Student Spotlight: Nick Gaddi

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February 20, 2012


As an epidemiology student, my internship was with the AusSun Research Lab in the Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia. The AusSun Research Lab focuses on UV exposure and how it impacts human health, in both a positive and negative way.

During my 10 weeks at AusSun, I accomplished two main goals. My first assignment was to run a small pilot study from the data of a recently completed, national study on daily UV exposure along the eastern seaboard of Australia. The pilot study’s goal was to see if participant’s personal UV exposure diaries correlated to the UV chemical badges they were wearing daily. My other assignment was to create a unified data base from the Cancer Council of Queensland’s Atlas of Cancer (1998-2007) with new UV satellite data. The study looked at the relationship between changing latitude & longitude & average UV daily values in Queensland over a 27 year period against standardized incidence rates (SIR) and relative excess risk (RER) of invasive cancers in those same coordinate UV areas. With Australia having a very high average UV index and large geographic variation, this study aims to bolster current literature on vitamin D and overall rates of cancer because the majority of vitamin D produced in humans is through ambient UV exposure.

I greatly enjoyed and feel that my internship experience helped me grow personally and professionally. AusSun & IHBI were highly innovative places to work. This is also true for IHBI, since the building itself has “wet” labs in addition to the offices of the five major research domains. AusSun was comprised of a dietician, survey analyst, radiation physicist, RN and many more just to name a few. The ability to consult with professionals in a wide variety of fields & specialities was refreshing and very helpful to accomplishing the goals set for me. 

Degree Program:  Master of Public Health in Epidemiology
Hometown:  Buffalo, NY