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Former HDSI Postdoctoral Fellow Becomes VP Data Science at Delfina

Dr. Isabel Fulcher, 2019 Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) Postdoctoral Fellow, completed her fellowship this past month and is now beginning her next role as the Vice President of Data Science at Delfina, a pregnancy care startup dedicated to solving the maternal health crisis in the United States.

The Delfina data science team works to develop prediction models for early identification of pregnancy complications. A major part of the team’s mission is to address the biases inherent to health data sources to ensure the technologies developed are effective for all pregnant people and their care teams.

While at her new role, Fulcher is excited to apply her statistical and public health research background to deploy prediction models for use in clinical practice. Although this task will be challenging, Fulcher is committed to working closely with Delfina’s product, engineering, and clinical teams to collaborate in successfully building an integrated data platform.

During her time as an HDSI Postdoctoral Fellow, Fulcher gained meaningful experiences that aligned with her career trajectory in addition to valuable knowledge that will aid in achieving her goals at Delfina.

Over the three-year fellowship, Fulcher specialized in utilizing routinely collected data to evaluate the impact of programs and policies on health outcomes with a focus on integrating causal inference methods with implementation science to optimize the delivery of maternal health programs in Tanzania. She was able to work closely with D-tree International, a digital health organization that strengthens health systems in sub-Saharan Africa, and Planned Parenthood to inform evidence-based changes for reproductive and maternal healthcare.

Fulcher continues to be passionate about partnering with program implementors, public health officials, and clinicians to ensure equitable access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare globally. In thinking about her career ahead, Fulcher reflects on how the HDSI supported her professional development.

“The Harvard Data Science Initiative has enabled me to chart my own research path at the intersection of causal inference, implementation science, and reproductive health,” said Fulcher. “I am grateful to the HDSI community [which] has consistently emphasized the importance of collaboration and diverse perspectives in data science to effect change… I feel so fortunate to have benefitted from all the doors this opportunity has opened for me.”

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