Postdoctoral Fellows

boyce_angieAngie Boyce recently received her doctorate in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University, where she investigated historical and current instances of the development of government standards and technologies for regulating food safety and nutrition.  During her graduate career, she held internships at the CDC and the FDA. As a Health & Society Scholar, Angie conducts a cross-case analysis of major public health emergencies, examining historical and contemporary debates about the infrastructure of the US public health system, and the interface between science and public health policy.

F. Xavier Gomez-Olive Gomez-Olive_Xavierholds a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.  As a postdoctoral fellow, he will continue his work on the link between HIV and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the elderly. His research aims to insight into how health policies and interventions can effectively respond to the demands of an aging population that has been and will continue to be profoundly affected by these two conditions.  Prior to starting as a Bell Fellow, Xavier worked on the HAALSI study through his role as the Field Research Manager of the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt).

Philipp Hessel received his PhD from the London School of Economics, where he completed a dissertation examining how exposure to macroeconomic shocks during different and potentially sensitive life-course periods affects health at later–life. His research combines demography, public health, and gerontology and employs cross-national data from Europe and the US. Philipp’s work was recently (jointly) awarded the Kalish Innovative Publication Award by the Gerontological Society of America. As a Bell Fellow, Philipp looks at the role of social protection programs in mitigating the health effects of recessions; he is also in the process of developing a new line of research investigating the health-effects of pension reforms across Latin America.

LeynaGermana Leyna, a physician and a Lecturer in Epidemiology at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania, has previously collaborated with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health through the Harvard-Tanzania Partnership. She holds a medical degree from the University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and a doctoral degree in Nutritional Epidemiology from the University of Oslo. Germana is active in the Dar es Sakaan Urban Cohort Study (DUCS), a Tanzanian urban surveillance site dedicated to the study of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As a Spiegelman fellow, Germana focuses on how urban migration in low-income countries influences risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

O'Brien-RourkeRourke O’Brien is a sociologist who studies the connections between public policy, economic behavior, and population health.  He holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University, where he authored a dissertation on the social and structural determinants of self-reported disability. Rourke previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and he is coauthor (with Katherine S. Newman) of “Taxing the Poor” (UC Press, 2011 ) which explores the link between regressive state and local tax policy and poverty-related outcomes.  As a Health & Society Scholar, Rourke continues his research on how population health is impacted by household finance, taxation, and social policy.

Collin Payne Payne_Collinis a David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow whose research integrates approaches from demography, epidemiology, sociology, and biostatistics to improve empirical and theoretical models of population health in low-resource contexts.  He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where his dissertation focused on the health of aging populations in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. As a Bell Fellow, Collin will study how the HIV epidemic and the introduction of new treatments has impacted population health, economic activity, and family structure in Sub-Saharan Africa. His methodological work will continue to center on developing and improving the estimation of macro-level population processes using micro-level longitudinal data, and advancing formal demographic techniques for projecting cohort life expectancy.

Reid_ColleenColleen Reid conducts research focused on the health effects of climate change.  She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health from UC Berkeley, where her work included an epidemiological analysis of exposure to air pollution from northern California wildfires. Colleen also has created a national neighborhood-level spatial map of vulnerability to extreme heat that can be used in preparing for future heat waves. In her work as an RWJF scholar, Colleen applies causal inference epidemiology to environmental hazards, with the aim of furthering understanding of population vulnerability vis-à-vis climate hazards and, ultimately, using this knowledge to increase environmental protection and impact health policy.

Rosenberg_MollyMolly Rosenberg is an epidemiologist who studies how social, structural, and economic factors influence sexual health outcomes. Molly holds a PhD from the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health. Molly’s dissertation examined how the sexual health outcomes of rural South African adolescents are linked to the adolescents’ association with two very different places: school and alcohol outlets. As a Bell Fellow, Molly continues with two lines of research related to sexual health in South Africa: the influence of child support grants upon fertility patterns, and the community-level determinants of HIV infection and sexual risk.

Juli Simon Thomas, PhDSimon-Thomas_Juli is a sociologist who holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is particularly interested in the roles that education and income inequality play in these social stratification and mobility.  Her dissertation focused on how childrens’ education attainment is affected by “event shock” brought on by disruptions in their parents’ lives. As a Bell Fellow, Juli will expand this work by conducting cross-national comparisons to see if children’s educational outcomes after parental disruptive events vary between countries.  Additionally, she plans to look at recent increases in income inequality and its impact on educational attainment and, more broadly, intergenerational mobility.