Faculty/Staff

CoRAL

Faculty

Emily Oken, MD, MPH, Director
Vice Chair
Professor
(617) 867-4879
emily_oken@harvardpilgrim.org
Jason Block, MD, MPH, Co-Director
Associate Professor
(617) 867-4835
jblock1@partners.org
Izzuddin Aris, PhD
Assistant Professor
(617) 867-4239
izzuddin_aris@harvardpilgrim.org
Brittany Charlton, MSc, ScD
Associate Professor
(857) 218-5463
bcharlton@mail.harvard.edu
Marie-France Hivert, MD, MMSc
Associate Professor
(617) 867-4505
mhivert@partners.org
Peter James
Associate Professor
(617) 867-4850
peter_james@harvardpilgrim.org
Davene Wright, PhD
Assistant Professor
(617) 867-4530
davene_wright@harvardpilgrim.org

Staff

Nicole Bornkamp, BA, MPH | Senior Project Manager, Data Science
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4803
Email: nicole_bornkamp@harvardpilgrim.org
Lauren Cleveland, MS, MPH | Project Manager
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4419
Email: lauren_cleveland@harvardpilgrim.org
Sarah Cohan, PMP | Program Manager
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.
Phone: (857) 636-0904
Email: sarah_cohan@harvardpilgrim.org
Lily Fuller | Project Coordinator, Viva/ECHO
Lily Fuller joined Project Viva as a Project Coordinator in November 2020. Previously, she worked as a Research Assistant at T1D Exchange, a type 1 diabetes research organization focused on patient-centered outcomes. Following that, she was a Study Coordinator at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research, working on quality improvement initiatives related to cognitive impairment among older adults. Lily earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of New Hampshire in 2015. Outside of work, she enjoys music and documentaries, listening to podcasts, and is a volunteer educator at the New England Aquarium.
Email: elizabeth.fuller@point32health.org
Emily Goldsmith, BS, MA | Project Manager
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.
Email: emily_goldsmith@harvardpilgrim.org
Chelsea Jenter, MPH | Director of Operations
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4984
Email: chelsea_jenter@harvardpilgrim.org
Kathryn Jones, MPH, CIP | Project Manager, ECHO Program
Kathryn ‘Katie’ Jones is a Research Associate, supporting the data related projects for the ECHO program based within Project Viva and cohort infrastructure enrichment activities. She joined CoRAL in May 2019 after graduating from Boston University School of Public Health with an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Katie has a background in research ethics, research compliance, and mixed-methods research. She most recently worked at the Boston University Medical Campus and Boston Medical Center Institutional Review Board, where she reviewed a variety of research studies as an analyst, ranging from longitudinal cohort studies to Phase 1 drug studies. Her academic interests include healthcare policy, maternal and child health, infectious disease, research ethics, and health equity.
Phone: (617)867-4875
Email: kathryn_jones@harvardpilgrim.org
MollyAn Killingbeck | Senior Research Assistant
MollyAn Killingbeck joined CoRAL and the Project ECHO team as a Research Assistant. She graduated from Wellesley College, where she majored in Math and Chinese. In the past, MollyAn has worked as a Pharmacy Technician at Maine General Health and on the Compensation team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In her free time, she likes to play Spikeball and Ultimate Frisbee.
Phone: (617) 867-4814
Email: mollyan_killingbeck@harvardpilgrim.org
Kathleen Lynch, BS | Project Coordinator
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4954
Email: kathleen_lynch@harvardpilgrim.org
Shahzor Makhdoom, MPH | Research Analyst
Shahzor Makhdoom is a research analyst supporting data management and data analysis for Dr. Charlton’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and health grants. Shahzor will also provide assistance preparing data and papers for publication as well as developing related grant proposals. Shahzor studied at the University of Connecticut for his MPH concentrating on infectious disease epidemiology and biostatistics where he focused on malaria. Prior to HPHCI, he worked at Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a contract epidemiologist collecting and analyzing data on COVID cases in elder facilities.
Phone: (617) 867-4974
Email: Shahzor_Makhdoom@harvardpilgrim.org
Georgia Okolita, BS | Administrative Specialist
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.
Email: Georgia_Okolita@harvardpilgrim.org
Marleny Ortega, MPH | Project Manager
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4918
Email: Marleny_Ortega@harvardpilgrim.org
Joshua Petimar, ScD | Research Scientist
Joshua Petimar, ScD is a Research Scientist within the Department of Population Medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School. His work is focused on the effects of public health nutrition policies on diet quality. His current work primarily uses sales data from food retailers and longitudinal data from large cohort studies to investigate research questions related to calorie labeling, nutrition assistance programs, and the effects of the food environment on diet and health. He pursues answers to these policy-relevant questions using natural experiments and epidemiologic methods for causal inference. He received his joint doctorate in Nutrition and Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he previously studied relationships between diet, obesity, and cancer.
Phone: (617) 867-4518
Email: joshua_petimar@harvardpilgrim.org
Sheryl Rifas-Shiman, MPH | Senior Research Associate
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4824
Email: sheryl_rifas@harvardpilgrim.org
Melissa Sidote | Senior Research Assistant, Data Science
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.
Email: Melissa_Sidote@harvardpilgrim.org
Denise Simon, MPH | Sr. Project Manager
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4905
Email: Denise_Simon@harvardpilgrim.org
Joanne Sordillo, ScD, MS | Research Scientist II
Joanne Sordillo, ScD, MS, is an asthma epidemiologist with a background in clinical laboratory science, environmental exposure assessment, and the microbiome. Dr. Sordillo specializes in gene by environment interaction studies, and is PI of an NIH-funded study, An Integrative Genomics Approach to Gene by Environment Interactions in Asthma. She is a member of the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP), and a co-investigator on the Age-Dependent Pharmacogenomics of Asthma Treatment (ADAPT) study, which aims to uncover how genomic determinants of asthma treatment response vary by age. Her research interests are in environmental health, pharmacogenetics, and pediatrics. Dr. Sordillo received her ScD from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Department of Work Environment). She was previously an Assistant Professor in the Channing Division of Network Medicine where she also conducted her research fellowship. Prior to entering academia, she worked in a biopharmaceutical characterization lab, and in the proteomic department at the Harvard Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics.
Phone: (617) 867-4580
Email: joanne_sordillo@harvardpilgrim.org
Eliza Stuart | Research Assistant, Data Science
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.
Email: eliza.stuart@point32health.org
Karen Switkowski, PhD, MPH | Research Scientist
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4218
Email: Karen_Switkowski@harvardpilgrim.org
Szilvia Szegedi, BA | Sr. Project Coordinator
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.
Phone: (617) 867-4879
Email: szilvia_szegedi@harvardpilgrim.org
Jeff Verly | Financial Analyst
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.
Email: jeff_verly@harvardpilgrim.org
Taylor Wensley | Senior Research Assistant
Taylor joined Project Viva in June of 2017 as a Research Assistant. Before that, she worked at Partners HealthCare in Population Health Management, working to integrate behavioral health in the primary care setting. She has also worked as a Research Assistant at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for a large cohort study of young women with breast cancer.
Phone: (617) 867-4872
Email: taylor_wensley@harvardpilgrim.org
Yutong Zhang | Senior Data Research Assistant, Data Science
Yutong joined CoRAL in May 2022 working with the Project Viva Data Science Team. She completed her MS in Nutrition at Tufts University, where she was also working as a Research Assistant. She will contribute to data management work for the Project Viva Data Science Team focusing on streamlining internal data management and processing, assisting in establishing new database systems and processes, performing programming tasks for data management and operations, and contributing as needed to individual data analysis projects.
Email: yutong.zhang@point32health.org
Michelle Zorine | Viva RA/Phlebotomist
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.
Email: michelle.zorine@point32health.org

Fellows

Payal Chakraborty, PhD, MS
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.
Email: Payal_Chakraborty@harvardpilgrim.org
Anna H. Grummon, PhD, MSPH
Anna Grummon is a David E. Bell Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and a research fellow in the Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL). Prior to coming to Harvard, Anna received a PhD and MSPH in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. As a behavioral scientist, Anna’s research integrates randomized experiments with mathematical modeling to examine whether nutrition policies like warning labels, soda taxes, and food assistance programs affect what we eat and how healthy we are. At CoRAL, she is working with Dr. Jason Block to examine whether companies reformulate products in response to the recent federal mandate that requires food retailers to post calorie information. Anna is originally from East Lansing, Michigan.
Email: anna_grummon@harvardpilgrim.org | agrummon@hsph.harvard.edu
Pi-I (Debby) Lin, MS, ScD
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.
Email: p_lin@harvardpilgrim.org
Sana Majid, MD
Sana Majid is a research fellow on Dr. Hivert’s team within CoRAL. Her work focuses on analyzing multi-omics Gen3G data to understand the pathophysiology of gestational diabetes, as well as prenatal determinants of obesity and cardiometabolic risk in childhood. Sana hails from Los Angeles, California. She received her BS in Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics from UCLA, MD from St. George’s University, Grenada, and MS in Bioinformatics from BU. She has experience in preclinical, clinical and translational research, and received a fellowship through the American Heart Association in Tobacco Regulatory Science with research assessing the effects of e-cigarettes on vascular health at BU School of Medicine. Sana also has experience in studying the genetics of cardiometabolic disease. In her spare time, Sana enjoys most genres of movies and music, hiking and spending quality time with family and friends. She is also a dog lover and adoring owner of a Jack Russell mix.
Email: sana_majid@harvardpilgrim.org
Sarah McKetta, MD, PhD
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. 
Email: sarah_mcketta@harvardpilgrim.org
Aviva Musicus, ScD
Dr. Musicus is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow working with Dr. Jason Block. Her focus is on the analysis of a sodium warning label intervention in a hospital cafeteria and will contribute to analyses of supermarket labeling in a large chain of supermarkets in the Northeast. She also contributes to several ongoing cost-effectiveness analyses of obesity prevention interventions.
Email: amusicus@harvard.hsph.edu
Kodiak Soled, PhD, MSN
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.
Email: Kodiak_Soled@harvardpilgrim.org
Diana Soria-Contreras
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.
Email: dianacsc@gmail.com