Student Name: Natalie Gasca Natalie Gasca
Advisor: Robyn McClelland, PhD
Degree Program: PhD, Biostatistics
Campus Address: Box 357232, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7232
Email Address: ncgasca[at]uw[dot]edu
CV/Resume: CV (pdf)

I grew up in Fallbrook, CA, and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Mathematics (emphasis in Statistics) and minor in Spanish, engaging in several community service projects.

As a sixth year PhD student and NIH NHLBI Diversity Supplement Recipient, I work with Dr. Robyn McClelland at the Collaborative Health Studies Coordinating Center. We are investigating a reasonable way to use nutritional information from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis to identify heart-healthy diets. We propose using partial least squares methods with variable selection to capture the most scientifically-relevant aspects of food that are predictive of heart health, rather than using the current unsupervised methods in nutritional science.

In general, my statistical interests include supervised methods, variable selection, epidemiological studies, intervention evaluation, and data visualization. Applied topics that motivate me are food justice, immigrant health, obesity, and complementary medicine, particularly in the context of community-engaged research. I also enjoy consulting for and collaborating with scientists from various fields (e.g. cardiology, reproductive health, environmental health, dentistry, school psychology, and social work). Lastly, it is important to me to communicate my findings to scientists and non-technical audiences.