Math Alum Joy Jiang receives 40 under 40 Public Health Catalyst Award

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Joy Jiang standing on stairs holding a railing
Mathematics Statistics alumni Joy Jiang (PhD ‘18) has been named as one of the inaugural 40 Under 40 Public Health Catalyst Award recipients. The Boston Congress of Public Health recognized these 40 individuals as representatives of the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze a more just and equitable world.

Jiang was excited to be recognized, saying, “I’m extremely honoured to have received the award this year. This is a huge recognition for my work on bridging statistical methods with breast cancer research and big support to advancing method developments in women’s health. I look forward to leveraging this platform to develop and disseminate innovative and rigorous statistical methods leading to new pathways that can be targeted in breast cancer prevention and intervention trials to expand capacity for precision prevention.”

Since completing her PhD at UWaterloo, Jiang has completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Biostatistics at Harvard University and now holds the position of Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her current research focuses on developing statistical methods for precision oncology with particular emphasis on breast cancer. “Driven by the goal of improving women’s health globally, I am actively working on algorithms that capitalize on the exploding volume of data to improve the current ability of breast cancer risk prediction and our understanding of the breast cancer pathway,” Jiang explained.

While her career has taken her far from UWaterloo, she still fondly reflects on her time here. She appreciates the doors the experience helped open, stating, “I received my Ph.D. in Statistics at UWaterloo in 2018 (a shout out to my advisor Richard Cook!) and have received strong training in statistical theory and methodology. During the course of my PhD, my collaboration experiences with folks at the University of Toronto PsA clinic and the Statistical Consulting Centre at UWaterloo have helped tremendously in working with other researchers and team science projects post-graduation”.

Jiang also mentioned her love of the UWaterloo campus, particularly how much she misses the Tim Hortons in the DC Building. When asked what advice she would give to current Math students, she said, “UWaterloo is full of opportunities. So, think of yourself as a lifelong learner and always be open to new challenges!” and shares that the best advice she has received is not to be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone.

You can read more about the other 40 Under 40 Public Health Catalyst Award recipients on the Boston Congress of Public Health’s website.