Student Snapshot

Student Snapshot

Findings: Both of you did internships last summer. Where?

XG: Abbott Laboratories. I was doing statistical analysis on clinical trials data. One of the projects involved the Humira pen, a new tool for rheumatoid arthritis drug delivery.

CH: The March of Dimes. I helped do statistical analysis of national and local perinatal data, like premature birth rates and newborn screening tests.

The March of Dimes worked closely with the School of Public Health on the famous Salk polio vaccine trials.

CH: Yes! After I got the offer from March of Dimes, I googled them and found the connection. I also went to a lecture by David Oshinsky [author of Polio: An American Story] with my March of Dimes colleagues. When I told Dr. Oshinsky that I’m from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, he said, “You are from Michigan. That’s great!” So at that moment I was very proud to be a member of SPH.

Does the polio story inspire you?

CH: What I learned from story of the Salk vaccine was that research is always playing a vital role in improving our lives, gradually or dramatically. That’s the reason why I would like to be a biostatistician, since you are directly helping to create a healthier world.

What’s next for you both after you earn your master’s degrees?

CH and XG: We will pursue our PhDs after we graduate in 2007. We hope to find jobs that will allow us to work together, and we plan to move back to China after we gain experience in the field.

Is it true that the two of you just got engaged?

CH: Yes, I proposed several months ago, during dinner on our three-year anniversary. We first met through a Chinese student organization at the University of Kansas.

XG: We will probably wed sometime next year, here in Ann Arbor. We want to have a traditional Chinese wedding. According to custom, the groom picks up the bride at her parents’ home—my parents will have to fly in, of course. Then, after he takes her to their new home, the groom carries the bride on his back from the car to their home, where they begin their new life together.

Photo by Peter Smith. Joe Varkle, a student in the University of Michigan Residential College, contributed to this interview.

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Name: Chen Hu Age: 26
Hometown: Shanghai, China
SPH Degree Program: MPH in Biostatistics
Graduating Class: 2007
Previous degree: MA, Biochemistry, University of Kansas

Name: Xin Gao Age: 26
Hometown: Beijing, China
SPH Degree Program: MPH in Biostatistics
Graduating Class: 2007
Previous degree: MS, Physics, University of Kansas