Trainees:

  • Current Trainees

    Alena Borgatti

    Alena Borgatti

    Mentor: Gareth Dutton, PhD
    Predoc; Psychology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Alena Borgatti is a third year student in the Medical/Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her research involves the study of social networks, stigma, and health disparities in the context of obesity and eating disorders. Mrs. Borgatti currently serves as the lead investigator on three ancillary trials, two focused on social network development within weight management programs, and another evaluating social networks and health disparities during COVID-19. Her dissertation will study the impact of racial discrimination and weight bias on college friendship networks, and how this in turn impacts mental health, physical health, and academic achievement. She has been awarded several grants to support her research, and hopes to utilize social network analysis to provide a conceptual framework for understanding the social context of weight stigma, and improving the health of those with eating disorders and obesity.

    Reed Bratches, MPH, MALS (PhD August 2022)

    Reed Bratches, MPH, MALS (PhD August 2022)

    Mentor: Nick Dionne Odom, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, ACHPN, FPCN
    Postdoc; Nursing
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Reed Bratches PhD(e) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), funded by the AHRQ T32. Reed is expected to receive his PhD in August 2022 from Dartmouth College’s Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. His research primarily focuses on family caregivers, particularly how we communicate information from clinic visits to family caregivers. He has experience with the design and conduct of systematic reviews and meta analyses, surveys, and clinical trials. Reed received his Master of Public Health in 2019 and his MALS in Cultural Studies in 2018. Outside the office, Reed can be found biking, golfing, and chasing after his young son.

    John Bridges, MD, MS

    John Bridges, MD, MS

    Mentor: Jasvinder Singh, MD, MPH
    Postdoc; Pediatric Rheumatology/Clinical Immunology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    John Bridges, MD is a combined adult/pediatric rheumatology fellow at Children's of Alabama/the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is participating in a post-doctoral research program through the UAB T32 program. His research interests include evaluating and improving outcomes related to pediatric rheumatology care as patients transition into adulthood. With the help of the T32 program, he is pursuing an MSPH with a concentration in outcomes research through the UAB School of Public Health.  

    Andrea Davis, MA

    Andrea Davis, MA

    Mentor: Gareth Dutton, PhD
    Predoc; Psychology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Ms. Davis earned her BA in psychology from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and her MA in clinical psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. She is a rising third-year student in the Medical/Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Broadly, her research interests are the development and refinement of behavioral weight management interventions. Her current research proposes a brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention that aims to address psychological characteristics that have been demonstrated to hinder weight loss efforts, including presence of emotional eating, weight self-stigma, and negative body image.

    Mackenzie E. Fowler, PhD

    Mackenzie E. Fowler, PhD

    Mentor: Grant Williams, MD
    Postdoc; Hematology and Oncology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Mackenzie E. Fowler, PhD is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) funded by the HSOER T32 program. Dr. Fowler obtained her PhD in Epidemiology from UAB in addition to her MPH in Epidemiology and her BS in Biology. She has worked and trained in various roles in several departments across campus including the Department of Neurology, Division of Memory Disorders and Behavioral Neurology and the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine. Each of these experiences served to inspire her career and research interests. Originally from Florence, Alabama, she is passionate about the health of older adults particularly in the Deep South. Her research primarily focuses on cancer survivorship and how cancer affects the aging process, specifically as older adults continue to age and develop aging-related diseases and sequelae. To date, her research has primarily focused on cognition and cognitive disorders, but under the mentorship of Grant Williams, MD, MSPH and specialized training through the T32 she is eager to expand her research pedigree to include assessments of functional impairment, multi-morbidity, and others. She also aims to evaluate geographic and racial disparities and train in translational sciences with the goal of applying her findings to interventions at the clinic, bench, and population levels in order to improve the health of older adult cancer survivors and alleviate health disparities. Long-term Dr. Fowler's goals are to be on faculty in the academic medicine setting and to secure her own well-funded research lab.

    Publications

    Joanna Hobson, BS

    Joanna Hobson, BS

    Mentor: Burel Goodin, PhD
    Predoc; Psychology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Joanna Hobson graduated from Lane College in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology. She currently serves as a graduate research assistant in Dr. Burel Goodin’s lab, where she assists in the HIPPI project (The Impact of Insomnia on Pain in HIV). Currently, her research interests are to elucidate the roles of socioeconomic strains, physical deficits, emotional distress, and insufficient sleep on adverse health outcomes in people living with HIV (PLWH). More specifically, her aims are to address the impact of insomnia on behavior patterns (e.g., substance use) and physiological systems (e.g., immune response) in PLWH.

    Publications of interest:
    Cody, S. L., Hobson, J. M., Gilstrap, S. R., Gloston, G. F., Riggs, K., Thomas, S. J., & Goodin, B. R. (accepted 2/8/2021). AIDS Care: Chronic Pain in People Living with HIV


    Tiffany Tucker

    Tiffany Tucker

    Mentor: Smita Bhatia, MD
    Predoc; Psychology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Tiffany is a doctoral student in the Medical/Clinical Psychology program. She is originally from Houston, Tx and attended Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, graduating with a B.S. in Psychology. Before graduate school, Tiffany gained experience working in a variety of research labs assessing the neural correlates of pediatric brain tumor, autism, and substance abuse. She joined Dr. Donna Murdaugh’s Lab and began graduate school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2019. Her research interest includes the neural mechanisms and neurocognitive correlates of executive function in pediatric patients across a variety of neurological conditions. Most recently, her work has focused on sleep quality measured by nighttime oxygenation and the neural and neurocognitive associations in pediatric sickle cells populations.

    Kelsey Montgomery, MD

    Kelsey Montgomery, MD

    Mentor: Kristy Broman, MD, MPH
    Postdoc; Surgery
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Kelsey Montgomery is a UAB general surgery resident interested in surgical oncology and health services research. Originally from Texas, she attended the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School before coming to Birmingham for surgical residency. She will be pursuing a dedicated research fellowship in surgical oncology health services research under the mentorship of Dr. Kristy Broman and with the support of the AHRQ HSOER T32 program. Her research focuses include evaluating the quality of surgical cancer care within health systems, and nodal surveillance in cutaneous melanoma. During her research fellowship she will also obtain an MSPH in Outcomes Research.

    Joshua C.J. Lewis, BA

    Joshua C.J. Lewis, BA

    Mentor: Patricia Drentea, PhD
    Predoc; Sociology
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Joshua C.J. Lewis is a doctoral student in the Medical Sociology program at UAB. Prior to his graduate studies, he finished his B.A. in Philosophy form Texas A&M University and worked as a federal U.S. health lobbyist and advocate for health workforce development, minority health, and the reduction of health disparities. As a social scientist, Joshua combines his experiences in health policy, background in ethics, and sociological training to elucidate the mechanisms and social factors that perpetuate American health inequities. His current research focuses on addressing health disparities across the life course with an emphasis on chronic stressors, psychosocial resources, social determinants of health, and cardiovascular disease.

    Courtney E. Sullivan, PhD, APRN, CPNP-AC, CPHON

    Courtney E. Sullivan, PhD, APRN, CPNP-AC, CPHON

    MentorPatricia A. Patrician, PhD, RN, FAAN
    Postdoc; Nursing
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Dr. Sullivan has worked with nurses internationally for nearly a decade implementing subspecialty education programs, multisite quality improvement projects, and measuring and advocating for nursing standards in mainly low-and middle-income countries. As a T-32 AHRQ HSOER postdoctoral scholar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Dr. Sullivan will build upon her dissertation research to establish a core set of nursing-sensitive quality indicators for international pediatric oncology nursing practice. She is also co-leading a participatory mixed methods research study, implementing nursing standards at a national cancer institute in Lima, Peru. She has published 12 peer-reviewed articles and presented in international, national, and local forums, including an interdisciplinary awards session presentation. Dr. Sullivan’s dissertation and predoctoral studies were funded by the American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarship in Cancer Nursing, Oncology Nursing Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, and UAB’s Colvin Fellowship and Jarman Lowder Scholarship. She has served in various leadership roles with, and is an active member of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology, Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses, and the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer.

    Jaclyn Wall, MD

    Jaclyn Wall, MD

    Mentor: Margaret Liang, MD
    Postdoc; OBGYN
    University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

    Jaclyn (Jackie) Wall completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University prior to her fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She was drawn to gynecologic oncology given its uniqueness in caring for patients throughout their entire cancer journey including diagnosis, systemic therapy, surgery, surveillance, and end-of-life care. Her primary research interest is examining the factors that most drive patients’ decision-making processes for making choices about their cancer care throughout their treatment in its various stages, how these decisions are impacted by their social circumstances, and how their health care team can consistently provide guidance and counseling that is in line with these motivating factors.

  • Past Trainees

    Juliet Blakeslee-Carter, MD

    Mentor(s): Adam Beck and Emily Spangler
    Year Appointed: 2020
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Type 3 Endoleaks in Complex Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair within the Vascular Quality Initiative

    Connie Shao, MD

    Mentor(s): Daniel Chu
    Year Appointed: 2020
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Telemedicine usability

    Rachel Skains, PhD

    Mentor(s): Richard Kennedy and Erik Hess
    Year Appointed: 2020
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Risk of Delirium with Opioid Use Among Older Adults in the Emergency Department

    Rachel Wells, PhD

    Mentor(s): Raegan Durant and Marie Bakitas
    Year Appointed: 2019
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Does One Size fit Everyone (ENABLE DOSE)?: Exploring the Role of Intervention Dose in an Early Palliative Care Intervention

    Olivia Van Gerwen, MD

    Mentor(s): Christina Muzny and Nicholas Van Wagoner
    Year Appointed: 2019
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Sexual health promotion and HIV/STI prevention in the transgender population of the Southeastern U.S

    Ronnie Gravett, MD

    Mentor(s): Jeanne Marrazzo
    Year Appointed: 2018
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Impact of Sexually Transmitted Infections among Sexual Minority Persons Living with HIV in the Era of Treatment as Prevention.

    Justin Owensby, PhD, PHMD

    Mentor(s): Jeffrey Curtis
    Year Appointed: 2018
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Rheumatology focused topics associated with health outcomes, health behavior change, and information technology

    Yulia Khodneva, PhD, MD

    Mentor(s): Andrea Cherrington
    Year Appointed: 2018
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Understanding and Preventing Heart Failure Decompensations with focus on mental health.

    Kaylee Crockett, PhD

    Mentor(s): Bulent Turan and Janet Turan
    Year Appointed: 2017
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Stigma and its impact on mental health, and physical outcomes among people living with HIV

    Julian Fabrice, PhD

    Mentor(s): Patricia Drentea
    Year Appointed: 2017
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Health Care Utilization Disparities among Immigrant Children: An Interdisciplinary Examination of How Unmet Mental Health Needs Stem from Parent Educational Expectations

    Matthew Mefford, PhD

    Mentor(s): Emily Levitan and Paul Muntner
    Year Appointed: 2017
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Using REGARDS to analyze adjudicated heart failure hospitalizations and classify heart failure subtypes

    Sandhya Mudumbi, MD, MPH

    Mentor(s): Marie Bakitas
    Year Appointed: 2017
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Rate of palliative care and hospice utilization and factors that impact likelihood to receive palliative care

    Audrey Wallace, MD

    Mentor(s): Emily Levitan and Gabrielle Rocque
    Year Appointed: 2017
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Outcomes of patients treated with definitive and palliative intent radiation therapy and patterns of guideline concordant care

    DeMario Overstreet, MS

    Mentor(s): Burel Goodin
    Year Appointed: 2016
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Racial and Socioeconomic Differences in Low Back Pain

    Whitney Rice, DPH

    Mentor(s): Bulent Turan and Janet Turan
    Year Appointed: 2016
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Pathways in the Effects of HIV-related Stigma on Health Outcomes

    Anthony Campbell, PhD

    Mentor(s): Andrea Cherrington and Julie Locher
    Year Appointed: 2016
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Preventive Health Screening Use among Older Men

    Kathleen Weden

    Mentor(s): Brooks Wingo and Elizabeth Barstow
    Year Appointed: 2016
    Predoctoral Trainees
    Research Project: Typical Plan of Care for a Child with Cerebral Visual Impairment, Objective Acuity Measure in Children with Cerebral Visual Impairment

    Colm Travers, MD, MBBS, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Meredith Kilgore
    Year Appointed: 2016
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Comparative Effectiveness Trials and Observational Studies of Preterm Infants

    Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Marie Bakitas and Mark Dransfield
    Year Appointed: 2015
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Life Space Mobility in COPD; Psychological Comorbidity in COPD

    Tyler Wahl, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Melanie Morris and Mary Hawn
    Year Appointed: 2015
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Reduces Disparities in Length-of- Stay for Colorectal Patients

    Justin Lord, PhD

    Mentor(s): Robert Weech-Maldonado
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: An Exploration of Nursing Home Financial Distress: Predictors, Causes and Outcomes

    Ellen Eaton, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Michael Mugavero and Meredith Kilgore
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Assess contemporary anti-retroviral regimen in terms of durability (persistence) and cost- effectiveness & cost analysis of immunization for patients living w/ HIV

    Haley Kendrick, PhD

    Mentor(s): Magdalena Szaflarski
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Religiosity and health among people living with HIV

    Mercedes Morales-Aleman, PhD

    Mentor(s): Isabel Scarinci
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Sexual health promotion among Latina adolescents

    Sarah Rutland, PhD

    Mentor(s): Elizabeth Baker and Raegan Durant
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Race Effects of Perceived Weight Status and Its Relationship with Unmet Health Care Need

    Allyson Varley, PhD

    Mentor(s): Burel Goodin and Monika Safford
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Implementation of evidence- based chronic pain management

    Michelle Williams, PhD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Gareth Dutton and Kevin Fontaine
    Year Appointed: 2014
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Impact of cervical cancer stigma

    Melissa Mannion, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Timothy Beukelman and Kenneth Saag
    Year Appointed: 2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Long-term outcomes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

    Kelly Kenzik, PhD

    Mentor(s): Maria Pisu and Wendy Demark-Wahnefried 
    Year Appointed: 2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Health outcomes around cancer patients

    Carla Holcomb, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Mary Hawn and Joshua Richman
    Year Appointed: 2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Quality of care and safety measures of surgical patients

    Kristi Stringer, PhD

    Mentor(s): Janet Turan and Michael Mugavero
    Year Appointed: 2013
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Impact of HIV and addiction stigma on HIV medication adherence and retention in care

    Karen Albright, DO, PhD

    Mentor(s): Nita Limdi and Virginia Howard
    Year Appointed: 2012
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Stroke systems of care, availability of diagnostic and treatment services, and access to acute stroke care

    Carolyn Hogan, PhD

    Mentor(s): Robert Weech Maldonado
    Year Appointed: 2011
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Novel statistical analysis techniques and methodologies to infectious disease-related health services research into Sub-Acute Care

    David Buys, PhD, MPH

    Mentor(s): Julie Locher
    Year Appointed: 2011
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Effects of neighborhood on individual health outcomes and on health services utilization

    John Donnelly, PhD

    Mentor(s): Paul Muntner and Henry Wang
    Year Appointed: 2011
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Novel statistical analysis techniques and methodologies to infectious disease-related health services research

    Megan Petrov

    Mentor(s): Virginia Howard and Laurence Bradley
    Year Appointed: 2011
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Sociodemographic disparities in sleep health and their relationships to rheumatic illnesses and cardiovascular/metabolic disorders

    Gabriel Tajeu, DRPH

    Mentor(s): Meredith L. Kilgore and Monika M. Safford
    Year Appointed: 2011
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Identifying and improving current health care system limitations

    Laura Altom, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Mary Hawn and Joshua Richman
    Year Appointed: 2010
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Assess surgical outcomes of different surgical techniques to guide best practice and prevent surgical complications

    Monica Aswani, DRPH

    Mentor(s): Meredith L. Kilgore and Nir Menachemi
    Year Appointed: 2010
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Advancements in health care delivery processes to improve quality outcomes

    Greer Burkholder, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Michael Mugavero and Kenneth Saag
    Year Appointed: 2010
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Chronic non-HIV related diseases, multi- morbidity, and aging in HIV-infected patients

    Charlotte Jones, MD, PhD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Kenneth Saag and Monika Safford
    Year Appointed: 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Quality of care in children with neurological disorder; breakthrough seizures as a quality of care issue for children with afebrile seizure disorder

    Kendrea Sheppard, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Cynthia Brown and Christine Ritchie
    Year Appointed: 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Transitions in care in long-term care and nursing homes; advanced illness and multi-morbidity

    Sarah Ballard

    Mentor(s): Patricia Drentea and Michelle Morrisey
    Year Appointed: 2009
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Healthcare access and receipt of disability benefits

    Janice Weatherspoon, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Allison Jeroan and Anupum Agarwal
    Year Appointed: 2008
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Health disparities in chronic/end-stage kidney disease

    Luceta McRoy, PhD

    Mentor(s): Robert Weech Maldonado and Meredith L. Kilgore
    Year Appointed: 2008
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: The effects of direct to consumer advertising on healthcare utilization among Medicaid children with asthma

    Joshua Argo, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Mary Hawn and Meredith Kilgore
    Year Appointed: 2007
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Analysis of 2 large data sets to explore decreased access to acute surgical care in rural areas resulting from a surgeon shortage in a complex reimbursement environment.

    Debra Whisenant, Phd, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Meredith Kilgore
    Year Appointed: 2007
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Improving the frequency and process of organ donation after cardiac death

    Caresse Campbell, PhD

    Mentor(s): Maria Pisu and Michael Morrisey
    Year Appointed: 2007
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Economic burden and cost- effectiveness of peer advisors for diabetes

    Todd Brown, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Vera Bittner and Monika Safford
    Year Appointed: 2006
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Exploration of the geographic & racial differences in the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome using REGARDS Study data

    Nathaniel Winstead, MD, MSPH

    Mentor(s): Charles Wilcox
    Year Appointed: 2005
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Cost-effectiveness of use of erythromycin prior to endoscopy for acute upper GI bleeding; Impact on quality of life of painful chronic pancreatitis

    Joe Gerald, MD, PhD

    Mentor(s): Norman Weissman and Deborah Levine
    Year Appointed: 2007
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Research Project: Cost-effectiveness of multi-stage school- based asthma case detection program in an urban school system

    M.A Goudie, PhD

    Mentor(s): Norman Weisman and Richard Shewchuk
    Year Appointed: 2004
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Advanced statistical modeling to determine the association of maternal behaviors such as smoking with higher childhood BMI. 

    Candice Griffin, PhD

    Mentor(s): Jeroan Allison and Andrea Cherrington
    Year Appointed: 2004
    Predoctoral Trainee
    Research Project: Association of targeted media messaging with health disparities