Wen Wan, PhD, Statistician, Investigator Development Core, EngAGE, VIDA, University of Chicago

How did your interest in health equity begin? 

My interest in health equity started with my research at Virginia Commonwealth University. One of my projects was to improve postpartum attendance and at the same time to reduce its racial disparities. Another project was to discover what kind of factors might be associated with racial disparities in obesity during childhood growth or during adolescent development. After I joined my current research group at the University of Chicago, I gained even more interest in health equity through the passions of my brilliant colleagues.

What are your current research projects?

As a statistician, I have the opportunity to work with multiple investigators on their research projects. My current research projects are as follows: the VIDA study on diabetes, the EngAGE study on improving mobility in older adults, the I-COPE study on chronic pain, the REVISITS study on COPD by virtual mentored implementation, the TELE-TOC study on COPD by telehealth education,My Diabetes, My Community, the CASCADE study on asthma, and the iACTIVATE study on female investigators advancing via coaching.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of applying statistical methodologies to medical sciences. Working with multiple investigators on various research topics pushes me to learn more statistical methods. I enjoy learning new methods and applying them into real applications. For example, as we were preparing the I-COPE grant proposal, papers on stepped-wedge design helped me understand how to develop a reasonable statistical analysis plan.

Do you have any fun facts?

I am a Christian and enjoy reading the Bible. At the beginning of the New Year, I started to recite a Bible verse every day. Now I have memorized the first chapter of Ephesians!