Master of Public Health Student
After she earns an MPH at the Bloomberg School, Sommer Wild hopes to continue exploring the impact of health on a population level through cancer and radiation therapy research. “I would like to explore treatment regimens and radiation doses to continue to improve outcomes in radiation therapy and reduce associated complications,” she says.
Wild’s desire to work in public health was amplified by her recognition of the impact clinical research has on patient outcomes, offering a basis from which to guide therapies. Although epidemiologic and foodborne-illness research initially inspired Wild to serve populations on a global level, her long-term research goals involve cancer and radiation therapy.
As an undergraduate, Wild participated in a research collaboration with WHO to estimate the global mortality rate of foodborne diseases. “I was impacted by the death counts in children under the age of five,” she says. Still it wasn’t until she visited Peru on a medical experience trip to provide basic medical services to indigenous Incan communities and orphanages that she could give the experience context. In Peru, Wild witnessed the conditions that contributed to the death totals she had studied during her foodborne disease biostatistics research.
“It was during this trip that I encountered firsthand the enormous disparity of resources that exists globally,” says Wild. Her group taught proper handwashing techniques, safe food preparation and proper dental hygiene. “The simplicity and cost-effectiveness of these programs enabled me to recognize the enormous impact public health interventions have on populations globally.” Wild continued researching foodborne illness with WHO and worked as an intern and ORISE Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue studying food safety on a national level. “Through these experiences I recognized the impact that the practice and implementation of biostatistics and epidemiology have on both the national and international level,” Wild says.