Novartis fellowship provides Sanders important experience in health care and data science

Real-world experience that prepares students to lead with data.

Wajehah Sanders, an M.S. Biomedical Data Science candidate, is a recipient of the Beacon of Hope Summer Fellowship at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

The Beacon of Hope Summer Fellowship is a 10-week, paid summer program for 17 Historically Black Medical School students to learn drug discovery, data analytics and clinical research practices. Dr. Qingguo Wang, professor of computer science and data science, nominated Sanders for the fellowship. She quickly saw it as a valuable opportunity.

Wajehah Sanders

“I wanted to get first-hand experience in the biomedical field. I feel this is extremely beneficial for second career students like myself to help with the transition and pivot into a new career,” says Sanders.

Sander’s fellowship includes an internship in biostatistics where she works closely with three mentors who are senior biostatisticians at Novartis. She is gaining hands-on experience with some truly meaningful work.

“We are providing an exploratory analysis of data for principal clinical investigators who are oncologists specializing in pancreatic cancer,” says Sanders. “We then collaborate with them to determine what types of information would be useful in their research and clinical trials.”

In addition to contributing to meaningful work at Novartis, Sanders is gaining an amazing career development opportunity.

“This fellowship has been absolutely invaluable by giving me firsthand, hands-on experience with clinical trials, data and the pharmaceutical industry,” says Sanders. 

“It has opened up another world of tech and health care that I didn’t know existed! I look forward to combining my health care experience and my new tech and coding skills into a fruitful career.”

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