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About Me

Hi! My name is James Diao. I studied Statistics and Biochemistry at Yale, and am now a medical student in Harvard-MIT's HST Program. I wanted to document my learning, projects, and interests throughout my education, and this is where I've decided to put it.

I grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburban outgrowth of Houston. I lived there for eighteen years before coming to the Northeast for college. At Yale, I took up Ballroom and Latin dance, which is how I spent a lot of my free time. Happily, I've still found time to keep practicing and competing as part of the MIT team. I also found time to explore my interest in medicine: the scientific side through my classes and research, and the clinical side at Yale-New Haven Hospital and HAVEN Free Clinic.

My undergraduate research work covered two distinct fields: molecular bioinformatics in the Gerstein Lab at Yale and clinical genetics in the Kohane Lab at Harvard Medical School. In the Gerstein Lab, I worked on developing a public plotting tool for exRNA-Seq and inferring biofluids and tissues of origin. In the Kohane Lab (Zak Lab), I used large and diverse sequencing cohorts to estimate the predictive capacity of certain genetic tests and identify differences between ethnic populations.

Right now, I'm especially excited about applications of deep learning to biomedical problems. Specifically, I was blown away by three papers that described superhuman classification of disease states (e.g. diabetic retinopathy, skin cancers, and heart arrhythmias). It's an incredible feat, and I love how this kind of work has a direct and powerful link to improving care. One day, if all goes well, I would love to get involved and contribute to similar advances.