Trainees & Scholars

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) | Hospitalist ScholarsMD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH)Externally Funded Affiliates and Scholars | Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Faculty Development Program (K12)


Demography and Economics of Aging Training Program (NIA T32)

Visit the program webpage

FullSizeRender 3_0.jpgEllen 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.jpgKathryn 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 - Headshot web_0.jpgSarah Garver, PhD, Postdoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Doctoral degree: PhD, Ohio State University
Current research interests: Demography, fertility, contraception, family, economics, stratification

Alexis-Howard.jpgAlexis 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

Kaufman Photo_0.jpegJerry Kaufman, Predoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Current research interests: Urbanization, race, health, aging, global health


Eloesa-McSorley.jpgEloesa McSorley, Predoctoral Fellow, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Social epidemiology and aging, cognitive aging, racial/ethnic differences in aging trajectories

Johanna Oh web.jpgJohanna Oh, Predoctoral Affiliate, Sociology
Current research interests: Demography in sub-Saharan Africa, sociology of health, and economic sociology


Kristina-Pagel.jpgKristina 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.jpgDavid Press, Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Cancer epidemiology, neighborhoods, and health disparities


Alicia-Riley.jpgAlicia 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 | Personal website

Mai See Yang_0.jpgMai 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.

Health Services Research  Program (AHRQ T32)

Visit the program webpage

Cliff-Bersamira.jpgCliff Bersamira, Predoctoral Fellow, School of Social Service Administration
Current research interests: Substance use disorder services policies, funding, organization; addiction recovery-oriented services and systems of care; behavioral health disparities among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

Alex Brewer_jpeg_0.jpgAlex Brewer, Predoctoral Affiliate, Department of Sociology
Current research interests: Medical sociology, gender, qualitative methods


Carlos-Cardenas-Iniguez.jpgCarlos 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

Chehal_0.jpgPuneet Kaur Chehal, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital Medicine
Doctoral degree: PhD in Public Policy, Duke University
Current research interests: Medicaid managed care, diabetes

grant ganaway.jpgGrant Gannaway, Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Economics
Current research interests: Health economics


Rebecca Gorges.jpgRebecca Gorges, Predoctoral Fellow, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Impacts of long-term care policy on families, health disparities


Keith-Green.jpgKeith Green, Predoctoral Fellow, School of Social Service Administration
Current research interests: Impact of health reform on community based organizations that provide HIV prevention services; dissemination and uptake of biomedical HIV prevention approaches

HariSharma_0.jpgHari Sharma, Predoctoral Affiliate, Department of Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Health economics, health policy


Robert-Nocon.jpgRobert Nocon, Predoctoral Fellow, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Financing and organization of care for vulnerable populations, growth of Medicaid Managed Care

Bikki Smith_0.jpgBikki Tran Smith, Predoctoral Fellow, School of Social Service Administration
Current research interests: The intersection of race/ethnicity, place and health


Veena Sriram.jpgVeena Sriram, 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

Brian-Tuohy.jpgBrian Tuohy, Predoctoral Fellow, Sociology
Current research interests: Immigration, urban sociology and health


Hospitalist Scholars

Ali Thaver web.jpgAli Thaver, Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral degree:  MD, Aga Khan University
Current research interests: Pharmaceutical economics, hospital medicine


MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences and Humanities (MeSH)

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Adam-Bain.jpgAdam Baim, MD-PhD student, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
Current research interests: Anthropology of health care institutions and medical education, history of medicine, ophthalmology in the United States

Nina Gao edited_0.jpgNina Gao, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Mental healthcare, healthcare provider supply and incentives, public economics


Afia Khan_0.jpgAfia Khan, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Health economics, antimicrobial resistance, social determinants of health and wellbeing

Joe Krongold_0.JPGJoseph Krongold, MD-PhD student, Public Health Sciences
Current research interests: Quality measurement, end of life care


Jennifer-Ghandhi.jpgJennifer 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.jpgMaya Lozinski, MD-PhD student, Harris School of Public Policy
Current research interests: Health economics; healthcare markets, innovation and incentives


Steven-Server.jpgSteven Server, MD-PhD student, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) and History
Current research interests: Public health and social medicine in 1930s Mexico


Externally Funded Affiliates and Scholars


Andrea Kass, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry
Doctoral degree: PhD in Clinical Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis
Current research interests: Prevention and treatment of obesity and eating disorders, Cost-effectiveness of evidence-based behavioral interventions

Sivan Spitzer-Shohat_0.jpgSivan 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

HHui-Zhang.jpgui 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

Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Faculty Development Program (AHRQ K12)

Visit the program webpage


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.jpgLiz 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.

Miwa-Yasui.jpgMiwa Yasui, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration
Miwa Yasui is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. Professor Yasui recieved her undergraduate degrees in Comparative Culture from Sophia University in Tokyo and in Psychology at the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oregon. She completed her APA-accredited clinical internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Juvenile Research. During her doctoral studies, she examined the role of implicit associations of stigma as a NIMH Development, Emotion, and Psychopathology predoctoral trainee and also developed an innovative observational measure of ethnic-racial socialization as a Predoctoral NIMH National Research Service Awardee.  Prior to joining SSA, Professor Yasui completed her NIMH Postdoctoral National Service Award Individual Fellowship during which she developed a culturally enhanced engagement intervention that integrates observational methodology with cultural sensitive clinical probes to increase treatment engagement among ethnic minority families seeking mental health services.  Professor Yasui is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has been actively engaged in clinical practice during her predoctoral and postdoctoral training. Her current research addresses the significant public health issue of racial and ethnic disparities in mental health service utilization and treatment outcomes by moving beyond logistics and knowledge to developing and testing the clinical utility of a clinical tool that identified under-examined key cultural and contextual mechanisms of engagement that impede client service use and satisfaction among ethnic minority children and families.