Name: John Gilbertson
Mentor: Dr. Todd Edwards
My name is John Gilbertson and I’m studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne in Australia. I plan to major in Mathematics and Statistics specialising in Statistics and Stochastic Processes. I’ve completed two years of my degree and have one year remaining.
At Vanderbilt University, I’m working with Dr. Todd Edward’s research group. The group is interested in discovering the genetic determinants of complex diseases. My project involves the development and testing of a new method to detect interaction genes in GWAS studies. It is satisfying to learn about the potential applications of statistics in analysing genetic data.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my VISRA experience and have been amazed by the opportunities provided by the program. To be paid to travel to Nashville and work with a research group for two months is a fantastic head start for an undergraduate student. It is not only the experience of working on a research project, but talking with Professors and PhD students at the university gives you an accurate impression of scientific research.
The VISRA program is not just focused on work, but the program coordinator, Amanda Connolly, organises several activities for the participants. My favourite was when we went to a Nashville Predators Ice Hockey game. Ice Hockey is not a popular sport in Australia, so it was great to attempt to follow a new and very different sport. The atmosphere was immense with the entertainment throughout the game and the passionate support of the crowd.
After my degree, I hope to study a PhD at Vanderbilt University or another college in America. This experience has furthered my appreciation of scientific research and I look forward to continuing along this path thanks to the VISRA program.