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Berkeley Public Health student profile: Pablo Freyria Duenas

Pablo Freyria Duenas, 28
  • MA student, Biostatistics
  • Expected graduation: May 2022
  • Hometown: Puebla, Mexico
  • Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

Where are you originally from and where will you be living this fall?

I’m originally from Puebla in Mexico, and I’m currently living in Berkeley with my wife and a lovely dog we just adopted.

What is your focus in school?

After having worked in a healthcare consultancy, I grew a fascination with the idea of applying mathematics and statistics in designing and decision-making in health and society. I want to use my degree in biostatistics to help develop new healthcare technology; I still need to decide if my focus is on drug development or designing and assessing health programs.

Why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?

I chose Berkeley Public Health because I am convinced of the social impact and values of the university as well as the ability to join an amazing community. I also love to see the name of UC Berkeley when I’m reading news or scientific literature.

What are you most excited to pursue this coming semester?

I’m most excited to be on campus, meet in person with my classmates, and be more immersed in the School of Public Health.

Can you tell us about any research you’ll be conducting this academic year?

This academic year, I’ll be working with Mark van der Laan and Maya Petersen in the development of adaptive sampling designs that use previous information to select who, or where, sampling efforts should be focused to maximize estimation efficiency.

If you have already been in the workforce, what did you do?

Before my graduate studies, I worked in a healthcare consultancy where I would build models to assess the impact of new treatments or programs, mainly in the Mexican public sector. In this job, I learned how statistics can be applied to public health and became interested in how I could bring a more beneficial impact into our society.

What would you like to do with your degree after graduation?

After graduation, I would like to work in the development of technology that helps us measure and manage our health. Particularly, I am interested in the value of prevention, so I would love to work in understanding what causes our diseases and how we can best detect them in a timely manner.

How do you think UC Berkeley School of Public Health has set you up for success in your future career?

I think UC Berkeley School of Public Health has set me up for success with its amazing and unique professors. In addition to having learned new methods of working, I am learning a new framework for thinking about statistical problems, more focused on the context of how the data was generated and how that affects estimates. I also believe that Berkeley’s location is key to being at the center of technological innovations and new companies that will change the status quo.