Nandini Rakala, PhD

Visiting Associate
Dr. Nandini Rakala is a Data Scientist and Mathematician by background, currently working as a Visiting Associate within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. FDA. Dr. Rakala earned her Ph.D. in Operations Research in May 2020, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Florida Tech, with her primary research work in Optimization and Machine Learning. She also holds a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Computing from Manipal University, India; and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Honors from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, India. During her past three years of experience working with the FDA, Dr. Rakala has contributed to various multidisciplinary regulatory research projects, employing her expertise in operations research, machine learning, natural language processing, programming skills, and knowledge of efficient quality management practices regarding pharmaceutical manufacturing. She is currently leading and/or serving as a subject matter expert on critical programs such as the Quality Management Maturity, Quality Metrics, Predictive Modeling of Pharmaceutical Quality System effectiveness, development of a Risk-based Sampling and Testing strategy, Report on the State of Pharmaceutical Quality, Quality Signal Detection, Prioritization, and Topic Modeling of Post-market Surveillance data. Dr. Rakala has had an opportunity to present her research work at numerous conferences, and she is a recipient of several awards. In her free time, Nandini enjoys volunteering in service activities, judging various mathematical modeling contests, playing tennis, reading, and writing.