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My MCW Story: Michael Martens

"I wanted to use the skills I had to help develop better treatments"

Published: December, 2017

Michael Martens, a fifth-year doctoral student in biostatistics, chose this field because he felt his math and computer science background matched up well with the types of jobs he could eventually obtain.  Moreover, in serving as a caregiver for his father as his father’s health declined, he became passionate about how he wanted to use these skills.

Michael Martens“Spending time with my dad before he died made me realize I wanted to use the skills I had to help develop better treatments,” Michael said. “Someday, I hope others will remember my passion for improving medical treatment options in addition to my technical acumen. I believe that a genuine desire to benefit the health of future patients makes a better biostatistician, even though much of work involves the sterile activity of ‘crunching numbers.’”

Michael has made tremendous use of his time at MCW and is on track to fulfill his goal. He is already co-author on four papers resulting from collaborative research in which he participated as a research assistant for the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Three of the papers are published in Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, while the other one was published in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, and Leukemia

He also has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to support his dissertation research and collaborative activities. Michael’s research focuses on clinical trial design and time-to-event analysis. He is proud of his dissertation research because of its potential impact on others.

“My dissertation research has the potential to produce a more efficient treatment development process. And, since it builds on the work of brilliant researchers at MCW and elsewhere, I am thrilled to be linked to them in the pursuit of scientific knowledge,” Michael said.

Michael credits some of his early career success to MCW and the learning environment it offers.

“The experience at MCW has been great overall,” Michael said. “Our division has more professors than students, so the mentorship has been wonderful,” he said. “Plus, the program puts emphasis on its students’ gaining practical experience through participation in collaborative research.”

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