PhD Students

Denny Fe Garcia Agana

Denny Fe Garcia AganaBachelor of Science, Biology, University of Florida
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentors: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE; Peter Carek, MD, MS
Research Interests: I am interested in social determinants of health related to health service utilization and health outcomes in the primary care setting.

Jacob D. Ball

Jacob D. BallBachelor of Science, Public Health, Global and Community Health Sciences, Tulane University
Master of Arts, Anthropology, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Public Health, University of Florida
Mentors: Xinguang (Jim) Chen, MD, PhD, FACE; Derek A. T. Cummings, PhD
Research Interests: Infectious disease transmission dynamics and control; mathematical modeling; applications of network analysis methods in infectious disease epidemiology; intervention efficacy in different social, political and economic contexts

Zhaoyi Chen

Zhaoyi ChenBachelor of Science, Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University
Master of Science, Epidemiology, Tulane University
Mentor: Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD
Research Interests: Molecular epidemiology and how to use molecular tools to address issues in other fields.

Amy Elliott

Amy ElliottMaster of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: My main research interests are the comorbidities between substance use disorders and anxiety/depressive disorders. I am also interested in nosology, health disparities, and research perceptions.

Verlin Joseph

Verlin JosephMaster of Public Health , Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Mentor: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH
Research Interests: Adolescent prescription drug abuse

Yiyang Liu

Yiyang LiuMaster of Public Health, Tulane University
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: Community epidemiology

Shawnta Lloyd

Shawnta LloydBachelor of Science, Chemistry, Hampton University
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, Emory University
Mentor: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE
Research Interests: Mental health, health disparities, and access to healthcare in the aging population and underrepresented populations

Sadaf Milani

Sadaf MilaniBachelor of Science, Biology, University of Florida
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE
Research Interests: Global health, specifically mental health and access to care

Jae Min

Jae MinBachelor of Arts, Chemistry, Rice University
Mentor: Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD
Research Interests: Deciphering pathogens’ molecular evolution and their epidemiological impact in context of community and healthcare associated infections

Vicki Leanne Osborne

Vicki Leanne OsborneBachelor of Science, Biomedical Science, University of Portsmouth
Master of Science, Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: The abuse and misuse of prescription medications across all therapeutic areas

Ayodeji Otufowora

Ayodeji OtufoworaBachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Lagos State University
Master of Public Health, Health Policy and Management, University of Florida
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: Preventative care and access to care, health disparities, drug addiction and mental health, mobile health (mHealth)

Mirsada Serdarevic

Mirsada SerdarevicBachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of Vermont
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: My research interests lie in the prevention of substance abuse and in developing behavioral interventions that would target substance abuse and associated health consequences.

Nathan Smith

Nathan SmithBachelor of Arts, Sociology, Azusa Pacific University
Master of Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Psychology, Harvard University
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: I am interested in how social factors impact health outcomes. Specific areas of interest include: psychiatric epidemiology, social epidemiology, health disparities, social capital, suicide, and addiction.

Pooja Subedi

Pooja SubediBachelor of Public Health, Central Institute of Science and Technology, Pokhara University
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, East Tennessee State University: Trends and Predictors of Cigarette Smoking and Its Association on Cognitive Performance Among HIV Seropositive and Seronegative Men
Mentor: Jinying Zhao, MD, PhD
Research Interests: Cardiovascular diseases, health disparities, genetic and risk behavior epidemiology

Michael Swain

Michael SwainBachelor of Public Affairs, Public Policy and Analysis, Wayne State University
Master of Public Health, Health Policy, The George Washington University
Mentor: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE
Research Interests: Chronic disease, food access and security, and the role of policies and systems in the prevention of disease

Kai Wang

Kai WangBachelor of Preventive Medicine, Shandong University
Master of Science, Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Mentors: Xinguang (Jim) Chen, MD, PhD, FACE; Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD
Research Interests: Hormonal and metabolic factors and prostate cancer

Sheldon G. B. Waugh

Sheldon G. B. WaughBachelor of Science, Geography, University of Florida
Master of Science, Geography, University of Florida
Mentors: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH; Jason K. Blackburn, PhD
Research Interests: Spatial epidemiology, spatial disease modeling, and vector borne diseases; connecting human, cultural, and environmental factors to determine incidence of vector borne diseases

Akemi Wijayabahu

Akemi Wijayabahu
Bachelor of Science, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Peradeniya
Master of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Lusine Yaghjyan, MD, MPH, PhD
Research Interests: Molecular and cancer epidemiology, molecular biology and genetics

Yunan Xu

Yunan XuBachelor of Preventive Medicine, Shanxi Medical University: Renal Dysfunction After Surgery for Urologic Cancer and Other Diseases
Master of Science, Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Mentor: Xinguang (Jim) Chen, MD, PhD, FACE
Research Interests: Advanced statistical analysis, linear and nonlinear system modeling, epidemiology of health risk behavior and behavioral prevention intervention for risk reduction

Bin Yu

Bin YuDoctor of Medicine, Wuhan University
Master of Public Health, Wuhan University
Mentor: Xinguang (Jim) Chen, MD, PhD, FACE
Research Interests: My research interests mainly focus on the application of advanced methodology to investigate complicated risk behaviors and develop psycho-social based intervention programs to prevent risk behaviors.

Yun Zhu

Yun ZhuMaster of Science, Epidemiology, Tulane University
Mentor: Jinying Zhao, MD, PhD
Research Interests: Genetic epidemiology, mental health