Sarah Twardowski is a current Epidemiology MS student.
After completing my bachelor's degree in anthropology, I had the opportunity to work as a youth mentor in the City of Buffalo where I observed how health disparities and limited nutritional opportunities affect many families in the Buffalo area. I wanted to find a way to investigate these disparities and prevent nutrition related health problems, so I decided to pursue a degree in public health, with a specific emphasis on research.
I was drawn to the University at Buffalo because of its long commitment to research, reputation in nutritional epidemiology, and its involvement in the Women’s Health Initiative. My research interests include nutritional epidemiology and women’s health, so naturally, I felt like UB was an ideal fit.
I am currently working in the Women’s Health Research Center, where I am involved in the Osteoporosis and Periodontal Disease (OsteoPerio) study. Through this, I’ve had the unique opportunity to be involved in primary data collection and gain a better understanding of the multi-disciplinary collaboration involved in epidemiologic research.
For my thesis project, I am using data from the OsteoPerio study to assess the potential anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin D and its possible role in periodontal disease.
I really appreciate that class sizes are small, which allows students to engage and collaborate with other students and faculty. But being a part of a large research institute also gives students the opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty from other departments and schools.
My goal is to continue my education with a PhD in epidemiology. Receiving my master’s degree in epidemiology will set me apart from other candidates because I will have a strong foundation in epidemiological study designs and methodology. UB SPHHP has also provided me with opportunities to get involved on research projects that will prepare me for a career as an epidemiologist.