Border crossing

The research agenda of the members in the Immigration/Migration primary research area group spans multiple aspects of health and well-being of migrant populations in NYC, the United States, and globally, addressing fundamental research questions about changing patterns and social and economic consequences of immigration/migration. Among the topics of focus are

  • immigrant integration and policies affecting the health and well-being of immigrants/migrants;
  • impact of separation and detention on immigrants and their children;
  • integration of Asian and Latino immigrants into American life;
  • cross-national comparative studies of immigration across Canada, South Africa, and the US;
  • internal migration and social protection in China;
  • relationships between migration and HIV prevention and treatment adherence in Sub-Saharan African countries;
  • non-traditional migration, including forced migration (i.e. refugees and environmental migrants); and
  • effects of immigration on local populations.


  • Yinon Cohen's research focuses on international migration, social stratification and labor markets. His recent research has examined the causes for rising inquality in the US.  Cohen is also involved in research on Israeli society on issues of unionization, socioeconomic ethnic and gender gaps, rising inequality, changing immigration and emigration patterns, and the demography of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

  • Yao Lu is a Professor of Sociology. She is a member of the CPRC’s committee on Research on Immigration/Migration. Lu’s research focuses on how migration and immigration intersect with social, economic, and political processes across diverse contexts. She conducts comparative research using large-scale datasets and a variety of quantitative methods. Her recent and ongoing projects include the impacts of demographic processes such as migration on political outcomes; the sources of racial/ethnic and nativity inequality among highly educated workers; immigrant labor market outcomes in the U.S. and Canada; and the consequences of parental migration for child well-being.

  • Yalu Zhang is a doctoral candidate at the Columbia School of Social Work, focusing on health payment-induced poverty and health care policies in both China and the US. She studies the impacts of social and economic factors on health and aging across multiple domains including physical frailty, cognitive functions, and health-seeking behaviors. She also researches the health financing policy strategies and cost-sharing structures of both China and the US and the effectiveness of health insurance among urban and rural residents in China by using macro- and micro-data. Previously, Yalu was a Care Transitions Coach and assisted low-income patients discharged from three hospitals in New York City to be more effective and active in their own health care. She was a consultant at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy and was a research fellow at the National Council on Aging.

  • Wojciech Kopczuk is Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs. Kopczuk's research focuses on the design of and behavioral responses to taxation and welfare programs and on measurement and evolution of income and wealth inequality. His recent studies include analysis of the role of social networks in tax avoidance, understanding tax avoidance strategies of closely held firms,  theoretical analysis of the design of social welfare programs in the presence of imperfect take up, documenting and understanding evolution of inequality and mobility in the United States, measurement of intergenerational mobility using Danish data covering three generations and the impact of transaction taxes on the real estate market in New York and New Jersey.

  • Our general research program focuses on the effects of the early environment on fetal and infant brain/behavior development. Within the fetal/infant perinatal research effort in the Division of Developmental Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology we have active collaborations within the Departments of Psychiatry, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Behavioral Medicine and Public Health focused on investigations of the role of early experience in shaping fetal/infant physiology, neurophysiology and behavior. Our team investigates the complex interplay of sleep physiology, patterns of brain activity, attention, and autonomic control and how they relate to risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. A major emphasis of our work is to determine how early life experiences, often associated with pre or perinatal exposures, shape the developing brain and later neurodevelopmental outcome.   An NIH MERIT Award, the Sackler Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  and other NIH funding support  current research on the effects of maternally mediated exposures on the developing fetus, early learning and memory, sensory development, brain regulation during sleep and assessment of risk for neurological disorders.  Our lab is currently involved in four large cohort studies with local, national and international colleagues in NYC, South Africa, the Northern plains and the United Kingdom investigating early markers and trajectories of neurodevelopmental disorders aimed at early detection and ultimately the development of timely interventions.

  • William McAllister is a Senior Research Fellow at INCITE | Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory & Empirics, Director of the Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellows Program, and on the faculty of the Oral History Program at INCITE. A major current research interest is studying the temporal structure of people’s lives and its meaning. In this vein, he studies the lives of homeless people and of those who have historically occupied top political appointee positions in the U.S. national state. In addition to publications in these areas, Professor McAllister has published research in prevention, criminal justice, and homeless policymaking, among other areas. He took his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.

  • Wenfei Xu PhD student in urban Planning at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Presentation at Columbia University, focusing on social-spatial stratification, segregation, race and ethnicity, quantitative methods, and neighborhood change in the United States. Her work is motivated by an interest in the historical legacies of structural inequality and its spatial-temporal manifestations. It has examined the influence of historical redlining on processes of urbanization using causal inference methods. More recently, she has explored the uses of "big data" in characterizing human activity for urban social science research. Wenfei holds dual Masters in Urban Planning and Architecture from MIT and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago.

  • Weiping Wu is a professor and director of Urban Planning Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She is an internationally acclaimed scholar working on global urbanization with expertise in issues of migration, housing, and infrastructure, particularly of Chinese cities. Before joining Columbia in 2016, she was professor and chair in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. She is the president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), a consortium of university-based programs offering credentials in urban and regional planning. Her publications include eight books, as well as many articles, which have an increasing public presence, particularly her recent book The Chinese City. It offers a critical understanding of China’s urbanization, exploring how the complexity of Chinese cities both conforms to and defies conventional urban theories and experience of cities elsewhere around the world. She has been a member of the International Advisory Board for the Urban China Research Network, as well as serving on the editorial board of four journals. In addition, she has provided consultation to the Ford Foundation, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and World Bank. 

  • Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr's work is focused on global health with specific interest in HIV, tuberculosis and maternal child health.  She has led efforts to establish US-based and global large scale programs to address these health threats. Her research has included clinical trials for prevention and treatment of HIV and tuberculosis as well as implementation research. Dr. El-Sadr recent work has focused on identifying methods to enhance program quality and outcomes.  She is the founder and director of ICAP, a large school-wide center at the Columbia Mailman School of Public that is currently working in 21 countries around the world, in sub Saharan Africa, Asia and in the United States.

  • Virginia Rauh, ScD, has been a member of Columbia's faculty since 1984 and is Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. Her postdoctoral work in psychiatric epidemiology was supported by NIMH and a career development award from NICHD. Her work focuses on the adverse impact of exposure to air pollutants, including second hand smoke and pesticides on pregnancy and child health, and the susceptibility of individuals and disadvantaged populations to environmental hazards. Dr. Rauh is a perinatal epidemiologist by training, whose expertise is in the area of low birth weight and preterm delivery, particularly with respect to socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority populations. She has been principal investigator on numerous major research projects, including studies of the impact of organophosphorus insecticides and secondhand smoke on child neurodevelopment and brain abnormalities (MRI, fMRI), a randomized intervention trial for low birth weight infants, a multi-site study of lifestyles in pregnancy, a study of developmental outcomes of children born to inner-city adolescent mothers, a multi-level analysis of the impact of Head Start on New York City school children, a study of the effects of ambient air pollutants on pregnant women and their children, and a study of links between race, stressors, and preterm birth. She has worked with other Columbia faculty to study the effects of the World Trade Center disaster on pregnant women and newborns. Dr. Rauh serves on numerous national committees, including advisory groups at NIEHS, NICHD, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Vincent Schiraldi has extensive experience in public life, founding the policy think tank, the Justice Policy Institute, then moving to government as director of the juvenile corrections in Washington DC, and then as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation. Most recently Schiraldi served as Senior Advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Schiraldi gained a national reputation as a fearless reformer who emphasized the humane and decent treatment of the men, women, and children under his correctional supervision.  He pioneered efforts at community-based alternatives to incarceration in NYC and Washington DC. Schiraldi received a MSW from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.

  • Vegard Skirbekk is a Norwegian population economist and social scientist specializing in demographic analysis and cohort studies. He is currently senior researcher at Norwegian Institute of Public Health  and also Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University Columbia University.

    He is working at the Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University.  He was awarded the ERC “Starting Grant” which allowed him to set up his own research team. As project leader of the Age and Cohort Change Project, he has worked on extending the understanding of global variation in skills and values along age, period and cohort-lines. His group has already produced the first worldwide estimates of faith and beliefs (covering 199 countries) in a partnership with the Pew Research Center.

    Skirbekk has focused on studying health, productivity, and associated determinants from a multidisciplinary perspective with an emphasis on the role of changing labor market demands, technological and cultural changes as well as variation in the attitudes, beliefs, and competences of new cohorts.  From considering productivity as an output variable (e.g., measured as value-added, salary levels), a key contribution of his research has been to highlight the integral role of productivity determinants (such as skills, health, and abilities). This research has helped change the focus of age-variation in productivity from something fixed to an entity that is to a greater extent modifiable. While earlier work typically used chronological age distributions to describe trends over time and variation between countries in how "old" they are, Skirbekk's research as shown that how old a population effectively is should be based on objective measures such as cognitive and physical functioning levels rather than chronological age. Accordingly, countries can be functionally younger even if they are demographically old based on objective measures rather than chronological age structures. Skirbekk's research has been published in a variety of academic journals (including PNAS, Lancet, Science).  and has been presented popular science outlets New Scientist). His work has been discussed in media around the world, including The New York Times, the TV news channel CNN, and The Economist

  • Valentina Chegwin is a Social Policy and Policy Analysis PhD student, focusing on early childhood and health policy under the guidance of Dr. Julien Teitler.  Valentina’s research focuses on early childhood development,  family human capital investment and social mobility in relation to social policy design in developing countries.  As a doctoral research assistant, Valentina is currently working on a project exploring the trends and effects of obstetric Interventions in relation to neonatal health and child Development. Prior to joining Columbia, Valentina worked as a Social Protection consultant at the InterAmerican Development Bank in Colombia.  She also worked as a research assistant at the Center of Studies on Economic Development (CEDE), at Los Andes University in Colombia. Valentina holds a Masters and BA in Economics from Universidad de los Andes.

  • I am an Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. I study educational policies designed to promote the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children from underserved communities. I worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at New York University, and I received my Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Irvine in 2017.

    I am currently working on several large-scale, longitudinal, studies of early childhood development, including evaluations of the Chicago School Readiness Project, the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K program, and the Building Blocks preschool mathematics curriculum. Across my projects, I seek understand whether interventions designed to boost children’s early cognitive and behavioral skills will make long-lasting changes on developmental outcomes.

  • Tyler Haupert is a doctoral candidate in urban planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. His research focuses primarily on the intersection of housing outcomes and neighborhood quality in the United States and other advanced economies. To explore this nexus, he undertakes quantitative and mixed-methods examinations of the economic and policy mechanisms contributing to racial and ethnic disparities, segregation, and exclusion. He also incorporates data science methods in his work, striving to leverage ‘big data’ sources, web-scraped data, and complex administrative data sets to answer pressing urban questions. Haupert is currently finishing his dissertation, titled "The Impact of Automated Borrower Risk Assessment Technology on Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending." He holds a Master in Urban Planning degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Pepperdine University. He also has professional experience in the public education, affordable housing development, and research sectors, most recently at Skid Row Housing Trust and Columbia World Projects.

  • Tsewang Rigzin is a doctoral student concentrating on social policy and policy analysis at the Columbia School of Social Work. His research interest includes understanding the impact of social safety-net policies on the issues of inequality, poverty, and subjective wellbeing, with a cross-nation comparative perspective. Tsewang also studies the issues on the welfare of the immigrant community. As a doctoral research assistant, Tsewang is currently working with Dr. Neeraj Kaushal on the effects of the immigrant population on the U.S. electoral outcome. Before joining Columbia University, Tsewang worked as the Deputy Director for the Tibet Fund, a non-governmental organization in India that works for Tibetan refugees in South Asia. Tsewang holds MSW from Mangalore University in India and Masters in Development Practice from Emory University, Atlanta.

  • Tracy is interested in understanding the intersections of policy, punishment, and stigma. Prior to Columbia, she worked to advance a public health approach to drug policy for New York at the Drug Policy Alliance and, before that, at the New York Academy of Medicine. She has extensive experience engaging in policy research and advocacy related to health disparities and social justice in partnership with nonprofits, government agencies, community stakeholders, advocates, and policy makers. Tracy received her MHS in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA from Cornell University.

  • Tian Zheng is Professor and Department Chair of Statistics at Columbia University. She obtained her PhD from Columbia in 2002. She develops novel methods for exploring and understanding patterns in complex data from different application domains such as biology, psychology, climatology, and etc. Her current projects are in the fields of statistical machine learning, spatiotemporal modeling and social network analysis. Professor Zheng’s research has been recognized by the 2008 Outstanding Statistical Application Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Mitchell Prize from ISBA and a Google research award. She became a Fellow of American Statistical Association in 2014. Professor Zheng is the receipt of 2017 Columbia’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2018, she will be the chair-elect for ASA’s section on Statistical Learning and Data Science. Professor Zheng was an associate editor for Journal of American Statistical Association - Applications and Case Studies from 2007 to 2013 and a current AE for Statistical analysis and data mining (SAM) and Statistics in Biosciences (SIBS), also a Faculty member of F1000 Prime. She is on the advisory board for STATS at Sense About Science America that targets to develop a statistical literate citizenry.

  • Thomas A. DiPrete is Giddings Professor of Sociology, co-director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), co-director of the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality at Columbia University, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center.  DiPrete holds a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.  He has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Duke University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as Columbia. DiPrete’s research interests include social stratification, demography, education, economic sociology, and quantitative methodology.  A specialist in comparative research, DiPrete has held research appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, the Social Science Research Center – Berlin, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the University of Amsterdam.  His recent and ongoing projects include the study of gender differences in educational performance, educational attainment, and fields of study, the determinants of college persistence and dropout in the U.S., a comparative study of how educational expansion and the structure of linkages between education and the labor market contribute to earnings inequality in several industrialized countries, and the study of how social comparison processes affect the compensation of corporate executives.

  • Tey Meadow is an associate professor of sociology at Columbia. University. Her publications in Contemporary Ethnography, Gender & Society, Sexualities, Politics & Society and Contexts include analyses a broad range of topics related to gender and sexual diversity in the contemporary United States and around the world. She is the author of Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the 21st Century, (University of California Press, 2018) and Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology (University of California press, 2018). Her current projects explore the cultural politics of power, sexuality and discourses of perversion.

  • Tarikua Erda is a PhD student in sustainable development at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Her research interests lie in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, labor, and development economics. Her current research uses methods from applied microeconomics to understand the determinants of human capital, productivity, and inequality. Tarikua holds a B.A. in economics with honors from Princeton University.

  • Sylvie Goldman, PhD is a clinician and researcher in the division of Child Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Goldman is a developmental psychologist who studies young children with communication and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has a training in child psychodynamic psychotherapy and developmental neuropsychology with a focus on brain development and early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is interested in sex/gender factors that affect children’s behaviors as well as clinician’s diagnostic approach. More specifically she studies how early gendered parenting practices may delay the diagnosis of young girls with ASD. Dr. Goldman's research also focuses on motor phenotypes and repetitive behaviors in ASD. She is a former awardee of the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience and the Center for Science and Society. She teaches autism diagnosis and early language development in the Columbia Parent-Infant Psychotherapy Program.

  • Susana B. Adamo is a research scientist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (The Earth Institute, Columbia University), and an adjunct assistant professor in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Columbia’s Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), affiliate member of the Columbia Population Research Center (PRC), and co-coordinator of the Population and Environment Research Network (PERN).

    Her research interests spread across several fields: environmental migration and displacement, social vulnerability and environmental change, dynamics of internal migration and population distribution, and all aspects of data integration related to demography and environment links, particularly global and regional georeferenced population databases. Among other projects, she works on the development of gridded population databases including topics such as distribution and net migration; migration and climate change; and population, environment and vulnerability.

    She holds a B.S. in geography from the University of Buenos Aires, an M.S. in population studies from FLACSO-Mexico, and a Ph.D. in demography/sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Susan Rosenthal is a Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry. She is the Vice Chair for Faculty Development as well as Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Rosenthal focuses on applying psychological and developmental knowledge to promote sexual health with an emphasis on acceptability and implementing new biomedical interventions. Her research has been founded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), industry, and foundations. In her faculty development work, Dr. Rosenthal develops and implements a program that enables faculty to achieve career advancement and professional satisfaction. Within this work, she focuses on mentoring relationships, leadership development, and wellness/burnout prevention. As Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health, Dr. Rosenthal supervises the growth of existing program, while simultaneously the development of new programs like the creation of a monitored unit, an insurance-based adolescent outpatient program, and a complex care program.

  • Suresh Naidu is Associate Professor of Economics and Public Affairs.  His research focuses on political economy and economic history. He has worked on the economics of slavery and labor unions and the economic effects of democracy and dictatorship. He has also studied imperfect competition in labor markets in a wide variety of contexts,from 19th century Jim Crow to the contemporary India-GCC migration corridor.

  • Dr. Coussens is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. His research interests lie broadly in the fields of health economics, health policy, and behavioral economics. Most recently, he has focused on clinical decision making by emergency physicians and its impact on patient health outcomes and healthcare costs. His research makes use of a variety of statistical methods primarily drawn from the fields of econometrics and machine learning. 

  • Stephanie Grilo is a social scientist and public health researcher whose work focuses on improving health behaviors and outcomes for vulnerable populations including adolescents, pregnant women, and historically disenfranchised communities. Dr. Grilo’s recent research explores multiracial identification and health outcomes among adolescents and young adults in the United States. In May 2019 she completed her PhD at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. As part of her doctoral training, she was a fellow in both the NIH-supported Gender Sexuality and Health Training grant and NIH-supported Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD).

  • Soohyun Kim is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Mailman School of Public Health's Epidemiology Department. Her research interests are focused on paid leave policy for working caregivers for older adults and its effects on gender inequality in the labor market. She is currently working on a project investigating the impacts of California's Paid Family and Medical Leave on labor market outcomes for older adults. Soohyun received her BA in Psychology and MA in Social Welfare at Seoul National University. She worked as a research fellow at the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare and Korean Women's Development Institute before joining the PhD program.

  • Sonia Mendoza-Grey is a sociology-track PhD student in the Sociomedical Sciences department at Columbia. Sonia became interested in mixed-methods research and Latino health as an undergraduate at Stanford where she worked on community-based health intervention studies. As a master’s student at Columbia she continued to pursue her interest in the social determinants of health and minority health. Her MA thesis analyzed the role of social networks and social cohesion in relation to obesity rates and health measures within enclaves of Latino communities in the United States. Her publications to date, which explore addiction and racialized medicine, draw on and have been informed by her work on a NIDA-funded study at NYU Medical Center and her interests in mental health, stigma, and policy. Current major areas of focus include structural influences on health and qualitative research methods. As a doctoral student, Sonia uses her ethnographic and quantitative research methods training to study clinical cultures, the production of medical knowledge, and dissemination of health interventions in ethnic minority communities to study the effect of precision medicine initiatives on Latino population identity.

  • Dr. Sonali Rajan is an Associate Professor of Health Education in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Rajan is a school violence prevention expert, who studies gun violence and adverse childhood experiences. For the past several years, Dr. Rajan has worked on the implementation and evaluation of health education and behavioral health initiatives aimed to mitigate youth engagement in high-risk behaviors and promote positive youth development, primarily in NYC public schools, but also in other hospital and community-based settings. Selected recent publications are listed below.

  • Dr. Silvia S. Martins is the Director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and of the Policy and Health Initiatives on Opioids and other Substances interdisciplinary group (PHIOS). She is also the co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). She has co-authored >220 peer-reviewed epidemiological and substance use articles (>100 first or senior-authored), 80 of them led by her current or former mentees. She has served as PI or MPI of multiple NIH funded grants.Some of her notable research findings have focused on a typology of prescription drug monitoring programs and its impact on prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, machine learning techniques to better understand opioid policies associated with high-opioid prescribing, the effects of recreational cannabis laws in cannabis use outcomes in adolescents and adults in the US, and substance use and psychiatric disorders in child and adolescents in Brazil. She has received several awards for her research and mentoring, including, the 2017 Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. More recently, in 2021, she was selected as one of the School's 2021-2023 Tow Leadership Scholars and she received one of the 2021 Calderone Health Equity awards. Her current research focuses on consequences of medical and recreational marijuana laws in the U.S, recreational marijuana laws in Uruguay, prescription drug monitoring programs, the synergistic effects of opioid policies and marijuana policies on opioid-related harm outcomes, and gambling and impulsive behaviors among minority adolescents in the U.S. She has been continuously funded by NIH since 2006 as a Principal Investigator.

  • Sharon Green is a PhD student studying sociology and public health. She is also an NIH-funded Gender, Sexuality, and Health Fellow. Her research utilizes population-level survey data and qualitative data to explore how migration and globalization produce health disparities and social inequalities. Green’s work has also examined harm reduction approaches to tobacco control through use of qualitative interview data, gun control strategies through use of computational social science techniques, and intimate partner violence through use of survey and focus group data. Her work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and Social Science and Medicine – Population Health. Prior to her doctoral studies, Green worked as an HIV screening and counseling program coordinator, an emergency medical technician, and a middle school science teacher in rural Ghana.

  • Seymour Spilerman is the Julian C. Levi Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality. His research has examined the structure of work careers in corporate settings, focusing on the ways that educational attainment, labor market experience, race and gender influence work career features. Spilerman is also involved in cross-national research on issues of income and wealth inequality, financial gerontology, and intergenerational transfers of resources.

  • Seth J. Prins, PhD MPH, is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. He completed his doctoral training in the Department of Epidemiology, and his postdoctoral training in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and the School of Social Work, at Columbia University. Dr. Prins's two programs of research concern the collateral consequences of mass incarceration for public health, and the effects of the social division and structure of labor on mental illness. Two questions have motivated his work to date: First, what are the theoretical and methodological assumptions underlying the growing use of psychiatric categories, such as antisocial personality, to explain and assess the risk of exposure to the criminal justice system, particularly in the context of mass incarceration? Second, what can we learn about the distribution and determinants of mental illness by examining social class as a dynamic relational process, rather than an individual attribute? Dr. Prins is also working on a project to study the role of adolescent substance use as determinant and consequence of the school-to- prison pipeline, disentangling individual risk, social determinants, and group disparities. Dr. Prins explores these questions at the intersections of epidemiology, sociology, and criminology, combining theory-driven analysis with advanced quantitative methods. He is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist interested in pushing the boundaries of the discipline to encompass rich social theory.

  • Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chairs The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization(W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2011). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001.  Her books are translated into twenty-one languages. She is currently working on When Territory Exits Existing Frameworks (Under contract with Harvard University Press). She contributes regularly to OpenDemocracy and The Huffington Post.

  • Dr. Sarah Tom is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Science (NeuroCORPS) Division of the Department of Neurology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.  Dr. Tom studies the development of risk for and resilience against dementia over the life course and neurology health care services research. A demographer by training, Dr. Tom's research integrates methods from formal demography and epidemiology.

  • Sarah is a doctoral student focusing on social policy analysis at the Columbia School of Social Work under the supervision of Dr. Jane Waldfogel. The overarching aim of her research efforts is to understand family well-being and child development and their dynamic relationships with social policies. She is currently working on a cross-national project investigating the development of inequalities in child development. As a graduate research assistant to this international study, she delves into quantitative analyses to provide new evidence on disparities in child outcomes and family experiences from national and global contexts. Prior to joining Columbia, Sarah served as a program specialist at the Korea Ministry of Education. She also worked as a research assistant at the Korea Institute of Public Administration. She holds an MSc in Social Policy (Research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She earned her MPA in Public Policy and BA in Consumer and Child Studies from Seoul National University.

  • Sarah Cohodes is an Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research uses quantitative causal inference methods to evaluate programs and policies that have the potential to ameliorate achievement gaps. She is particularly interested in how young people and their families make choices about education and how school and college quality interact with those decisions.

  • Sara Casey works to improve the availability and quality of sexual and reproductive health services in countries whose health systems have been weakened by war or natural disaster. Dr. Casey is Director of the Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) Initiative, a global program collaborating with program partners to identify and respond to challenges to improve contraceptive and abortion-related services in humanitarian settings. She provides technical guidance to partners to establish program monitoring and evaluation systems, address issues of program quality and conduct implementation research on sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian settings.

  • Dr. Albrecht is formally trained as a social epidemiologist, with additional training in the social sciences, nutrition, and population health. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural and environmental factors that contribute to the progression of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in US immigrants, and among Latinos in the US and in Latin America. Examples of past research include investigating the social and environmental determinants of diet and weight gain in Latino and Chinese immigrants, and exploring the role of ethnic enclaves in shaping nutrition-related outcomes in Latinos. Her emerging line of research seeks to understand the social and behavioral mechanisms underlying the high burden of type 2 diabetes and associated complications in Mexican-Americans and other Latino subgroups.

  • Sandra E. Black is Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Since that time, she worked as an Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and an Assistant, Associate, and ultimately Professor in the Department of Economics at UCLA, and held the Audre and Bernard Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs in the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin before arriving at Columbia University. She is currently an Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and was previously a Co-Editor and Editor of the Journal of Human Resources. Dr. Black is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Research Affiliate at IZA, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution. She served as a Member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from August 2015-January 2017. Her research focuses on the role of early life experiences on the long-run outcomes of children, as well as issues of gender and discrimination.

  • Samantha Garbers, PhD works with a diverse range of clinical- and community-based stakeholders to develop, adapt, implement, and evaluate innovative interventions to improve public health for diverse populations including sexual and gender minority youth and adults, adolescent males and women seeking reproductive health care, Latinx and Black communities, and individuals with limited health literacy. Using her training as an epidemiologist, Dr. Garbers works with stakeholders to integrate rigorous methods for process and outcome evaluation into interventions, with a focus on reproductive health. She recently served as Lead Evaluator for a federally-funded randomized controlled trial of a motivational interviewing intervention for teen pregnancy prevention among young men. She has led a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project to improve pregnancy intention screening processes in primary care centers serving urban Latinas. She directed the development and testing of a low-literacy, computer-based contraceptive decision-making tool in a randomized controlled trial and a subsequent effectiveness study. Other current work includes evaluating innovative approaches to sexual and reproductive health care and integrative health services in school-based health centers serving youth in NYC, and working with hospital- and community-based providers to adopt population health management perspectives. At Mailman, Dr. Garbers teaches Quantitative Data Analysis, Research Design & Data Collection, and Program Planning & Evaluation. Dr. Garbers received her PhD in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and an MPA in Health Policy & Management from New York University.

  • Dr. Samantha Winter is an assistant professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. Before joining Columbia she was the Dorothy Byrne Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Dr. Winter’s research focuses on inequities in women’s health and access to health-related services; water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and health in sub-Sahara Africa; health-related behavior; access to and distribution of health-related services in informal settlements in East Africa; and the role of social disorganization in access to health-related services.

    In future research, Dr. Winter aims to examine social and environmental determinants of women’s health and access to healthcare in informal settlements in East Africa; the effect of health, environment, and violence screening tools on healthcare in informal settlements; the role of social cohesion and networks in women’s access to health-related services, including WASH, in informal settlements in East Africa; and the effect of violence-prevention interventions in reducing intimate partner violence and improving mental and physical health outcomes for women in informal settlements in East Africa.

    Dr. Winter’s work in Kenya has focused on women’s access to WASH and the social and environmental factors that influence that access, as well as women’s physical and mental health outcomes—including experiences of gender-based violence—in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, and on women’s empowerment, perceptions of gender norms, efficacy, and gender-based violence among women who participate in health groups and women’s sports in Kwale County, Kenya.

    Dr. Winter received her PhD and her MA in Social Work from Rutgers University. She also holds an MS in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University and a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.

  • Professor Findley is a global migration researcher and has published extensively on migration and urban development policies, including the author or editor of four books focusing on migration, vulnerability, and health. She was a residential scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, and is currently finishing the book on which she worked while there, Bridging the Gap: How Community Health Workers Promote the Health of Immigrants. (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). She is one of those rare faculty whose research is in NYC and in Africa. In Northern Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Ivory Coast, she has worked with national and sub-national teams to use implementation research to identify the most effective strategies for incorporating CHW into integrated programs to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality, as well as to improve the prevention of chronic diseases. In New York, she has co-led the NY initiative to develope recommendations for New York’s CHW scope of work, training, credentialing and financing. She leads a statewide assessment of the impact of 2009 changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program on early childhood obesity.

  • Ronald B. Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, and director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being. He is a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center.

    Dr. Mincy came to Columbia in 2001 from the Ford Foundation, where he served as a senior program officer and worked on issues including improving U.S. social welfare policies for low-income fathers, especially child support and workforce development. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform Task Force.

    Dr. Mincy is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is the editor of Black Males Left Behind (The Urban Institute Press, 2006). In 2009, he received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for Best Research Article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Dr. Mincy is an advisory board member for the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, the Technical Work Group for the Office of Policy Research and Evaluation, the Transition to Fatherhood project at Cornell University, the National Fatherhood Leaders Group, the Longitudinal Evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Dr. Mincy is a former member of the National Institute of Child and Human Development council, the Policy Council, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He served as co-chair of the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce and as a board member of the Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families. Dr. Mincy holds an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from MIT.

  • Robert Y. Shapiro (Ph.D., Chicago, 1982) is a professor and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, and he served as acting director of Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) during 2008-2009. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received a Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award in 2012 and in 2010 the Outstanding Achievement Award of the New York Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (NYAAPOR). He specializes in American politics with research and teaching interests in public opinion, policymaking, political leadership, the mass media, and applications of statistical methods. He has taught at Columbia since 1982 after receiving his degree and serving as a study director at the National Opinion Research Center (University of Chicago).

    Professor Shapiro is co-author of The Rational Public: Fifty Years of Trends in Americans' Policy Preferences (with Benjamin Page, University of Chicago Press, 1992) and Politicians Don't Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness (with Lawrence Jacobs, University of Chicago Press, 2000). His most recent books are The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media (edited with Lawrence R. Jacobs, Oxford University Press, 2011) and Selling Fear: Counterterrorism, the Media, and Public Opinion (with Brigittte L. Nacos and Yaeli Bloch-Elkon, University of Chicago Press, 2011). He is also coauthor or coeditor of several other books and has published numerous articles in major academic journals. He served for many years as editor of Public Opinion Quarterly’s "The Polls--Trends" section, and is currently chair of the journal’s Advisory Committee. He also serves on the editorial boards of Political Science Quarterly, Presidential Studies QuarterlyPublic Opinion Quarterly, and Critical Review, and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. He has been President of NYAAPOR and Councilor-at-Large in national AAPOR. His current research examines partisan polarization and ideological politics in the United States, as well as other topics concerned with public opinion and policymaking.

  • Rob Hartley is an applied microeconomist working in the fields of labor and public economics. His research addresses the role of social policy on the persistence of poverty and dependence, particularly through childhood exposure or labor market outcomes. Dr. Hartley also has a background in Christian ministry that has concentrated on serving and working alongside those in poverty.

    Dr. Hartley has written about intergenerational patterns in welfare participation as well as food insecurity, and he has specifically focused on behavioral responses to welfare reform. Additionally, he has used microsimulation evidence to examine poverty and the distributional impacts of alternative income guarantee designs that could supplement and modernize the Earned Income Tax Credit. His research on work-based welfare, in-kind benefits, and childcare subsidies has direct application to the field of social work and the related economic principles behind challenges faced by many families.

    In 2017, Dr. Hartley joined the Columbia School of Social Work as a postdoctoral research scientist with the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, and as a fellow with the Columbia Population Research Center. As of 2019, Dr. Hartley teaches economics and policy analysis as assistant professor of social work. He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MDiv in Theology from Emmanuel School of Religion, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Kentucky.

  • Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center Associate Dean, Community and Minority Affairs

  • Rebecca Distefano is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Center for Children and Families. Her research focuses on risk and protective processes in the lives of families experiencing homelessness and high mobility. She is particularly interested in the implications of instability on children’s development and the ways that housing policies can best support highly mobile families. In her current position, Rebecca works closely with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to examine the impacts of affordable housing on child and family well-being. She is also involved in the current implementation of the NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey, a representative survey that characterizes the housing stock and population of NYC. Rebecca received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in 2019.

  • Rebecca A. Kruger is pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in Sociology at Columbia University. Ms. Kruger is a Fellow in the NIH pre-doctoral training program in Gender, Sexuality, and Health. Her research interests include reproductive health, development, and Fair Trade—particularly in Latin America.  Prior to coming to Columbia, Ms. Kruger completed a master’s degree in Population and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor’s degree in Government and the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Randall Reback is a Professor of Economics at Barnard College. Reback is also Editor of Education Finance and Policy, a highly-ranked journal published by M.I.T. Press. He has taught courses in the Economics of Education, American Well-being, Econometrics, and Urban Economics to undergraduate students at Barnard College and Columbia University. His research focuses on the economics of education, especially as it relates to elementary and secondary school policies. He has published research articles concerning school accountability programs, school choice, college guidebook ratings, teacher labor markets, school finance, and schools’ mental health services.

    Before arriving at Barnard, Reback was a 5th grade public school teacher in California and a predoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. More recently, as part of the Getting Down to Facts collaboration at Stanford University, Reback authored a report investigating the gaps in health and mental health services inside California’s public schools. He is currently working on several research projects examining how school-based health services affect students’ academic performance.

  • Qixuan Chen is Associate Professor of Biostatistics. Her methodology research is on the development of statistical methods for complex survey data and data with missing values. Her research on survey sampling focuses on Bayesian model­-based methods that incorporate the survey design variables in the model to yield results that have good frequentist properties. Her research on missing data focuses on multiple imputation and survey nonresponse. In collaborative research, she has been serving as lead statistician and co-­Investigator on multiple grants, with the applications of statistics to environmental health sciences, psychiatry and mental health, substance abuse, and social sciences. She holds a PhD in Biostatistics and a certificate in survey sampling from the University of Michigan.

  • Qin Gao is a Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and the founding director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy. She is a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) and of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, a member of the Faculty Steering Committee for the Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University, and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

    Dr. Gao’s research examines the changing nature of the Chinese welfare system and its impact on poverty and inequality; effectiveness of Dibao, China’s primary social assistance program; social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China (Oxford University Press, 2017) presents a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the world’s largest social welfare program. Dr. Gao’s work has been supported by multiple national and international funding sources such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Social Science Fund of China, Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, and the World Bank. 

    Dr. Gao holds a BA from China Youth University of Political Studies (China), an MA from Peking University (China), and an MPhil and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work. She has recently been interviewed by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs; the Council on Foreign Relations; and SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.

  • Professor Chiappori is the E. Rowan and Barbara Steinschneider Professor of Ecomomics. He is French Academie des sciences morales et politiques, as well as at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Chiappori’s research focuses on the analysis of household behavior, from both a theoretical and an econometric perspective, on matching models and their application to the marriage market, and on insurance and contract theory.

  • Pia M. Mauro, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is the Course Director of Epidemiologic Challenges in Substance Use Research (P9415), and the academic coordinator of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program. She is a member of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit in the Department of Epidemiology, and a faculty mentor in the IMSD program at Columbia. Dr. Mauro focuses on substance use epidemiology, particularly individual- and structural-level drivers of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment access and utilization. In 2018, she received a K01 Career Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse entitled, “Multi-level associations between medical marijuana laws and substance use disorder treatment.” She is interested in health equity, policy, and working with marginalized populations, including people who use drugs, adolescents in drug courts, and people from racial or ethnic minority groups. Dr. Mauro completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program at Columbia University and obtained a PhD from the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Phillip Marotta is a doctoral student concentrating in Social Welfare Practice at Columbia University School of Social Work. His present research interests include empirical inquiry into the impact of incarceration on HIV drug and sexual risk factors, rates of infectious diseases, retention in care and engagement in behavioral HIV prevention interventions. Phillip's program of research centers on the role of multi-level influences in shaping the social production of HIV risk behaviors. His past research projects have included cross-national analyses of the effects of harm reduction program implementation and economic drivers on rates of HIV infection overall and among people who inject drugs in 28 countries in Europe. He is currently researching the impact of involvement in the criminal justice system on HIV risk among  population who use drugs in the United States, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Prior to coming to Columbia his work included adolescent sexual health as a junior research scientist at New York University Center for Latino and Adolescent Health, research associate on a family planning research study at Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Phillip received his MPH from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, his MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, and his B.A in History from Wagner College.  Immediately following his masters degree, Phillip Marotta successfully completed a one year Post-Masters clinical training fellowship in Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry.   

  • Peter Bergman is an associate professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He studies how information problems affect human capital decision making. Much of his research combines technology and information interventions to improve outcomes for low-income families at scale. He has conducted large-scale experiments aimed at improving parental engagement, helping families find and move to neighborhoods that promote economic mobility, understanding the effects of school integration, using predictive analytics to track students in higher education, and assessing discrimination in systems of school choice. Peter’s research has been covered by the New York Times, CNN, and NPR, among other outlets.

    Peter earned a BA in political economy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.     

  • Peter Bearman is the founding Director of INCITE, the co-founding director of the Oral History Master of Arts program, and the Jonathan R. Cole Professor of Social Science at Columbia University. In 2019 he was named President of The American Assembly. A specialist in network analysis and historical sociology, Bearman has authored over 60 peer-reviewed research publications, in addition to three books: Relations into Rhetorics: Local Elite Social Structure in Norfolk, England, 1540-1640 (ASA Rose Monograph Series, Rutgers University Press, 1993), Doormen (University of Chicago Press, 2005), and Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart, with Adam Reich (Columbia University Press, 2018). He has edited several others, including the Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology (Oxford University Press, 2011). Bearman is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. Bearman was awarded the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2007 to investigate the increased prevalence of autism. With J. Richard Udry, Bearman co-designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which was awarded the 2016 Golden Goose Prize. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Bearman has chaired over 50 doctoral dissertations in sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1986-1998) and Columbia (1998 - Present). Bearman leads several INCITE initiatives, including the Obama Presidential Oral History, and the center’s REALM, Liberal Arts Education, and Understanding Autism projects. In addition to these projects, Bearman is currently working on the analysis of large textual corpora, and linking cognitive social neuroscience to fundamental elements of human social structure, specifically, pair-bonding and balance in small groups.

  • Peter Muennig is a Professor at Columbia University’s Department of Health Policy and Management. He uses RCTs and other causal methods to study the social determinants of health from a health policy lens, a career trajectory that won him tenure at a young age. His work spans broad areas of non-medical health policy, linking RCTs with cost-effectiveness analyses to determine the best mix of social policies for optimizing population health. For example, he has worked with MDRC on an RCT of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and an RCT on conditional cash transfers. He has worked on reduced class size, pre-kindergarten programs, lead abatement programs, welfare reform, transportation policies, and health insurance. He has been the PI on multiple NIH grants, has received $16 million in funding, and has published over 150 articles in leading journals.

  • Patrick Wilson, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of the SPHERE (Society, Psychology, and Health Research) Lab at Columbia University. Dr. Wilson earned his PhD in community psychology from New York University and completed an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. In addition to teaching at the Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Wilson specializes in exploring the psychological, social, and cultural contexts that shape individual and community-level health outcomes. He conducts his work with the overall goal of improving the lives of those who are disproportionally affected by HIV and other health disparities. Dr. Wilson's recent work includes examining institutional and community responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, designing and testing culturally appropriate behavior change interventions, developing novel technology-based methods for investigating health behaviors, and increasing cultural relevance in HIV/AIDS research. Specific topics of interest also include trauma, stigma and discrimination, religion, engagement in care, and personal factors including self-efficacy and empowerment. Dr. Wilson holds membership in several research centers and networks within and outside of Columbia University and conducts national and local studies that involve the participation of a diverse set of collaborators and community members. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Dr. Pamela Scorza is interested in the prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental wellness. Her current research focuses on mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of risk for poor mental health in contexts of adversity. Specifically she is examining epigenetic and behavioral pathways of intergenerational transmission in a multi-generational longitudinal study of Puerto Rican youth. Dr. Scorza earned a Doctor of Science degree at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, where she was part of a research project adapting a family-based intervention to prevent mental disorders in children in families affected by HIV/AIDS in rural Rwanda.

  • Nim Tottenham, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and Director of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research examines brain development underlying emotional behavior in humans. Her research has highlighted fundamental changes in brain circuitry across development and the powerful role that early experiences, such as caregiving and stress, have on the construction of these circuits. She has authored over 90 journal articles and book chapters. She is a frequent lecturer both nationally and internationally on human brain and emotional development. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and her scientific contributions have been recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) Award, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, and the Developmental Science Early Career Researcher Prize.

  • Nick Bartlett is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco. Before arriving in New York, he lectured in anthropology at UCLA and the University of Southern California.

    Growing out of previous public health activities, his first research project offers a phenomenological exploration of long-term heroin users’ recovery from addiction in a mining community in southwest China. He is currently studying psychoanalysis and participating in group relations conferences and videoconferencing exchanges with Chinese psychotherapists in preparation for a new research project that will investigate the reception of Freud in China.

  • Neetu John specializes in Population and Reproductive Health and has worked for over a decade in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She applies an interdisciplinary lens to understand how gender and other structural inequalities impact health and development outcomes, and designs and tests programmatic and policy solutions to resolve the inequities. She has designed and implemented complex research studies such as randomized control trials and impact evaluations, nationally representative population-based surveys, and qualitative studies. Her work explores inter-linkages between issues such as women's empowerment, gender-based violence, household dynamics, care work, spousal relationship quality, child marriage, reproductive and economic empowerment in low and middle-income countries. She has worked in several countries such as Nigeria, Malawi, Morocco, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal and India. She has is a recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenge Award for Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development, and the World Bank and Sexual Violence Research Initiatives' Development Market Place Award for Innovations in gender-based violence Prevention, and is widely published in journals such as the International Perspective on Sexual and Reproductive health and the Feminist Economics.

  • An economist and journalist by training, Dr. Kaushal is an expert on comparative immigration policy and the author of a new book on this topic, Blaming Immigrants.

    She is professor of Social Policy and chair of the doctoral program at Columbia School of Social Work. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at IZA, the Institute of Labor Economics (Bonn, Germany).

    Her current research includes labor market impacts of foreign-trained registered nurses and physicians, how immigration of foreign-trained physicians impacts healthcare use and health outcomes of the U.S. population, cross-national research on immigration in the United States and Canada, the impact of local policies (such as local immigration enforcement and state DREAM Acts) on the health and mental health of undocumented immigrants, the effect of the Syrian refugee crisis on electoral preferences in Turkey, and the long-term impact of tribal resettlement in India.

    Dr. Kaushal is the author of Blaming Immigrants: Nationalism and the Economics of Global Movement (2018, Columbia University Press), in which she investigates the core causes of rising disaffection towards immigrants globally and tests common complaints against immigration. She has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters on immigrants and other vulnerable populations. She writes a monthly column in the Economic Times, India’s largest financial daily, and she is currently working on a documentary on tribesfolk in India.

    She holds a BA in economics from Sri Ram College of Commerce (India), an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a PhD in economics from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York.

  • Natalie Levy is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. She received her BA in Economics from Tufts University and completed an MPH in Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Prior to beginning doctoral studies, Natalie worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and in the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Natalie currently works as a graduate research assistant for Dr. Silvia Martins studying the effects of cannabis legislation on a variety of substance use outcomes. Natalie's research encompasses substantive work on substance use, maternal/child health, and domestic violence and methodological work on improving causal inference in epidemiology. Her dissertation research explores the relationship between selection bias and collider bias and how deeper understanding of these biases may shed light on the birth weight paradox.

  • Dr. El-Bassel is the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work. She is director of the Social Intervention Group, which was established in 1990 as a multi-disciplinary center focused on developing and testing prevention and intervention approaches for HIV, drug use, and gender–based violence, and disseminating them to local, national, and global communities. Her work has been funded extensively by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She provides significant national and international leadership to the global HIV and health agenda.

    She is also director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through research, education, training, policy and dissemination.

    In addition, Dr. El-Bassel has designed and tested a number of multi-level HIV and drug use intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples in settings including drug treatment and harm reduction programs, primary care, and criminal justice settings. She studies the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women, and she has designed HIV interventions that address these co-occurring problems with significant scientific contributions in gender-based HIV prevention for women.

    Dr. El-Bassel has published extensively on HIV behavioral prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of HIV, gender-based violence, and substance use. She has mentored HIV research scientists from Central Asia, and she has been funded by the National Institute of Health to train underrepresented faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention.

    Dr. El-Bassel holds a BSW from Tel Aviv University and an MSW from the Hebrew University School of Social Work (Israel).

  • Morgan M. Philbin, PhD MHS, is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. She has worked in the field of social policies and health disparities for 15 years conducting mixed-methods research that explores how institutional and policy-level factors become integrated into the daily lives of racial and sexual minority youth. Dr. Philbin’s work has examined how harm reduction policies affect HIV prevention behaviors among injection drug users in Tijuana, Mexico and in Kunming, China. In addition, she has focused on the individual- and community-level factors that influence linkage to care and engagement in care for newly diagnosed HIV-positive adolescents, particularly sexual and gender minority youth. Dr. Philbin has a NIDA-funded K01 to examine how state-level policies impact sexual health and substance use risk for sexual minority youth. Dr. Philbin is currently co-Investigator on an NICHD-funded project through the Adolescent Trials Network to examine how HIV-infected youth transition to adult care, and on a NIDA-funded study exploring how state level medical marijuana policies impact LGB individuals.

  • Mobolaji Ibitoye is currently pursuing her DrPH in Sociomedical Sciences.  She is interested in sexual and reproductive health, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS. Her current research explores various factors that affect the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, collaborating on several studies involving the use of various biomedical HIV prevention strategies, including rapid HIV self-tests and microbicides in at-risk populations. She also worked briefly with the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Prior to that, she worked on various projects for a community-based maternal and child health program, coordinated and taught a sexual and reproductive health education program, and worked in the health care sector for several years. She is  the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship funded through NICHD.  

  • Miguel Urquiola is professor and chair at the Department of Economics, Columbia University. He is also a member of the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs and of the Columbia Committee on the Economics of Education.

    Outside Columbia Urquiola is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and has held prior appointments at the Russell Sage Foundation, Cornell University’s Economics Department, the World Bank’s research department, the Bolivian Catholic University, and the Bolivian government. He is on the editorial board of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and was previously co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources.

    His research is on the Economics of Education, with a focus on understanding how schools and universities compete, and how they form reputations for quality. It covers how students select educational providers, and the consequences such choices have on academic performance and labor market outcomes.

  • Mignon R. Moore is Professor of Sociology at Barnard College and Columbia University, and chairs the sociology department at Barnard. Her areas of expertise are in the fields of family, race, gender, sexuality, aging and qualitative research methods. Professor Moore has received grants to support her research from the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation, where she held a Visiting Scholar position. Her first book, Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women, is a study of same-sex parent families. Her current research examines health and social support for sexual minority seniors to determine the ways community institutions can be of service to this population. She is preparing a new book-length manuscript on the social histories of LGBT seniors, tentatively titled In the Shadow of Sexuality: Social Histories of African American LGBT Elders, 1950-1979. Before joining Barnard in 2015 she was Associate Professor of Sociology at UCLA, where she co-directed the Resource Centers on Minority Aging Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is past Chair of the Racial & Ethnic Minorities and Race, Gender & Class Sections of the American Sociological Association, and was recently elected to the Executive Council of the Association of Black Sociologists. Professor Moore is President-Elect of the Sociologists for Women in Society.

  • Michael is a sociologist with expertise in sexuality, identity, trauma, and memory. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HIV Center, Michael's work centers the influence of medical mistrust as it relates to novel biomedical HIV technologies. More broadly, Michael's research portfolio investigates the ways in which medicine and healthcare can be a source of trauma which persists across generations, having wide-reaching social psychological influences.

  • Merlin Chowkwanyun is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health and a core faculty member of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health. He writes on cities' relationships with medical centers; social movements around health; environmental health; and recent trends in United States migration. He has also been working on ways to leverage new innovations in high-capacity computing for sorting and analysis of giant qualitative data sources.

  • Meredith Slopen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her research interests include structural challenges to women’s labor force participation through the life course and the impact of labor policies on health, wellbeing, and economic security. Slopen’s dissertation focuses on the impact of state and local paid sick leave policies on the employment and health of working women and their families. She previously worked as a Research Scientist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene focusing on evaluation, maternal health, and health policy. She holds an Hon. B.A. from the University of Toronto and an MSW from Columbia University.

  • Dr. Stockwell is an Associate Vice Chair of Research (Clinical and Health Services) and Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons) and Population and Family Health (Mailman School of Public Health). Dr. Stockwell is also the founding Director of the Department of Pediatric's Center for Children's Digital Health Research. Her research, which concentrates on underserved children and adolescents, focuses on translational interventions to improve vaccinations with an emphasis on health technology and health literacy.

    Dr. Stockwell is the Medical Director of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) Immunization Registry (EzVac) and Co-Director of the Columbia University Primary Care Clinician Research Fellowship in Community Health. Additionally, she is a pediatrician in a NYP-associated community clinic. Dr. Stockwell is the Associate Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) practice-based research network. She also serves on the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Immunization Improvement Team.

  • Matthew Neidell is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Mailman School of Public Health. His fields of interest lie at the intersection of environmental, health, and labor economics. Neidell's research primarily focuses on how people respond to changes in the environment, and how the environment affects human well-being, including health, human capital, and productivity.

  • Matthew Lee is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate in Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. His primary areas of focus are in social and behavioral health, intervention design and evaluation, and implementation science, with an emphasis on addressing community-level health disparities and advancing health equity.

    Matthew’s current research projects examine: policy implementation and sustainability, integrating participatory implementation science with innovations in systems science, opioid education and naloxone training in higher education, advancing policy modeling methods, tobacco use, polysubstance use and harm reduction, food policies/programs and cardiovascular health outcomes, de-implementation, cancer prevention and screening, and addressing mental health among cancer patients and survivors.

    Matthew was previously a Quality Improvement/Technical Assistance Project Officer in the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He has also completed projects with the United Nations, the Center for Public Health Law Research, PCORI, ICAP at Columbia University, the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.

    He received his MPH in Sociomedical Sciences with a certificate in Health Promotion Research and Practice from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and holds a BA in Anthropology and English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

    In addition to being a CPRC fellow, Matthew is also a pre-doctoral fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars program, an Assistant Research Scientist at the NYU Langone Department of Population Health in the Section for Health Equity, and an Associate Member of the New York Academy of Medicine.

  • Terry's research is focused on early life exposures to chronic disease and specifically study breast cancer.  She has been leading family-based and intergenerational cohorts including two studies of adolescent girls in our community for over 17 years focused on the role of environmental modifiers of risk. In addition to her doctorate in epidemiology, Terry has a Master's degree in economics and previously worked as an econometrician and program evaluator for a number of government-sponsored programs. Terry teaches introductory and advanced epidemiologic methods.

  • Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN, has worked in global health and development on issues ranging from improving access to essential medicines to humanitarian relief in conflict settings. Dr. Sommer's particular areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting healthy transitions to adulthood, the intersection of public health and education, gender and sexual health, and the implementation and evaluation of adolescent-focused interventions. Her doctoral research explored girls' experiences of menstruation, puberty and schooling in Tanzania, and the ways in which the onset of puberty might be disrupting girls' academic performance and healthy transition to adulthood. Dr. Sommer presently leads the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) Program, based in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. GATE explores the intersections of gender, health, education and the environment for girls and boys transitioning into adulthood in low-income countries and in the United States. GATE also generates research and practical resources focused on improving the integration of menstrual hygiene management and gender supportive sanitation solutions into global humanitarian response.

  • Manuela Orjuela is a molecular epidemiologist and pediatric oncologist whose research focuses on gene-nutrient/ environment interactions during pregnancy and early childhood and the development of later genetic and epigenetic changes in childhood disease.Interests: gene-nutrient interactions; one carbon donor metabolism; methylation; nutrient and environmental exposures during early life and later genetic and epigenetic effects; dietary assessment in Mexico and in US Latino populations; effects of acculturation and early life migration on nutrient/ environmental exposures in US Latinos.

  • Luisa Taveras is CPRC’s Program Coordinator. She brings to CPRC her experience providing administrative support to the Urban Law Center at Fordham as well as many years of work at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Luisa has a BA in International Studies from City College and a MS in Education from Lehman College.

  • Dr. Louisa Gilbert is a licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating multilevel interventions to address gender-based violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS, substance misuse, opioid overdose, and trauma among key affected communities. Her research has advanced evidence-based computerized GBV prevention models that have been integrated into a continuum of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment interventions. She has served as the co-director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) since 1999 and co-founder and co-director of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) since 2007.

    Dr. Gilbert’s research has concentrated on developing and evaluating the effectiveness of implementing a continuum of evidence-based interventions to prevent intimate partner violence and other types of GBV among migrant women, women who use drugs, and women in the criminal justice system. These interventions are now being implemented in a range of organizations in the United States, India, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Ukraine. She has published on the co-occurring problems of gender-based violence, HIV, substance misuse, and overdose among key affected populations of women. Her research has been largely funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Dr. Gilbert holds a BA from Barnard College, and an MS, MPhil, and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Lisa R. Metsch is the Dean of the Columbia University School of General Studies and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she was the inaugural Stephen Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Dr. Metsch, a medical sociologist, is an internationally recognized scholar in the prevention of HIV among populations with substance use disorders. For over two decades, her research efforts have focused on epidemiologic and intervention studies that address the primary and secondary prevention needs of people at risk and living with HIV, particularly persons with substance use disorders. Her research has helped to re-shape national policy for the care and treatment of HIV, including through the design and testing of new strategies for expanding the reach of testing and the level of engagement of vulnerable populations. During her time as Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Lisa led the Mailman School’s initiative to put a public health lens on the issue of mass incarceration She presently serves on the executive committee of the Center for Justice, an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to refocusing the criminal justice system on prevention and healing, where she is focused on raising scholarships to support formerly incarcerated students to attend Columbia University.

  • Dr. Lisa M. Bates is Vice Chair for Education and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Bates is a social epidemiologist currently engaged in research programs focused on the social determinants of health in both the U.S. and South Asian contexts. In the U.S., her research draws on secondary data sources to interrogate structural drivers of socially patterned health outcomes in terms of gender, race, class, and immigration status, and mechanisms by which features of the social environment impact health, with a particular emphasis on common mental disorders. Her research portfolio in South Asia involves extensive primary data collection efforts in both Bangladesh and Pakistan and consists of quantitative and qualitative inquiry into the nexus of poverty, women's empowerment, intimate partner violence, and mental health and child developmental outcomes. Recent projects have yielded rich multi-level explorations of critical social dynamics and health outcomes as a function of novel methodologies and interdisciplinary collaborations. Much of this current work is also focused on understanding early life developmental trajectories of children born to mothers diagnosed with perinatal depression, and the potential for low-dose, scalable community-based interventions to mitigate risk.

  • Linda Li is a Social Policy and Policy Analysis PhD student at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her research interests include the social determinants of health, human development, and how social policies can reduce poverty and improve wellbeing. Prior to joining the doctoral program, Linda worked as a data analyst in health policy and economics research. She received her Master in Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis.

  • Past Research: Professor Edlund’s research focuses on the economics of gender and family, interests that have also led her to evolutionary biology and life-history analysis. Edlund’s past research has analyzed the impact of marriage and partner market conditions on sex allocation, with a particular focus on the status of females. She has studied son preference and sex selective abortion, dowry determination, why cities in the industrialized world are more female, and sex allocation at the individual level. She has also been interested in the importance of female inheritance for the gender wealth distribution. Another strand of her research has explored the legal framework governing formal marriages across cultures, an interest that has led to studies of markets for sex and children, consent regimes (parental or individual consent), and the alignment of political preferences along gender lines in the wake of the sexual revolution ushered in by the Pill.

    Present Research: Edlund’s current research focuses on maternal conditions and child outcomes. One paper looks at male vulnerability in early life. While it is well known that males suffer higher mortality than females at all ages, particularly up until age one, it is less well known that males suffer more from poor maternal conditions; Edlund and colleagues document this phenomenon, studying perinatal and infant mortality in the United States. A second paper examines maternal malnutrition and long-term (adult) outcomes of offspring using the Chinese Great Leap Forward famine as a natural experiment. Maternal malnutrition remains a problem in many developing countries where pregnant and lactating women are high-risk groups for nutritional inadequacy. A third paper looks at cognitive effects of fetal low-level ionizing irradiation. Sweden received substantial radioactive fallout following the Chernobyl nuclear accident that took place in Ukraine in 1986. We find that Swedish children in utero at the time performed worse in their final year of compulsory school (at age 16) than their peers who were not exposed, and the damage was more severe for children born in areas that received more fallout. Doses to the Swedish population were such that the results are relevant for policy formulation relating to, e.g., radon exposure, medical procedures, radiation workers, and recommendations in the case of a terrorist attack involving a so-called dirty bomb.

    Future Research: Future work will investigate whether there were earlier health manifestations presaging the observed effects for Swedish children (perinatal outcomes, in-patient records), as well as track this cohort as it ages and as additional outcomes (fertility, mortality, labor market) become available. We will also explore the role of parental socioeconomic status in buffering the health and labor market impact of negative shocks to cognitive ability. Other work will investigate the effects of paternal absence on teenage girls, and the relationship between height and mortality.

  • Lauren Toppenberg is a Social Policy student who has a Master of Public Health and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas. Lauren is interested in the policies, systems, and cultural structures that make up social safety nets, as well as their influence on how individuals, communities, and society at large make decisions and trade-offs surrounding issues of health, wealth, and well-being.

  • Dr. Chernick is a pediatric emergency medicine physician board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine with a Masters of Biostatistics from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She has dedicated her career to both the clinical care of children and the study of how to improve the health of high-risk adolescents who present for care to the emergency department (ED). Her specific research focus is improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the ED setting. Specifically, she designs and tests innovative and engaging mobile health platforms. As an investigator, she has extensive experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis, user-centered design, digital health and ED-based trials.

  • Anthropologist Lauren C. Houghton, PhD, uses mixed-methods to understand how culture gets beneath the skin through hormones, specifically in relation to women's reproductive lives from puberty to  menopause. She is currently exploring how digital menstrual health can be used in studying the causes of breast cancer as well as the dissemination and implementation of the latest cancer science. Dr. Houghton has conducted fieldwork with Native Americans in the Southwest US, migrants in the UK, school girls in the UK and US.

     Dr. Houghton joined Columbia in 2014 and her current research is funded through an NCI K07 Career Development Award. She received her PhD in biological anthropology from Durham University in the UK and was supported though a NIH-Wellcome Trust fellowship. She gained further experience in Cancer Epidemiology as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, where she received the Director’s Intramural Innovation Career Development Award. 

  • Laura Kurgan is a Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Center for Spatial Research(CSR: and the Visual Studies curriculum. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013), and Co-Editor of Ways of Knowing Cities (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2019). Her work explores the ethics and politics of digital mapping and its technologies; the art, science and visualization of big and small data; and design environments for public engagement with maps and data. From 2004 - 2015, she founded and directed the Spatial Information Design Lab at GSAPP. Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 2019), at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia 2018, in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute 2017, at the Istanbul Design Biennial 2016, at the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 and at Palais De Tokyo 2016.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Fondation Cartier in Paris. She has been Principal Investigator on research supported by the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, and the Gardiner Foundation.  Current topics of her research at CSR include justice mapping, conflict urbanism, spatial inequality, algorithms and social justice, and historical New York City.

  • Lance Freeman is a Professor in the Urban Planning Program and the Director of the doctoral program in Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York City. He is the editor of the journal City & Community. His research focuses on affordable housing, gentrification, ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets, and the relationship between the built environment and well-being. Professor Freeman teaches courses on community development, housing policy and research methods. He has also taught in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. Prior to this, Dr. Freeman worked as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, a leading social policy research firm in Washington D.C. Dr. Freeman holds a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Freeman has published several articles in refereed journals on issues related to neighborhood change, urban poverty, housing policy, urban sprawl, the relationship between the built environment and public health and residential segregation. Dr. Freeman is also the author of the books A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black America by Columbia University Press and There Goes the Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up by Temple University Press. Dr. Freeman also obtained extensive experience working with community development groups while working as a Community Development coordinator for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and as a Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Freeman also has professional experience working as a City Planner for the New York City Housing Authority, and as a budget analyst for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

  • Dr. Lumey studied medicine at the Universities of Leiden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands and history and philosophy of science at Darwin College, University of Cambridge, England. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study at Columbia University where he obtained MPH and PhD degrees in epidemiology. After returning to the Netherlands, Dr Lumey worked at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam and the National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection RIVM. He later joined the American Health Foundation in New York and was Director of the New York City Perinatal HIV Transmission Collaborative Study before being recruited to the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia. Over the last decades, Dr Lumey completed a number of single and multi-generation cohort studies worldwide to investigate the relation between maternal nutrition in pregnancy and health outcomes in the offspring. These studies include men and women exposed to malnutrition during the Ukraine famine of 1932-33, the Dutch famine of 1944-45, and the Chinese famine of 1959-61. He has reported extensively on morbidity and mortality, including birth outcomes, infant growth, and adult health, including epigenetic changes. With collaborators in Leiden, he published in 2008 the first study in humans linking prenatal famine to persisting epigenetic changes in DNA methylation of the IGF2 gene. Further studies in the Dutch famine population show that DNA methylation could be an epigenetic mediator of the impact of prenatal nutrition on adult health.

  • Kristen Underhill is an Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Her scholarship focuses on health law, with a particular interest in how the law influences individual decisions about risk and health behavior. She teaches health law and torts. Underhill studies how laws and regulations affect individual choices by arranging incentives, shaping opportunities, influencing underlying preferences, and communicating information about social norms. Recent projects have focused on how financial incentives influence attitudes about organ donation; the influence of implicit racial bias in altruistic decisions; dispute resolution for injuries and complaints related to biomedical research; and relationships between harm reduction and risk behavior.  She was previously PI of a five-year study of access to pre-exposure prophylaxis and other biomedical HIV prevention approaches, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Underhill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2011, serving as editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics. Underhill also holds a D.Phil. in evidence-based social intervention from the University of Oxford, and she completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral research fellowship at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies.

  • Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, she studies how socioeconomic inequality relates to children's cognitive and brain development. Her work examines socioeconomic disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence. She has funding from the NIH and more than a dozen private foundations, and is one of the principal investigators of Baby’s First Years, the first clinical trial of poverty reduction in the first three years of life. Dr. Noble received her undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the recipient of the Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, the American Psychological Association award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Her TED talk has received more than 2 million views to date, and her work has received worldwide attention in the popular press.

  • Dr. Kelli Stidham Hall is an Associate Professor in the Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and adjunct Associate Professor with tenure at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. She completed her PhD from Columbia University, a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, and a NIH "BIRCWH" K12 Faculty Career Development Award at the University of Michigan. She is the Founding Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the SouthEast (RISE) at Emory. Dr. Hall's NIH- and foundation-funded program uses biosocial and multi-level frameworks and interdisciplinary methods to study the social determinants of reproductive health and health disparities in the U.S. and Africa. One major research theme entails evaluating the effects of policies and other macrosocial factors on family planning service delivery, access to care and outcomes. Her >15 years of clinical experience as a primary care advanced practice nurse informed her other theme focused on understanding and addressing interrelationships between reproductive, mental and behavioral health and social wellbeing during adolescence and young adulthood. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Family Planning; Editorial Board of Contraception journal; Executive Committee of the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and formerly as Section Counselor for APHA's Population, Sexual and Reproductive Health (PSRH) Section. Dr. Hall was awarded APHA PSRH's Outstanding Young Professional and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine's Robert DuRant Statistical Rigor and Scientific Innovation in Adolescent Health Research Award.

  • Kathryn Neckerman is a senior research scientist at the CPRC. She is trained as a sociologist and works with the Built Environment and Health group on studies of urban inequality, neighborhood characteristics, and health. She serves as survey director for the Poverty Tracker study of the dynamics of poverty and disadvantage in New York City, and as project director for the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker, a longitudinal study of New York City families with young children. Both studies are supported by the Robin Hood Foundation and based at the CPRC. Publications include Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education (Chicago) and more than fifty journal articles and chapters. She also edited Social Inequality (Russell Sage) and, with Peter Bearman and Leslie Wright, edited After Tobacco: What Would Happen If Americans Stopped Smoking? (Columbia). Primary research interests include urban inequality, health disparities, and sustainability.

  • Dr. M. Katherine Shear is the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry and the founding Director of the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia School of Social Work. Dr. Shear is a clinical researcher who first worked in anxiety and depression. For the last two decades she has focused on understanding and treating people who experience persistent intense grief. She developed and tested complicated grief treatment (CGT) a short-term targeted intervention and confirmed its efficacy in three large NIMH-funded studies. CGT is strength-based and focused on fostering adaptation to loss. Dr. Shear is widely recognized for her work in bereavement, including both research and clinical awards from the Association for Death Education and Counseling and invited authorship of articles for Uptodate and the New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Julius L. Chen is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Dr. Chen's research interests are in health economics, health policy, and applied microeconomics. He utilizes empirical microeconomics to evaluate strategies designed to improve the production and financing of health care. In particular, his current work studies innovation in health care delivery, insurer behavior in the Medicare Advantage market, and alternative provider payment models.

  • Julien Teitler Professor of Social Work and Sociology. He is a member of CPRC’s steering committee and co-directs the Computing and Methods Core. Teitler’s research focuses on social determinants of health and fertility. Recent studies include cross-national comparisons of fertility trends, health, and health disparities; the effect of neighborhood racial composition on birth outcomes; the measurement of neighborhood contexts; the health trajectories of immigrants in the U.S.; and the consequences of elective Caesarians.

  • Judith Scott-Clayton is an Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA), where she directs the Economics & Education Program and teaches courses on the economics of education, labor economics and causal inference. She is also a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Research Scholar at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). Scott-Clayton’s research lies at the intersection of labor economics and higher education policy, with a particular focus on financial aid, community colleges, and the outcomes of students after college, including labor market trajectories and patterns of student loan default. Scott-Clayton actively participates in higher education policy discussions at the state and federal level, including testifying three times to the U.S. Senate as an expert on financial aid research and policy.   Scott-Clayton holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University.

  • Jordan Matsudaira is an associate professor of economics and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also a nonresident fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and a fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, New York.

    Matsudaira earned his PhD in economics and public policy from the University of Michigan. He earned a master's in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA from Union College. He was previously an assistant professor of public policy and economics at Cornell University; a visiting assistant professor in the economics department at Princeton University; and a Robert Wood Johnson postdoctoral fellow in health policy research at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2013 to 2015, he served on President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers as senior, and then chief, economist. While there, he worked on labor, education, and safety net policies, including gainful employment regulations of for-profit colleges and an expansion of the federal overtime protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act. He also led a multiagency team in developing the College Scorecard, a data tool providing college-specific information on student outcomes.

    Matsudaira's research focuses on the impact of labor and education policies and institutions on the economic mobility of low-income Americans. Current research projects include an examination of the returns to federal Pell grant spending and the costs of complexity in financial aid systems, and an assessment of the long-run impacts of safety net programs on children's outcomes. He is also studying how to best measure the outputs of institutions of higher education and the design of accountability initiatives in higher education.

  • Jonah E. Rockoff is a Professor of Business at the Columbia Graduate School of Business and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Rockoff’s interests center on the finance and management of public schools. His most recent research focuses on systems for hiring new teachers, the effects of No Child Left Behind on students and schools, the impact of removing school desegregation orders, and how primary school teachers affect students’ outcomes in early adulthood. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics from Amherst College.

  • John Santelli, MD, MPH is a Professor of Population and Family Health and Pediatrics working primarily in the Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School. Dr. Santelli has conducted demographic and policy-related research on HIV/STD risk behaviors, trends in teen fertility, programs to prevent STD/HIV/unintended pregnancy, school-based health centers, adolescent clinical preventive services, and research ethics. Dr. Santelli is a senior consultant for the Guttmacher Institute, a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Adolescent Health, a member of the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, and a past President of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. He has been a national leader in ensuring that adolescents have access to medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education, and are ethically included in health research.

    He has been the principal investigator of three NICHD-funded projects on HIV risk among youth, linkages between HIV infection and reproductive health, and the influence of social determinants and social transitions on HIV risk with the Rakai Health Sciences Project in southern Uganda.

    Prior to coming to Columbia in 2004, he worked—for 20 years—in local and national public health at the Baltimore City Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Dr. Liu’s research focuses broadly on aging and health. In particular, she studies determinants of stress Chinese family caregivers and effects of social support on the mental health of Asian older adults. In her studies on family caregivers, Dr. Liu examines stressors that merge from family caregiving and potential ways of improving the aging circumstances of older Chinese adults and their caregivers. One of her current research projects is developing and testing a culturally-sensitive intervention, the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP), to reduce stress of dementia caregivers in Chinese American communities. Dr. Liu also investigates the effects of supportive social environment on mental health, particularly among Asian older adults who are in family-oriented cultures and societies undergoing dramatic social, economic, cultural and familial transformations. Now she is leading a research team to collect primary data from Chinese and Korean homebound older adults in New York City. Dr. Liu’s work has been funded by National Institute of Aging, the Columbia Population Research Center, the Rutgers RCMAR center, and the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Dr. Ford is a sociologist who conducts research at the junction of social science and public health, with particular emphasis on how expectations and inequalities around gender and sexuality shape sexual violence, health, and pleasure. Dr. Ford’s work brings a fresh perspective to sexual and reproductive health by deploying insights from the sociology of culture and studies of gender inequality. What facilitates a healthy sexual interaction? Why do people have unwanted sex and when does an experience shift over into sexual assault? These questions remain topics of ongoing public debate. While much research has focused on disentangling the individual-level factors (e.g. drinking, past victimization), and sometimes even more structural factors (rape myths; campus environments), less is known about the social production of sexual outcomes at the interactional-level. What Dr. Ford brings to the study of sexual health is rigorous engagement with the importance of social interactions with particular attention to how gender inequality is reproduced in sexul interactions. Dr. Ford received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and her Doctorate in Sociology from New York University. In her current postdoctoral position at Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Dr. Ford works under Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler (on the CPRC Steering Committee) to implement an NIH R01 grant researching the effect of structural stigma on the sexual health of gay and bisexual men in the United States.

  • Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, MD, is the Ruane Professor for The Implementation of Science for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Columbia University Medical Center; Director of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and Columbia University; and Co-Director of both the NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship for Translational Research in Child Psychiatric Disorders and the Whitaker Scholar Program in Developmental Neuropsychiatry at NYSPI/Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who uses molecular and translational neuroscience research tools in the pursuit of new treatments for autism spectrum disorder and pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder. He trained in human molecular genetics in the laboratory of Edwin H. Cook at the University of Chicago. Following his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship, he expanded his research experience with a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular neuroscience with Randy Blakely and Jim Sutcliffe at Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia in 2014, Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele was director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, where he was also an associate professor and medical director for the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele’s laboratory at Columbia University and NYSPI focuses on the serotonin and glutamate systems in genetic mouse models with abnormal social or repetitive/compulsive-like behavior. His clinical/translational research program at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Center for Autism and the Developing Brain studies potential treatments for autism spectrum disorder and related genetic syndromes. His long-term goal is to be able to develop novel approaches in the molecular laboratory that can then be tested in children. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele’s work has been recognized with multiple awards, including the 2017 Blanche Ittelson Award for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association. He is dedicated to helping train and develop the next generation of child psychiatrists and scientists who can generate an improved understanding of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders and deliver new treatments to the clinic.

  • Professor and Deputy Chair for Doctoral Studies

    Co-Director, Columbia Population Research Center

    Steering Committee Member, Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality


    Jennifer S. Hirsch is Professor and Deputy Chair for Doctoral Studies in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and co-Director of the Columbia Population Research Center. A medical anthropologist and a 2012 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Hirsch’s research agenda spans five intertwined domains: the anthropology of love; gender, sexuality and migration; sexual, reproductive and HIV risk practices; social scientific research on sexual assault and undergraduate well-being, and the intersections between anthropology and public health. In addition to her many articles in leading social science and public health journals, Hirsch’s books include A Courtship After Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families (University of California Press, 2003), which explores changing ideas and practices of love, sexuality and marriage among Mexicans in the U.S. and in Mexico, and the coauthored The Secret: Love, Marriage and HIV (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), which drew on NIH-funded comparative ethnographic research to analyzes the social organization of extramarital sexual practices in Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Papua-New Guinea and the implications of those practices for married women's HIV risk. Along with Dr. Claude Ann Mellins, Hirsch co-directed the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT), a study supported by Columbia University that examines sexual health and sexual assault among Columbia and Barnard undergraduates. She is the co-author, with sociologist Shamus Khan, of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus.

    Dr. Hirsch has been an active contributor to the intellectual life of CPRC. She is a founding member of the Center who for many years led the Gender, Sexuality, Health and HIV Primary Research Area (now the Reproductive Health and HIV Primary Research Area), and continues to participate in its events, as well as in those of the Migration and Immigration group.

  • A renowned scholar of immigration, race/ethnicity, and inequality, Professor Jennifer Lee returns to her alma mater as Professor of Sociology and as a Core Faculty Member of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for her research. She has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholar to Japan. She was recently elected to the Sociological Research Association—an honor society recognizing the most successful researchers in the field since its founding in 1936. Currently, she is a Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Review, serves on the Editorial Boards of International Migration Review and Ethnic and Racial Studies, and is Past Chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association.

    A prolific writer, Professor Lee is the author or co-author of four award-winning books: Civility in the City (2002); Asian American Youth (2004); The Diversity Paradox (2010); and The Asian American Achievement Paradox (2015). Her most recent book, co-authored with Min Zhou, garnered an astonishing four book awards. Three awards come from the American Sociological Association: the Pierre Bourdieu Book Award from the Sociology of Education Section; the Best Book Award from the Asia and Asian America Section of the American Sociological Association; and the Thomas and Znaniecki Distinguished Book Award from the International Migration Section. The fourth book award is bestowed upon by the Association for Asian American Studies, which hailed it as the Best Book in the Social Sciences. Her articles have appeared in the discipline’s top journals, including American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Professor Lee is a co-Principal Investigator of the 2016 National Asian American Survey, which focuses on political and civic engagement, identity, inter-group attitudes, and perceptions of discrimination. For this project, she, together with her co-PIs were awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

    Strongly committed to public engagement, Professor Lee has written opinion pieces for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, CNN, The Guardian, TIME, and Los Angeles Magazine, and has done radio and television interviews for NPR, CBS News, Fusion TV, and Tavis Smiley. In addition, her research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Economist, Slate, Buzzfeed, and a number of other national and international media outlets. She is one of few public sociologists who very successfully engages publics through multiple types of media.

  • Jeffrey Fagan is a Professor of Law and Public Health at Columbia University, and Director of the Center for Crime, Community and Law at Columbia Law School. His research and scholarship focuses on crime, law and social policy. His current and recent research examines capital punishment, racial profiling, social contagion of violence, legal socialization of adolescents, the social geography of domestic violence, the jurisprudence of adolescent crime, drug control policy, and perceived legitimacy of the criminal law. He is a member of the National Consortium on Violence Research and the Working Group on Legitimacy and the Criminal Law of the Russell Sage FoundationHe formerly was Vice Chair of the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Academy of Science, and served as the Committee’s Vice Chair for the last two years. From 1996-2006, he was a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. From 2002-2005, he received an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was a Soros Senior Justice Fellow for 2005-6. From 1994-98, he served on the standing peer review panel (IRG) for violence research at the National Institute for Mental Health. He is past Editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals on criminology and law. He has served Executive Counselor on the Boards of both the American Society of Criminology and the Crime and Deviance Section of the American Sociological Association. He received the Bruce Stone Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

  • Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development at Teachers College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She is also the co-director of the National Center for Children and Families. Dr. Brooks-Gunn is a developmental psychologist who studies children, youth, and families over time. She is interested in the family and neighborhood conditions that influence how children and youth thrive or do not and how conditions at different ages influence development. She also does policy work as well as designing and evaluating interventions for children and families (home visiting clinic based programs, early childhood education programs, and after school programs).

  • Waldfogel is Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children's and Youth Problems, at the School of Social Work, and co-director of the CPRC. Waldfogel's research focuses on the effects of public policies on child and family well-being, both in the U.S. and cross-nationally. Current research interests include improving the measurement of poverty, work-family policies, and understanding socioeconomic status gaps in child development.

  • Jamie Daw is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Mailman School of Public Health and a faculty member of the CPRC. Dr. Daw studies how policies affect the barriers faced by populations in accessing needed health services, from gaining health insurance to connecting with providers and ultimately, receiving high-quality care. Her recent work focuses on the impact of state and federal policies on access to care and health outcomes for women and families in the period surrounding childbirth. Dr. Daw also studies prescription drug coverage policy and access to medicines in the U.S., Canada, and other developed countries. Her approach to research draws on methods and theories from a variety of disciplines, including health services research, statistics, epidemiology, political science, economics, and medicine. Dr. Daw’s research has been published in leading medical, health services, and policy research journals including JAMA, CMAJ, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Health Affairs, and the Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law.

  • James Colgrove, PhD, MPH, is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. His research examines the social, political, and legal processes through which public health policies have been mediated in American history. He is the author of Epidemic City: The Politics of Public Health in New York (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011) and State of Immunity: The Politics of Vaccination in Twentieth-Century America (University of California Press, 2006); co-author, with Amy Fairchild and Ronald Bayer, of Searching Eyes: Privacy, the State, and Disease Surveillance in America (University of California Press, 2007); and co-editor, with David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, of The Contested Boundaries of American Public Health (Rutgers University Press, 2008). His articles have been published in the New England Journal of MedicineAmerican Journal of Public Health, Science, Health Affairs, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, and the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. His research has been supported by grants from the National Library of Medicine, the Greenwall Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Milbank Memorial Fund.

  • Jamaica Robinson is an epidemiologist and population health researcher whose work interests center on how income instability and housing precarity affect health in vulnerable populations. Dr. Robinson's recent research explores cross-level interactive effects of individual- and neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors on quality of life in cancer survivors and creating consistent neighborhood typologies from publicly available datasets. In November 2019, she completed her PhD at the University of Washington in the Department of Epidemiology. As part of her doctoral training, she was a fellow in the NIH-supported Biostatistics, Epidemiologic & Bioinformatic Training in Environmental Health grant and the Cancer Prevention Training grant.

  • Dr. Irwin Garfinkel is the Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems, and co-founding director of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC). Of the 37 population research centers funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, CPRC is the only one to have been founded within a school of social work. Dr. Garfinkel is also co-founding director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy (2014-present). Previously, Dr. Garfinkel served as the director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 1975-1980, and the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin from 1982-1984. From 1980-1990, he was the principal investigator of the Wisconsin Child Support Study. His research on child support and welfare influenced legislation in Wisconsin, other American states, the U.S. Congress, Great Britain, Australia, and Sweden.

    In 1998, in conjunction with his wife, Dr. Sara McLanahan of Princeton University, Dr. Garfinkel initiated the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Nearly 5,000 children in 20 large American cities were enrolled in the study at birth and are now adolescents. Most recently, this study yielded findings that harsh parenting increased only at the beginning of the Great Recession. In 2012, in collaboration with Chris Wimer, Jane Waldfogel, and Julien Teitler he initiated the New York City Longitudinal Survey of Well-being, called the Poverty Tracker.

    A social worker and economist by training, Dr. Garfinkel’s book Wealth and Welfare States: Is America Laggard or Leader? (Oxford University Press, 2010) and paper “Welfare State Myths and Measurement” challenge widespread half-truths, such as that the American welfare state is small and has always been a laggard, and most important, that the welfare state undermines productivity. In all, he is the author of over 200 articles and 16 books or edited volumes on poverty, income transfers, program evaluation, single-parent families and child support, and the welfare state.

    Dr. Garfinkel holds a BA in History from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Social Work and Economics from the University of Michigan.

  • Heidi Allen, PhD, MSW, is an associate professor at Columbia University School of Social Work. She studies the impact of social policies, like Medicaid– America’s health insurance for the poor – on health and financial well-being. She is a former emergency department social worker and spent several years in state health policy, where she focused on health system redesign and public health insurance expansions. Dr. Allen is currently involved in a variety of research projects focused on social policy at the intersection of health and poverty.

  • Goleen Samari, PhD, MPH, MA is an Assistant Professor of Population & Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her masters degrees in Community Health Sciences and Islamic studies and her doctoral degree in Public Health (concentration in Demography) at the University of California Los Angeles. She also finished an NICHD post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center prior to working as a research scientist at the University of California San Francisco's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). Dr. Samari's research examines how population health is shaped by discrimination, gender inequities, and migration both domestically and globally, with a particular focus on populations in or from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Much of her work focuses on the reproductive health of women and health and well-being of immigrant families. Dr. Samari was the first to draw attention to the racialization of religious minorities as it pertains to health, and Islamophobia as a public health issue in the United States. She is also one of a few demographers focused on MENA countries, and one of a handful of researchers examining gender inequities, women's empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health in the MENA region. Dr. Samari has published her research in several leading academic journals, including the American Journal of Public Health and Social Science & Medicine, and her editorials and Op-Eds have been published in local and national newspapers. 

  • Gina Wingood, ScD, MPH is the Sidney and Helaine Lerner Professor of Public Health Promotion; Director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, a Professor in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Dr. Wingood received her doctorate from Harvard University School of Public Health. She has served as the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on 20 NIH-funded grants.  She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator of the NIAID-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study and the Research Director of the NIH-funded BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health). Her research examines the efficacy of HIV prevention interventions for African-American women. She has published over 200 articles, which have appeared in JAMA, Archives of Internal Medicine, JAIDS and AJPH. In 2009, Dr. Wingood was invited to the White House inaugural meeting on Women and HIV to speak on her suite of efficacious HIV prevention interventions for women, and in 2012 she was invited back to the White House to discuss the influence of gender based violence on HIV risk. In 2011, Dr. Wingood was identified by the journal Science as a highly funded African American, NIH grant recipient. Dr. Wingood was awarded the Eminent Women in Science Scholar Award from Rutgers University. She is the recipient of the Allen Edwards Endowed Lectureship in Psychology from the University of Washington and she is the recipient of the John P. McGovern Award in Health Promotion, University of Texas at Houston. She serves as an Executive Director for the NIH-funded Social Behavioral Science Research Network. Fellows attending this program have received 19 federally-funded awards.

  • Gerard Torrats-Espinosa is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. 

    His research draws from the literatures on urban sociology, stratification, and criminology, and it focuses on understanding how the spatial organization of the American stratification system creates and reproduces inequalities. His current research agenda investigates how the neighborhood context, particularly the experience of community violence, determines the life chances of children; how social capital and social organization emerge and evolve in spatial contexts; and how place and geography structure educational and economic opportunity in America and elsewhere.

    His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including the American Sociological Review, the Journal of Urban Economics, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gerard holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.

  • Director, Center for Justice   Dr. Downey has worked on and taught about issues related to incarceration since the 1970s. This work included a study of the first cohort of youth placed on probation in Ireland, co-directing a Mother-Child Visitation at Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Michigan, and teaching in several Prison College Program, including Sing Sing, Bedford Hills, and Taconic Correctional Facilities. Professor Downey has been chair of the Columbia Psychology Department, Vice-Provost for Diversity Initiatives, Vice- Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Social Sciences. She is a member of the Faculty Working- Group of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and the Faculty Steering Committee of the Holder Initiative for Civil and Political Rights and the University Task Force on Just Societies. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association Mentor Award.  Her work on the causes and consequences of social exclusion and rejection is internationally recognized and she has received funding from NIMH, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation. She is currently studying how identities of hope (e.g., the student identity) can transform the narrative about people deemed rejectable (e.g., people with a criminal conviction). For Geraldine’s talk on education in prison see: Geraldine Downey's Talk for Why Education Matters: [email protected]

  • Ezra S. Susser, MD, DrPH, is the Director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training program. His research focuses on two main areas. One is examining the role of early life experience in health and disease throughout the life course. He heads the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies, which fosters collaborative research and intellectual exchange among investigators studying developmental origins in birth cohorts across the globe. As one example, the findings from a series of studies have suggested that exposure to famine in early gestation is associated with increased schizophrenia among offspring. The other is global mental health. He is a co-founder of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia. Much of Dr. Susser's early work focused on the course of schizophrenia and especially on social outcomes. In his early research career he was involved in follow-up studies of psychoses in the United States and across the globe, including the WHO International Study of Schizophrenia. He also conducted studies of homelessness and its prevention among patients with schizophrenia. This work included the development and testing of the initial version of Critical Time Intervention (CTI) for prevention of recurrent homelessness. Currently CTI is being adapted for use in low and middle income countries, and a version is being piloted for a regional trial across three countries in Latin America. Dr. Susser is also involved in work on schizophrenia in other regions, for example, in South Africa he and colleagues are laying the groundwork for the first study of the incidence of psychoses in Africa, and have undertaken the first large study of genetics of schizophrenia in a population of African ancestry. Dr. Susser is an editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology, lead author of the main textbook on psychiatric epidemiology, and former chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health (1999-2008).

  • Esther Spindler is a DrPH Candidate in Population & Family Health and Director of the Structural Determinants and Social Transitions among Adolescents and Young Adults in Rakai, Uganda (SSTAR) Project. Esther's dissertation research examines the social and structural drivers of adolescent marriage declines in Uganda. Esther is passionate about bridging public health research to practice, and addressing the social and structural determinants of health behaviors. Esther previously worked as a Research Officer at Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), where she led gender-based violence, family planning and couples counseling studies in Uganda, Jordan and Togo. Esther has also worked on HIV prevention research with Latinx migrant populations in Washington D.C, as well as gender-based violence research with Promundo in Brazil. Esther is multicultural and multilingual -- she is fluent in French, Portuguese, Spanish and English. Esther was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala (2009-2012), has a M.S. in Development Management from the School of International Service (SIS), at American University and a B.S. in Political Science from New York State University (SUNY) at Oneonta.


    • Awards: P.E.O. Scholars Award (2020-2021)
  • Erin V. Moore is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. A cultural medical anthropologist, Dr. Moore's research interests are in critical global health and development studies, anthropological demography, feminist theory, gender and sexuality studies, the anthropology of adolescence and youth, and theories of translation. Her multi-sited research has taken her from United Nations to NGO offices around the world to Uganda, where she has been working since 2009.

    At Mailman, Dr. Moore joins an interdisciplinary team of scientists investigating how social transitions to adulthood shape HIV/AIDS risk in Rakai, a rural district in Uganda. Dr. Moore's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Society for Research on Adolescence, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern, and the American Association for University Women, among others. She received her PhD and a Graduate Certificate in the Study of Gender and Sexuality from the University of Chicago in 2016.

  • Eric Verhoogen is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Columbia University. His primary research area is industrial development – empirical microeconomic work on firms in developing countries. A common theme is the process of quality upgrading by manufacturing firms, both its causes and its consequences. His work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, and other journals. He is currently serving as a Research Program Director of the International Growth Centre and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bureau for Research in the Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. His personal website is here:

  • I am a medical sociologist and a T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies. I take an intersectional, mixed-methods approach to examine structural inequities shaping minority health and well-being across social contexts. I am particularly motivated to understand—and develop interventions to address—how economic marginalization, race- and gender-based oppression, and multi-level stigma drive health disparities among gender and sexual minorities. I serve as a member of the NYC HIV Planning Group and strive to conduct community-driven health disparities research. Currently, I am Principal Investigator of a pilot study to inform the future adaptation of an economic empowerment intervention for economically marginalized transgender and nonbinary people living with HIV or navigating HIV risk in the United States. The HIV Center Development Core funds this research. I also serve as a Co-Investigator of a study funded by the Smithers Foundation that examines barriers and facilitators to substance use treatment among sexual and gender minorities who use opioids. Another line of research focuses on stigma, discrimination, and affirmation faced by LGBTQ people within healthcare and interpersonal relationships. These studies have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Urban Ethnography Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Research, and the National Institute on Aging.

  • Emilie Bruzelius is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research integrates approaches from epidemiology and data science to examine how social policies influence health outcomes with a focus on substance use and health disparities. Emilie is currently working on research that examines the joint effects of cannabis and prescription opioid legislation on chronic pain and substance use outcomes with Dr. Silvia Martins. Her dissertation research explores intersections between the opioid crisis, criminal justice policies and child welfare outcomes. Prior to joining the doctoral program, Emilie worked as an Epidemiologist and Data Scientist in a variety of health research settings. She completed an MPH in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and received advanced training Data Science in the Data Science Institute, both at Columbia University; she studied Sociology as an undergraduate at Brandeis University.

  • Elizabeth S. Scott is the Harold R. Medina Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Curriculum at Columbia Law School. Scott teaches family law, property, criminal law, and children and the law. She has written extensively on marriage, divorce, cohabitation, child custody, adolescent decision-making, and juvenile delinquency. Her research is interdisciplinary, applying behavioral economics, social science research, and developmental theory to family/juvenile law and policy issues.

    She was the founder and co-director of the University of Virginia's Interdisciplinary Center for Children, Families and the Law. She also held a professorship at the university and served as legal director of the university’s Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy.

    From 1995 to 2006, Scott was involved in empirical research on adolescents in the justice system as a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice.  

    In 2008, she published Rethinking Juvenile Justice with developmental psychologist Laurence Steinberg. The book draws on their collaborative work to offer a developmental framework for juvenile justice policy, and received the 2010 Society for Research in Adolescence Social Policy Best Authored Book Award.  

    Scott received her J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1977 and a B.A. from the College of William & Mary in 1967.

  • Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat is the Mallya Chair in Women and Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University. She received a B.A. in political economy and mathematics at Williams College in 1999, a master's degree in public policy from the Ford School at the University of Michigan in 2001, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. In 2010 she served as Senior Economist for Labor, Education, and Welfare at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Her research focuses on the intergenerational dynamics of poverty and inequality.

  • Eliza W. Kinsey is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research examines the relationships between the built environment, food insecurity and urban health disparities. She uses a mixed-methods approach to explore spatiotemporal dynamics of food policy and health across the urban planning, public health and social welfare disciplines. While at Columbia, Dr. Kinsey has advanced her research agenda in built environment and social determinants of health, particularly around obesity and child health outcomes. Currently she is a co-investigator on a study using NYC Vital Statistics birth record data to evaluate associations between neighborhood food environments and excessive gestational weight gain. She is also working with birth cohorts from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health to study the links between early childhood food insecurity and child weight and cognitive development trajectories. Dr. Kinsey’s work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Public Health and Public Health Nutrition. She holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning, as well as a Master of Public Health, from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Dustin T. Duncan, ScD (he/him) is a social and spatial epidemiologist, studying how neighborhood characteristics influence population health and health disparities. Dr. Duncan's intersectional research focuses on Black gay, bisexual and other sexual minority men and transgender women of color. His research has a strong domestic focus--including in New York City and the Deep South--and his recent work spans the globe such as in West Africa, especially with Columbia's International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP). Methodologically, his research utilizes a geospatial lens to apply advanced geographic information systems, web-based and real-time geospatial technologies, and geospatial modeling techniques. Working in collaborations with scholars across the world, he has over 150 high-impact scientific articles, book chapters, and books and his research has appeared in major media outlets including U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN. Dr. Duncan's work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, and the Aetna Foundation. He currently leads two NIH-funded R01 studies, as well as studies funded by other sources, and mentors K and other awards of junior scientists. In 2019, he was awarded the mid-career Emerging Public Health Professional Award from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  • Douglas Ready, a Professor of Education and Public Policy, researches the links between education policy, social policy, and educational equity. Much of this research focuses on how contemporary policies moderate or exacerbate socio-demographic disparities in cognitive development. Representative work has appeared in Educational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisEducational PolicySociology of EducationAmerican Educational Research JournalAmerican Journal of EducationTeachers College RecordResearch in Higher EducationEarly Childhood Research QuarterlyEarly Education and Development, as well as in books and edited volumes published by the Brookings Institution, Teachers College Press, and the American Educational Research Association.

  • Dima Amso is a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. Professor Amso is interested in understanding the process of human brain and cognitive development. In recent years, her lab has made novel discoveries regarding the numerous sophisticated learning systems available to infants. Professor Amso's plan is to exploit these discoveries to ask innovative questions about (1) how interactive learning systems in infancy offer plasticity in the presence of risk and opportunity, and in doing so (2) how they are simultaneously being shaped by experience for adaptive function in future environments.

    Additionally, Professor Amso's lab is committed to global partnerships. Global crises have increased the number of mass migrations and displacement, and thus children experiencing the effects of profound stress. Jordan houses just over 655,000 Syrian refugees, and almost 40% are children. She has partnered with Taghyeer and the We Love Reading (WLR) program, a local Jordanian reading intervention, to support early childhood development. Reading for pleasure is a positive and culturally-sensitive approach to enriching children’s agency, parent-child interactions, early literacy, and executive functions in preschoolers.

  • Diana Hernandez (PhD) focuses her work on the social and environmental determinants of health by querying the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations. Her community-oriented research examines the intersections between the built environment (housing and neighborhoods), poverty/equity and health with a particular emphasis on energy insecurity. Much of her research is conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood, where she also lives and invests in social impact real estate. Dr. Hernandez is currently a Principal or Co-Investigator on several projects related to structural interventions in low-income housing (i.e. energy efficiency upgrades, cleaner burning fuel source conversions, smoke-free housing compliance, new finance and capital improvement models in public housing and post-Sandy resilience among public housing residents) or otherwise related to alleviating the consequences of poverty on health (i.e. attrition study of the Nurse Family Partnership Program and qualitative evaluation of the Medical Legal Partnership model). Her work is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the JPB Foundation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, among others. Her research has been published in leading journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Energy Policy, Public Health Reports and Energy Research and Social Sciences. Professor Hernandez teaches Qualitative Research Methods at the graduate level and has also taught undergraduate courses on Health Disparities and Cultural Competence. She has advised numerous master's theses and doctoral dissertations. In addition, she actively engages in a variety translational research activities through consulting, board service and social entrepreneurship.

  • Associate Professor Desmond Upton Patton’s research uses qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine the relationship between youth and gang violence and social media; how and why violence, grief, and identity are expressed on social media; and the real-world impact these expressions have on well-being for low-income youth of color. He studies the ways in which gang-involved youth conceptualize threats on social media, and the extent to which social media shapes and facilitates youth and gang violence.

    Dr. Patton is the founding director of SAFElab, a member of the Data Science Institute, and a faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG). He holds a courtesy appointment in the department of Sociology. He is the recipient of the 2018 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) and was named a 2017-2018 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

  • Desiree Abu-Odeh is a history-track PhD candidate in Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences and a 2019 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow. Her research interests include public health ethics and histories of public health, gender, race, sexuality, and social movements in the United States. Desiree’s work on obesity and stigma has been published in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. Her dissertation examines the sexual violence problem and anti-violence work on American college campuses from 1950 to 2000. She has received funding for her doctoral studies and dissertation research from her department’s Predoctoral Fellowship in Gender, Sexuality and Health, the Columbia Population Research Center, Harvard’s Schlesinger Library, Barnard Library, and Smith College Libraries.

  • The goal of Dan Belsky's work is to reduce social inequalities in aging outcomes in the US and elsewhere. His research sits at the intersection of public health, population & behavioral science, and genomics. His studies seek to understand how genes and environments combine to shape health across the life course. Belsky's research uses tools from genome science and longitudinal data from population-based cohort studies. The aim is to identify targets for policy and clinical interventions to promote positive development from early life and extend healthspan. Belsky is a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Child Brain Development Network and from 2016-2018 was an Early Career Fellow of the Jacobs Foundation. 

  • Daniel Giovenco, PhD, MPH is a behavioral scientist who uses geographical information systems, field data collection, and survey data to uncover how community characteristics influence disparities in substance use. His specific areas of interest include the marketing of tobacco products at the point-of- sale, the public health implications of tobacco harm reduction, and the co-use of marijuana and tobacco. Dr. Giovenco's research has been published in leading public health journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Tobacco Control, and the Journal of Adolescent Health. In addition to research, Dr. Giovenco teaches graduate courses in public health intervention design and is a member of the Prevention, Control and Disparities Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Giovenco is a 2016 recipient of the NIH Director's Early Independence Award, a grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to junior scientists who have the ability to flourish as an independent researcher without the need for traditional post-doctoral training. His project will examine how the promotion of tobacco products with varying levels of risk differs across neighborhoods and how this may influence harm reduction behaviors and subsequent health disparities.

  • Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD, is a Pediatrician, Neuroscientist and Environmental Health Scientist. She joined Columbia Univerisity as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (in Psychiatry) in November 2018. She dedicates 80% of her time to basic science research into the neurobiological basis of resilience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and 20% time to caring for newborns in the Well-Baby Nursery.

    Dr. Dumitriu completed all her training at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Following her graduation from the MD/PhD program in 2013, she matched into the Pediatrics residency. She then successfully negotiated a custom-tailored individualized residency program with significant protected research time. This allowed her to maintain an active research commitment, while completing a residency in General Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Environmental Health over a five-year period. This ambitious and unconventional path was born out of a desire to escape the growing physician-scientist “leaky pipeline,” which has resulted in fewer and fewer MD/PhD graduates returning to bench science following prolonged clinical focus during residency. Taking full advantage of the flexibility of this custom program, Dr. Dumitriu began building her research program and was awarded her first R01 from NIMH while still in clinical training. In addition to her busy research and clinical schedules, Dr. Dumitriu is passionate about developing innovative avenues for the retention of physician-scientists in basic research.

    In the lab, Dr. Dumitriu conducts NIH-funded research on the functional and structural connectivity patterns that differ in stress-susceptible versus stress-resilient mice. In collaborative work with her fellowship mentor, Dr. Manish Arora at Mount Sinai, she investigates pre- and post-natal patterns of inflammation associated with future risk of autism using naturally shed human teeth, which during development trap various compounds akin to developing tree rings. Additionally, she is currently working with an inter-disciplinary team of collaborators to spearhead an epidemiological-level study of wild rat stress and resilience in New York City. 

  • Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn is an associate professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center. She employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. Dr. Cogburn’s work also explores the potential of media and technology in eradicating racism and eliminating racial inequities in health. She is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality experience of racism that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Dr. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, and MSW from the University of Michigan and her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.

  • Constance A. Nathanson, PhD, has over 40 years of experience in research on sociological dimensions of health and health policy. Her work over the past fifteen years has focused on the history, politics, and sociology of public health policy and policy change in the United States and in its peer developed countries. Recent publications include articles theorizing policy and policy change in public health from a sociological perspective, more substantive articles on tobacco and gun control policy, the role of social movements in policy change, and essays on health inequalities, as well as a book, Disease Prevention as Social Change (2007), that describes and interprets public health policy shifts across time in the United States, France, Great Britain, and Canada. France has been a continuing geographical focus of Nathanson's recent work. She is currently supported by the National Library of Medicine to prepare a book-length manuscript on health crises and institutional and ideological change in public health in France, and. in collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, is conducting a W.T. Grant supported project to examine the politics of research evidence in American state legislatures. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Nathanson is the co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center and the director of the NICHD-funded training grant in gender, sexuality, and health, located in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences.

  • Dr. Cindy Veldhuis (pronounced Veld-hice) is an associate research scientist and a research psychologist at the Columbia University School of Nursing. Broadly, her research focuses on LGBTQIA+ relationships and health as well as violence, trauma, mental health, and the impacts of sociopolitical events on wellbeing. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016 and completed her masters (Cognitive Psychology) and bachelors (double major: Theater and Psychology) at the University of Oregon.  She recently completed an individual NIH/NIAAA Ruth Kirschstein Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (NIH F32AA025816) at Columbia University focused on intersectionality in the associations between relationships and hazardous drinking. She is also a current K99/R00 Pathway to Independence awardee (K99AA028049; Dr. T. Hughes at Columbia is co-mentor with Dr. J. Pachankis at Yale) from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Veldhuis’ K99/R00 takes a novel mixed-methods approach to examining associations between stress and alcohol use among women in same-sex relationships. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications and 3 book chapters, and in 2019 was invited to give a talk on the effects of the 2016 election on LGBTQ+ people at the United Nations. Dr. Veldhuis recently served on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health COVID-19 Mental Health Measurement Task Force. Early on in the pandemic, this task force worked with existing longitudinal studies to include mental health measures to assess the impact of the pandemic on mental health. She also is PI of an international and longitudinal study on mental health and relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was recently appointed co-chair of the Science Committee of the American Psychological Associations Division 44 (the division focused on LGBT health). Dr. Veldhuis has won multiple awards for her research, including awards from the American Psychological Association and the Research Society on Alcoholism/NIAAA.

  • Christopher Wimer is a Senior Research Scientist at CPRC and a co-Director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at the School of Social Work. He works on research projects within the Children, Youth, and Families and Urbanism Research Areas. He is the Project Director on CPRC's New York City Longitudinal Study of Wellbeing, and also manages and participates in the research on many of CPRC's poverty-related research projects.  Wimer's research focuses on measuring poverty and disadvantage, how families cope with poverty and economic insecurity, and the role of social policies in the lives of disadvantaged families.

  • Christopher Morrison is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health who specializes in spatial epidemiologic methods. His research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, seeks to understand how social and physical environmental conditions affect population health, particularly injuries, alcohol use, and alcohol-related harms. His recent work has examined associations between ridesharing services (such as Uber) and motor vehicle crashes, bicycle infrastructure and bicycle crashes, and firearm laws and firearm violence. Dr. Morrison previously worked as an Associate Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Berkeley, California, and he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Penn Injury Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Monash University, Australia.

  • Dr. Branas has conducted research that extends from urban and rural areas in the US to communities across the globe, incorporating place-based interventions and human geography. He has led win-win science that generates new knowledge while simultaneously creating positive, real-world changes and providing health-enhancing resources for local communities. His pioneering work on geographic access to medical care has changed the healthcare landscape, leading to the designation of new hospitals and a series of national scientific replications in the US and other countries for many conditions: trauma, cancer, stroke, etc. His research on the geography and factors underpinning gun violence has been cited by landmark Supreme Court decisions, Congress, and the NIH Director. Dr. Branas has also led large-scale scientific work to transform thousands of vacant lots, abandoned buildings and other blighted spaces in improving the health and safety of entire communities. These are the first citywide randomized controlled trials of urban blight remediation and have shown this intervention to be a cost-effective solution to persistent urban health problems like gun violence. He has worked internationally on four continents and led multi-national efforts, producing extensive cohorts of developing nation scientists, national health metrics, and worldwide press coverage.

  • Dr. Catherine Monk directs the Perinatal Pathways lab at Columbia University Medical Center where she and her colleagues conduct research with pregnant women and their babies to improve their well–being and their future children’s lives. For over 20 years, this lab has contributed to the scientific evidence showing that when pregnant women experience stress, anxiety, and depression, it affects them as well as their offspring in utero, with long-term effects on the child’s neurobehavioral development. There is a ‘third pathway’ for the familial inheritance of risk for psychiatric illness beyond shared genes and the quality of parental care: the impact of pregnant women’s distress on fetal and infant brain–behavior development. Dr. Monk’s research that involves fetal assessment, newborn neuroimaging, genetics, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, mother–child interaction, and supportive interventions aimed at (1) characterizing maternal pregnancy and postpartum experiences and the effects on children’s development and (2) promoting maternal psychobiological health for the mother–child dyad. 

  • Dr. Westhoff's work focuses on improving quality of and access to contraceptive and abortion services. She has published over 200 scientific articles relating to safety and effectiveness of contraception and abortion. As a member of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network Dr. Westhoff develops new contraceptives using novel pharmaceutical agents. Recent trials evaluated microbicidal agents that can protect against HIV as well as against pregnancy. In addition, trials evaluate new and simpler ways to initiate contraceptive methods, and evaluate whether drug interactions interfere with contraceptive efficacy. Recent studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of early abortion using medications. All studies and projects welcome the involvement of public health students as well as clinicians. Dr. Westhoff serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Contraception, a monthly publication for the advancement of reproductive health. The journal, published by Elsevier, is the official journal of the Society of Family Planning and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Dr. Westhoff is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and is Senior Medical Advisor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

  • Dr. Carmela Alcántara is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group, Faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center, and Director of the Sleep, Mind, and Health Research Program. She is a clinical psychological scientist with expertise in social epidemiology and behavioral medicine. Her interdisciplinary program of research integrates frameworks and methodologies from psychology, public health, social work, and medicine to study how contextual factors (i.e., immigrant status, socioeconomic status, race) shape exposure to psychosocial risks and resources (acculturation, transnational ties, discrimination, stress, anxiety), and their association with sleep, mental health, and cardiovascular health in underserved populations, particularly in Latina/o/x immigrant communities. A long-term goal of Dr. Alcántara’s research is to develop community-engaged and evidence-based behavioral interventions to reduce disparities in mental health care and promote health equity. She has obtained nearly $3 million dollars from federal sources and private foundations, including a K23 award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study sleep and minority health, and an R01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct a randomized controlled trial of a digital behavioral sleep medicine intervention culturally adapted for Spanish-speaking primary care patients. Dr. Alcántara has held national leadership positions and provides sought after expertise in Latina/o/x immigrant and minority health, health psychology, behavioral sleep medicine, and social determinants of health.

  • Bruce Western is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University. His research has examined the causes, scope, and consequences of the historic growth in U.S. prison populations. Current projects include a randomized experiment assessing the effects of criminal justice fines and fees on misdemeanor defendants in Oklahoma City, and a field study of solitary confinement in Pennsylvania state prisons. Western is also the Principal Investigator of the Square One Project that aims re-imagine the public policy response to violence under conditions of poverty and racial inequality. He was the Vice Chair of the National Academy of Sciences panel on the causes and consequences of high incarceration rates in the United States. He is the author of Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison (Russell Sage Foundation, 2018), and Punishment and Inequality in America (Russell Sage Foundation, 2006). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar, and a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study. Western received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was born in Canberra, Australia.

  • Dr. Brooke S. West is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG). As a medical sociologist, Dr. West’s research focuses on the social, economic, physical and policy factors underlying inequities in health among marginalized and criminalized populations, both globally and domestically. Drawing on both social science and public health approaches, her work centers primarily on the social and structural determinants of substance use and HIV/STI, with newer work examining violence exposure and reproductive health. Dr. West is the principal investigator on a NIDA-funded study that examines the intersection of venue-based risk and networks for substance-using women in Tijuana, Mexico, with the goal of capturing the dynamic and overlapping nature of risk environments and how connections to and movement between places can confer health risks. The integration of place-based and network methods, both of which have wide applicability for addressing health inequities in diverse settings, will inform the development of novel intervention approaches that seek to reshape environments and create safer spaces. Dr. West also works on projects related to overdose among women and the health of women more broadly, including the evaluation and development of sexual and reproductive health programs in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and the United States.         Before joining the School of Social Work, Dr. West was an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) with a dual appointment in the Department of Sociology. Prior to her appointment as an Assistant Professor at UCSD she was a Postdoctoral Fellow on a T32 focused on substance use and infectious diseases. Dr. West received her Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and her M.A. in Sociology from Cornell University.

  • Brennan Rhodes-Bratton—a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award—conducting dissertation research to identify and address the role that food practices and dispositions play in the risk of obesity among residents living in a neighborhood undergoing gentrification. During her traineeship in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity, she worked as a research assistant in the development of a conceptual framework for the emerging issue of energy insecurity and also led a community-based participatory research project unveiling the lived experience of New York City Housing Authority residents with a PhotoVoice project entitled “Going Beyond the Mold.” Her professional and educational career to-date comprises nearly a decade of experience in public health including research in environmental health, built-environment, nutrition and wellness education, community-based participatory research, health policy analysis, housing insecurity, extensive training in the application of social theory to public health problems, and applied experiences in PhotoVoice and intervention design, implementation, and evaluation. Rhodes-Bratton’s long-term career goal is to become a public health mixed methods researcher with expertise in theoretically-driven research and interventions, doing research grounded in sociological concepts and theories about the social and economic determinants of health and illness.

  • Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and the Program for the Study of LGBT Health at Columbia University. Dr. Caceres completed his PhD at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University in 2017. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Columbia University School of Nursing he completed training in cardiovascular disease epidemiology, behavioral cardiovascular health, and LGBTQ+ health. His program of research uses biobehavioral approaches to identify and intervene on psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular disease in marginalized populations across the lifespan.

    He is currently the Principal Investigator of several studies to understand the influence of adverse life experiences on cardiovascular disease risk in marginalized adults. In July 2019, Dr. Caceres began a career development award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to launch the Cardiovascular Health and Life Experiences of Sisters study, which examines the associations of sexual identity, adverse life experiences, and cardiovascular health in sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women and their heterosexual sisters. Dr. Caceres recently completed a pilot study from the PriSSM Center at the Columbia University School of Nursing that examined the associations of adverse life experiences with cardiovascular health in Latina women.

    Dr. Caceres is a fellow of the American Heart Association, American Academy of Nursing, and New York Academy of Medicine. In 2020 he was the recipient of the National Institutes of Health's Sexual and Gender Minority Early-Stage Investigator Award.

  • Professor Salanié's research interests range from microeconomic theory to econometric methods. His best-known contributions investigate asymmetric information, behavior under risk. He has also worked in several areas of applied microeconomics: labor economics, public finance, or the economics of marriage.

    Professor Salanié is Professor of Economics. His research agenda in microeconomic theory and in applied microeconomics encompasses the effect of financial incentives on fertility, and the economics of marriage. He is currently working with Alfred Galichon and with Pierre-André Chiappori on several projects that advance matching models of the marriage market. They have developed a general, flexible empirical strategy that they are using to explore the determinants of marriage and partner choice. They have recently used this approach in order to evaluate how the returns to education on the marriage market have changed over time and their consequences for inequality.

  • Belinda Archibong is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research areas include development economics, political economy, economic history and environmental economics with an African regional focus. Her research investigates the role of institutions and environment in inequality of access to public services and the development of human capital. Some current research studies the impact of climate-induced health shocks on gender gaps in human capital investment, the economic burden of epidemic disease, and the impact of air pollution from gas flaring on human capital outcomes. Other works study the economics of prison labor, the links between taxation and public service provision and the role of gender and ethnic bias in hiring in African countries. She is a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center for Development Economics and Policy (CDEP), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), and the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP).

    She joined the Barnard Economics faculty in 2015 and received a B.A. in Economics/Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. Her CV and further information can also be found on her personal website:

  • Ashwin Vasan, MSc, MD, PhD is a primary care physician and public health expert with more than 15 years of experience working to improve health, social welfare, and public policy for vulnerable populations. Since 2014 he has been on the faculty at Mailman, where he leads a graduate seminar on implementation science and global health, and at the College of Physicians and Surgeons where he cares for low-income, Medicaid/Medicare or uninsured patients from Washington Heights, Harlem, and the South Bronx as a primary care internist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. His current work is focused at the intersection of health equity, public policy, and our domestic political system, with an aim to foster a more representative political discourse around health and its social determinants in the public square. From 2016-2019 Dr Vasan was appointed as the founding Executive Director of the Health Access Equity Unit at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, a first of its kind public sector health program that leverages the agency's assets in surveillance, research, program design, implementation science, and policy development to improve community-based health and human services for the most vulnerable and overlooked populations in the City, including people involved in the criminal justice system, refugees/asylees, undocumented, and chronically homeless. In this role, built the bureau and led the development of the NYC Health Justice Network, a health and social sector partnership providing trauma-informed, peer-led community-based health and human services to people involved in the justice system and their families. This role built off of Dr Vasan's decade of experience at the intersection of global health and primary care working with Partners In Health (PIH) in Rwanda, Lesotho, and Boston, and the World Health Organization in Uganda and Geneva (under recently-departed World Bank President Jim Yong Kim). Dr Vasan worked as a Technical Officer on the WHO/UNAIDS "3by5 Initiative" to expand antiretroviral treatment access in the developing world, and subsequently supported the Ugandan Ministry of Health in scale-up and quality improvement of HIV treatment in four districts in the southwest of the country, the first areas to attempt front-line treatment. At PIH he supported programs in Boston, Lesotho, and Rwanda, where he led efforts to improve primary care delivery using WHO Integrated Management guidelines. At Mailman, prior to departing for NYC DOHMH, Dr Vasan was also the Deputy Director of the ARCHES (Advancing Research on Comprehensive Health Systems) program, a $17M Doris-Duke funded program of community health systems development and implementation science in Ghana and Tanzania. Dr Vasan also holds non-clinical appointments as an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Population Health at New York University School of Medicine.

  • Professor Bartel is the Merrill Lynch Professor of Workforce Transformation at Columbia Business School and the Director of Columbia Business School's Workforce Transformation Initiative. She is an expert in the fields of labor economics and human resource management and has published numerous articles on employee training, human capital investments, job mobility, and the impact of technological change on productivity, worker skills, and outsourcing decisions. Bartel received the 1992 Margaret Chandler Award for Commitment to Excellence in teaching. She teaches Managerial Negotiations and Economics of Organizational Strategy. Bartel is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the recipient of numerous research grants. She has also served as a consultant for many companies on strategic human resource management issues and has directed executive education programs for talented women executives who are positioning themselves for career advancement.

  • Anja Benshaul-Tolonen is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University since 2015. She works on economic development, environmental economics and economics of gender. One strand focuses on health and gender, including menstruation and school absenteeism, stigma around menstruation, and household health investment and knowledge. Another strand focuses on the local welfare effects of natural resource extraction in Africa, including effects on women’s employment and empowerment, health and criminality. Her research methods include quasi-experimental analysis and randomized control trials, and she often uses large datasets. She has peer-reviewed publications in World Development and The Economic Journal. She is an affiliated faculty at the Center for Development Economics and Policy at Columbia University and an external research member at Oxford Center for Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (University of Oxford). She received her Ph.D. in Economics from University of Gothenburg in 2015 and has been a visiting researcher at University of Oxford, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton University and New York University.

  • Angela Simms is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies. Her research examines how legacy and contemporary market and government processes in metropolitan areas shape racial inequality, with particular focus on the suburban Black middle class. Angela’s academic articles, published in the journal Phylon, include: (1) “The Veil of Racial Residential Segregation in the 21st Century: The Suburban Black Middle Class and Pursuit of Racial Equity”; and (2) “Racial Residential Segregation and School Choice: How a Market-based Policy for K-12 Access Creates a ‘Parenting Tax’ for Black Parents.” She also has extensive public policy experience. Before academia, she was a Presidential Management Fellow and legislative analyst for seven years at the federal government agency the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the Executive Office of the U.S. President, serving in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. At OMB, Angela managed the clearance process for, edited, and approved policy documents the Justice Department submitted to Congress to ensure consistency with the President’s overall policy agenda. She completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2019. Angela holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in government from the College of William and Mary. She was born and raised in Woodbridge, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

  • Angela A. Aidala, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her major interest is research, teaching, and service delivery strategies to work effectively with harder to reach or ‘hidden’ populations in urban settings crucial to understanding health disparities. This includes disadvantaged and socially marginalized youth and adults challenged by unstable housing/ homelessness, mental illness, substance use, and/or criminal justice involvement. She is committed to applied research -- working with community members, policy makers, service providers, and advocates to translate research to inform policy and program decision making. She is Principal Investigator of the Community Health Advisory & Information Network (CHAIN) Project, an ongoing cohort study of persons living with HIV/AIDS or at risk of infection in New York City and the northern suburbs. Now in its 27th year, CHAIN is conducted in collaboration with the HIV Planning Council and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and is a major source of service planning data for the region. Dr. Aidala currently leads a long term follow-up of a demonstration project that brought together multiple governmental agencies (Corrections, Homeless Services, Health) and community providers for a housing-based intervention for adults with complex needs and multiple jail and public shelter experiences. Documented success of the original project has inspired multiple jurisdictions throughout the US to launch similar efforts. Now, 10 years later, the FUSE LongTerm Project presents a unique opportunity to examine the role of stable housing as a critical component of successful community reentry, not simply in the short term but considering impacts over the life course.

  • Dr. Rundle is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health. He is a member of CPRC’s steering committee and directs the CPRC’s Geographic Information Systems consulting service. Dr. Rundle’s work focuses on the causes, and cancer related consequences, of obesity, with a major focus on how neighborhood built and social environments shape physical activity, dietary patterns, and in turn, obesity risk. He and his team are also developing new methods to measure neighborhood contexts and apply these data to studying neighborhood effects on health. You can visit his team web site, Built Environmental and Health Research Group, here (

  • Professor Gelman's past research has been in two major areas: (1) statistical theory, methods, and computation, and (2) applications in political science, public health, and policy. His statistical work has centered on Bayesian inference, multilevel models, and graphical methods. Gelman's research focuses on building and checking multilevel models in applications including time series of public opinions, laboratory measurements of allergens, income and voting in elections, political polarization, and psychometrics. Gelman directs the Applied Statistics Center, which has connections with over a dozen departments, schools, and institutes at Columbia, and he is also conducting an ongoing series of methodological workshops with faculty at the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Bendesky’s research takes genetic, genomic, molecular, and neurobiological approaches to discover mechanisms underlying the natural variation and evolution of behavior. His work focuses mostly on exploratory and social behaviors in rodents – like pair bonding and parental care – and on aggression in fish.

  • Amy Zhou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research broadly examines health inequalities in both the US and global settings. One line of research focuses on the global health field. Based on extensive fieldwork and interviews in Malawi, her current book project looks at how international efforts to address the HIV epidemic have transformed healthcare institutions and the way patients manage their health. This research also draws attention to how global health policies can have unintended consequences for maternal HIV transmission, women’s use of HIV treatment, and reproductive health. Another line of research looks at racial health inequalities in the US, focusing on the meaning of race in delivering racially-targeted health services. Recently, she has started a new project that examines the social and ethical implications of gene drive technologies. Amy received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and postdoctoral training at the UCSD Institute for Practical Ethics.

  • Dr. La Forgia uses quantitative and qualitative methods to study the business strategies of organizations in the health care sector. This includes research on the impact of mergers and acquisitions on the cost and quality of health care. She is also interested in how information asymmetries and incentives can shape health care provider behavior. Dr. La Forgia received her PhD in Applied Economics and Managerial Science from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA (with honors) in Economics and Mathematics from Swarthmore College. Prior to Wharton, she worked in Washington, DC as a policy analyst for the Quantitative Economics and Statistics group of Ernst and Young.

  • Dr. Alissa Davis is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her research focuses on the development of interventions to improve linkage to and retention in care for HIV/STI and substance use services for marginalized populations, including racial/ethnic and sexual minorities, individuals involved with the criminal justice system, and people who inject drugs (PWID). Her research integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods. She has worked both domestically and internationally in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and China. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Fogarty International Center, and the Mellon Foundation. Her current research focuses on developing and adapting a couples-based intervention to improve antiretroviral therapy adherence among people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan and examining factors associated with recurrent bacterial vaginosis infection among women in New York City.

  • Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Hertel-Fernandez studies the political economy of the United States, with an emphasis on the politics of organized interests, especially business, and public policy. He has published academic research on the politics of social programs, including unemployment insurance and Medicaid, and has written policy briefs on a variety of topics related to Social Security and other social insurance programs. He currently serves on the board of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

  • Alex Eble is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on two core areas. In the first research area, he works to understand how children form beliefs about their own ability, and how this affects their human capital development. In the second research area, he works to identify, evaluate, and study the scalability and generalizability of potentially high-leverage policy options to raise learning levels in the developing world. His work draws on insights from fieldwork and experience as a development practitioner in China, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and India. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics; and a BA in economics and East Asian languages and cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he learned to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese.

  • I am a social epidemiologist and my primary research focus pertains to how social and cardiovascular exposures from across the life-course influence cognitive function, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, stroke and other related health outcomes in old age. In my work on cognitive aging, I also focus on minority populations. My ultimate research goal is to employ lifecourse models to better understand how modification of social and cardiovascular factors or their timing may reduce the burden of cognitive aging and dementia disparities. I am currently leading two NIH-funded R01 projects that use causal inference methods to understand determinants of dementia and selection biases.

  • Adam Sacarny is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sacarny's research explores the relationship between health care payment policy, provider and patient decision-making, and clinical quality. Much of this work involves using randomized controlled trials to test interventions in the health care delivery system. His research on health care providers has studied the effects of behavioral interventions on overprescribing, the adoption of hospital documentation and coding practices, and the relationship between hospital clinical outcomes and market share.

    Dr. Sacarny is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an Affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). He received his PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Adam Reich received his PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley in 2012, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia from 2012 to 2014.  He focuses on economic and cultural sociology.  Much of his research concerns how people make sense of their economic activities and economic positions within organizations.  Reich is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Selling Our Souls: The Commodification of Hospital Care in the United States (Princeton, 2014).  He is also the author of several peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology and Social Science & Medicine.