My professional activities are grounded in engaging diverse partners in the development of evidence-based policy change to reduce social inequalities and improve health among underserved communities.
As an Associate Professor, my research focuses on applying epidemiological methods to study the impact of individual, social, and structural factors on disease transmission within marginalized populations. In particular, my work has focused on using qualitative and quantitative methods to examine social determinants of health within people who use drugs, including HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, worldwide. Internationally I have collaborated with researchers to carry out HIV and HCV prevention and transmission studies in the U.S.-Mexico border region, Jamaica, Australia, Tanzania, and Namibia. Through a recently awarded NIH/NIDA K01 study my work focuses on the collection and analysis of dyadic data (data collected from both members of a pair) to examine the influence of interpersonal factors on disease transmission. Recently I have expanded my research to include the intersection of criminal justice systems and health among people who use drugs.
As an educator, I take pleasure in exposing learners to the intersection of social justice and epidemiology. I addition to formal teaching, including EPI253: Infectious Disease Epidemiology, I provide mentorship to a diverse set of learners from the fields of sociology, medicine, nursing, and public health. In 2019 I joined the Benniof Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI) as co-director of the education programs.
Prior to joining UCSF as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in infectious disease epidemiology, I received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry & Cellular Biology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), an MPH in epidemiology from San Diego State University (SDSU), and Ph.D. in Global Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from UCSD/SDSU’s Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health.