Meet the 2023-2024 Thomas O. Pyle Fellowship Awardees

Meet the 2023-2024 Thomas O. Pyle Fellowship Awardees

August 21, 2023

The Department of Population Medicine is pleased to introduce this year’s Thomas O. Pyle Fellowship awardees.

Each fellow will study under the mentorship of a Department of Population Medicine faculty member who aligns with their area of expertise, with the overall goal of contributing to the development of health care policy at any of several levels - public, organizational, or clinical.

SHL Soren Harnois-Leblanc, PhD
Mentors: Marie-France Hivert, MD, MPH; Jessica Young, PhD

Soren is investigating the role of dietary habits on diabetes risk markers from early childhood to late adolescence in Project Viva Cohort using causal inference methods, under the supervision of Marie-France Hivert and Jessica Young. Before this fellowship, she earned her PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology at Université de Montréal investigating the natural history of type 2 diabetes in children and of cardiovascular disease in youth with type 1 diabetes, as well as the role of lifestyle habits on these two conditions. Following her PhD, Soren did a one-year fellowship in health economy and epidemiology at McGill University examining the health care costs of pediatric obesity and estimating cost-effectiveness of a pediatric weight management program. More broadly, her research focuses on the prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in at-risk children and children from the general population using robust statistical methods.


Mahnum Shahzad, PhD
Mentor: Anita Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH

Mahnum is working on disparities in access to novel therapies for cancer patients under the supervision of Anita Wagner. She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a double major in economics and mathematics. As an undergraduate, she worked extensively on projects in the fields of development and public economics as a presidential scholar and a research assistant and augmented that experience by doing field work in her native country, Pakistan. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant to MIT Professor Heidi Williams at the National Bureau of Economic Research with a focus on innovation in the pharmaceutical sector. Her current research interests focus on provider decision making in the context of pharmaceuticals with a particular focus on accelerated approvals and deadoption decisions. 

Li Yi


Li Yi, PhD
Mentor: Peter James, MHS, ScD

Li's research focuses on investigating the impact of the neighborhood built environment and greenness on health behaviors and chronic disease outcomes. His current work intersects the fields of environmental epidemiology, health behavioral research, and bioinformatics by integrating smartphones and wearable devices, Big Data analytics, and geographic information systems into large prospective cohort studies, including Nurses' Health Studies, Growing Up Today Study, Project Viva, and Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors Study. In the division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL), Li works closely with Peter James and members of the Project Viva team on the Beiwe Smartphone Substudy. Li holds an interdisciplinary PhD in Population, Health and Place from the University of Southern California, an MS in Architectural and Urban Conservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSc in Urban Planning from the University College London.



About the Thomas O. Pyle Fellowship

Created by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Harvard University in honor of Thomas Pyle, who was Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Community Health Plan for many years and a leader in the Harvard and Boston communities, the Thomas O. Pyle Fellowship supports scholarly work that contributes to the development of health care policy at any of several levels - public, organizational, or clinical.

 Learn more about the Pyle Fellowship here.