Student Profile: James Groh, PhD in Epidemiology 

Tell us about the research you are engaged in as a doctoral student at the Zilber College. What impact will it have on the community? What excites you most about it? 

I work as an epidemiologist for a local health department where I focus on chronic disease and COVID-19. As a doctoral student, I am interested in researching the link between the two, in particular how COVID-19 may lead to the development of chronic disease. Understanding this relationship is important considering how many people have been impacted by COVID-19 and the inequities we see.  

What inspired you to pursue your PhD at UWM? 

I wanted to pursue my PhD at the Zilber College of Public Health because of its emphasis on social justice. As public health professionals, our goal is to improve community health and reduce inequities. Social justice is essential to achieve this goal as everyone deserves to live a healthy life in a healthy community.     

What differences do you hope to make in the world with your work in public health? 

Through my work in public health, I hope to continue to find new ways to leverage data to advance health equity. Data is essential to make informed decisions about effective public health strategies that will improve community health. Most important though, is that the community is engaged throughout the data process to ensure public health is focusing on what is most important to them.  

What has been your favorite experience so far as a doctoral student? 

My favorite experience as a doctoral student has been getting to know other doctoral students in different tracks. Collaboration is essential in public health so getting to know other doctoral students and their research interests has been insightful to learn about different aspects of public health.