Students in the School of Public Health’s newest Doctoral Program, in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences (BSHS), come from all over the country, and all over the world. Meet them here:
Current Doctoral Students
ADVISORS: MICHELLE ROGERS, DIANA GRIGSBY-TOUSSAINT
Anna Alikhani is a fourth-year doctoral student who focuses on issues impacting maternal and child health outcomes. Her primary research interests involve infant feeding practices, responsive parenting and cannabis use during the perinatal and postpartum periods. Anna holds a BA from Sewanee: University of the South and received an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Advisors: Rosemarie Martin, Kate Carey
Amelia Bailey is a first-year doctoral student interested in reducing substance use-related harm through the development, implementation, and evaluation of multidisciplinary interventions to treat substance use disorders. She is particularly interested in investigating how systemic, social, and behavioral factors impact treatment outcomes among people with opioid use disorder who engage in polysubstance use (i.e., stimulant use). Prior to arriving at Brown, she evaluated community and correctional-based substance use treatment programs in rural Massachusetts and Maine. Amelia holds an MPH in Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Advisors: Jeffrey Proulx, Alexandra Collins
Chase Bryer (pronouns: he/him/his) is a second-year doctoral student interested in using community-based participatory methods to improve health outcomes among Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit communities. Prior to Brown, Chase was selected as a Kathryn M. Buder Scholar at the Buder Center for American Indian Studies where he focused on understanding the historical and contemporary issues facing Native communities from cultural, policy, and practice perspectives. His research, ultimately, aims to inform state actors including social workers, public health professionals, and biomedical researchers with ways to more sensitively engage with marginalized communities through resilience-based approaches to disrupt cycles of historical trauma. Chase holds an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA in Human Rights and Media from the University of Oklahoma.
Primary Advisor: Jeffrey Proulx
Lila K. Chamlagai (Pronoun: He/ Him/His) is a first-year doctoral student who was born and raised in a Bhutanese refugee camp in eastern Nepal. After living in the camp for almost 17 years, Lila and his family resettled in Springfield, MA, in 2011. Recently, Lila received his MPH degree from Brown University School of Public Health. Prior to attending Brown, Lila served as a Community Advisory Board Member (C.A.B.) in Community-Based Participatory Research (C.B.P.R.) with Dr. Theresa Betancourt’s lab; Research Program on Children and Adversity (R.P.C.A.) at the Boston College School of Social Work who investigated cultural norms and traditions related to family strengthening Intervention. Lila is interested in investigating several questions that may ultimately help those suffering in a refugee community and elsewhere: 1) how socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and religion/faith impact mental health, depression, and ultimately lead to suicidal ideation; 2) why marginalized populations and low-income settings face significant health disparities; 3) how to leverage resources and improve mental health service delivery, finally design and implement the culturally congruent Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI-R) among the refugee and immigrant populations in the U.S. and low Middle-Income nations.
Advisors: Tyler Wray, Kate Beillo
John Guigayoma is a fourth-year doctoral student interested in the development and evaluation of behavioral health interventions to address disparities in HIV prevention and treatment outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. Prior to Brown, John coordinated HIV services in various community clinic settings throughout California as well as worked in HIV surveillance for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. His interests also include mixed-methods research, behavioral health technology, and implementation science. John has an MPH in Health and Social Behavior from UC Berkeley and an BA in Comparative Literature from UCLA.
Advisors: Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, Tyler Wray
Abby Katz (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a first-year doctoral student with research interests at the intersection of food, history, culture, policy and health equity. She received a M.A. in Food Studies from New York University, and a B.A. in Food, Culture, and Sustainable Society (Individualized) and Human Rights from the University of Connecticut. Abby is particularly interested in using mixed-methods to better understand food environment influences on Black and Latinx/e youth. Prior to Brown, Abby worked in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health on projects investigating neighborhood and environmental factors on food choice, access, and health. Abby also contributed to research projects to improve the administration of New York State Medicaid and both access and quality of addiction health services care. Outside of her work and the classroom, Abby has prioritized working with nonprofit organizations and engaging with grassroots community movements to enhance her education.
Patrick J.A. Kelly
Primary Advisor: Jaclyn White Hughto; Secondary Advisor: Katie Biello
Patrick Kelly (pronouns: he/him/his) is a first-year doctoral student focused on understanding how psychosocial and structural factors influence medical decision making in under-resourced settings among sexual and gender minorities and people with substance use disorder(s). His goal is to develop and evaluate risk-reducing interventions in the areas of health-harming substance use and sexual health. Before Brown, Patrick was the research coordinator of the Temple University Risk Communication Lab where he managed projects that leveraged commercial marketing techniques to affect behavioral change primarily in the areas of HIV treatment and prevention, cancer risk assessment, and harm reduction. He holds a BS in Public Health and MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Temple University.
William Lodge II
Advisors: Katie Biello, Matthew Mimiaga
William Lodge II is a fourth-year doctoral student focused on HIV primary and secondary prevention research—both domestically and in resource-constrained settings across the globe. His research interests include investigating barriers and facilitators to suboptimal antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among gender and sexual minorities living with HIV. His proposed dissertation uses a syndemic approach to understand the impact of substance use and other psychosocial factors on ART adherence among transgender women in India. Before Brown, he worked for several years at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School on a range of research projects such as knowledge and attitudes on polio immunization, Ebola and Zika viruses, quality of surgical care, and cost-effectiveness of a national immunization program. While his work has primarily been focused in South Asia, he has also worked on projects in Tanzania, Somalia, Guinea Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States.
Advisors: Jennifer Nazareno, Medina Agénor
Marquisele Mercedes is a fourth-year doctoral student who holds a BA in English Literature, Language, and Criticism from Hunter College and a certificate in Public Policy from the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. She is interested in using mixed methods research and critical theories to understand how stigma impacts people in larger bodies as they come into contact with health institutions and professionals. Her intersectional analyses of these experiences are shaped by the field of fat studies and scholarship on race/ism. Her overarching goal is to inform and shape interventions that improve quality of life for all fat people. She is a recipient of the Brown University Presidential Fellowship and a former Ronald E. McNair Scholar.
Advisors: Madina Agénor, Kate Carey
Madeline Montgomery (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a fifth-year doctoral student who holds a BA in Anthropology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an MPH from Brown University. Madeline’s research interests include healthcare utilization and health communication among queer women, with a focus on sexual health and minority strengths. Madeline is motivated by the goal of promoting health equity and meaningful inclusion in research of queer and trans persons and other systemically oppressed populations.
Primary advisor: Katie Biello, Secondary advisor Rosemarie Martin
Siena Napoleon, MPH, is a first-year doctoral student in Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University School of Public Health. She earned her MPH from Boston University in 2013 and has since held a number of different positions within different sectors of public health, including with the Rhode Island Department of Health. Most recently, Siena served as Research Project Director of Dr. Philip Chan's program at The Miriam Hospital. Her research interests include implementation science and substance use prevention and treatment. Her other interests include cooking, spending time with her family, and cycling and other outdoor sports.
Advisors: Judson Brewer, Kate Guthrie
Bill Nardi is a third-year doctoral student interested in patient-oriented research for the development of comprehensive, integrative treatments for comorbid substance use and anxiety. Specifically, his work focuses on designing and testing mobile health applications as adjunctive therapies to primary substance use treatments utilizing mixed methods research. Bill holds an ScM from Brown University and is a person in recovery.
Advisors: Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, Erica Walker
Ugoji Nwanaji-Enwerem is a MD/PhD student who holds a BS in cell and molecular biology from Brown University. She is interested in exploring the influence of social and built environments on sleep and chronic disease manifestation in vulnerable population groups. Her passions range from health equity, teaching and mentoring, and community outreach. As a medical student, she founded a journaling club for adolescent girls in Providence public schools to promote mental health awareness. She also serves as a host for a media series discussing the impact of African culture on health and wellness. Ugoji aims to continue to use her talents to make a positive impact in public health, science, medicine, and communities across the world.
Advisors: Jennifer Merrill, Kate Carey
Siobhan Perks is a second-year doctoral student interested in understanding motivations and risk/protective factors for substance use among adolescents and young adults. She is interested in developing and evaluating health behavior interventions for at-risk drinkers that reduce negative alcohol-related consequences and the co-use of or progression to other substances, like tobacco. Prior to Brown, Siobhan worked at Truth Initiative, where she focused on the formative and summative evaluation of large-scale health communication campaigns to influence tobacco-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of youth and young adults. Siobhan holds an MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University and a BA in Biostatistics and Global Public Health from the University of Virginia.
Ma. Irene Quilantang
Primary Advisor: Abigail Harrison, Jennifer Nazareno
Ma. Irene Quilantang (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a second-year doctoral student who holds a BS in Behavioral Sciences from the University of the Philippines Manila, a MA in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and a ScM in Global Public Health from Brown University. Irene is interested in the development and implementation of culturally sensitive behavioral health interventions that address HIV among young populations in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in the Philippines. Her overarching goal is to contribute to efforts aimed at decolonizing public health. Prior to joining Brown University, Irene worked as a behavior therapist for kids with learning disabilities and as an assistant professor of psychology and behavioral sciences at the University of the Philippines Manila. At present, Irene is a NIH Fogarty Fellow under the NIH-Fogarty Training Program for the Prevention of HIV in Vulnerable Populations, and an active member of the Philippine Health Initiative for Research, Service, and Training (PHIRST).
Advisors: Alison Tovar, Jennifer Pellowski
Ellis Silva(pronouns: she/they) is a queer, second-gen, third-year doctoral student who holds a BS in Biology from Northeastern University and an MPH from Brown University. She is interested in using community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches in conjunction with storytelling and other qualitative methods that challenge the current status quo of knowledge production within public health. Her interests are rooted in intersectionality, historical trauma, and food insecurity, but her main focus is on being part of research that is conducted by and for Latino and Hispanic communities. She is a recipient of the Diversity Fellowship provided by the Graduate School and hopes to use this funding to focus her research on improving health outcomes for first- and second-generation adolescent communities. When she is not working, you can find her eating Mexican food, watching true crime, and parenting her dogs with her partner.
Advisors: Jennifer Pellowski, Abigail Harrison
Alison Weber is a fourth-year doctoral student who holds a BA in Biology and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College and an MPH from Brown University. Prior to Brown, she worked in quality control testing for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Her research interests are centered around global maternal health. Her work focuses on 1) the health of women living with HIV in global south contexts, particularly in South Africa and 2) maternal health equity in the United States. She is interested in using mixed methods designs and intersectionality to understand structural racism in the United States and drive health equity within the context of maternal health.