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Senior Data Manager Mike Paskewicz hails from Michigan and he found his way to OrACORe in June 2022 following a stent in Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny General) and another at Boston University. Mike has quickly become an expert programmer in SAS (Statistical Analysis Software) and is partial to streamlining data-driven processes. When Mike does not know the answer to a problem, his curiosity quickly leads him to conduct research to devise solutions. When Mike is not in front of a computer, you can find him playing golf at local courses or spending time with family and friends.

The Road to OrACORe

Mike Paskewicz enjoying some golfing at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

Mike’s path to a career in data management at OrACORe led him across an array of scientific disciplines. From a young age, Mike was interested in healthcare because his mom frequently spoke about her experiences working as a medical assistant in a family practice. This interest led Mike to pursue his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Grand Valley State University. During undergrad, Mike learned about the field of data science through conversations with a few of his peers who were Computer Science majors. While Mike’s curiosity was piqued by data science, he continued to pursue a career in health sciences believing that it would be a better fit. Still, career uncertainty persisted, and he grappled with pursuing Pharmacology or Medicine. He finally opted to pursue his Master’s in Biomedical Science from Midwestern University.

After finishing graduate school, Mike began his career in Pittsburgh studying thoracic cancers. He worked on randomized clinical trials investigating the efficacy of immuno-oncology drugs in Lung and Esophageal cancers, including Merck’s Keynote Trials investigating KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), and Bristol Myers Squibb’s CheckMate trials of the drug Opdivo (nivolumab). Mike also was involved with laboratory animal research focused on enhancing the antitumor activity of similar drugs in combination treatments. This exposed him first-hand to how animal studies can lead to Phase 1 clinical trials. These experiences allowed Mike to dip his toes into multiple areas of clinical study across different disciplines while also continuing to shape his interest in data science. With these experiences, he recognized that he thrived in a research environment rather than in applied patient care. Ultimately, Mike’s innate interest in science, a series of richly fulfilling research opportunities, a graduate school biostatistics class, and his love of coding pointed him toward a career in data science.

Mike Paskewicz hiking in Sedona, Arizona with his fiancé Christina.

Real World Impact

As for OrACORe, Mike likes working with and learning from the leadership team on different outcomes research studies. He has found it incredibly fulfilling and inspiring to work on projects, such as the Knee Arthroplasty Activity Trial (KArAT), where he can directly see the impact that the results of studies have on patient outcomes. Through his manipulation and analysis of sometimes messy secondary data sources, Mike is enjoying and learning to appreciate the cost-effectiveness studies spearheaded by Dr. Losina. He sees how these projects complement primary data collection studies and how they can aid decision-makers and potential patients to steer clear of treatments that are predicted to be substantially more expensive than other treatments. Mike’s advice to people considering a career in data science is ’to utilize all your available resources and don’t be afraid to ask questions’. Data analysis can go a long way in directly impacting and improving the lives of those around us.

Mike Paskewicz hiking in New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia.

When Not at Work

When not in planning mode for his wedding to Christina in late summer 2024, Mike can be found hiking and exploring the deserts and mountains of different national parks around the country. Most recently, Mike had the opportunity to explore New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia, home to the New River, one of the oldest rivers in North America. Mike can also be found on and around any number of local golf courses working on perfecting his latest swing, a hobby he has pursued since childhood. Mike recently traveled to North Carolina to play golf on several courses of the nine courses of the renowned Pinehurst Resort. A bucket list item for him.

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