An epidemiologist, Nur studies the determinants of and risk factors for disease and health factors. “I didn’t know [epidemiology] existed until I went to graduate school. However I was introduced indirectly to public health from an early age. As a young girl, I was really inspired by a man named Jonas Salk. Not only did he develop the vaccine for polio, he then championed to make it a mandate to vaccinate children.” A marriage of her three passions of math, science, and public health/medicine, her specific focus is breast cancer epidemiology. “Cancer really appealed to me because it is such a huge burden in the U.S., and it was very poetic in the sense that it is a disease of overgrowth of cells, [cells] growing out of control. It kind of reminded me of society now. What is it that is killing us? It is all this excess. If you looked at the top ten diseases 200 years ago— the majority were infectious diseases. These diseases became less prominent with advances in medicine and public health, introduction of antibiotics, and improvements in sanitation, housing, and nutrition. Now, it is all this excess that is killing us and killing the planet.” As a population scientist, Nur is afforded the opportunity to really focus on the big picture and use a “cell to society” approach to address different public health challenges. “I feel like scientists are like artists because we have to take so much rejection. It’s creative; we have to think outside the box. In medicine, you get a patient and you have to follow different algorithms to find out what they have. But for scientists, we have a problem that we haven’t solved yet [and] society hasn’t solved it yet, so we need out-of-the-box thinkers.”