September 5, 2017

Brian Delavan, MPH

Brian Delavan, MPH

Brian Delavan, MPH, has had a busy year so far. He won first place in the Young Scientist competition at the 2017 MCBios conference in Little Rock, AR. He presented at the 2017 Drug Development and Discovery Colloquium. Additionally, he also has an article published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences’ October 2017 issue entitled “Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Anti-Cancer Drugs.” Here’s some more information on Brian and what he’s been doing since graduating from the COPH.

What degree program(s) and track/concentration (if applicable) did you complete? Please include other relevant educational background.

I completed the MPH program, with a biostatistics track.  I am working on my Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, focusing on repositioning drugs to treat rare diseases

What year you did you graduate?


What attracted you to the field of public health?

The opportunity to do “public good” is what attracted me to public health.  I define public good as doing something that improves people’s lives.

What do you do now (job title and place of employment)?

I am performing my dissertation research at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

How would you describe a typical day in your current position (concrete examples of tasks or duties)?

A typical day includes researching journals for genes and proteins associated with rare diseases, researching different databases concerning drugs and genes activated by these drugs, writing and proofreading journal articles, using software to generate network analysis and visualizations of data.

What experiences or learning gained at UAMS or elsewhere have you found most beneficial professionally or helped you qualify for what you do? 

The statistical analysis I learned at UAMS, especially learning the R program, was extremely helpful.  Learning how to do literature searches and writing papers in both my undergraduate and UAMS programs was also very helpful.

What is your advice for students considering a similar career path?

Make sure you learn R and the Bioconductor package.  Don’t be afraid to search for classes or on

line help to fill in knowledge gaps.  Learn about biology and machine learning.

What experiences or learning gained at UAMS have you found most beneficial professionally? What other kinds of experiences or learning also helped you qualify for what you do?

Learning to write in a style more suited for journals was very helpful.  Having to present findings is also extremely important.

What do you find most rewarding about your work in public health?

Helping folks who do not even know we are helping them.