PhD Students

Student News Student Accomplishments

Where are they from?

Our students represent states throughout the US and countries across the globe! Click the map to enlarge and view details.

Alyssa Berger

Alyssa BergerMentors: Kelly K. Gurka, MPH, PhD; Deepthi Varma, PhD, MPhil, MSW

Kevin Redhawk Bitsie

Kevin Redhawk BitsieMentor: Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng, PhD

Erta Cenko

Erta CenkoBachelor of Science, Public Health, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
Master of Science, Public Health, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
Mentor: Thomas A. Pearson, MD, MPH, PhD
Research Interests: My research interests primarily lie in the field of aging epidemiology and geriatrics, particularly in cardiovascular diseases among older adults, mental health, and dementia.

Osama Dasa

Osama DasaDoctor of Medicine, Al-Quds University
Master of Public Health, University of Toledo
Mentor: Thomas A. Pearson, MD, MPH, PhD
Research Interests: Cardiovascular outcomes research, aspirin in primary prevention, genesis and progression of atherosclerotic plaques, sports cardiology epidemiology and outcomes, short and long term outcomes of pulmonary embolism, inflammatory cytokines and cardiovascular disease

Upuli A. Dissanayake

Upuli A. DissanayakeBachelor’s degree, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
Master of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Certified in Public Health (CPH)
Mentor: Volker Mai, PhD, MPH
Research Interests: Infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage therapy, gut microbiome, pediatrics

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.

Alyssa Falise

Alyssa FaliseBachelor of Health Science, University of Florida
Master of Science in Public Health, University of Miami
Mentors: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE; Catalina Lopez-Quintero, MD, PhD
Research Interests: Cognitive impairment and decline, caregiver burden, older adult health, injury, substance use, statistical analysis, research design

Rebecca Fisk

Rebecca FiskMentor: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH

Laura M. Gonzalez Paz

Laura M. Gonzalez PazBachelor of Science, Statistics, University of Florida
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Research Interests: I am interested in drug abuse among minority populations and health disparities research.

Mmadili N. Ilozumba

Mmadili Nancy IlozumbaBachelor of Science, Applied Microbiology and Brewing, Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Master of Science in Public Health, Epidemiology, University of South Florida
Mentor: Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng, PhD
Research Interests: Molecular and genetic cancer epidemiology, cancer health disparities

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

Inyoung Jun

Inyoung JunBachelor of Economics, Business Administration, Sogang University
Master of Science, Statistics, Korea University
Mentor: Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD
Research Interests: I am interested in integrating machine learning techniques and health outcomes in society.

Emily M. Klann

Emily M. KlannBachelor of Science, Biology, University of Florida
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Volker Mai, PhD, MPH
Research Interests: I am most interested in the epidemiology of infectious diseases as well as the host microbiome in relation to a variety of health outcomes – both chronic and communicable.

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

Sara Katherine Nutley

Sara Katherine NutleyBachelor of Arts, Business-Mathematics, Calvin College
Master of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentors: Catherine W. Striley, PhD, MSW, ACSW, MPE; Carol Mathews, MD
Research Interests: I am interested in eating disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders, and access to healthcare.

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)

Shannan N. Rich

Shannan N. RichBachelor of Science, Biomedical Science, University of Central Florida
Certificate, Anthropology of Global Health, University of Central Florida
Master of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH; Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD
Research Interests: I am interested in antimicrobial drug resistance, emerging infectious diseases, HIV, infection-related cancers/chronic diseases, microbiome-disease associations, and global health.

Veronica L. Richards

Veronica L. RichardsBachelor of Science, Biology, University of Florida
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentor: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH
Research Interests: My primary research interest is the epidemiology of HIV and related health outcomes.

Ruba Sajdeya

Ruba SajdeyaMentor: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH

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.

Carmen Smotherman

Carmen SmothermanMentor: Lusine Yaghjyan, MD, MPH, PhD

Joseph Struzeski

Joseph StruzeskiMentor: Jinying Zhao, MD, PhD

Pooja Subedi

Pooja SubediBachelor of Public Health, Central Institute of Science and Technology, Pokhara University
Master of Public Health, Epidemiology, East Tennessee State University
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

Akemi Wijayabahu

Akemi Wijayabahu
Bachelor of Science, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Peradeniya
Master of Science, Epidemiology, University of Florida
Mentors: Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH; Volker Mai, PhD, MPH
Research Interests: Molecular and cancer epidemiology, molecular biology and genetics

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.

Wenjie Zeng

Wenjie ZengMentor: Jinying Zhao, MD, PhD

Yi Zheng

Yi ZhengMentor: Hui Hu, PhD