|Emily Oken, MD, MPH, Director|
(617) 867-4879 | Email
|Jason Block, MD, MPH, Co-Director|
(617) 867-4835 | Email
|Izzuddin Aris, PhD|
(617) 867-4239 | Email
|Brittany Charlton, MSc, ScD|
(857) 218-5463 | Email
|Marie-France Hivert, MD, MMSc|
(617) 867-4505 | Email
|Peter James, MHS, ScD|
(617) 867-4850 | Email
|Joshua Petimar, ScD|
(617) 867-4518 | Email
|Davene Wright, PhD|
(617) 867-4530 | Email
|Kameela Afifi, BS | Research Assistant | Email|
Kameela Afifi joined CoRAL as a Research Assistant on Project Viva in August 2022. She received her BS in Cognitive Science from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2022. While there, Kameela was also a Research Assistant for campus labs studying learning, memory, and psychopathology. In her free time, Kameela likes to paint, play chess, and spend time in nature.
|Luke Bernier, BA | Research Assistant | Email|
Luke Bernier joined CoRAL as a Research Assistant on Project Viva in August 2022. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross. During his time at Holy Cross, he was able to start his research career by studying visual motion processing in animal species. In the future, Luke hopes to continue his education in psychology. Outside of work, he enjoys playing sports, practicing guitar, and attending concerts.
|Nicole Bornkamp, BA, MPH | Senior Project Manager, Data Science | (617) 867-4803 | Email|
Nicole Bornkamp joined CoRAL in 2019. She completed her BA from Princeton University and MPH from Columbia University. She oversees all aspects of research data for Project Viva, comprised of a portfolio of 14 grants ranging from large multi-year prime awards funding ongoing data collection to smaller extant data-only subcontracts. She is responsible for Project Viva’s data architecture and design, operational data management, the provision of cleaned data for internal and external researchers, data reporting, and data analysis.
|Lauren Cleveland, MS, MPH | Senior Project Manager | (617) 867-4419 | Email|
Lauren Cleveland is a Project Manager supporting chronic disease related studies and conducts research on obesity prevention policy. Lauren studied English at the University of New Hampshire and puts her undergrad degree to use as an editor for the Weighing in Blog and organizing CoRAL's book club. She received her MPH from Tufts School of Medicine, where she focused on health communication and her MS in food policy from Tufts Friedman School. Prior to HPHCI, she coordinated a longitudinal study for Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine that investigated the impact of food marketing on young children.
|Sarah Cohan, PMP | Program Manager | (857) 636-0904 | Email|
Sarah joined the Project Viva team in June 2020. She was previously the Lab Manager for the Vision Sciences Lab in the Harvard Department of Psychology, collaborating on research exploring the spectrum of human face recognition abilities, and developing and validating online cognitive assessments. Following that she was a project and portfolio manager with the Football Players Health Study at Harvard Medical School, developing and managing studies of former NFL player behavioral and physical function. She received her BA in Theatrical Stage Management and Psychology from the University of Vermont, and is a certified Project Management Professional. Outside of HPHCI, she is the HR manager for Company One Theatre (www.CompanyOne.org), sings with the Boston Symphony, is a graduate student in Management with a focus on Organizational Behavior, bakes at www.TheSweeteryBoston.com, and loves playing with her baby boy, born in March 2020.
|Caroline Collis, BA | Research Assistant | Email|
Caroline joined CoRAL as a Research Assistant on Jason Block's team. She helps with data cleaning for Jason’s grants on nutrition policy and obesity research. She graduated from the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst in 2019 with a B.A. in Legal Studies. Prior to joining the Institute, Caroline was a marketing analyst, and most recently, a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in cardiology research. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and pets, and playing competitive ultimate frisbee.
|Emily Goldsmith, BS, MA | Project Manager | Email|
Emily joined CoRAL in June 2020 as the Operations Project Manager for Project Viva. Previously, she worked for two global health organizations, Pathfinder International and Management Sciences for Health, where she managed reproductive health and maternal and child health programs. In addition, she managed community health projects while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo. She holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University and a BS in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Outside of work, Emily enjoys hiking, running, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
|Tabor Hoatson, MPH | Research Analyst | Email|
Tabor Hoatson (they/he) joined CoRAL in 2022 as a research analyst investigating sexual minority reproductive health and cancer outcome disparities under Dr. Brittany Charlton. They support Dr. Charlton's team by operationalizing study proposals, performing statistical analyses, and contributing to manuscript preparation. Tabor received their BA with Honors in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stanford University in 2020 and their MPH with a concentration in quantitative methods from Boston University School of Public Health in 2022.
|Chelsea Jenter, MPH | Director of Operations | (617) 867-4984 | Email|
Chelsea Jenter, MPH, works closely with Dr. Emily Oken and Dr. Jason Block to oversee the operations of CoRAL within the Department of Population Medicine. Ms. Jenter has managed many research projects, spanning from IT interventions to large-scale interventions to nation-wide consortia. Ms. Jenter received her AB from Smith College and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Boston University. She has worked in the Department of Population Medicine twice: first in the early 2000s, and then again starting in 2011.
|Pi-I (Debby) Lin, MS, ScD | Research Scientist | Email|
Debby began as a research fellow in CoRAL in 2017. Her research uses population-level data to study the impact of environmental and chemical exposures on health outcome across the life-course. Her research had span across heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, manganese), phthalate, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). One of her research specialty is to apply diet-wide association studies (DWAS) to evaluate the relationship between diet and chemical exposure. Using DWAS, she had uncover several previously unidentified dietary sources of exposure to PFAS and arsenic. Prior to joining the Department of Population Medicine, Debby earned a Doctoral of Science in Environmental and Occupational Molecular Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Public Health at Kaohsiung Medical University and a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Debby grew up in Taiwan and is of Amis and Hakka descent; her Indigenous name is Lapic Kalay. In her spare time, Debby enjoys cooking, biking, hiking, swimming and scuba diving.
|Kathleen Lynch, BS | Project Coordinator | (617) 867-4954 | Email|
Kathleen joined Project Viva in June 2017 as a Research Assistant. She received her BS in Public Health from Syracuse University in May 2016. At Syracuse, Kathleen was given many opportunities to engage in service learning, including an internship with the American Red Cross, in emergency preparedness. After college, she went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Philadelphia. She is also a part-time graduate student at Boston University, working toward her Master's in Public Health.
|Georgia Okolita, BS | Administrative/Project Specialist | Email|
Georgia joined both CoRAL and CHeRP in November 2021 as an Administrative Specialist. She provides administrative support for both Brittany Charlton and Ann Wu as well as providing support within the hiring process for both CoRAL and CHeRP. Georgia graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, Georgia worked at the Neurosciences Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital as a Practice Assistant. She then went on to join the Department of Genetics and Population Sciences at Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she worked as a Genetic Testing Coordinator for the last three years.
|Marleny Ortega, MPH | Project Manager | (617) 867-4918 | Email|
Marleny joined Project Viva in September 2012 as a Research Assistant/Phlebotomist. She received her BA in Psychology/Child and Adolescent Development from Southern New Hampshire University and her MPH in 2019 from the same school. Prior to joining the Viva team, Marleny was a data collector at New England Research Institutes. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and traveling.
|Sheryl Rifas-Shiman, MPH | Senior Research Associate | (617) 867-4824 | Email|
Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, MPH, is a senior research analyst/biostatistician in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is involved with many projects at the DPM including observational epidemiology, surveillance, and randomized interventions. Her research interests include nutrition and other exposures that occur during pregnancy and childhood, and the influence of these experiences on the health of both mother and child. Sheryl has led several analyses in the area of research methodology and predictors of childhood obesity. As an educator, she has advised many research fellows and graduate/medical students on their research projects.
|Melissa Sidote | Research Analyst | Email|
Melissa joined Coral in June 2021 working with the Project Viva Data Science Team. She received her MPH at the University of Miami, where she also worked as a Research Assistant. Melissa contributes to all data management and analysis work for the Project Viva Data Science Team. She primarily oversees the portfolio of ECHO data work, focuses on streamlining internal data management and processing, creates new database systems and processes, performs programming tasks for data management and operations, trains new data science team members, and contributes as needed to individual data analysis projects.
|Denise Simon, MPH | Sr. Project Manager | (617) 867-4905 | Email|
Denise Simon, MPH, is a Sr. Project Manager in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. After receiving a BS in Health Science from Boston University, she went on to earn her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. Her research experience has involved research study design, data collection, and project oversight of epidemiologic research studies. She also participates in budgetary preparations for research grant proposals and ongoing financial monitoring for funded projects. Her interests include maternal and child health, wellness, healthcare policy, and community health education.
|Eliza Stuart, BS/BA | Research Assistant, Data Science | Email|
Eliza joined CoRAL in June 2022 working with the Project Viva Data Science Team. She recently completed her BS/BA in Public Health and Geography at the University of Miami, where she was also working as a Research Assistant. Eliza support data management work of the Project Viva Data Science Team, including data cleaning, creation and preparation of relevant datasets, querying existing data to be used for the various grants and grant partners, managing data import and export as relates to the grants, and synthesizing relevant data for presentation as needed to internal and external collaborators.
|Karen Switkowski, PhD, MPH | Research Scientist | (617) 867-4218 | Email|
Karen Switkowski, PhD, MPH, is a Research Scientist in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Her background is in nutrition science and epidemiology, and she is primarily interested in researching associations of early-life nutrition, including maternal diet and nutritional status during pregnancy and infant and child nutrition, with child health outcomes. Dr. Switkowski works primarily on Project Viva, a longitudinal study of mother-child pairs. She was the Project Viva Project Manager from 2012-2016, and before coming to DPM, she worked as an Epidemiologist at the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Switkowski received her PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology and MS in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, as well as an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Tufts School of Medicine, Public Health and Professional Degree Programs.
|Szilvia Szegedi, BA | Sr. Project Coordinator | (617) 867-4879 | Email|
Szilvia joined CoRAL as an Administrative Specialist in January of 2014. Currently she is a Sr. Project Coordinator focusing on pre-award research administration, while also providing faculty support to Dr. Emily Oken and Dr. Jason Block. She also coordinates the CoRAL Blog - WeighingInBlog.org – and the CoRAL monthly newsletter. She earned her BA in Communications/Marketing from Boston College, where she played on the Division I varsity tennis team for 4 years. Prior to joining the CoRAL team, she worked as a marketing manager in the non-profit sector focusing on diversity and multiculturalism in the hospitality industry. She enjoys running, reading and cooking and she spends most of her free time with her husband and their two young sons.
|Jeff Verly, MSF | Senior Financial Analyst | Email|
Jeff joined CoRAL as a Financial Analyst for the Project Viva team. Jeff brings knowledge and experience from both non-profit and for-profit financial institutions. During the summer of 2019, Jeff was an Internal Audit Intern with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care corporate in Quincy, MA. Jeff received his Bachelor's from Lasell College and his Master of Science in Finance from UMass Boston.
|Chamaine Washington, MPH | Project Coordinator | Email|
Chamaine joined CoRAL as a Project Coordinator in October 2022. She provides administrative support for Izzuddin Aris, Marie-France Hivert, and Peter James, and also manages many of Peter James' projects. Before joining CoRAL, she worked within TIDE as both an Administrative/Project Specialist and a Project Coordinator, supporting analytic timeline management and data coordination for numerous projects within the Infectious Diseases portfolio. Chamaine received her BS in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned her MPH in 2022 from the University of New England.
|Yutong Zhang, MS | Associate Research Analyst | Email|
Yutong’s primary work focuses on the Project Viva data, supporting projects across multiple grants and investigators. She mainly works on data management, processing survey data, and generating preliminary results. Before joining the team, Yutong completed her MS in Nutrition from Tufts University, focusing on nutritional epidemiology and disease analysis.
|Michelle Zorine, BS | Viva RA/Phlebotomist | Email|
Michelle Zorine is a Research Assistant/Phlebotomist in Project Viva. Michelle graduated from Michigan State University in May '22 with a B.S. in Human Biology and a minor in Bioethics. During her time at MSU, she worked as a Research Assistant at a pediatric mental health clinic and as an outpatient phlebotomist as well as a volunteer at Grace Hospice and the Crisis TextLine. She loves dogs, hiking, roadtrips, and podcasts. Michelle’s ultimate goal is to become a Family Medicine physician and to continue her research career throughout medical school and beyond.
|Payal Chakraborty, PhD, MS | Email|
Payal Chakraborty (she/her) is a research fellow in the division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL). As a postdoctoral researcher, she is working with Dr. Brittany Charlton on projects that aim to quantify reproductive health disparities among LGBTQ individuals. Her research focuses on sexual and reproductive health. Specifically, she is interested in research that works towards ensuring that individuals have the resources, support, and agency to enact their reproductive health choices, with a specific emphasis on impacts of existing structures and policies, as well as proposed legislation, on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University and her Masters in Global Health from Duke University. As a graduate student, her work focused on sexual and reproductive health in Ohio. Specifically, her research focused on abortion and contraception access, and her PhD dissertation focused on risk factors for syphilis.
|Soren Harnois-Leblanc, PhD | Email|
Soren is an ADA/Pyle postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School investigating the role of dietary habits on diabetes risk markers from early childhood to late adolescence in Project Viva Cohort using causal inference methods, under the supervision of Drs. Marie-France Hivert and Jessica Young. Before this fellowship, she earned her PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology at Université de Montréal investigating the natural history of type 2 diabetes in children and of cardiovascular disease in youth with type 1 diabetes, as well as the role of lifestyle habits on these two conditions. Following her PhD, Soren did a 1-year fellowship in health economy and epidemiology at McGill University examining the healthcare costs of pediatric obesity and estimating cost-effectiveness of a pediatric weight management program. More broadly, her research focuses on the prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in at-risk children and children from the general population using robust statistical methods.
|Aimee K. Huang, MD, MPH | Email|
Aimee K. Huang, MD, MPH joined CoRAL as a Postdoctoral Fellow, with joint appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Chan School of Public Health. As an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow, she will be working with Dr. Brittany Charlton on projects that aim to elucidate and quantify sexual orientation-related cancer disparities and differences in healthcare access in individuals of diverse sexual orientations. Dr. Huang is also a research affiliate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she conducts HIV/AIDS prevention and control research among sexual gender minorities under the mentorship of Drs. Jennifer Glick and Susan Sherman. Prior to joining the department, she received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins University and her Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Charles University First Faculty of Medicine. In her spare time, she likes to eat, cook, hike, and play with her dog.
|Landon Hughes, PhD | Email|
Landon Hughes is currently a Yerby Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and also holds a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL). Before joining Harvard, Landon completed a Ph.D. in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan and a BA in Sociology and Political Science at Grand Valley State University. As a social epidemiologist, his research utilizes demographic methods to examine morbidity and mortality among LGBTQ populations and considers the effects of social factors on health and aging. At CoRAL, he works alongside Dr. Brittany Charlton to examine pre- and perinatal health and aging among LGBTQ populations.
|Sarah McKetta, MD, PhD | Email|
Sarah McKetta is a research fellow in CoRAL under the supervision of Dr. Brittany Charlton, where her focus is on reproductive and perinatal disparities for LGBT+ Americans, with special attention towards structural causes. Sarah’s research focuses on structural discrimination, women’s health, and substance use. Her clinical background is in sexual health, and prior to her doctoral training she spent 4 years working in patient care and women’s health research at Planned Parenthood. Prior to joining the Department, she received her MD/PhD at Columbia University, where she studied social epidemiology under the mentorship of Drs. Katherine Keyes and Mark Hatzenbuehler, and her master’s degree from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
|Amy Nichols, PhD, MS, RD | Email|
Amy Nichols joined CoRAL as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Project Viva. She is a Registered Dietitian and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin. Building on her extensive experience in maternal and child nutrition, her interdisciplinary research focuses on the nutritional, biological, and social aspects of the preconception period through the first 1000 days with an emphasis on modifiable determinants that affect the lifecourse. Leveraging data from Project Viva, the focus of her fellowship is to examine the extent to which evidence of impaired fertility will be associated with body composition, bone health, and cardiometabolic outcomes among females in midlife. Previously, her doctoral work utilized advanced trajectory modeling to investigate effects of prenatal nutrition exposures on short-term maternal and neonatal outcomes in high-risk pregnancies affected by obesity or multiple gestations and was partially funded by the American Society for Nutrition and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
|Yi Ying Ong, PhD | Email|
Yi Ying Ong, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Izzuddin Aris in the division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL). Her research vision is to maximize human potential through a lifecourse epidemiology approach, focusing on the interaction between multiple early life exposures. She received her PhD from the National University of Singapore (NUS) where she investigated the early life determinants of child cardiometabolic risk in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort. She is awarded the NUS overseas postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the Developmental Origins of Behavior, Health, and Disease under the supervision of Dr. Henning Tiemeier in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Dr. Izzuddin Aris in in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.
|Colleen Reynolds, SM | Email|
Colleen (she/they) is a PhD candidate in Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Their research focuses on reproductive health disparities faced by sexual and gender minorities. Colleen is particularly interested in the advancing the application of quantitative epidemiological methods in health disparities research. She received her BA in Public Health from American University and her SM in Epidemiology from Harvard.
|Kodiak Soled, PhD, MSN | Email|
Dr. Kodiak Soled (she/her) joined CoRAL as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. She is supporting Dr. Brittany Charlton’s team with NIH-funded research, including a new 5-year award that aims to elucidate obstetrical and perinatal health disparities impacting sexual minorities and their offspring. She uses qualitative and quantitative research methods, community-based approaches, and a social and structural determinants of health lens to identify and address perinatal and reproductive health disparities and promote resilience among LGBTQ+ individuals. Dr. Soled holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in LGBTQ Health from Columbia University, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in Critical Global Studies from Pitzer College.
|Diana Soria-Contreras | Email|
Diana Soria-Contreras is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She received her MSc from the University of Alberta, Canada, and her PhD from the National Institute of Public Health. Her research interests include the impact of pregnancy and maternity in the development of obesity and chronic diseases, as well as the impact of women's reproductive history on these outcomes.
|Li Yi, PhD | Email|
Li Yi, PhD (he/him/his) is a Thomas O. Pyle Research Fellow in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Li has focused his research on investigating the impact of the neighborhood built environment and greenness on health behaviors and chronic disease outcomes. His current work intersects the fields of environmental epidemiology, health behavioral research, and bioinformatics by integrating smartphones and wearable devices, Big Data analytics, and geographic information systems (GIS) into large prospective cohort studies, including Nurses' Health Studies, Growing Up Today Study, Project Viva, and Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors Study. In the Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL), Li is currently working with Drs. Peter James, Izzuddin Aris, Marie-France Hivert, and Emily Oken on several analyses examining the impact of neighborhood characteristics such as greenness exposure, deprivation, walkability on maternal and child health outcomes. Li holds an interdisciplinary PhD in Population, Health and Place from the University of Southern California, an MS in Architectural and Urban Conservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSc in Urban Planning from the University College London.
|Han Yu, PhD | Email|
Han Yu, PhD is a Research Fellow in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is conducting her research in the Therapeutics Research and Infectious Disease Epidemiology (TIDE) group under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Block, where she is exploring the cumulative risk for patients given treatments of interest using longitudinal analysis algorithms and the COVID-19 surveillance research. She received her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from Tongji University and her joint doctoral training in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she previously studied pediatric emergence delirium with machine learning algorithms, as well as relationships between blood glucose, adverse events in the perinatal period and cardiology.