Friday, February 10, 2017

Staff Spotlight is an initiative sponsored by the College of Pharmacy Staff Council to celebrate the incredibly talented staff within the college and to facilitate awareness and understanding of the unique individuals who make up the pharmacy family. Staff members in a variety of roles and departments will be featured on a rotating basis.

This month, we are learning about Jacob Simmering, a research specialist in the Division of Health Services Research, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

Tell us about your role at the College of Pharmacy.

I recently finished my PhD in health services research at the UI College of Pharmacy, and am now working as a research specialist in the college and as a data scientist for UI Health Ventures. Ideally, I take interesting questions and interesting data to provide insights into health care services, quality, and effectiveness. 

I have always been interested in health care, statistics, and computing. Data science in health care has a natural overlap of all three fields.

What is your favorite musical genre/artist?

Generally, I’ll take whatever Google Music thinks I’d like at the moment. Although, recently I’ve been listening to an “experimental” vocal artist whose music can, most charitably, only be described as “weird.” But it is good work music!

What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?

Either camping or biking. I love spending time outdoors. I typically go backpacking a few times a year and during the warmer months structure my day around when I’m going to get my ride in. Recently, I’ve been looking at bike-packing and combining both passions.

What’s the first thing on your ‘bucket list’ and why?

I would love to thru-hike one of the great trails in the US -- ideally the Appalachian Trail.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read. Typically, I try to read about three books a month. Reading a book is a great way to pass the time and it is especially nice on those -20 degree days! I also try to ride at least a few days a week, even in the winter.

Tell us about your photo.

My fiancée and I recently attended a friend’s wedding where the invite said “steam punk attire is encouraged.” It was a lot of fun to dress up and also see what other people wore.