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Global Health Program Faculty

Global Health students get the opportunity to work closely with university faculty from a wide range of departments and with diverse expertise.

Global Health Program

  • Thomas Csordas

    Thomas Csordas

    PhD, Distinguished Professor, Global Health Program Director

    Dr. Thomas Csordas is an anthropologist whose principal interests are in medical and psychological anthropology, comparative religion, anthropological theory, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change, as well as language and culture.

  • Radhika Bhavsar

    Radhika Bhavsar

    Lecturer, Global Health MA Program

    MPH, Behavioral Science, Health Promotion and Global Health, New York Medical College

    Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

    Radhika Bhavsar is a public health strategist and certified health educator with expertise in designing and managing programs in resource limited settings using an entrepreneurial lens. Radhika has 13 years of comprehensive work experience in community and government healthcare systems in the U.S., East Africa, and West Africa. In 2016 she was a Global Health Corp Fellow working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Rwanda on digital health tools and currently works for Partners In Health leading efforts to decrease community spread of COVID-19. Areas of interest include health system strengthening, implementation science, population health, health equity, strategic planning and communications, monitoring and evaluation, and program and project management using lean methodology. Radhika graduated from Michigan State University in the Social Sciences, and has an MPH in Behavioral Science, Health Promotion, and Global Health from New York Medical College.

  • Rebecca Fielding Miller

    Rebecca Fielding Miller

    PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health and the Center on Gender Equity and Health

    Dr. Rebecca Fielding-Miller's research examines structural drivers of HIV and gender based violence in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the intersection of race, gender, and economic inequality. She holds an MSPH in International Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a PhD in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa from 2006-2008 and as a Fulbright Scholar in Swaziland in 2013-2014.

  • Seth D. Hannah

    Seth D. Hannah

    Lecturer, Academic Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Global Health Program

    PhD in Sociology, Harvard University

    Dr. Seth D. Hannah is a sociologist specializing in how race, ethnicity, and culture shapes the delivery of healthcare. Dr. Hannah earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011 after completing a predoctoral training program in Inequality and Social Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and another in Culture and Mental Health Services from Harvard Medical School. He is currently studying the dynamics of medical interpreting in community health settings, the different ways diversity impacts health care in the United States, Switzerland, and Canada, and the experiences of fatherhood among formerly incarcerated African American men.

  • Olga L. Olivas Hernández

    Olga L. Olivas Hernández

    Lecturer, Coordinator for Hispanic/Latinx/Chicanx Affairs

    PhD in Social Sciences, CIESAS Occidente Mexico

    Dr. Olga L. Olivas Hernández is an anthropologist with a particular research expertise in the US-Mexico border region, some of the themes she has explored are new spiritualities, mental health and migration, substance use/abuse, treatment, and healing systems in cultural context. She has a Ph.D. in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Social Anthropology from CIESAS Occidente, Mexico. Recent research projects include: Embodiment and Subjectivity in Religious Treatments for drug abuse; Life trajectories and substance abuse among Mexican Migrants in the U.S.-Mexico Border; and Cultural Perceptions of Emotional Wellbeing and Patterns of Help-Seeking in Tijuana, Mexico. Currently, she is researching Health and Migration Trajectories among asylum seekers stranded in mobility in Northern Mexico. 

  • Janis H. Jenkins

    Janis H. Jenkins

    PhD, Professor & Director for the Center for Global Mental Health

    Dr. Janis Hunter Jenkins is a psychological/medical anthropologist.  She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Jenkins is an expert on psychological and medical anthropology, mental health, and Mexican and Central American migrants.  Professor Jenkins is a leading scholar internationally within the field of culture and mental health and a core faculty member of the Global Heath Program. 

  • Tim K. Mackey

    Tim K. Mackey

    Professor, Global Health Program, Department of Anthropology

    Dr. Mackey is a global health policy and data scientist with an interdisciplinary background. Dr. Mackey earned his PhD in Global Public Health from the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health and also holds a MAS in Health Policy and Law. Dr. Mackey's research interests include global health governance, health diplomacy, infodemiology, machine learning, blockchain, and health policy and innovation.

  • Giselle Sanchez

    Giselle Sanchez

    Ph.D. candidate in Psychological and Medical Anthropology

    Giselle Sanchez is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychological and Medical Anthropology, and Research Coordinator for the UCSD Center for Global Mental Health. Her research focuses on the lived experiences of adolescents living under conditions of social and structural adversity in the Southern California and Northern Tijuana, B.C., border zone.

  • Lillian Walkover

    Lillian Walkover

    Assistant Teaching Professor in Communication and Global Health Program (joint appointment) 

    PhD in Sociology, UC San Francisco

    Lillian Walkover is a critical global health scholar, jointly appointed in the Department of Communication and Global Health Program. Her research focuses on the production and movement of global health knowledges, including a study of the adaptation and translation of the community health guide Where There Is No Doctor for use in India. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco, and her postdoctoral training at Drexel University.

  • Brenda K. Wilson

    Brenda K. Wilson

    Lecturer, Global Health Program

    PhD, Medical Humanities, University of Texas

    Brenda K. Wilson, PhD is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the UC San Diego. Dr. Wilson has her PhD in the Medical Humanities from the University of Texas, MA in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Manitoba, and BS in Biology from Texas State University. Her program of research has focused on structural violence, with particular emphasis on the effects on the health and wellbeing of migrants and other marginalized populations in local and global contexts. She has conducted photo-ethnographic fieldwork with Haitian migrant farmworkers in the Dominican Republic (2019) and community-based participatory research with seasonal migrants in India (2010) to understand how health inequalities are embodied, experienced, and produced through social, cultural, economic, political, and policy processes.

  • Hua Wu (Miranda)

    Hua Wu (Miranda)

    PhD, Lecturer of Anthropology and Global Health, Affiliated Faculty, Center for Global Mental Health

    Miranda is a psychological/medical anthropologist whose research interest is on mental health and transgenerational experience and trauma across historical transitions in Mainland China. Her dissertation work, “Where do I place my body and heart: embodiment and emotion across personal and historical transitions in modern China”, takes a phenomenological perspective in understanding how people understand the changes of their bodily and emotional experiences across life stages under intensified social transformation in East Asian society. Her research investigates mental health, personal relations, and person-culture interactions across several generations in China. Miranda is also interested in the temporal-spatial aspects of everyday life and the broadened meaning and methods of illness experiences and healing in mental health across cultures. She also collaborates with the Fudan-UC center at UCSD and Fudan University’s anthropological team to explore the culturally shaped experience of mental health and psychological well-being and management in multiple cities in China.

Department of Anthropology

  • Thomas Csordas

    Thomas Csordas

    PhD, Distinguished Professor, Global Health Program Director

    Dr. Thomas Csordas is an anthropologist whose principal interests are in medical and psychological anthropology, comparative religion, anthropological theory, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change, as well as language and culture.

  • Keolu Fox

    Keolu Fox

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Dr. Keolu Fox is a human geneticist interested in exploring the links between human genetic variation and disease in underrepresented populations. Dr. Fox earned a Ph.D. in Genome Sciences at the University of Washington applying next-generation genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation. Dr. Fox’s current research interests include genome sequencing technology, genome editing, and Indigenizing biomedical research.

  • Aftab S. Jassal

    Aftab S. Jassal

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Aftab Jassal is an anthropologist of religion, with longstanding research experience and interest in the Himalayas, specifically, Uttarakhand, a north Indian state bordering Tibet and Nepal. His research examines varying modes and registers of interaction between person, place, and divinity in South Asia. Drawing on anthropological and performance studies approaches, he is interested in how Hindu communities construct and enliven multiple social, ontological, and aesthetic realities through narrative and ritual performance, including ritual storytelling and possession.

  • Janis H. Jenkins

    Janis H. Jenkins

    PhD, Professor & Director for the Center for Global Mental Health

    Dr. Janis Hunter Jenkins is a psychological/medical anthropologist.  She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Jenkins is an expert on psychological and medical anthropology, mental health, and Mexican and Central American migrants.  Professor Jenkins is a leading scholar internationally within the field of culture and mental health and a core faculty member of the Global Heath Program. 

  • Bonnie N. Kaiser

    Bonnie N. Kaiser

    Associate Professor

    Bonnie Kaiser is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and Global Health Program. Her research focuses on elucidating cultural models of mental health and illness and exploring their connections to care-seeking; developing and adapting measurement tools for cross-cultural research and interventions; improving cultural adaptation of global mental health interventions; and critically exploring concepts of trauma, risk, and resilience. She is a qualitative research specialist and consultant with UCSD's Dissemination and Implementation Science Center

  • Dredge Kang

    Dredge Kang

    PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor

    Kang’s research focuses on race, gender, sexuality, class, and transnationalism. His primary interests include the anthropology of love, beauty, sex work, sexual health, structural violence, and Hallyu (Korean Wave) studies. His geographic specialization is Southeast Asia (Thailand), with particular attention to inter-Asia and Asian diaspora connections. Dr. Kang has conducted research on the construction of Asian identity and interracial relationships in Thailand, examining how middle class differentiation structures desires for East Asian partners rather than Caucasian ones. This work addresses how racial preferences in romantic relationships are socially conditioned.

  • Amy L. Non

    Amy L. Non

    PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor

    Dr. Non is a molecular anthropologist with an interest in the genetic and sociocultural contributors to racial and social inequalities in health. Currently, she is investigating how social experiences can become biologically embedded early in life to affect health throughout the life course. To do this, she is exploring epigenetic mechanisms, or modifications to the genome, that can link early adverse environmental exposures with altered gene expression, potentially resulting in long-term consequences for adult health and disease. 

  • Steven M. Parish

    Steven M. Parish

    PhD, Professor

    His major interests are cultural, medical, and psychological anthropology, social theory, religion, the self and subjectivity, global health and the subjectivity of suffering, climate change and its consequences for society and human values. His research has addressed a number of topics in psychological anthropology, with a central focus on the study of self, emotion, and moral experience.  In the anthropology of religion and South Asian studies, his scholarly interests include Hinduism, Buddhism, and the role of ritual in selfhood and social life.

  • Nancy Postero

    Nancy Postero

    PhD, Associate Professor

    Postero is the Director of the Human Rights Program at UC San Diego and is the new Director of the International Institute. Her research examines the relation between race, politics, and political economy, focusing specifically on indigenous peoples of Latin America.

  • Saiba Varma

    Saiba Varma

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Her current research examines the texture of everyday pschiatric care in different sites of trauma-based humanitarian interventions in Indian occupied Kashmir. She teaches courses on global health, medical and psychiatric anthropology, humanitarianism, and South Asian studies.

Department of Biology

  • Stephen M. Hedrick

    Stephen M. Hedrick

    PhD, Professor

    Professor Hedrick is a Chancellor's Associates Chair VII Distinguished Professor in Molecular Biology. His current research focuses on Immune homeostasis: the sum of lymphocyte dynamics.


  • Milton Saier

    Milton Saier

    PhD, Professor of Molecular Biology

    Professor Saier's research focuses on transcriptional and metabolic regulation in bacteria, transport protein evolution, and the recently identified process of transposon-mediated directed mutation. 

Department of Communication

  • Keith Pezzoli

    Keith Pezzoli

    PhD, Professor

    Keith Pezzoli's research and multimedia production focuses on sustainability, bioregional theory, science communication, green infrastructure, and coupled natural-human system interactions in the development of cities and regions around the world. Since 2000, Pezzoli has been leading the Community Engagement Core and Research Translation Core of UCSD’s Superfund Research Center (SRC) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

Department of Economics

  • Jeffrey Clemens

    Jeffrey Clemens

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Jeffrey's research intersts intersect between Health Economics and Public Finance; The Economics of Redistribution and Social Insurance; State and Local Government Finances

Department of Ethnic Studies

  • Kirstie Dorr

    Kirstie Dorr

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Kirstie's research interests include Critical Race and Gender Studies, Transnational Cultural Studies, Political Geography, Latin America and the Latino/a United States

  • Gabriel N. Mendes

    Gabriel N. Mendes

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Gabriel's research interests include Africana/Black Disaporic Thought and Cultures (Literary and Expressive); Black Radical Thought and Politics; History and Critique of the Human Sciences; Philosophy of Race and Racism; Racism and Public Health

Department of History

  • Cathy Gere

    Cathy Gere

    PhD, Professor

    Professor Gere teaches courses on the history of medicine and medical ethics, and the history of the life sciences, especially genetics and the neurosciences.

  • Claire Edington

    Claire Edington

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Edington's research interests include the history of medicine and public health, the history of the French empire, and Southeast Asian Studies, especially the history of Vietnam. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the social history of psychiatry and mental illness in French colonial Vietnam. Her next project will examine the history of drug policy in Southeast Asia from the colonial period to the present, focusing on the collision of local approaches to drug users with international discourses around public health and human rights.

Department of Literature

  • Ping-hui Liao

    Ping-hui Liao

    PhD, Professor

    Liao is an internationally recognized authority in Taiwan Studies, specializing in Taiwan cultural history (from the Japanese colonial period to the current era of globalization), East-West comparative literature, inter-arts studies (fiction, film, poetry, painting, and opera), popular culture, and critical theory (poststructuralism, postmodernism, postcolonialism). His vision regarding his teaching agenda is an ambitious one of extensive collaboration with faculty across disciplines and fields throughout the UC system in order to develop new undergraduate and graduate courses on Taiwan literature, cinema, and modernity in East Asia.

Department of Sociology

  • Daniel Navon

    Daniel Navon

    MPhil, PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Navon's primary areas of research are the sociology of science and knowledge/STS, comparative-historical sociology, social theory, medical sociology and qualitative methods.

  • Danielle Raudenbush

    Danielle Raudenbush

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Professor Raudenbush's areas of specialization include Urban Sociology, Health and Medicine, Poverty and Inequality, Qualitative Methods

  • Andrew Scull

    Andrew Scull

    PhD, Distinguished Professor

    Professor Scull's areas of specialization include History, Psychiatry, Medicine, Social Control, Professions, Theory

School of Medicine: Department of Anesthesiology

  • Reema Sanghvi

    MD, Associate Clinical Professor

    Dr. Reema Sanghvi is an anesthesiologist in San Diego, California and is affiliated with UC San Diego Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

School of Medicine: Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health

  • Wael Al-Delaimy

    Wael Al-Delaimy

    MD, PhD, Professor, Division Chief of Global Health

    Dr. Al-Delaimy's global research activities are in non-communicable diseases, including mental health, climate change, tobacco, ethics and human rights, and refugee health. He is also involved in academic and research development in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Jose Luis Burgos

    Jose Luis Burgos

    MD, PhD, Assistant Project Scientist & GHP Visiting Lecturer

    Dr. Burgos currently specializes in global health and development with emphasis on cost effectiveness analysis of HIV and Tuberculosis intervention programs in resource limited settings.

  • Georgia Kayser

    Georgia Kayser

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Dr Kayser's research explores the factors that limit the delivery of safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) services and she tests specific WaSH interventions for their human and environmental health outcomes and their sustainability over time. Her recent research projects include a cross-sectional study of WaSH in health facilities and WaSH in schools in sub-Saharan Africa and a retrospective cohort study of water safety plans in Spain and France.

  • Becky Marquez

    Becky Marquez

    PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor

    Her research focuses on behavioral interventions targeting diet and physical activity as well as interpersonal influences on weight-related behaviors among Latinos.

  • Victoria Ojeda

    Victoria Ojeda

    MD, PhD, Associate Professor

    Dr. Ojeda’s research focuses on substance use, HIV/AIDS, and mental health comorbidities, with a focus on Latinos, including female sex workers, deportees, and injection drug users. 

  • José Ricardo Suárez

    José Ricardo Suárez

    MD, PhD Associate Professor

    Dr. Suarez’s research focuses on understanding the role of environmental contaminants, primarily pesticides and persistent organic pollutants, on adult cardiovascular/metabolic health and on child development including neurocognitive, mental health, endocrine and other physiologic outcomes. He is PI and founder of the Study of Secondary Exposures to Pesticides among Children and Adolescents (ESPINA) study and the Nuts and Olestra for Persistent Organic Pollutant Reduction (NO-POPs) trial, and conducts ancillary work in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Dr. Suarez is PI on several NIH and foundation grants and conducts research in the US and Ecuador.

School of Medicine: Department of Pediatrics

  • Alan Card

    Alan Card

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Dr. Card received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, in England, and his MPH in Global Communicable Disease from the University of South Florida. His recent work has focused on two broad areas: 1) Patient safety and healthcare quality improvement (with a particular emphasis on participatory design methods), and 2) Well-being, avoidable suffering, and burnout.

School of Medicine: Department of Psychiatry

  • Jyoti Mishra

    Jyoti Mishra

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Dr. Mishra is trained in the computational, cognitive and translational neurosciences. She is the founder of the Neural Engineering & Translation Labs (NEATLabs) at UCSD. Her lab innovates digital technologies for scalable brain health mapping and precision therapeutics. NEATLabs conducts research across the lifespan in both local and global communities. Dr. Mishra's interdisciplinary research at the intersection of neuroscience and digital engineering, is addressing important societal challenges including scalable and personalized mental healthcare and climate change adaptation.

School of Medicine: Division of Global Public Health and Infectious Disease

  • Rebecca Fielding Miller

    Rebecca Fielding Miller

    PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health and the Center on Gender Equity and Health

    Dr. Rebecca Fielding-Miller's research examines structural drivers of HIV and gender based violence in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the intersection of race, gender, and economic inequality. She holds an MSPH in International Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a PhD in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa from 2006-2008 and as a Fulbright Scholar in Swaziland in 2013-2014.

  • Richard S. Garfein

    Richard S. Garfein

    Professor and Interim Assistant Vice Dean of Reseasrch

    Dr. Garfein is an infectious disease epidemiologist and expert in designing and implementing research studies involving infectious diseases, laboratory practices, health behaviors and vulnerable populations. Before joining the UCSD faculty in 2005, he served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Viral Hepatitis and a Senior Staff Epidemiologist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His research focuses on diseases associated with substance use, including HIV, HBV, HCV and TB in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2009, his research has also focused on the use of mobile technology to improve anti-TB treatment adherence while reducing the cost and burden of treatment monitoring on patients and providers.

  • Tim K. Mackey

    Tim K. Mackey

    PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Global Public Health

    His work focuses on a broad array of multidisciplinary topics in domestic and global public health research. This includes cross-cutting research and publications in disciplines of public health, medicine, international relations, public policy, law, technology, economics and intellectual property, technology environmental health, eHealth, crime, and global governance.

  • Holly B. Shakya

    Holly B. Shakya

    PhD, Assistant Professor

    Her primary research interests are the social determinants of health, with a focus on social networks and social norms in the context of family health. Specifically she is interested in interpersonal network dynamics, including relational hierarchies, and multidimensional network relationships. One of her main undertakings is to understand how those network dynamics impact norms around health behavior.

  • Steffanie A. Strathdee

    Steffanie A. Strathdee

    PhD, Professor

    Strathdee is the Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has spent the last two decades focusing on HIV prevention in underserved, marginalized populations in developed and developing countries, including injection drug users, men having sex with men, and sex workers. Dr. Strathdee also directs the Global Health Institute and co-directs the UCSD Center for AIDS Research's International Core.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • Amro Hamdoun

    Amro Hamdoun

    PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology

    Professor Hamdoun's research interests include the structure, function and dynamics of the plasma membrane during embryonic development, live cell and and super resolution imaging of embryos, ABC transporters in development and environmental toxicology, and emerging marine pollutants and methods for predicting pollutant persistence.

  • Tarik Benmarhnia

    Tarik Benmarhnia

    PhD, Professor

    Tarik Benmarhnia is a climate change epidemiologist with a joint appointment at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps institution of Oceanography and School of Medicine. He was an environmental scientist on contaminated soil with the French Railway Company, followed by a Health Scientist position with the French National Institute of Health Education and Prevention, and most recently was a post-doc at McGill University with the Institute for Health and Social Policy.

Department of Philosophy

  • Jonathan Cohen

    Jonathan Cohen

    PhD, Professor

    Cohen works and teaches on topics in philosophy of mind, language, and perception, particularly as these are informed by the cognitive sciences.

  • Gerald D. Doppelt

    Gerald D. Doppelt

    PhD, Professor

    Main areas of philosophical interest are the philosophy of science and political theory

Department of Political Science

  • Fonna Forman

    Fonna Forman

    PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science, Co-Director of UCSD Center on Global Justice,  Co-Director of UCSD's Blum Cross-Border Initiative

    Forman's research engages issues at the intersectionof ethics, public culture, urban policy and the city- including human rights at the urban scale, climate justice, border ethics and equitable urbanization.

  • Zoltan Hajnal

    Zoltan Hajnal

    PhD, Professor

    Interests include racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, and political behavior.

  • Gerry Mackie

    Gerry Mackie

    PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Director, Center on Global Justice at UCSD

    Professor Mackie is a political theorist interested in contemporary political theory, the history of political thought, and problems of collective action.  His main area of interest is democracy, particularly democratic voting.  

  • David Mares

    David Mares

    PhD, Professor

    Professor Mares' research interests include international security, international political economy and Latin American civil-military relations.

  • Megumi Naoi

    Megumi Naoi

    PhD, Associate Professor

    Naoi's research focuses on the politics of trade, inequality, and redistribution

Department of Psychology

  • John Wixted

    John Wixted

    PhD, Distinguished Professor

    Dr. Wixted's research is primarily concerned with evaluating mathematical models of memory. With regard to human memory, his research focuses mainly on the analysis of recall latency distributions in both normal and memory-impaired individuals (such as patients suffering from Alzheimer's Disease). With regard to animal memory, his research focuses on signal detection analyses of memory for the absence of an event and memory for event duration.

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

  • Leslie Lewis

    Leslie Lewis

    PhD, MPH, Continuing Lecturer and Director of Urban Health and Equity Initiatives, Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design

    Dr. Lewis' research interests include the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health, systems of inequity and their health impacts across the lifecourse, social/racial/spatial and environmental justice, homelessness/houselessness, climate action, community-based participatory action research, and fostering community resilience.

    Life Course Scholar Program | H-Hub San Diego | UCSD Bioregional Center

Past Lecturers

  • Aaron Denham

    Aaron Denham

    PhD, Academic Coordinator & Lecturer

    Dr. Aaron Denham is a medical and psychological anthropologist, coordinating UC San Diego's new Master of Arts in Global Health Program. His research examines infanticide practices and discourse in Northern Ghana, offering experience-near accounts that show how Nankani families with “spirit children” manage misfortune and ambiguity. He also looks at how people use interpretive divination to navigate uncertainty and disorder. Dr. Denham has studied the trauma narratives of people diagnosed with younger-onset dementia in Australia and researched historical trauma and the models of mental health and healing in Inuit and Coeur d’Alene Indian families.

  • Nadia Santillanes

    Nadia Santillanes

    PhD in Medical Anthropology, CIESAS/CDMX

    Dr. Nadia Sanitllanes is a social anthropologist with expertise on mental health and migration. Since 2007, she has conducted research on health and migration in various contexts and population groups. One of them aimed to explore the difficulties that mexican undocumented have in accessing health services in New York City. In 2009, she participated as responsible in the binational project: Migration and its impact on the aging of men and women; a comparative study of the health of older migrants in Texas, California, Illinois and Mexico (UNAM and Texas A & M University). In 2011 she collaborated in the multi-center project: International migration and rights in sexual and reproductive health in migrants from Central America and Mexico, led by the National Institute of Public Health. Finally during the PhD she did her ethnographic work on the health / illness / care process of mexican undocumented women diagnosed with depression in the city of New York. Her principal interests are violence and its linkage with mental health problems in vulnerable groups in migrational contexts. Primary interest also include the evaluation of public health policies towards the specific needs of migrant groups.

  • Steven Wiersma

    Steven Wiersma

    MD, MPH

    Steven Wiersma is a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is currently on assignment as the Associate Director for Science and Branch Chief for Technical Programs at the US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) located in San Diego, California. Dr. Wiersma has more than 30 years of professional experience in clinical medicine and public health. He has held long and short-term positions in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States with WHO, CDC, USAID, the State of Florida, Johns Hopkins University, NGOs and the US military. His research interests are broad and include HIV/AIDS epidemic control, field epidemiology and viral hepatitis.

  • Ellen Kozelka

    Ellen Kozelka

    PhD, Department of Anthropology, UC San Diego

    Ellen Kozelka's research interests include the US-México border; the phenomenology of healing; migration and health; ethnographic methods; and global mental health. She defended her dissertation "Investigating the Role of Cultural Environment in Addiction Treatment and Recovery in the United States-México Border Zone" and was awarded her PhD in June 2020. This research was part of an international and inter-institutional project with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California run by Dra. Olga Odgers Ortiz that investigated the relatively recent proliferation of religious and secular/spiritual drug rehabilitation centers in Tijuana, MX.

    Ellen's ongoing research explores cross-border conceptions of mental illness as well as their relationship to care-seeking and therapeutic experience. She is also a member of the CGMH research team for several projects (SWYEPT, Bienestar, Adolescent Mental Health in Southern California). Her participation in these projects focuses on the lived experience of psychotropic drugs (both prescribed and otherwise) and cultural understandings of mental illness. 

  • Paula Saravia

    Paula Saravia

    PhD in Anthropology, UC San Diego

    Research Interests: Global Health and Inequality, Racisms, Gender, Health and Development, Indigenous Medicines, Cultural Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, History of Medicine, Latin America.

  • Christine Murto

    Lecturer, Global Health MA Program

    PhD in Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH), Basel, Switzerland

    Dr. Murto works for the San Diego County Public Health Service as the coordinator for refugee health screening program and the Cure TB program in San Diego Public Health Services Division of TB Control and Refugee Health. Her professional activities and areas of interest are in Migrant and rural health, Neglected tropical disease (NTD), Social Determinants of health, Mixed method qualitative and quantitative research, and Monitoring and Evaluation.