Kelley Akiya is a doctoral student at the School of Global Public Health, concentrating in Health Policy and Management. Her research interests include social determinants of health and the integration of social services and health care to address health disparities. Before enrolling in NYU, she earned a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas Austin and a BA in Psychology and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, she worked as a program evaluator for 8 years, studying U.S-based and international interventions aimed at improving health, employment, and education outcomes.
Mahathi Vojjala is a doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track. She is a 2017 MPH graduate from New York University School of Global Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. Prior to her MPH, Mahathi received a B.A. in religion and public health from Rutgers University. She has been working at the Tobacco Research Lab (TRL) since 2015; Mahathi started as a Research Assistant and was then promoted to Research Lab Manager. After receiving her MPH in 2017, she joined the Tobacco Research Lab full-time as a Junior Research Scientist and Research Coordinator working with Dr. David Abrams and Dr. Ray Niaura. Mahathi’s previous research focused on youth smoking initiation and media advertising, dual and poly use of substances specifically marijuana and cigarettes among young adults, media portrayal of alcohol and tobacco in movie trailers and youth smoking rates, and more recently, use of oral analgesics combined with marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes among people with chronic pain. Mahathi is primarily interested in research examining alcohol use among youth, and policies and regulations of flavored alcohol products.
Avni Gupta is a doctoral student at New York University’s School of Global Public Health in the Health Policy and Management concentration. She received her dental surgery training from Government Dental College and Hospital, Jaipur, India and her Master’s in Public Health (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), Baltimore, USA. Prior to joining PhD at NYU, Avni worked as a Research Scientist for four years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Surgery and Public Health (joint collaboration of Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.N. Chan School of Public Health) in Boston. Her previous work experiences include dental surgery clinical practice, UNICEF, Save the Children and International Vaccine Access Center at JHSPH. Her research focuses on evaluating and promoting health equity, healthcare quality, healthcare data management, value-based healthcare as well as the integration and coordination of healthcare services, with a focus on primary and preventive care in diverse healthcare settings, both domestically and globally.
Abbey Jones is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology track. Prior to enrolling at NYU, Abbey worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders for eight years, including 18 months working in the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center for the 2016 Zika Virus Response. Abbey has an MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from College of the Holy Cross. She has experience in the fields of public health surveillance, preparedness and response, infectious disease, and maternal and child health.
Vivian Wang is a doctoral student at the Department of Public Health Policy and Management. She is a registered dietitian with research experience in childhood obesity and other diet-related non-communicable diseases worldwide. Vivian holds an M.S. in Nutrition Science from SUNY at Buffalo and an M.P.A. in Health Policy and Management from NYU Wagner. Her research seeks to identify the role of social determinants of health in the health care system. She is particularly interested in drawing methods and theories from different disciplines to inform policy decisions. An amateur cook, Vivian rarely follows recipes and thoroughly enjoys culinary art as an agent to connect with self and others.
Erica Wood is a doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Erica received her B.S. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. In 2017, she graduated with her MPH in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University where she became interested in intersectionality and minority stress theory. Erica began working for NYU GPH as a Junior Research Scientist in 2016 for Dr. Stephanie Cook’s Attachment and Health Disparities Lab. Erica continues to work with Dr. Cook on projects examining intersections of different forms of minority stress (e.g., sexual orientation-related discrimination and/or racial/ethnic-related discrimination) and mental and physical health outcomes among sexual minority men of color. Erica’s primary research interests include examining pathways of risk and resilience among racially/ethnically diverse populations of sexual and gender minorities across the life-course.
Yuan Zhao is a doctoral student concentrating in Epidemiology. She is interested in understanding infectious disease prevention and transmission using agent-based modeling and causal inference. Originally from China, she holds a BS in biology from Peking University, a MHS of epidemiology from Johns Hopkins and MPH of biostatistics from Emory University. Her previous research mainly focused on modeling STI and HIV prevention among MSM and treatment of multidrug resistant TB using targeted maximum likelihood estimation (TMLE). She hopes to use statistical and computational approaches to study infectious disease dynamics.
Zoé Haskell-Craig is a PhD student in the biostatistic concentration at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Her research focus is in spatial statistics and health disparities. In particular, she is looking at the differences in disease prevalence between neighbourhoods and race, socioeconomic, and geographic factors. Currently, she is working with Dr. Melody Goodman in the Measurement, Learning and Evaluation lab. She is also interested in infectious disease dynamics and vaccine delivery strategies. Zoé grew up outside of Toronto, Canada and attended Carnegie Mellon University where she received a B.Sc. in Physics and a B.A. in Social and Political History in 2020. Her previous research focused on building a publicly available database of historic mortality rates from London, England, dating back to the 1660s. Using this data, as well as newspaper archives, she analyzed the response to the 1874 scarlet fever outbreak in London in the context of the public health revolution of the 1800s. Beyond public health, Zoé is also passionate about education and social justice. She spent a semester in Kenya evaluating the long-term sustainability of NGO water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives and worked for two summers on a literacy program for First Nations youth in Northern Ontario.
Sooyoung Kim is a doctoral student in the Health Policy and Management track. She was born and raised in South Korea where she studied Biology as an undergraduate at POSTECH. After working for 4 years in the private sector, she joined the MPH program in French School of Public Health (EHESP) where she developed her interest in economic evaluation of health policies and programs. She has worked in both academic settings and under the United Nations system. Before joining NYU, she worked in the World Health Organization's Health Emergency Programme (WHE) for two years, working on the response to several major outbreaks, including Ebola virus disease, Malaria, and COVID-19. She is interested in exploring how to better respond to infectious disease outbreaks by combining different quantitative methodologies such as mathematical modelling of infectious disease dynamics and economic modelling of the cost-effectiveness of the response operations.
Zoe Lindenfeld is a doctoral student in the Public Health PhD program at the New York University School of Global Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. She received her BS in Biology and Society from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2017. She spent two years as a research associate at John Snow Inc. conducting research related to health care delivery and payment reform. Her research interests include value-based payment models and behavioral health, with a particular focus on substance use disorders.
Yuyu(Ruby) Chen is a doctoral student at NYU School of Global Public Health specializing in Biostatistics. She received a B.A. in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics at Occidental College. After that, she joined NYU GPH and obtained M.S. in Biostatistics. She was involved in multiple collaborative projects and consulting tasks, including Bayesian Adaptive Platform clinical trials, meta-analysis, machine learning and several longitudinal/cohort studies during her time at NYU. She also worked on opioid overdose behavior with measurement development at the Center of Drug and HIV/HCV Research and Measurement, Learning and Evaluation Lab. She is interested in using data to address public health issues and find optimal clinical solutions with statistical approaches.
Jasmin Choi is a PhD student in Social and Behavioral Sciences track at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. Jasmin is passionate about promoting and sustaining health equity by implementing and evaluating evidence-based policies and services. She is specifically interested in exploring harm reduction approaches to mitigate the effect of stigma and address barriers to healthcare access for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Previously, she worked as a federal policy analyst and coordinator for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program. She also worked at Boston University School of Public Health focusing on substance use and HIV research. She received a BA in Chemistry from University of California, Riverside and a dual-degree Master’s in Social Work (MSW) in group therapy work specialization and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University. As a first-generation low-income student, her career goal is to utilize research to empower communities.
Sarah Kimball is a doctoral student concentrating in epidemiology at New York University School of Global Public Health. Born and raised in the Boston area, she received her BS in Human Physiology from Boston University before moving to New York City to complete her MPH from Columbia University. She spent three years as a Program Developer at BronxWorks where she worked with an array of programs, including family shelters, safe havens, street outreach, supportive housing, and eviction prevention. During this time, she gained invaluable experience writing grants and managing several research projects. Her research interests include substance use, infectious disease, and health equity. In her free time, she enjoys running and going to the park with her dog.
Katie Lynch is a doctoral student in Social and Behavioral Sciences at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Katie holds a BA in History and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut, a MS in Medical Anthropology from the Boston University School of Medicine, and an MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from NYU. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Katie was the Qualitative Methods Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where her role was to provide consultation, training, and advisement to investigators interested in incorporating qualitative methods into their grants and protocols. Katie’s research utilizes qualitative, mixed-methods, and community-based approaches and she has collaborated on numerous NIH and philanthropic foundation awards in NYC and internationally. Her research interests include examining how the local environment and sense of place influence community health, behavior, and risk perception, particularly regarding cancer-related outcomes. Outside of research, Katie coaches taekwondo and also competes at the local and national level.
Elizabeth McNeill is a doctoral student concentrating in Health Policy and Management at the New York University School of Global Public Health. Elizabeth holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Business Administration from Roberts Wesleyan College and an MPH with a concentration in public health policy from NYU GPH, where she worked as a Research Assistant for faculty in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management. Her time working in nonprofit administration, primary care, and public health communication settings revealed the gaps in the public health system that must be addressed, and inspired her to continue in public health research. Elizabeth’s previous research includes vaccine hesitancy and the integration of social services with health care delivery. She is interested in applying implementation science and health services research to strengthen public health initiatives.
Brandi Moore is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology track. She received her BA in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard College where she completed an undergraduate thesis focused on exploring the impact of several polyphenol-rich foods on the composition of the gut microbiome. During this time she also worked at the college’s Women’s Center where she facilitated workshops on gender theory and allyship while additionally serving as the director for an undergraduate sexual health peer-education group. In 2021, she received her MPH in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. There, she worked on several research projects including one which examined the relationship between community supervision, housing stability, and engagement in sexual behaviors that could impact HIV risk. Her master’s thesis involved the design and execution of a study based in Thailand which explored Thai physicians’ opinions on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention and their willingness to prescribe it to different populations of patients. Currently, her broad research interests continue to focus on the ways that socio-structural factors may impact infectious disease risk for marginalized populations and how these factors may either impede or facilitate access to health promoting resources such as harm reduction interventions.
Dina Zein is a doctoral student in the Health Policy and Management track. She earned her BA in Sociology with a concentration in Science and Medicine at University of California, San Diego and Master of Health Administration at University of Southern California. After her MHA, she worked as a Project Specialist at USC Schaeffer Center where she developed her interest in behavioral interventions in opioid prescribing and emergency medicine. Before joining NYU, she worked in Kuwait as a Teaching Assistant and Researcher at Kuwait University. Her primary research interests are in implementation science, behavioral economics and decision-making in healthcare. When she's not studying, she's an aerial yoga enthusiast.
Josepha (Epa) Cabrera
Josepha (Epa) Cabrera is a doctoral student studying in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration. Epa was born and raised in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and moved to Virginia where she graduated with her BA in Finance and Economics at Hollins University. Before enrolling at NYU, she received her MPH with a Global Health concentration from Brown University School of Public Health. While studying public health at Brown University, Epa was a health equity population medicine research assistant for Integra Community Care and a seasonal public health epidemiologist with the oral health program at the Rhode Island Department of Health. Her main research interests include non-communicable chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease disparities among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Epa plans to disaggregate Asian and NHPI data to explore sociodemographic-related behavioral and cultural characteristics that impact health risks and unmet needs in smaller NHPI communities.
Ugonnaya (Ugo) is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology concentration. Ugo's research interests are in psychiatric, mental health epidemiology, and stigma. She aims to identify and assess determinants of mental health outcomes across various sub-populations globally. Born and raised in Nigeria, she obtained her medical degree from Nigeria and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Essex, Colchester, England. After her postgraduate degree, she completed a six-year medical residency program in Lagos, Nigeria in Public Health and Community Medicine. She is a board-certified fellow of the West African College of Physicians and the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.Ugo has over a decade of experience working in the field of public health in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is bilingual.
Karen Choe is a doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration. After receiving her BA in Psychology at NYU, she worked closely with physicians on practice transformation and value-based initiatives to reduce health disparities in underserved communities. She then received her EdM in Mental Health Counseling and MA in Counseling Psychology at Columbia University, which led to her role as a multicultural therapist at Henry Street Settlement for low-income individuals and families. Concurrently, she worked with Dr. Lawrence Yang as the former manager of the Culture Stigma Psychosis Lab on NIH/NIMH R01 projects, researching cultural variations in stigma, how stigma acts to impede social recovery and influence health outcomes of various mental/physical health conditions (e.g., schizophrenia, opioid use disorder, HIV, cancer), and culturally-responsive interventions. She is particularly interested in the role of stigma in co-occurring psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and chronic pain. Grounded by her clinical experiences, Karen aims to instill long-term changes in the way people understand and cope with their pain and disabling conditions.
Michael Cziner is a doctoral student in Epidemiology concentration. He has worked in a variety of public health settings focusing primarily on infectious diseases. After receiving his BA from NYU, Michael served as a Clinical Data Assistant in the Infection Prevention and Control Department at NYU Langone Health. He then received his MPH in Epidemiology from George Washington University where he worked as Graduate Research Assistant for the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center. Before returning to NYU for his PhD, Michael worked as a federal contractor, serving first as an Epidemiologist Investigator in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Medical Branch and then as an Epidemiologist and Disease Portfolio Manager in the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Branch of the Department of Defense’s Armed Force Health Surveillance Division. Michael is interested in researching social, behavioral, and ecological impacts on pandemics, emerging infectious diseases, and zoonoses.
Julie Holm is a doctoral student concentrating in Health Policy and Management. She earned her BS in Health Information Management and Master of Business Administration from Idaho’s Boise State University, where she is originally from. Prior to moving to New York City, Julie managed a team of analysts at a large clinically-integrated network where she focused on data analytics related to improving quality and cost outcomes for both government and private insurance contracts. Julie is interested in healthcare reform, cost-effectiveness and equity in health insurance coverage. Outside of studying, Julie enjoys endurance sports.
Supriya Kapur is a doctoral student in the Public Health Policy and Management department. She holds a BS in Computer Science from Oregon State University’s College of Engineering and an MS in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her primary research interests include data driven approaches for informing public policy and AI ethics.
Mehrdad Khezri is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology concentration. Born and raised in Iran, Mehrdad received his MS in Public Health Nursing and BS in Nursing from the Kerman University of Medical Sciences. His research focuses on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, including HIV and HCV, substance use epidemiology, and harm reduction research to improve the health and well-being of marginalized populations. Before joining NYU, Mehrdad was an epidemiology project manager at the WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance (HIVHUB) in the Middle East and North Africa. He was engaged in designing and implementing several national studies on HIV and substance use among people who inject drugs, female sex workers, youth experiencing homelessness, and incarcerated people in Iran. More recently, he worked as the project manager for two national HIV bio-behavioral surveillance surveys among men who have sex with men and transgender people in Iran.
Taehyo Kim is a doctoral student at NYU School of Global Public Health specializing in Biostatistics. He received B.A.Sc in computer engineering at University of Toronto, and M.S. in computer science at NYU Courant. His research interests include high dimensional data analysis and machine/deep learning. Currently, he is working on topics including medical image analysis for Alzheimer's disease, survival analysis, and multi-modal data analysis. Outside of research, he can potentially be found at various tennis courts.
Lingzi Luo is an intervention scientist and a doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration. Her research interests are broadly in leveraging intervention optimization and implementation science methods to improve routine social and health services for vulnerable populations, especially those with chronic illnesses or mental health challenges. The ultimate goal of her research is to build learning service systems that are person-centered, efficient, and equitable. She had practice exposure in diverse settings such as community mental health centers, psychiatric inpatient units, non-profit organizations, local governments, and the World Health Organization headquarters. Prior to joining NYU, she worked for several years at Washington University School of Medicine on a national implementation science consortium to improve care for patients with sickle cell disease. Lingzi holds a B.S. in Psychology from Wuhan University and a dual-degree Master's in Social Work and Master's in Public Health with an individualized concentration in Integrated Health for Disadvantaged Populations from Washington University in St. Louis.
Katie Parrotte is a doctoral student concentrating in epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Katie holds a BS in Clinical Health Studies and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Ithaca College, and an MS in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Katie worked as a clinical director and physical therapist in an NYC-based outpatient clinic, where she managed clinic operations and specialized in treating patients with various orthopedic and pelvic health conditions. Her research interests include exploring disparities in health and access to care.
Jianan(Zoe) Zhu is a doctoral student in the Biostatistics concentration. She is originally from China where she received a Bachelor of Medicine degree in Preventive Medicine at Nantong University in 2020. After that, she continued her master's study in Biostatistics at GPH. Her previous research is mainly focused on developing and applying machine learning methods in public health data analysis. Currently, she is working with Dr. Siyu Heng on causal inference. She is interested in observational studies, randomized trails, sensitivity analysis, instrumental variables, and their applications in health policy research, infectious disease research, and social sciences. In the future, she hopes to use machine learning methos in the following research of causal inference.
Hedda Boege is a doctoral student concentrating in epidemiology at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. She holds a BS in Global Public Health and Biology from NYU, a MS in Human Nutrition from Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, and an MEd in Community Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her dietetic internship at Teachers College to become a Registered Dietitian. Before returning to NYU for her PhD, Hedda worked as a research coordinator in the lab of Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge at Columbia University Irving Medical Center on studies investigating the effects of diet and meal timing on sleep, circadian rhythms, energy balance, and cardiometabolic risk. Her research interests include nutrition and lifestyle behaviors and their influence on chronic disease risk and treatment.
Zhihao Chen is a PhD student in Biostatistics at New York University's School of Global Public Health. He specializes in using graphical models to uncover causal connections in complex systems, particularly in tobacco research alongside Dr. Shu Xu and Dr. Raymond Niaura. Zhihao also explores longitudinal data under Dr. Stephanie Cook, focusing on mental health topics within the All of Us dataset. With an B.S. degree in Computational Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Biostatistics from GPH, Zhihao's interest is well-rounded. His prior research highlighted COVID-19 vaccine accessibility among the elderly, shedding light on racial and social disparities in vaccination access among minorities. Looking forward, Zhihao is driven by the aspiration to apply his statistical skills into resolving clinical and epidemiological issues. By applying his skills to solve tangible problems, he aims to contribute positively to society, bringing impact on public health and well-being.
Xiaoting Chen is a PhD student with a concentration in biostatistics at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Originally from China, Xiaoting earned her Bachelor's degree in Plant Science and Technology from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. With a passion for data-driven insights, she pursued a Master's degree in Biostatistics under the NYU GPH department. Currently, she works closely with Professor Rumi Chunara, delving into topics of social determinants and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Looking ahead, Xiaoting aims to continue focusing on leveraging advanced quantitative algorithms to address pressing public health challenges. She aspires to contribute to a better understanding of complex health dynamics and the implementation of innovative solutions.
Nükte Göç Gürpinar
Nükte Göç Gürpınar is a doctoral student concentrating in Health Policy and Management. As a passionate advocate for improving health outcomes in low- and middle-income settings, she is dedicated to effecting positive change through rigorous program evaluation and innovative design thinking. She received her MPH from Yale School of Public Health with a focus on global health and continued to work as a program administrator at the Yale Global Health Leadership Initiative (GHLI) following graduation. She led GHLI’s program evaluation portfolio and supported data analysis efforts. She then started working with the Yale Institute for Global Health and led student programs, helping future global health leaders excel in their skills and apply their theoretical knowledge in practice. During her PhD studies, she is particularly motivated to bridge the gap between research and policy in health policy-making processes, utilizing her skills and knowledge in implementation science, mixed methods research, and program evaluation. Besides her academic pursuits, she enjoys reading and spending time with her pup, Loki.
Hang Ngo is a PhD student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. She received her MPH from the University of Washington where she worked with the Southern Institute of Social Sciences in Vietnam to conduct research on the climate, migration, and health nexus. She’s also worked with environmental justice communities in Houston, Texas to examine the cumulative impacts of environmental contaminants and flooding. As a PhD student, she plans to conduct research on climate change, disasters, and health through a justice lens. She is particularly interested in the health risks of and adaptation to climate variability and change, including strategies for managing climate and disaster risks to reduce vulnerability and address persistent inequities.
Claire Van Thanh Nguyen
Claire Van Thanh Nguyen is a doctoral student at NYU School of Global Public Health specializing in Public Health Policy and Management. After receiving her BA in Political Science from Augustana College, Claire served as a Research Assistant at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Qualitative Research Analyst at Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) Coordinating Center. Her primary research interests include qualitative research, the shared decision-making process between patients and healthcare providers, and the process to design healthcare interventions and develop decision-support tools to reduce health and healthcare inequalities. Outside of research, Claire can be found either at a basketball court or yoga and ballet classes.
Isaiah Omari is a doctoral student at the School of Global Public Health, New York University, Epidemiology track. With a robust background and profound expertise in epidemiology and data analytics, Isaiah brings a wealth of experience and dedication that is sure to enrich our research landscape. Isaiah's academic path has been marked by a strong commitment to unraveling the intricacies of disease transmission and proliferation. He obtained his MPH degree with a specialization in Epidemiology from Emory University. Isaiah's research centers on investigating the complex relationships between HIV medications and the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Delving into this critical area, Isaiah meticulously examines the interplay between medication labels and drug information as provided by medical practitioners. His incisive analysis extends to scrutinizing the sales pitches employed by pharmaceutical firms, and its impact on medication user behavior. What sets Isaiah's work apart is his dedication to uncovering how these factors collectively influence the rates of STI infections.
Cindy is a doctoral student at the School of Global Public Health, pursuing a PhD in Biostatistics. Cindy received a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Howard University and a Masters of Science in Biostatistics from New York Medical College. Cindy's research interest focuses primarily on the longitudinal analysis of health outcomes from childhood to adulthood. Cindy's main motivation for this particular subject stemmed from work I did in AmeriCorps as a Youth Health Promoter.
Jihan (Iris) Zhang
Jihan (Iris) Zhang is a doctoral student specializing in the field of Biostatistics. She earned her B.S. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University, followed by an M.S. in Data Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Iris’s academic journey has nurtured her passion for the high-dimensional data analysis, with an emphasis on leveraging advanced machine learning techniques for the study of biomedical imaging data.