I am Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside.
As a public and population health scientist and medical sociologist, I study how social factors, such as education, income, race-ethnicity, and social connections impact the physical and mental health of adults, children, and the communities in which they live.
My research focuses on an extensive range of health issues and populations, spanning the life course and domestic and international contexts (primarily the US and Canada, but other international locations as well). A substantial focus of my research program investigates social, behavioral, attitudinal, and policy factors underlying vaccination uptake and coverage (and refusal or delay) in the US and Canada, and beyond. Some examples from my past and current projects include early child development, child undernutrition in India, adolescent HPV vaccination, smoking and alcohol use among adults, body mass index among Danish women, substance use and sexual risk among gay men in the city of New York, fruit and vegetable intake among older adults, and life expectancy/mortality risk among high status individuals.
Upon completing my Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences (a combined degree program in Public Health and Sociology) from Columbia University in 2004, I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2004-2006. From 2006-2017, I was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia.
I believe strongly in the importance of sharing my findings and expertise beyond the university campus. I engage frequently with journalists, community and government stakeholders, and the general public about my research and other topics related to public and population health, community issues, and the importance of research for informing policy (e.g., data access, evaluating evidence).
My comments to the media on these and many other topics have been featured in numerous local, national, and international outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, Vancouver Sun, CBC, La Croix (France), France 24 News, Arirang TV News (South Korea), as well as podcasts and radio shows.
The links above provide more details about me and my work.