UC Berkeley researcher receives prestigious Hellman Fellowship

Patrick Bradshaw

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Assistant professor of epidemiology Patrick Bradshaw is one of the latest researchers to receive the prestigious Hellman Fellowship, according to a press release from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

The Hellman Fellows Fund, active at 14 institutions including all UC campuses, aims to support the research of assistant professors who show the potential for distinction in their research. According to Yasya Goretsky, program manager and financial coordinator for the Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty, the fund serves as a “stepping stone” for the research of many faculty members early in their careers.

Bradshaw, whose research primarily focuses on the relationship between obesity and chronic disease as well as the limitations of current statistical measures, found out he was chosen as a fellow in early June. The funds granted by the award will play an important role in supporting his future research, according to Bradshaw.

“I’m highly honored to receive this award,” Bradshaw said in an email. “It’s very competitive and comes at a very good time for me. It’s incredibly helpful and it will give me the resources to start a very important research project that I anticipate will be very impactful to my career and the field of epidemiology, so I am very excited for this.”

According to Bradshaw, his research has helped identify alternatives to the body mass index measure of obesity and address some of the disparities that arise using this measure across different race and ethnic groups.

Bradshaw added that his main goal is to see the field of obesity and chronic disease research move beyond measures that result in inaccuracies and disparities. He drew most of his inspiration for his research from experiences with family members who were diagnosed with some form of chronic disease.

“They all struggled with whether they could make changes in their lifestyle to help fight the disease, so I was always interested in understanding that,” Bradshaw said in an email. “I was also very interested in applying math and statistics to address these problems, so a career in epidemiology seemed like a natural fit.”

In addition to having a doctorate in epidemiology, Bradshaw also holds two masters degrees in statistics and economics. Bradshaw hopes to expand his research and develop new statistical and quantitative methods to improve the quality of conclusions researchers can draw from data.

Beyond being awarded the Hellman Fellowship, Bradshaw also received praise from his fellow faculty at the School of Public Health for his teaching skills and dedication to research.

“He really cares about the students and their personal and professional development,” said Charlotte Smith, a faculty member in the School of Public Health. “He mentored one of my students working on her honors thesis, and he was truly dedicated to helping grow and progress with her work.”

Contact Aditya Katewa at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.