Simone Gray, PhD
Dr. Simone Gray is a senior statistician in the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Dr. Gray also spent five years working in CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention before joining the Cancer division in 2017.
Dr. Gray’s research interests broadly include data visualization and translation. She is also interested in reducing disparities in cancer incidence and mortality. Dr. Gray works on a variety of projects related to surveillance, recurrence, and cancer survivorship. She works with epidemiologists, medical professionals, and other public health professionals to conduct research across the cancer spectrum from prevention to survivorship. She enjoys this collaborative environment where individuals contribute based on their area of expertise to address emerging issues related to cancer.
Dr. Gray is originally from the Caribbean and grew up on the island of Trinidad. She always enjoyed being challenged by mathematical problems and did undergraduate and graduate work in mathematics. After graduating from the University of Miami, Dr. Gray became aware of the critical shortage of math and science teachers in high schools across the United States and felt compelled to do something about it. Dr. Gray became a tutor and mentor, first through the Breakthrough Collaborative Organization, and later through a 21st Century Community Learning Center. Both of these programs provide academic enrichment opportunities to support students from under-resourced communities. Dr. Gray also became a full-time mathematics teacher at a low-performing high school in southwest Florida.
Dr. Gray wanted to continue learning about both math and science. She had been exposed to biostatistics through a CDC internship, and decided to leave teaching to pursue a PhD at Duke University in statistical science. Her research at Duke focused on air pollution modelling and maternal health outcomes. Dr. Gray continued her air pollution research in a post-doctoral position at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she was challenged to think about how race and other social and environmental factors influenced children’s health.
Dr. Gray is excited to apply statistics to public policy. Her current work serves both internal programs and external partners by providing analytical support to professionals interested in population-based cancer control efforts. Dr. Gray hopes to continue to use her quantitative skills to answer important health-related questions.