Fellow Profiles

2019–2021 Cohort

Anna Grummon is a behavioral scientist who studies how nutrition policies affect what we eat and how healthy we are. She holds a PhD and MSPH in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation integrated randomized experiments with mathematical modeling to examine whether health warning labels cause consumers to buy fewer sugary drinks, and whether changes in consumer behavior could lead to improved population health. As a Bell Fellow, she is examining whether companies reformulate products in response to the recent federal mandate that requires food retailers to post calorie information. She also hopes to examine other promising nutrition policies in the U.S. and internationally, including laws that would set minimum prices for sugary drinks, change federal food assistance programs, or limit the sodium content in processed foods.

2018–2020 Cohort

Leslie Adams holds a PhD in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has a MPH in health policy from the Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Research. In her dissertation she explored the association between depressive symptomatology and usual sources of care among Black men using a mixed method and community-engaged approach. As a Bell Fellow, she is expanding on her current work, focusing on reducing inequalities in mental health care service use in marginalized populations (e.g. boys and men of color).

Angela Dixon earned her PhD in sociology and social policy with a concentration in demography at Princeton University. Her work broadly focuses on the ways race, ethnicity, skin color, and discrimination structure patterns of stratification across societies. Her dissertation explored perceptions of color and class discrimination in Latin America. As a Bell Fellow, she is examining how the relationship between perceived discrimination and health varies across the SES spectrum.

2018–2019 Cohort

Emilie Courtin has a PhD in social policy from the London School of Economics, and was recently a research fellow at King’s College London. Her dissertation assessed the impact of changes in living arrangements on the mental health of older Europeans and Americans. As a Bell Fellow, she evaluated the long-run consequences of parental leave and early childhood education policies on women’s health. She also explored the long-term effects of the Opportunity NYC Family Rewards Program—the first conditional cash transfer implemented in the US. (Emilie is currently an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.)

2017–2019 Cohort

Adel Daoud, PhD, is a sociologist whose work intersects development studies, economic sociology, philosophy of science, and the political economy of health. As a Bell Fellow, he is examining how International Monetary Fund policies affect child health in developing countries, and researching the benefits and limitations of employing machine learning for data extraction, such as through the use of satellite images. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. (Adel is currently a researcher in the department of sociology and work science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.)

Angelina Grigoryeva, PhD, is a sociologist whose research lies at the intersection of inequality and stratification, social demography, and economic sociology. She holds a PhD in sociology with a certificate in demography from Princeton University. Her research examines household economic lives in the context of large-scale socio-economic transformations, with the focus on both between- and within-household differences. In her prior work, she examined the gender division of elder care among adult children as an increasingly important component of unpaid family labor in the context of the aging of the U.S. population. As a Bell Fellow, she is examining changes in household economic lives in the course of the financialization of the U.S. economy and the implications for wealth inequality, as well as extending her earlier work on the historical demography of racial residential segregation and its consequences under Jim Crow.

2016–2017 Cohort

Nikkil Sudharsanan, PhD, is a population health scientist whose research combines demography, epidemiology, and economics to study adult health and aging in developing countries. He completed a PhD in demography and an MA in statistics from the University of Pennsylvania. Nikkil’s research is motivated by two questions: why do individuals in some populations live shorter and unhealthier lives than others; and why are investments in preventive health low in developing countries? His work is focused on understanding social differences in longevity, and the population-level health and economic effects of preventive health interventions in India and Indonesia. As a Bell Fellow, Nikkil studied the decision to engage in high-return health investments among adults in India and developed new methods for the study of population health by integrating traditional demographic analyses with causal inference and mediation methods. (Nikkil is currently leading the research group on Population Health and Development at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health.)

2016–2018 Cohort

Lindsay Kobayashi, PhD, is a social epidemiologist whose work draws from behavioral science to examine health-related outcomes in aging populations. She received her PhD from University College London, where she investigated aging-related changes to literacy skills and the influence of literacy on health-promoting behaviors in older English adults. As a Bell Fellow, she continued this line of work by framing cognitive function, literacy, and technological capital within the societal determinants of population health, exploring how these factors may act to constrain or enable individual agency to maintain health in different country contexts. A key component of this work is to validate and harmonize measures for dementia screening across countries with high- and low-literacy rates.  (Lindsay is currently an assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.)

Natalia Rigol, PhD, holds a doctorate in economics from MIT. Her work explores how the design, targeting, and delivery of financial products can be optimized to empower women, specifically in India. Natalia’s academic background in development economics and gender issues is supplemented by her extensive experience in designing and leading field studies in India. As a Bell Fellow, she continued to integrate insights from social and medical sciences with economic theory to better understand the constraints that women face in improving their livelihoods, and to produce implementable solutions to these barriers. (Natalia is currently assistant professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School.)

2016–2017 Cohort

onur_2016Onur Altindag, PhD, is an economist whose research interests lie at the intersection of population and health economics. Onur received his PhD in economics from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and he holds a master’s degree in economics from University of Paris I-Sorbonne. In his dissertation, Onur studied the male-biased fertility preference in Turkey and its implications on children’s health and parents’ labor supply decisions. During his year as a Bell Fellow, he worked on two projects: the effects of the massive Syrian refugee influx on health infrastructure and political attitudes in Turkey, and the relationship between maternal diet during pregnancy and infant health in Germany. (Onur is currently an assistant professor of economics at Bentley University.)

2015–2017 Cohort

gomez-olive_xavier_600-by-450F. Xavier Gómez-Olivé holds a PhD in public health from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.  As a postdoctoral fellow, he continued his work on the link between HIV and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the elderly. His research aimed to give 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). (Currently Xavier is senior researcher at the School of Public Health of the University of the Witwatersrand and research manager of the MRC/Wits Agincourt Research Unit also at the School of Public Health.)

payne_collin_600-by-450Collin Payne’s 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 studied how the HIV epidemic and the introduction of new treatments impacted population health, economic activity, and family structure in Sub-Saharan Africa. His methodological work centers 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. (Collin is currently a lecturer at the Australian National University School of Demography.)

juli-simon-thomas_img_6895_her-pick_300-dpi_600-by-450Juli Simon Thomas, PhD, received her doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is particularly interested in the roles that education and income inequality play in social stratification and mobility.  Her dissertation focused on how children’s educational attainment is affected by “event shock” brought on by disruptions in their parents’ lives. As a Bell Fellow, Juli conducted cross-national comparisons to see if children’s educational outcomes after parental disruptive events vary between countries. Additionally, she looked at recent increases in income inequality and its impact on educational attainment and, more broadly, intergenerational mobility. (Juli is currently a senior systems engineer at Mitre, Inc.)

2014–2016 Cohort

Philipp Hessel, PhD, received his doctorate 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 looked at the role of social protection programs in mitigating the health effects of recessions; he also developed a new line of research investigating the health-effects of pension reforms across Latin America. (Philipp is currently associate professor at the Alberto Lleras Camargo School of Government, University of Los Andes, Colombia.)

Rosenberg_MollyMolly Rosenberg, PhD, 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 continued 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. (Molly is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.)

2013–2015 Cohort

Fahad-Razak_310_x_440Fahad Razak, MD, is an internist and clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and a research scientist in the Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. He has a multidisciplinary background including biomedical engineering, epidemiology and public health, and a medical degree with specialization in general internal medicine. As a Bell Fellow, he studied the causes and consequences of the changing shape of chronic disease risk factor distributions at the population level, with a special focus on body weight. His recent work with SV Subramanian showed that in low and middle income countries, reliance on conventional and widely used metrics of population change may underestimate the degree of weight gain among high weight individuals and overestimate weight gain in low weight individuals. At the Harvard Pop Center, he extended these findings to other risk factors for chronic disease and examined the patterning of these changes on social and demographic factors. Fahad completed his undergraduate degree in engineering science and medical doctorate at the University of Toronto, and MSc from McMaster University. (Fahad is currently an internist and clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, a research scientist at the Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto School of Medicine.)

Salas_headshotJ.M. Ian Salas, PhD, is an applied microeconomist with research interests in the fields of development, labor, demography, and health. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Irvine. His recent research focused on the causal explanations for high fertility in many developing countries, with an eye towards credibly identifying the contributions of several supply-side and demand-side factors in shaping fertility behavior. As a Bell Fellow, he investigated the behavioral mechanisms behind the persistence of fertility differentials by socioeconomic status. He also continued his research on the effects of recurring natural disasters on fertility and health at birth and early childhood, including its ramifications for later life outcomes. (Ian is currently an assistant scientist in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.)

2012–2014 Cohort

corsi_black-shirt-for-webDaniel Corsi, PhD, was awarded his doctorate in health research methodology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. His primary area of research is in social and environmental determinants of health. As a Bell Fellow, he focused specifically on issues of intergenerational health and nutrition in low and middle income countries.  Daniel’s previous research included the social and geographic distributions of smoking, diabetes, body mass index, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease in populations worldwide. Prior to his time at the Harvard Pop Center, Daniel was a Research Fellow at McMaster’s Population Health Research Institute. (Dan is currently a research scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada.)

Noelke_smallerClemens Noelke, Dr.rer.soc., is a sociologist studying the effects of institutions and policies on skill formation, health, educational attainment and labor market outcomes. He was awarded his Dr. rer.soc. from the University of Mannheim in 2010. His recent work focused on institutional determinants of youth labor market performance and the formation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in childhood and adolescence. As a Bell Fellow, he examined the relationship between institutions, labor market dynamics and health outcomes. Part of this project dealt with how institutions regulating the incidence or consequences of unemployment shaped health outcomes over the life course and across generations. (Clemens is currently a research scientist and research director for the diversitydatakids.org 2.0 project at the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Administration, Brandeis University.)

2011–2013 Cohort

Hiram-Beltran-Sanchez-pic1Hiram Beltran-Sanchez’s research focuses on developing and applying demographic methodologies to studying adult population health at national and individual levels.  He obtained a PhD in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. His research comprises two areas: national trends in adult morbidity, mortality and longevity, and health, health behaviors, and biomarkers in the adult Mexican population. As a Bell Fellow, he furthered his research by linking increases in life expectancy with human longevity, and by studying the implications of longer life expectancy on compression/extension of morbidity. He also continued his research on physiological and health patterns in the adult Mexican population and their links with earlier life conditions. (Hiram is currently an associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.)

salemRania Salem’s research lies at the intersection of the sociology of families, gender, economic sociology and development studies. She obtained her PhD in sociology at Princeton University in 2011. Her dissertation examined the cultural and economic underpinnings of marriage in Egypt through a mixed-methods study of matrimonial transactions, and looking specifically at the gender and class meanings matrimonial transactions convey. As a Bell Fellow, she extended her previous research on the measurement of women’s work in Egypt to other Arab countries, where the low rate of female labor force activity is believed to be an artifact of the male bias of conventional labor force surveys. She also collaborated on a project in rural Egypt that investigates interactions between women’s wage work and experiences of intimate partner violence. (Rania is currently an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto.)

2010–2012 Cohort

Analia Olgiati, PhD, is concerned with the impact of individuals’ health status and their access to health services on South-South migration flows. Her research mostly focuses on within-country migration in South Africa. She obtained her PhD at Princeton University in 2010. Her thesis examined the funeral expenses, the mortality-related predictive power of self-assessments of health, and the internal migration flows of the population in a South African demographic surveillance area. As a Bell Fellow, Analia developed a research agenda focused on the health-related determinants of return migration. In particular, she studied the role of poor health outcomes on the decision to search home-based care by comparing migrants who were about to go back to their sending regions to migrants who remained in the receiving community. Analia also analyzed the role of public antiretroviral programs as attractors of returning migrants in poor health. She is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and obtained a BA and MA in Economics from Universidad de San Andres. She has worked for the Argentine National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. (Analia is currently a principal at the Boston Consulting Group, Boston, MA.) 

Yuhui Zheng’s main research area is health economics. Her research focuses on trends in population health and the attendant social and economic consequences, as well as on economics of chronic disease prevention and management. She obtained her PhD in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her dissertation investigated how economic factors – including food prices and retirement – affected dynamics of body weight among older Americans. She has also co-authored papers on topics related to the impact of accelerated medical technology advance on aging in America, lifetime benefits of preventing risk factors among older Americans, effects of pharmacy benefit design, and how neighborhood design impacts walking. As a Bell Fellow, Yuhui examined how demographic and health transitions affect population health and economic growth in China as well as the roles of medical technology and government policies. She also worked on addressing various issues related to chronic disease prevention and treatment in developing countries. She holds an MS in management science and engineering and a BS in engineering, both from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. (Yuhui is currently a biostatistician at Centene Corporation.)

2009–2011 Cohort

Rocío Calvo, PhD, addresses policy-relevant research questions on the impact of the welfare state on the incorporation of foreign-born individuals and their descendants into recipient societies. Rocío completed her doctoral degree in social work at Boston College. Her thesis examined the role of different welfare systems on the economic and social incorporation of foreign-born individuals as compared to the native population. As a Bell Fellow, Rocío continued to focus on the relationship between social policy and immigrant incorporation. She investigated the role of different welfare systems on the social capital accumulation of the children of immigrants as compared to their parents and to the native-born population. Additionally, she explored whether two characteristics of the welfare state, size and scope, are related to social cohesion indicators on diverse societies. Rocío also holds a BA in psychopedagogy from the University of Salamanca and a European master’s in international humanitarian action from Deusto University. (Rocío is currently an associate professor in the Global Practice concentration at Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW), a research affiliate of the Risk Project, and director of the Latino Leadership Initiative at BCSSW.)


Santosh Kumar, PhD, is a development economist with an interest in understanding the causes of special problems, like poor health and low standard of living, faced by the developing countries. His research mostly focuses on India. He has vast experience evaluating various anti-poverty projects while working at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Delhi, where he worked from 2002-2004. Currently, he is involved in evaluating the impacts of a child vaccination program “Universal Immunization Program (UIP)” and “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) – a rural road infrastructure project” in India. Besides these projects, he is also exploring the role of international trade on intergenerational mobility in India. Santosh holds a PhD in economics from University of Houston. In his dissertation, he examined the long-term effects of child vaccination program on mortality and education of children. He also holds an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a BA in economics from Delhi University. During his Bell Fellowship at the Harvard Pop Center, Santosh  continued to conduct policy-relevant research related to poverty, health, and education and made policy recommendations with the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and disparities by 2015. (Santosh is currently an associate professor of economics at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX.)

2008–2010 Cohort

Mauricio Avendano’s research integrates econometric and epidemiological approaches to study the impact of social policy on health in Europe and the US. Additionally, he studies the impact of family support policies on the health of mothers, and whether cross-national differences in family support policies explain life expectancy differences between the US and European countries. He has also explored the impact of health insurance coverage and social protection programs on health in Colombia and other Latin American countries. He was previously a research fellow at the Department of Public Health of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD at the same University. His thesis examined the impact of socioeconomic status on stroke risk across different world regions and explored possible explanations. He holds an MSc in public health from the Netherlands School of Public Health, and an MSc in epidemiology from the Erasmus University. (Mauricio is currently professor of public policy and global health, and director of the Institute of Gerontology at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London; and an adjunct associate professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.)

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, PhD, was senior programme manager of academic programmes with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a Public Private Partnership of the Government of India, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other private stakeholders. She earned her PhD at the School of Social Sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In addition to her Bell Fellowship at HCPDS, she received a Balzan Fellowship at University College, London for research in social epidemiology and to develop research networks in the area of society and health. Her research focal areas include aging and elderly, global health, the history of public health, and infectious diseases. She has published numerous peer reviewed publications in national and international journals and authored a monograph titled Old Potions, New Bottles: Recasting Indigenous Medicine in Colonial Punjab.” (Kavita is currently an associate professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University.)