SPH Alum Highlight:Zhengqi Tan, Ph.D., Advancing Public Health through AI

April 6, 2023 • integrate, News

Zhengqi Tan’s Work at Pumas-AI in Pharmaceutical Drug Development

Zhengqi Tan Edited Headshot
Zhengqi Tan, Ph.D., MPH

Zhengqi Tan, Ph.D., MPH, has always been fascinated by the potential of artificial intelligence in solving complex problems. He joined Pumas-AI after completing his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the HSC School of Public Health in July 2022. Pumas-AI is a company that creates Julia platform-based analytical software toolkit suite solutions for pharmaceutical scientists in drug development teams. The company collaborated with Moderna to provide clinical analysis methods for the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who took the Moderna vaccine benefited from the innovative solutions and products of Pumas-AI, suggesting a significant public health impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a Scientist at Pumas-AI, Tan focuses on modeling and simulation and their application to pharmaceutical drug development, such as clinical trial design and dose selection based on the model-informed drug development framework. He loves solving complex problems and finds his job at Pumas-AI challenging and demanding but fulfilling. He appreciates that he works for a company that moves science forward.

After working at Pumas-AI for eight months, Tan has developed new skills and knowledge essential to his job. He has become proficient in data wrangling, programming, and visualization using Pumas. He has also gained knowledge in non-linear mixed effect models, modeling and simulation in pharmacometrics (PK/PD), and their applications at various stages of drug development.

Tan credits his Ph.D. training at the HSC School of Public Health with preparing him for his job. He said, “The most valuable experience my Ph.D. training prepared me is the ability to pick up new knowledge and apply it independently. Other valuable experience/knowledge include modeling, programming, and exposure to biostatistics.” He also expressed his gratitude for the outstanding mentorship he received during his Ph.D. training, saying, “I appreciate the support and guidance I received from Dr. Mun. She helped me develop the necessary mindset – persistence and perseverance –  to conduct innovative research. I cherish the experience and believe it has set the bar high for my future career.”

Dr. E.-Y. Mun, a Professor at HSC School of Public Health, who served as Tan’s primary research mentor during his studies with HSC, said, “Dr. Tan is a very talented researcher, and I am very proud of all his accomplishments. I look forward to hearing about his contributions to improving the lives of others and solving critical challenges in public health.”