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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC Student Selected for Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ List of Rising Stars

Ms. Mugdha Gokhale, doctoral candidate in epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been selected as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” people to watch in health care.

[Photo: Photo: Ms. Mugdha Gokhale]

Magazine representatives screened more than 15,000 entrepreneurs, creative leaders and bright stars younger than 30, and selected 600 winners in 20 sectors, including art and style, sports, music, science, education, commerce and others, in addition to health care.

Ms. Gokhale, 29, provided the first evidence that the risk for pancreatic cancer was not elevated in patients taking a particular class of oral antidiabetics. Her discoveries alleviated previously raised concerns stemming from less rigorous study designs.

“Mugdha has shown the effectiveness and value of using state-of-the-art nonexperimental methodology to study beneficial and harmful drug effects,” said Dr. Til Stürmer, professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School, director of the UNC Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Ms. Gokhale’s academic adviser. “She did this using existing data from the Medicare population to provide timely answers to clinically relevant questions about treatment choices in older adults.”

Ms. Gokhale said that being selected as someone whose research had great impact was very encouraging.

“I am thankful for being a part of the wonderful program at UNC and for the support of my awesome mentors,” she said. “I hope I can continue to do meaningful work in the field.”

The Medicare database infrastructure used for Ms. Gokhale’s project was funded by the UNC Gillings School’s Pharmacoepidemiology Gillings Innovation Lab (PEGIL) for the Population-Based Evaluation of Drug Benefits and Harms in Older U.S. Adults, the UNC Center for Pharmacoepidemiology, UNC department of epidemiology, the CER Strategic Initiative of UNC’s Clinical Translational Science Award, UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the UNC School of Medicine. The development of the state-of-the art nonexperimental methodology was supported by an ongoing grant from the National Institute on Aging.

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