Current Yerby Fellows

Mariana Arcaya

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Mariana Arcaya is a social epidemiologist and urban planner whose research examines how geographic and social contexts affect health. She received her ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health where her dissertation explored spillover effects of foreclosure on neighbors’ health. She also holds a Master of City Planning from MIT. Mariana focuses her work on actionable urban planning challenges to inform policy- and community-level interventions that promote health and reduce health disparities. As a Yerby Fellow, Mariana will study two key areas of opportunity for planning to improve population health: 1) chronic disease risk reduction through housing, community, and economic development, and 2) resilience and recovery after natural disasters.

Hope Cummings

Hope Cummings

Hope Cummings is a post-doctorate research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Hope’s primary research interest focuses on the role that media and technology play in shaping human behavior and development. Her past research has focused mainly on examining the effects that exposure to problematic media has on an individual’s cognitive, social, and physical well-being. As a fellow, she hopes to start her own empirical research program that examines the role that media play in damaging and improving public health, with a particular emphasis on cancer, and develop a theory of why the mass media has such powerful short-term and long-term effects on health behaviors. She also hopes to create media interventions that promote healthy attitudes and behaviors. Hope is currently being mentored under the supervision of Dr. K. Vish Viswanath.

David Hurtado

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David A. Hurtado, ScD. Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Well-being. My research examines how the work environment shapes the health and well-being of workers’, families and organizations. In particular, I evaluate how  organizational policies and practices related to work-time arrangements (e.g. job flexibility, breaks) affect risk factors for chronic disease. In addition, I research the links between job informality and labor policies with health outcomes in Colombia, my home country. I hold a Doctorate in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a Master’s in Society, Human Development and Health, both degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Regina Joice

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Regina is a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health whose research focuses on microbial ecology and metagenomics. She is currently using metagenomic sequencing methods to characterize the microbial communities present on surfaces within an urban transportation system.  Her postdoctoral mentors are Dr. Curtis Huttenhower and Dr. Marc Lipsitch. Previously, she completed her Ph.D dissertation on host-pathogen interactions of the sexual stage of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

Pedro Mejia

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Pedro is a Yerby Postdoctoral Research fellow, in the Genetics and Complex Diseases Department at the Harvard School of Public Health. Working under the supervision of James Mitchell, he studies the interaction between the host nutritional status and the immunopathology of cerebral malaria. Malaria is one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. There are approximately 300-500 million cases of malaria, which result in around 1 million deaths a year. The nutritional status of the patient has long been suspected to play a major role in disease outcome in malaria, but the effects of specific nutrient deficiencies remain controversial and poorly characterized. Using an experimental model of severe malaria Pedro aims to define host nutritional and genetic factors modulating disease outcome.