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Participant Resource Pool


Katrina R. Ellis

Katrina R. EllisAssistant Professor, Social Work, School of Social Work
Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health
Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

B.A., Secondary Education, Dillard University
MSW, Social Work, University of Michigan
MPH. Public Health, University of Michigan
PhD, Public Health, University of Michigan

 [email protected]

More about Katrina R. Ellis

Katrina R. Ellis is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work. Her research interests include family health interventions, cancer survivorship, racial and ethnic disparities in health, and family management of chronic health conditions. An overarching goal of her research is to support the health of families facing multiple, coexisting illnesses, with a specific focus on African Americans. Dr. Ellis employs a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in her work with families, clinicians and community groups. Her published research includes examinations of the influence of co-occurring illnesses on the psychosocial and behavioral health and well-being of cancer survivors and their family caregivers using quantitative dyadic data analysis techniques. She has also published research investigating psychosocial factors that influence the health behaviors and well-being of African Americans. Dr. Ellis’ future program of research includes the design and implementation of interventions to support the quality of life and healthy lifestyle and coping behaviors of cancer survivors, caregivers and family members.

She completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Cancer Health Disparities Training Program (Department of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health), the Center for Health Equity Research (Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine) and Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her time as a postdoctoral fellow, she worked with community-based participatory research projects in Greensboro and Rocky Mount, North Carolina focused on reducing the disproportionate burden of cancer morbidity and mortality and cardiovascular disease risk among African Americans and on digital health projects to support the wellbeing of peer supporters and families after a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Ellis is also a former Peace Corps Volunteer, having served as a Health Promotion Officer with the Ministry of Health in Fiji.

Kent D. Key

Kent D. KeyDirector, Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
Director, Flint Public Health Youth Academy
Co-Director, Youth Advising Council for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative

Ph.D., 2014, Public Health, Walden University
M.P.H., 2010 Walden University, 2010
B.A., 2005, Business Administration, University of Michigan Flint

 [email protected]

More about Kent D. Key

I am a Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Researcher specializing in Community Engaged Research (CEnR) approaches.  I have an extensive background in community engaged research that spans over the past fifteen years in the city of Flint. My research interests include: racial and ethnic health disparities research, workforce development, health equity and community based participatory research.  I am an expert in building equitable relationships between community and academic partners for health research and elevating community-identified health priorities to the research enterprise.  I work to ensure the cultural competence, cultural appropriateness, and cultural translation findings are embedded in the structure and design of research projects.  I will help to engage minority populations in Flint who may not traditionally engage in research due to historical and cultural apprehensions. As a liaison bridging both academia and community together to create ethical and equitable collaborative relationships in research, I am the founder of the Community Ethics Review Board in Flint, Michigan and a founding Co-Director for the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center.  I am a 2017 Fellow for the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Program.

Peter A. Lichtenberg

Professor, Psychology
Director, Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
Distinguished Service Professor, Wayne State University

B.A., Washington University in St. Louis,
M.S. in Clinical Psychology, Purdue University
PhD in Clinical Psychology, Purdue University

 [email protected]

More about Peter A. Lichtenberg
Peter A. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP is the Director of The Institute of Gerontology and
the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute. He is also a Professor of Psychology at Wayne
State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St.
Louis, and his Master’s and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University.
After his internship he completed a post doctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Virginia Medical School where he also became a faculty member. A clinician and researcher throughout his career Dr. Lichtenberg, one of the first board certified Clinical Geropsychologists in the nation, has made contributions to the practice of psychology across a variety of areas including in Alzheimer’s disease, medical rehabilitation and with those suffering from late life depression. He is particularly interested in the area of intersection between financial capacity and financial exploitation; finding ways to balance autonomy and protection for older adults. His work in this area led him to be a contributor to the 2008 Assessment of Diminished Capacity of Older Adults: A Handbook for Psychologists published jointly by the American Bar and American Psychological Associations. In 2013 he published the first nationally representative study on predictors of older adult scam victims. In 2015 he published the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Making Rating Scale, and the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale, and has contributed several empirical studies on the scales since then. These tools can be used to assess major financial decisions and/or transactions of older adults. He has authored 7 books and over 180 scientific articles in
Geropsychology including being the senior editor for the American Psychological
Association’s Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology.

James W. McNally

James McNallyDirector, NACDA Program on Aging
Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park
MA in Demography from Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Ph.D. in Demography and Gerontology from Brown University, Providence, RI

 [email protected];

More about James McNally

James McNally is the Director of the NACDA Program on Aging, which contains a data archive containing over 1,500 studies related to health and the aging lifecourse. Trained initially in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Maryland and then formal demography at Georgetown University, Dr. McNally developed an interest in gerontology while at Brown University and in policy application of demographic data while at Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research. McNally has directed the NACDA Program on Aging since 1998, significantly increasing the holdings of the data repository with a growing collection of seminal studies on the aging lifecourse, health, retirement, and international aspects of aging. In addition to lifecourse research, he has spent much of his career addressing methodological issues with a focus on specialized application of incomplete or deficient data, the enhancement of secondary data for research applications, and the safe distribution of health information and clinical data.

Briana Mezuk

Briana MezukCo-Director, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Faculty Affiliate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Post-doctoral fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Mental Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
B.S., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
BPhil History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

  [email protected]

More about Briana Mezuk

Dr. Mezuk is the Co-Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is also a Co-Director of the Analysis Core of the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). Her research program uses epidemiologic methods to examine the interrelationships between mental and physical health in later life, with a focus on depression and disorders of metabolism such as frailty and type 2 diabetes. She also conducts research on how stress and health behaviors intersect to shape racial/ethnic differences and disparities in mental and physical health. The goal of this work is to inform interventions that reflect an integrative approach to improve the mental health of older adults.

Jamie Mitchell

Jamie MitchellAssociate Professor of Social Work,
University of Michigan

B.A., Psychology, 2005, Ohio State University
M.S.W., Social Work, University of Tennessee Health
Ph.D., Social Work, 2010, Ohio State University

 [email protected]

More about Jamie Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell’s interdisciplinary research examines how patient-centered communication between older African American men, their families and physicians can be leveraged to improve men’s cancer and chronic disease outcomes and patient experiences. She also develops, tests and adapts eHealth and psycho-educational interventions designed to support the communication efficacy and disease self-management of older Black men. In her role as Co-Director of the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR), Dr. Mitchell helps to oversee a research infrastructure grounded in recruiting and retaining older Black adults for health sciences research with the goal of increasing their representation in health discoveries. A key component of that work includes co-managing a community advisory board and participant research registry of Black older adults at the Healthier Black Elders Center in Detroit. In 2020, Jamie, alongside Dr. James Jackson, will spearhead a major expansion of MCUAAAR’s research recruitment activities and infrastructure to Flint, Michigan.

Tam Elisabeth Perry

Tam PerryAssociate Professor, School of Social Work, Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University

Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

M.S.S.W, 1998, Administration and Planning, The University of Texas
M.A., 2007, Anthropology, The University of Michigan
Ph.D., 2012, Social Work and Anthropology, The University of Michigan

 [email protected]

More about Tam Elisabeth Perry

Dr. Tam E. Perry is an associate professor at Wayne State University School of Social Work.  Her research addresses urban aging from a life course perspective, focusing on how underserved older adults navigate their social and built environments in times of instability and change. She conducts translational research projects that address older adults’ well-being in urban communities such as the Flint water crisis, and older adults experiences of gentrification in Detroit, particularly examining the relationship of older adults to their homes. She is also active in interdisciplinary research including teaching the Social Work and Anthropology Integrative Seminar at Wayne State University, and a founding executive member of the Scholars Across Social Work and Anthropology (SASW). 

She is a principal investigator of a project entitled, “Older Adults’ Experiences and Understandings of the Flint Water Crisis,” which focuses on the intersection between housing and health.  This project received the Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award from the Aging and Public Health Section of American Public Health Association for this research. She also serves as research chair and vice-chair of strategic planning of a multi-agency coalition, Senior Housing Preservation-Detroit. Two of her current projects are “Navigating Time and Space: Experiences of Aging with Hemophilia” funded by the National Hemophilia Foundation and “Experiences of Belonging: Assessing Vulnerabilities of Older Detroiters Within Changing Urban Environments” funded by the Wayne State University’s Healthy Urban Waters program.  She has recently been selected to be a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America and currently serves as president of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW).

Annalise Rahman-Filipiak

Annalise Rahman-FilipiakAssistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
B.S., Psychology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
B.A., Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

[email protected]

More about Tam Elisabeth Perry

Dr. Rahman-Filipiak is a clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry – Neuropsychology Section at the University of Michigan Medical School. She completed her doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, which set the foundation for her strong investment in community-engaged research practices. Dr. Rahman-Filipiak currently leads a laboratory in the Research Program on Cognition & Neuromodulation Based Interventions, a coalition of researchers dedicated to non-pharmacologic approaches to treating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Specifically, Dr. Rahman-Filipiak studies racial-ethnic disparities in the research, diagnosis and treatment of ADRD through the lens of social determinants of health. Her current work focuses on person-centered approaches to Alzheimer’s disease biomarker testing and disclosure. In addition to her own research, Dr. Rahman-Filipiak leads the Return of Results team for the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, where she has recently accepted a position as co-lead of the Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core. She continues to benefit from the excellent mentorship at the MCUAAAR, where she is a part of the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core Leadership Initiative.

Mieka Smart

Mieka SmartAssociate Professor, College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University

B.A., Johns Hopkins University
MHS in Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
DrPH in Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

 [email protected]

More about Mieka Smart

Dr. Mieka Smart is an Associate Professor and director of global education in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, with appointments in the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is the director of the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved (LMU) certificate program. She is also co-director of the Research to Reduce Disparities in Disease (R2D2) program, an NIH-funded, clinical research training program, and leads the team that coordinates service learning.

Dr. Smart promotes cross-cultural student and professional development via peer-to-peer experiential learning. Since 2011, more than 150 students and faculty have participated in her global public health topics courses. She has supported, led, and designed experiential education abroad programs in Uganda, South Africa, Belize, and the United States.

Wassim Tarraf

Wassim TarrafAssociate Professor, Institute of Gerontology, Department of Healthcare Sciences, Wayne State University

PhD, Wayne State University, 2010
MBA, Wayne State University, 2002
BS, Lebanese American University, 1999

 [email protected]

More about Wassim Tarraf

Dr. Tarraf is a gerontologist, methodologist, health services researcher, and policy analyst. His research evaluates disparities in health, health behavior, and healthcare access and use among race/ethnic minorities in the United States, and investigates the social determinants of health and healthcare. His work relies primarily on analyses of large complex data sets. Currently, he is an affiliated investigator on the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), the largest epidemiological study of diverse Hispanic/Latinos in the US. He is the director of analytics for the SOL-INCA Lab, which is a joint lab (WSU/UCSD) with members located at Wayne State’s Institute of Gerontology and the University of California, San Diego, Department of Neurosciences. Through SOL-INCA he is the site Principal Investigator (Statistical Analyses Core) and lead biostatistician on three NIA-funded (R01) ancillary studies focused on cognitive aging and ADRD risk factors among Latinos, and two exploratory (R21) grants funded by NIA and NHLBI to examine sleep as a risk factor for unhealthy aging among Latinos. Additionally, he is the Analysis Core co-leader for the NIA-funded Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) and a faculty affiliate with the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD). These two Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research are primarily focused on training the next generation of researchers in minority health and enhancing the diversity of the aging research community. His research career has been devoted to the analyses of population health data with a particular focus on minority populations, evaluating disparities in health, cognitive function, health behaviors, and use of healthcare among race/ethnic minorities in the US, and investigating the social determinants of health and healthcare use among minorities.

Robert J. Taylor

Robert J. TaylorHarold R Johnson and Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics

B.A., Sociology, 1974, Northwestern University
M.S.W., 1976, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, 1983, University of Michigan

 [email protected]

More about Robert J. Taylor
Robert Joseph Taylor is the Harold R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Social Work and the Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work. He is also the Director of the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research. Professor Taylor has published extensively on the informal social support networks (i.e., family, friends, and church members) of adult and elderly Black Americans. An article by Thyer in Journal of Social Service Research finds that Robert Joseph Taylor is the #15 most influential social work faculty (out of 2204 faculty) based on H-index. An article by Kimberly Y. Huggins-Hoyt in the journal, Research on Social Work Practice, found that he was the #1 cited African American faculty member in the field of Social Work. Robert Joseph Taylor has been principal investigator of several grants from the National Institute on Aging that examine the role of religion in the lives of Black and White elderly adults. He has been co-principal investigator with James Jackson on several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health on the correlates of mental health and mental illness among Black Americans, including the only major national study of the prevalence of mental illness among Black Americans (The National Survey of American Life). He has edited two books, Family Life in Black America (1997) and Aging in Black America (1993) with James S. Jackson and Linda M. Chatters. He is also the lead author of the book, Religion in the Lives of African Americans: Social, Psychological, and Health Perspectives (2004) with Linda Chatters and Jeff Levin. He is the founding editor of African American Research Perspectives and has reviewed manuscripts for over 60 different journals. To date he has published over 175 peer review journal articles.

Hayley S. Thompson

Hayley S. ThompsonProfessor, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University
Associate Center Director, Community Outreach & Engagement
Director, Center for Health Equity & Community Knowledge in Urban Populations (CHECK-UP)
Faculty Supervisor, Office of Cancer Health Equity & Community Engagement

B.A., Psychology and African American Studies, Colgate University
M.S. Clinical Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

 [email protected]

More about Hayley S. Thompson

Dr. Hayley S. Thompson is a clinical psychologist whose research addresses racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care and outcomes. Her primary focus is community-based research, including investigations of cancer survivorship. She has received funding as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Patient-Centered Outcomes and Research Institute, and other agencies and foundations. She is currently a co-principal investigator on the NCI-funded African American Resilience in Surviving Cancer (ARISE) Study. Her research also addresses sociocultural assessment in diverse populations. She led the development of the Group-Based Medical Mistrust Scale (GBMMS), widely used in health disparities research, administered in over 120 published, peer-reviewed studies. She currently directs Michigan Cancer HealthLink, a community-academic partnership to build research capacity in diverse communities within Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 46-county catchment area with 90+ community members involved in contributing to Karmanos’ research agenda statewide. Within CHECK-UP, she oversees the Detroit Community Health Equity Alliance, a coalition of 25+ community-based organization that is part of the CVS Health Community Equity Alliance; the Community Health Scholars Program, designed to support metro Detroit residents in building and applying research skills; the Faith Community Research Network, a local collaborative of African American faith-based organizations; and an annual Community-Engaged Research Symposium.

Amanda Woodward

Amanda WoodwardProfessor, School of Social Work, Michigan State University

PhD, Social Work, and Sociology, University of Michigan
AM, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

 [email protected]

More about Amanda Woodward
Dr. Woodward’s research examines how individuals integrate informal and professional supports when coping with physical and behavioral health issues with a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities among older adults. She is co-investigator of the Michigan Stroke Transitions Trial (MISTT) which examines the effectiveness of a social work case management intervention for patients and caregivers transitioning home after a stroke. This project was funded by the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Current papers in progress from this process focus on caregiver outcomes and analysis of dyadic patient-caregiver data. She is also working on a project with a colleague in the MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures that will examine outcomes related to a dance program for older adults with dementia in assisted living. Dr. Woodward is a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America

Samuele Zilioli

Samuele ZilioliAssociate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University

BA, Psychology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy
MA, Psychology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy
PhD, Cognitive and Neural Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Canada

[email protected]

More about Samuele Zilioli

Dr. Zilioli’s research program focuses on understanding socioeconomic status (SES) and racial health disparities from a biopsychosocial perspective. Within the broad context of SES and racial health disparities, he is specifically interested in the links between social stressors (e.g., poverty, racism, interpersonal strain), psychosocial resources (e.g., social support and belonging, adaptive coping strategies, positive interpersonal relationships), and endocrine function (e.g., glucocorticoid-related mechanisms), and the extent to which these mechanisms serve as pathways through which stress affects other biological systems (e.g., immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic system) and physical health and wellbeing across the lifespan. His research aims to establish biologically and psychologically plausible models that connect social phenomena to health and disease.

His research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and is currently funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Zilioli’s work has appeared in Psychological Science, Clinical Psychological Science, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Brain Behavior and Immunity, The Journals of Gerontology Series A, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Health Psychology. His academic achievements earned, among others, the WC Young Recent Graduate Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, the Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award from Division 38 (Health Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, and the Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.