Meet Melissa Friesen, PhD

“I use the foundational skills…that I obtained during my MSc OEH in my research studies daily.”

Tenure-track investigator with the National Cancer Institute Melissa Friesen uses skills that she learned in the Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene program daily.

She works with an interdisciplinary team to help identify occupational risk factors for cancer in order to prevent future cancer cases from these exposures.

Melissa graduated from the program in 2001, gained her doctorate in 2006 and then conducted research in Melbourne and California.

Now a tenure-track investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) of the National Cancer Institute‘s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Melissa’s research at the OEEB uses quantitative, systematic methods to estimate past workplace exposures in cancer studies. Work histories can cover more than four decades, and Melissa uses statistical models of exposure data to reconstruct this history, and the occupational exposures that may have occurred.

Melissa Friesen action 2When it comes to the MSc OEH program, Melissa says she would recommend it without reservation.

“The faculty’s integration of their research into the course work provides exceptional opportunities for the program’s students and keeps the training up-to-date with advancements in the field.”

Melissa has fond memories of students in all years of the program working together to learn difficult concepts and skills, and how welcoming the faculty were when students needed help. “I miss the Friday afternoon social time attended by both students and faculty and no visit back to Vancouver is complete for me without a stop to visit the program.”

Read more about Melissa’s research.
Read more about the School of Population and Public Health’s MSc OEH program.