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Meet Runzhi Wang, MD, MHS: reflecting on five amazing years with our postdoctoral fellow!

Runzhi Wang, MD, MHS joined the Coleman Research Group in the summer of 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow. She completed her MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2018, and completed her MD from Sun Yat-sen University in China.

Runzhi will be taking some time to pursue her clinical passions over the next year while applying to residency programs. We will miss her deeply and cannot wait to see the amazing clinician and researcher she blossoms into!

SS: Thanks for sitting down to chat, Runzhi! Tell us about your background and why you joined the Coleman Research Group.

RW: I completed my medical degree and underwent a three-year OBGYN training in China prior to my enrollment in the master’s program in Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins. During my master’s program, I crossed paths with Dr. Handa, a Urogynecologist at Hopkins, who became one of my thesis advisors.

Runzhi's MD graduation

Through Dr. Handa, I was introduced to Dr. Coleman, who happened to be searching for a research associate as I was approaching graduation. During our initial meeting in Dr. Coleman's office at JHOC, I was immediately struck by her unwavering passion for clinical research. Given my own interest in projects involving HPV vaccination and vaginal mycobiome research, it was an easy decision for me to join her esteemed team.

SS: What drew you to the Bloomberg Epi program?

RW: To be honest, the big name and the fact that it ranks #1 nationally was what initially attracted me to the program. I developed interest in epidemiology during my OBGYN training in China so was looking for an epi program worldwide. Learning that JHSPH boasts the oldest department of epidemiology in the world and ranks the top in the US, I decided to apply. I am gratified with my decision as I have had the privilege of encountering exceptional professors, esteemed scientists, and brilliant peers within the program, all of which have contributed immensely to my personal and professional growth.

Runzhi's graduation from Bloomberg

SS: Do you have a favorite memory or favorite project from your postdoc?

RW: My time with the team has been filled with numerous remarkable memories that have greatly influenced who I am today. From demonstrating the feasibility of HPV self-collection to analyzing an over 100 GB dataset on a laptop equipped with just 16GB of RAM, securing funding for our postpartum HPV vaccination survey, and assisting in content development for The Violet Project, each experience has been invaluable. However, if I had to choose just one memory, it

Runzhi with colleagues, wearing Violet merch

would undoubtedly be the home visits conducted for the HPV vaccination trial alongside my dedicated colleagues. Those moments transported me back to my days as an OBGYN resident, where we worked tirelessly together to achieve a common goal. The camaraderie and shared sense of purpose during those visits will forever hold a special place in my heart.

SS: What is next for you?

RW: My next step is to apply for an OBGYN residency program in the US, where I can further refine my skills and knowledge in the field. Throughout my research experiences, I have realized that my passion for OBGYN remains strong, and I am committed to enhancing healthcare for women at both the individual and population levels. As such, I am determined to secure a position in an OBGYN residency program, complete my training, and subsequently practice as a physician. Simultaneously, I intend to continue pursuing research opportunities, utilizing the knowledge and expertise I have acquired, to contribute to advancements in the field of women's health.

Thank you so much for all of your contributions to the Coleman Research Group, Runzhi!

We cannot wait to see the amazing physician you become and the important research you continue to conduct!

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