Trainees & Scholars
CHeSS is proud to support over 30 trainees and scholars who are affiliated with the Center's various training programs. Learn more about each of our trainees and scholars below.Demography and Economics of Aging Training Program (NIA T32) | Health Services Research Program (AHRQ T32) | Postdoctoral Program in Clinical Research and Medical Informatics (TL1) | Hospitalist Scholars | MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH) | Externally Funded Affiliates and Scholars | Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Faculty Development Program (K12)
Ellen Compernolle, PhD, Postdoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Doctoral degree: PhD in Sociology, University of Michigan
Current research interests: Family demography, international migration, social change, gender
Kathryn Demanelis, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Public Health Sciences
Doctoral degree: PhD in Environmental Health Science, University of Michigan
Current research interests: Biologic aging, biomarkers of aging, health disparities, cancer and environmental epidemiology, and global health
Sarah Garver, PhD, Postdoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Doctoral degree: PhD in Sociology, Ohio State University
Current research interests: Demography, fertility, contraception, family, economics, stratification
Alexis Howard, Predoctoral Fellow, Comparative Human Development
Current research interests: Health disparities in old age, trends in disability among aging Latinos in the United States, the impact of social context on health outcomes, mixed methods research
Jerry Kaufman, Predoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Current research interests: Urbanization, race, health, aging, global health
Eloesa McSorley, Predoctoral Fellow, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Social epidemiology and aging, cognitive aging, racial/ethnic differences in aging trajectories
Johanna Oh, Predoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Current research interests: Demography in sub-Saharan Africa, sociology of health, and economic sociology
Kristina Pagel, Predoctoral Fellow, Comparative Human Development
Current research interests: Interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors on health. Current focus on explaining sex differences in heart disease and inflammatory mechanisms
David Press, Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Cancer epidemiology, neighborhoods, and health disparities
Alicia Riley, Predoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Current research interests: Sociology of health inequalities and social epidemiology, population health distributions response over time to the patterning of structural racism
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Mai See Yang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral degree: PhD in Gerontology, University of Massachusetts Boston
Current research interests: Mental health issues related to older minorities, and subjective well-being among aging Veterans.
Nicki Boyer, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Current research interests: Health economics, cost-effectiveness analysis, economic evaluation in broader non-health settings such as the community or school, decision analytic modeling.
Carlos Cardenas-Iniguez, Predoctoral Fellow, Psychology
Current research interests: Greenspace and health, poverty and neighborhood factors and brain development and cognitive function, perception of social status
Grant Gannaway, Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Economics
Current research interests: Health economics
Rebecca Gorges, Predoctoral Fellow, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Impacts of long-term care policy on families, health disparities
Robert Nocon, Predoctoral Fellow, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Financing and organization of care for vulnerable populations, growth of Medicaid Managed Care
Bikki Tran Smith, Predoctoral Fellow, School of Social Service Administration
Current research interests: The intersection of race/ethnicity, place and health
Veena Sriram, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Current research interests: Health policy and systems research in low- and middle-income countries, particularly India
Deborah Bang, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cell & Molecular Medicine, Rush University
Doctoral degree: MD, Trinity School of Medicine
Current research interests: The interaction between the motor and the cognitive functions of the brain affected by the FMR1 gene mutation.
Justin Cirone, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Surgery
Doctoral degree: MD, Rutgers University
Current research interests: Reducing incidences of violent trauma.
Michael Cui, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Informatics and Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: MD, University of Chicago
Current research interests: Leveraging technology to improve clinical workflow; Mobile Health; hospital medicine.
Pooja Gala, MD, Hospitalist Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: MD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Current research interests: Strengthening health systems in low- and middle- income countries to better manage chronic diseases; quality improvement within primary care.
Anjali Gera, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Movement Disorders Program, Rush University
Doctoral degree: MD, University of Illinois at Chicago
Current research interests: Using quantitative motion analysis to determine the pattern of gait and balance impairment in 15 GBA mutation and 15 non-mutation carriers with Parkinson's disease, and 10 healthy control subjects.
Vivian Lee, MD, Hospitalist Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: MD, Chicago Medical School
Current research interests: Interaction between the gut microbiome and virome in the context of human disease.
Kendra Royston, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hematology/Oncology
Doctoral degree: PhD in Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Current research interests: Cancer disparities, nutrition, epigenetics, bio-markers, and prevention.
Alexandra Tate, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: PhD in Sociology, UCLA
Current research interests: Medical Sociology; end-of-life care; the doctor-patient relationship; health communication; cancer care; U.S. healthcare systems.
Dominika Winiarski, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral degree: PhD in Clinical Psychology, Emory University
Current research interests: Development and implementation of evidence-based treatments for emotion dysregulation among youth who are at increased risk for externalizing behavior problems.
Ali Thaver, MD, Hospitalist Scholar
Doctoral degree: MD, Aga Khan University
Current research interests: Pharmaceutical economics, hospital medicine
Nina Gao, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Mental healthcare, healthcare provider supply and incentives, public economics
Afia Khan, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Health economics, antimicrobial resistance, social determinants of health and wellbeing
Joseph Krongold, MD-PhD student, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Quality measurement, end of life care
Jennifer Ghandhi, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Home care medicine, health care labor markets, transitions of care, and demography of aging
Maya Lozinski, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Health economics; healthcare markets, innovation and incentives
Steven Server, MD-PhD student, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) and History
Current research interests: Public health and social medicine in 1930s Mexico
Sivan Spitzer-Shohat, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral degree: PhD in Sociology and Health Services Research, University of Haifa Israel
Current research interests: Organizational healthcare disparities reduction strategies, quality improvement and health care disparities, transition in care and organizational change, social network analysis, qualitative methods
Hui Zhang, PhD, MBA, Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral degree: PhD in Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
Current research interests: Healthcare operations research, multi-scale decision making, game theory, health economics, health policy, system dynamics, management systems engineering
Sarah Sobotka, MD, Instructor of Pediatrics
Dr. Sarah Sobotka is a Pathways to Independence Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Sobotka sees patients with delays and disabilities. She has a particular interest in patients whose disabilities are a sequelae of medical complexity, particularly after prolonged critical illness. Her mixed methods approach focuses on studying trends and improving health systems to support families of children with medical complexity and disabilities, especially those with technology dependency. Specifically, she is interested in creating efficient and effective healthcare service models, which minimize hospitalizations and provide support for families, and most importantly enable children with severe disabilities to reach their developmental potentials. Dr. Sobotka received her medical degree and a master’s degree in public health sciences from the University of Chicago. Her clinical training includes pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and fellowship training in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Chicago.
Liz Tung, MD, Instructor of Medicine
Elizabeth Tung, MD, MS is a researcher and practicing internist in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago. She completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, her medical doctorate at New York Medical College, her residency in Internal Medicine at Brown University, and her masters in Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago. Dr. Tung’s research focuses on disparities in chronic disease management, with a special interest in race, place, and poverty. She has participated in community-based strategies to improve chronic disease management in East St. Louis, Chinatown New York, and West Providence, in addition to her work on the South Side of Chicago. These experiences have led to a vested interest in addressing the social determinants of health and a commitment to eradicating health disparities. Her current research focuses on two main areas of inquiry. First, Dr. Tung is examining the relationships between race, poverty, and access to healthcare in adults with chronic disease, and has published on topics such as bypassing healthy resources, implicit bias, and retail redlining. Second, Dr. Tung is examining the intersection between community violence and chronic disease, and is applying geospatial analytical tools to bridge the worlds of violence epidemiology and health.