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics. I wanted the duality of bench work and statistical data analysis (MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration) to pursue employment at the FDA. Outside of research, I enjoy volunteering with various groups around Richmond, cheering on the Buffalo Bills, and going outdoors to play Golf and Disc Golf.
headshot Kaspar, Cristin D.
headshot Kenning, Kristine L.
headshot Liu, Hangcheng (Daniel)
headshot Lotz, Ethan
headshot Mishra, Narad M.
headshot Moore, Jaime
I’m a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, and I completed a residency in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at VCU. I’m an Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, and an Affiliate Faculty, Department of Music, at VCU. I’m in my 3rd year in the MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration program.
headshot Volker, Sonja E.
headshot Zhao, Jinlei
Hi! My name is Jinlei Zhao. I have a PhD degree in Microbiology and have been doing research in my laboratory. I am an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU and also a part-time student in the MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration program. As a student in Biostatistics, there is so much for me to learn in the field. Outside of Biostatistics and my lab, I spend time with my family and enjoy traveling, fishing, and playing tennis and badminton.