Trainees in Health Disparities Research
Ganga Bey earned a BA in Anthropology from Princeton University in 2009, with a certificate in African American Studies. As an undergraduate, her research focused on understanding the social and cultural factors that impact health outcomes. Her senior thesis was an Illness narrative exploring the life of a young black woman living with diabetes. Ganga then received an MPH concentrating in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai GSBS. Her master's thesis explored the impact of the built environment on decision-making in health behaviors for Latina and Black women living in underserved communities. Under the guidance of Sharina Person, she is currently investigating mechanisms through which structural inequality acts to impact health.
Tariana Little, BA
Tariana Little, BA is a doctoral student in Clinical and Population Health Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research interests include Latino health disparities in mental health, sexual health, and chronic illnesses. Mentored by Dr. Milagros Rosal, Tariana is a research assistant on an NIH-funded large prospective study examining mental health among Latinos in Lawrence, MA. Tariana views her doctoral work as a foundation towards a research career on Latino health promotion. The first in her immigrant family to attend college, Tariana graduated with a BA in Psychology, high honors, from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012.
"I am committed to health disparities research because to me, health equity is a form of social justice."
Andrea Lopez-Cepero, MHSN
Andrea Lopez-Cepero, MHSN, is a graduate student in the Clinical Investigation and Population Health Research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School mentored by Dr. Milagros Rosal. Andrea was born and raised in Puerto Rico and completed graduate studies in nutrition at the University of Puerto Rico. Thus, consistent with her background, Andrea's research interests are focused in Latino health disparities, particularly in nutrition-related chronic conditions. Andrea aspires to become an academic researcher to understand and identify important nutrition-related intervention targets that mitigate Latino health disparities.
During my Bachelors studies, I have been keenly interested in the psychosocial and socio-economic contexts of developing diseases and their impacts on patients. I decided to become a quantitative researcher when I began my Masters degree in epidemiology. I built a personal risk calculator, which incorporated both psychosocial predictors and socio-economic status, in addition to traditional predictors, to calculate the ten year risk of stroke. I began the MD/PhD program, where my dissertation addresses not only disparities associated with certain individuals living longer lives, but also factors that lead individuals to live better lives. My long term career goal is to conduct innovative, patient-centered longitudinal research centering on health disparities to improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Lauren Powell, BS
With over seven years of scientific and human subjects research experience, Lauren Powell, BS is an ambitious doctoral student in the Clinical and Population Health Research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research concentration focuses on minority health disparities, specifically the effects of racism on health, strategies to achieve health equity, the social determinants of health, and methods to improve the participation and experiences of African-Americans and Latinos in clinical research studies. Lauren currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant on two projects rooted in community-engagement approaches that extend CHEIR's commitment to health equity. Lauren currently serves as a 2013-2014 Boston Albert Schweitzer Fellow.
"As an African-American woman, if I want to have the hope of longevity and healthy well-being for myself and future generations moving forward, health disparities must be addressed; health disparities work is not an option for me, it is a necessity."
Apurv Soni is a second year medical student at UMass Medical School. He was born in Western India and moved to Lowell, Massachusetts in 2004 at the age of 14. The privilege of growing and immersing himself in two very different cultures has tremendously demonstrated the importance of community for him. It has also fostered an appreciation of universal persistence of inequity that can only be solved with a collective and participatory effort of all members of the community. Apurv is currently involved in maternal and child health disparities research in rural western India.
He aspires to become a physician-scientist-advocate and become a conduit for identifying and presenting underlying issues that drive health and socioeconomic inequities both locally and internationally among the vulnerable populations.