Meet our Doctoral Students

Cohort 2

Cohort 2

Keely Jordan

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Filippa Juul

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Cohort 3

Cohort 3

Drew Blasco

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Sasha (Alexandra) Guttentag

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Sarah Lieff

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Patricia McGaughey

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Cohort 4

Cohort 4

Ariadna Capasso

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Margaux Grivel

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Jacqueline Litvak

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Gabriella Meltzer

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Jamie Murkey

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Temitope Ojo

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Cohort 5

Cohort 5

Kelley Akiya

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Shelby Brewer

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Gawon Cho

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Daniel Hagen

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Bridget Murphy

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Brooke Wiles

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Mahathi Vojjala

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Cohort 6

Cohort 6

Shahmir Ali

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Avni Gupta

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Abbey Jones

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Vivian Wang

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Erica Wood

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Yuan Zhao

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Keely Jordan

Keely Jordan is a doctoral student at the School of Global Public Health of New York University, specializing in global health policy. Keely received her undergraduate degree in political science and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in global health from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  Prior to joining NYU she worked on the Lancet Commission Global Health 2035 and is currently the lead researcher on ethics and equity for the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era. Her work focuses on how to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries in order to provide quality care, with an emphasis on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. 


Filippa Juul

Filippa Juul is a doctoral student at the School of Global Public Health of New York University, specializing in nutritional epidemiology. Filippa is originally from Stockholm, Sweden. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain, and thereafter pursued a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to joining NYU Filippa worked as a researcher at Karolinska Institutet, where her work focused on obesity epidemiology. She also has practical experience of working with public health initiatives, including obesity prevention among young children. Filippa is broadly interested in the impact of nutritional factors on chronic diseases. For her dissertation, Filippa will examine the role of food processing in the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Drew Blasco

Drew is a doctoral student in Public Health at New York University. She received a BA in Global Health and BS in Psychology in 2015. Additionally, she graduated with an MA in Global Health from Arizona State University where she focused on the stigma associated with obesity. Her training in the disciplines of psychology and global health led to her current research focus on mental illness, the effects of labeling, and stigma. After graduation, she plans to pursue a tenure-track position where she can incorporate her passion for research and teaching.


Sasha (Alexandra) Guttentag

Sasha is a PhD student in Dr. Tom Kirchner's mHealth Lab. Originally from the SF Bay Area, she graduated from Johns Hopkins with a B.A. in Public Health in 2013 and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in southern Brazil in 2015. Sasha spent Fall 2017 completing a visiting research fellowship at ISPUP in Portugal, where she analyzed longitudinal data to evaluate patterns in smoking related to neighborhood deprivation and residential mobility amongst Portuguese women. Her main research interest centers on the applications of mobile technologies in health surveillance and behavior change. Her current research project at GPH uses mobile phone systems to evaluate the harm reduction potential of electronic cigarettes amongst cigarette smokers. Outside of GPH, she is an active member of the NYU Squash Club, and volunteers with Crisis Text Line. 


Sarah Lieff

Sarah is a Research Fellow and doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track. She earned a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and an MPH in Health Behavior from UNC Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her primary research interest is the impact of policy on the social determinants of mental health among underserved and vulnerable populations. Specifically, she aims to test innovative programs and policies to reduce stigma, increase access to care, and improve the quality and cultural competency of mental health services. Before enrolling at NYU, she led the evaluation of Maimonides Medical Center's Health Home, which aimed to utilize health-enabled IT to integrate care for patients with serious mental illness.


Patricia McGaughey

Patricia McGaughey joined the doctoral program in NYU’s School of Global Public Health in 2016. A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) with almost 10 years’ experience, Patricia is on the Healthcare Management track of the PhD program. She currently provides intrapartum care at  Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Patricia practiced full-scope midwifery with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for 7 years and served as interim Director of Midwifery at the hospital. Her clinical and administrative duties covered nine community health centers in the Boston area, as well as an in-hospital adolescent clinic, triage, labor and delivery, and postpartum. Her clinical experience drives her passion for research. Patricia is interested in the connections between quality, safety, leadership and organizational structure. She strives to optimize the organization of women’s healthcare to promote effective care for all women and newborns. She provides clinical teaching and is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in the NYU School of Global Public Health. She holds an MSN from Yale University School of Nursing and a BA in Biology (Spanish Minor) from Eureka College.


Ariadna Capasso

Ariadna Capasso is a PhD student in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Prior to joining NYU, Ariadna was a senior technical advisor at Management Sciences for Health, where she provided strategic leadership and managed a wide range of sexual and reproductive health projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thematic focuses of her work included adolescent sexual and reproductive health, women's empowerment, persons with disabilities and maternal and intercultural health.


Margaux Grivel

Margaux Grivel is a doctoral student in the Social Behavioral Sciences track. Immigrating to the U.S. from Brignoles, France, as the second-oldest sibling of five, Margaux’s background has fostered exceptional openness to, and captivation with, others' backgrounds, sensitivities, experiences, and perspectives. During her undergraduate and post-bac development at the University of Maryland, Margaux managed numerous projects for Dr. Derek Iwamoto including one longitudinal study focused on identifying distinct alcohol use trajectories among young adults, and examining sociocultural predictors of latent class membership. During her time at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Clinical Psychology MA program, Margaux completed a clinical placement at the Center for Prevention and Evaluation, one of few clinics worldwide that treats individuals with Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome, and had the opportunity to examine the relationship between history of trauma, clinical presentation, and transition to full psychosis in this population. Concurrently, Margaux worked with Dr. Lawrence Yang in the Global Mental Health, Psychosis, and Stigma lab and worked on a meta-analysis examining cognition in drug-naïve schizophrenia in collaboration with the late Dr. Larry Seidman (Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry) which has led to an R01 grant from NIMH (PI’s: Yang, Phillips, Keshevan), and a review of substance use stigma in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Hasin (Columbia University). Dr. Yang's exemplary work in identifying cultural variations in mental illness stigma and intervening with stigma,  in addition to the program’s commitment to identifying the underlying social, behavioral and structural factors that contribute to health disparities motivated Margaux to continue her work with Dr. Yang here at CGPH.


Jacqueline Litvak

Jacqueline (Jackie) is a doctoral student in public health concentrating in Epidemiology.  She is a born and raised Jersey girl who has always dreamed of living in New York City.  Jackie received her bachelors of science degree in Neuroscience from Union College, a M.S. in Human Nutrition from Columbia University, and a MPH in Chronic Degree Epidemiology from the Yale School of Public Health.  Her research interests focus on the intersection of maternal and child health and nutritional epidemiology.  After receiving her PhD, Jackie hopes to pursue a career in academia.


Gabriella Meltzer

Gabriella is a doctoral student concentrating in Epidemiology, with a focus on environmental justice in the US and throughout the developing world. Originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with her B.A. in Health and Societies, and her undergraduate research examined the public health issue of electronic waste, using Accra, Ghana as a case study. Following graduation, Gabriella worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as a Global Health Research Associate, where she focused on global health governance, pandemic preparedness, and environmental health in China. She hopes to pursue a career in academia with a strong emphasis on global health education.


Jamie Murkey

Jamie Murkey is a doctoral student in the PhD program at the New York University School of Global Public Health. He’s interested in research related to identifying and better understanding the impact of social and structural factors on adverse health outcomes among marginalized communities, particularly as it relates to chronic diseases. Jamie holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Pepperdine University and a MPH in Health Policy and Leadership from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, where he was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society. Prior to New York University, Jamie worked as a research manager at the University of California, Los Angeles on a variety of clinical and behavioral research projects involving the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk factors among HIV/Hepatitis C co-infected patients, HIV prevention using gamification, and an unbiased clinically validated metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing (mNGS) diagnostic used to detect pathogens in hospitalized patients with infectious diseases. He has previously worked on other studies concerning marginalized populations within the University of California, San Francisco’s HIV and AIDS Division, RAND Corporation, and City of Pasadena.


Temitope Ojo

Temitope (Temi) is a doctoral student in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology. She received her BA in Biochemistry, with a minor in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. She spent three years as a clinical research assistant and fellow, working on  chronic kidney disease studies in Boston, MA and Abuja, Nigeria. She went on to receive her MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT. Her research interests focus on cardiovascular disease management and the continuum of care in low resource settings, through the lens of  implementation science.


Kelley Akiya

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.


Gawon Cho

Gawon Cho is a PhD student in Public Health at New York University concentrating in Social-Behavioral Sciences. She is primarily interested in the following two topics: (1) identifying occupational factors associated with the risk of cognitive decline later in life by applying statistical methods based on the life course theories and (2) disparities in pain medication use associated with obesity. She is especially interested in applying statistical methods based on life course theories (e.g., sequence analysis) to studying chronic comorbidities later in life. Her mentor at NYU is Dr. Virginia Chang. Before joining the GPH community at NYU, she obtained a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. She also studied Health Psychology in a graduate program at SUNY-Stony Brook for a year.


Shelby Brewer

Shelby 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 Bachelors of Science degree with Honors in Allied Health Sciences (Pre-Med) from University of Connecticut. Shelby received her Masters of Science degree with honors in Health Promotion from the University of Connecticut. Her primary research interest is the impact of policy on the overall health status among underserved and vulnerable populations.


Daniel Hagen

Daniel Hagen is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology track of the PhD program in Public Health at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. His main interests are in the epidemiology and etiology of common psychiatric disorders, with a focus on health disparities, global mental health, and internationally comparative research. Daniel studied political science and sociology at the Universities of Mannheim, Bonn, and Copenhagen before majoring in Epidemiology in the International MPH program at the French School of Public Health (EHESP) in Paris. Amongst other things, he has worked on the effects of stigma and institutionalized discrimination on minority health in different settings, with experience in LGBT health research at the World Bank and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. More recently, he worked in project and science management for the funding initiative “Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa” implemented by the German development agency GIZ in Berlin. Prior to that, he was a research assistant at the University of Bonn and a volunteer with the Regional Office for Africa of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Nairobi.


Bridget Murphy

Bridget Murphy is a doctoral student in NYU’s School of Global Public Health’s epidemiology concentration. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, completing her dietetic internship at Harvard University’s Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA, earning a M.S. in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from NYU. Bridget has previous work experience in outpatient hospital settings both at NYU and New York Presbyterian hospital. More recently Bridget has worked with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU with families of children and adolescents with disordered eating patterns.  Her research interests include nutrition, obesity, chronic disease, and wellness.


Brooke Wiles

Brooke Wiles joined the GPH doctoral program in 2018 in the Epidemiology track. They graduated first in their class at Mary Baldwin University, where they earned a BS in Biology. Brooke received their MPH from NYU, during which they studied in Accra, Ghana and Florence, Italy while gaining hands-on experience regarding the health and human rights concerns of migrant populations. They graduated first in their MPH class and are also a member of NYU’s chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society. Their primary research interests include substance use, sexually transmitted infections, and syndemics among socially marginalized populations, namely homeless youth and LGBTQ+ individuals.


Mahathi Vojjala

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.


Shahmir Ali

Shahmir Ali is a doctoral student in NYU’s School of Global Public Health’s social and behavioral sciences concentration. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in public health studies and political science.  Prior to joining NYU, much of his research work as an undergraduate Woodrow Wilson research fellow and research assistant with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health involved mixed-method observational and interventional studies on diet, behavior, and community health in Baltimore city corner stores, food pantries, grocery stores, and religious institutions. He plans to build on this work at NYU by exploring behavioral and cultural characteristics of diet and non-communicable disease disparities among Asian communities. He has also collaborated in projects with the George Institute for Global Health (China), the University of Queensland School of Public Health (Australia), and the Griffith University Centre for Environment and Population Health (Australia). Shahmir’s past research and publications have spanned work in the US, China, Australia, and Pakistan on topics ranging from mhealth, salt reduction, workplace health promotion, housing and environmental health, trauma and injury, water management and sanitation, and social determinants of health.


Avni Gupta

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

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

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

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

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.