Respiratory Health – Eyal Oren, PhD – University of Arizona


Children and adolescents with chronic exposure to disruptive events have prolonged physiological and health consequences with poor asthma outcomes.

Dr. Eyal Oren is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at University of Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. His recent research explores the connections between the environment, social factors, and respiratory health. Dr Oren’s research interests involve multidisciplinary, community-engaged approaches focusing on population health disparities and collaborative work that is innovative and highlights novel technologies and tools. Learn more about Dr. Oren here

Obesity- Andres Acosta Cardenas, PhD- The Mayo Clinic


Understanding food intake regulation is key to fighting the obesity epidemic.

Dr. Andres Acosta Cardenas is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Mayo Clinic. His research focuses on gastrointestinal physiology and to understand the complexity of food intake regulation and obesity. Additionally, Dr. Acosta studies the effect of genetics, pharmacology and endoscopic devices on food intake regulation. Learn more about Dr. Acosta here

Depression- Brett Silverstein, PhD- The City College of New York


Major depressive disorder affects about 15 million U.S. Adults a year.

Dr. Brett Silverstein is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at The City College of New York. His research includes gender differences in depression and disordered eating; prevention of psychological disorders. Currently, Dr. Silverstein’s is working on analyzing large databases on gender and depression; associations between parental attitudes and symptomology and offspring symptomology. A guide for Depression and Bipolar Disorder Alliance can be found here. Learn more about Dr. Silverstein here. 

Physical Activity and Healthy Eating – Daheia Barr-Anderson, PhD – University of Minnesota


The prevalence of obesity has increased among American adults and children, with some of the highest increases among African-American females.

Dr. Daheia Barr-Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the School Kinesiology at University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development. Her research focus is on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents. Dr. Barr-Anderson is particularly interested in home and community-based, environmental interventions that incorporate both physical activity and nutrition to achieve healthy outcomes and to decrease racial/ethnic health inequalities. She has been awarded grants from several institutions, including the General Mills Foundation and the NIH. Learn more about Dr. Barr-Anderson here.

School Violence Among Children with Disabilities – Janet Njelesani, PhD – New York University


Children with disabilities experience violence four times more frequently than their non-disabled peers. Negative consequences, such as increased risk of depressive disorders and suicide attempts, are associated with experiences of violence at school.

Dr. Janet Njelesani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at NYU. Her research focuses on school violence against children with disabilities in East Africa. Dr. Njelesani’s other research interests include how the fields of occupational therapy, global health, and international development intersect to mediate participation for persons with disabilities. Her research has recently been awarded grants from UNICEF. Learn more about Dr. Njelesani here.

Happiness – Amy Gentzler, PhD – West Virginia University


Scholars have been writing about happiness for centuries. However, empirical research is still in its early stages.

Dr. Amy Gentzler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University. Her research focuses on emotions and emotion regulation. In her IDEA Lab (Individual Differences in Emotions & Adjustment), she and her students attempt to understand why and how people develop the emotion regulation and coping strategies that they do by looking at factors, such as parental history of depression, child temperament, and familial socialization. Learn more about Dr. Gentzler here.

Brand Marketing – Doug Evans, PhD – The George Washington University


The truth campaign, FinishIt, was designed as a national smoking prevention mass media effort focused on at-risk youth ages 12-17. The campaign focuses on building a community through social networks of youth with the objective of being the generation that ends tobacco.

Dr. Doug Evans is a Professor of Prevention and Community Health and of Global Health, School of Public Health, and he is also the Director of the Public Health Communication and Marketing Program at the George Washington University. His research interests include prevention intervention research and assessing behavior change public education intervention programs using marketing and communicating strategies. Dr. Evans’ research has been awarded grants from the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Learn more about Dr. Evans here.

Stroke Rehabilitation – Dawn Nilsen, Ed.D. – Columbia University


People who have sustained a stroke are often left with residual motor impairments.

Dr. Dawn Nilsen is an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University, Programs in Occupational Therapy. Her research interests include determining the effectiveness and efficacy of therapeutic interventions on the recovery of occupational performance in persons with neurological impairments, kinematic analysis of arm/hand function, and the impact of body orientation on upper limb movement. Dr. Nilsen’s research has been awarded grants from the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA). Learn more about Dr. Nilsen here.

Sexually Transmitted Illness – Patricia Kissinger, PhD – Tulane University


Trichomonas vaginalis is the most prevalent nonviral sexually transmitted infection, affecting over 250 million people worldwide.

Dr. Patricia Kissinger is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Tulane University, school of Public Health and Tropical medicine. Her research interests include STIs, HIV, infectious diseases, women’s reproductive health, and substance use. Dr. Kissinger has been awarded grants from the CDC and NIH in HIV/STD-related topics. Currently, she’s working on several grants: Risk Reduction for Young African American IDUs, a behavioral intervention to prevent douching among adolescent and young women, HIV and HTLVI/II, Alcohol use and HIV infectiousness, West Nile Virus and Pregnancy, and Trichomonas vaginalis among HIV infected women. Learn more about Dr. Kissinger here.

Firefighter Health and Safety – Jefferey Burgess, MD – University of Arizona


Firefighting poses risks to firefighters during fighting fires, rescue and response, or training for the job, and firefighters also have an elevated cancer risk.

Dr. Jeff Burgess is an Associate Dean for Research for the Community, Environment, & Policy Department at the University of Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. His research includes a broad research program working with various occupational and environmental populations. Specifically, Dr. Burgess’s research focuses on improving occupational health and safety, with a certain focus on firefighters, other public safety personnel, and miners. His research has been awarded a grant from the CDC and NIOSH for the Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center and Training Project Grant, respectively. Learn more about Dr. Burgess here.