Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research
Ryon J. Cobb
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia
Board Member/Chair of Research Committee, Center for Institutional Courage
Postdoctoral Scholar, Social Work & Gerontology, 2013 – 2018, University of Southern California
PhD, Sociology, 2013, Florida State University
M.S., Sociology, 2010, Florida State University
B.A., Secondary Education, 2003, Indiana University
More about Ryon J. Cobb
Several agencies within and outside the National Institutes of Health recognize his accomplishments and promise as a scholar. Early in his graduate career, Dr. Cobb acquired funding from the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Louisville Institute, and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Recently, two signature NIH programs for early-career scholars selected him, through a competitive process, as an early-career faculty fellow. Both programs provide him with funding and mentored training in grantsmanship to refine critical skills for writing NIH-level applications centered on building translational portfolio research aimed at improving the renal health of older Black adults.
Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School
Fellow, 2015, Glaucoma, University of Michigan
Resident, 2013, Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh
Internship, 2010, Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center
M.D., 2009, Medicine, Duke University
B.S., B.A, 2004, Neuroscience and Spanish, University of Pittsburgh
More about Angela Elam
Angela Elam, MD is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan specializing in Glaucoma and Anterior Segment Disease. She is dedicated to providing excellent clinical care, while also continuing her efforts to decrease disparities in eye care through health services and community-engaged research. With grant support from the National Institutes of Health (K23 and Loan Repayment Program), Fight for Sight (Joanne Angle Public Health Award), Research to Prevent Blindness, and the Center for Disease Control, she continues to meaningfully contribute to the eye care disparities research literature, while exploring ways to improve utilization of glaucoma care, particularly by vulnerable populations.
Christy L. Erving
Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016, Population Health Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
PhD, 2014, Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington
MA, 2009, Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington
BA, 2007, Sociology and Hispanic Studies, Rice University
More about Christy L. Erving
Christy L. Erving, PhD is a medical sociologist by training, with specific research interests in understanding the social factors that produce and maintain disparities in physical and psychological health. She has extensive experience analyzing data from several large datasets including the Health and Retirement Study, National Survey of American Life, and National Comorbidity Survey-Replication. Dr. Erving seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of Black women across their life span, from early adulthood through late-life by examining how their gendered and racialized life experiences negatively and positively influence their health. Her research has been published in American Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Society and Mental Health, Ethnicity and Health, Aging & Mental Health, as well as other high-impact race and sociology journal outlets. Dr. Erving’s research has been funded by the American Sociological Association, Ford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Her long-term career aspiration is to be an independent NIH-funded health researcher and mentor conducting research that uncovers the ways in which environmental, sociocultural, and psychological mechanisms contribute to health disparities along the dimensions of race/ethnicity, gender, immigrant status, and socioeconomic position.
Areeba T. Jawed
Assistant Professor, Medical School, University of Michigan
Fellowship, 2020, Palliative Care, Indiana University School of Medicine
Fellowship, 2016, Clinical Ethics, Fairbanks Center for Ethics, Indiana University Health
Fellowship, 2016, Nephrology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Residency, 2014, Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine
M.B., B.S., 2009, Masters in Medicine and Surgery, The Aga Khan University
More about Areeba T. Jawed
Areeba Jawed, MD is a dual trained physician in nephrology, palliative medicine and clinical ethics. Her clinical interest is the development of conservative renal care programs for older adults foregoing dialysis and enhanced palliative care delivery for patients with chronic kidney disease. Dr. Jawed is also Vital Talk Associate Faculty (www.vitaltalk.org) and teaches communication skills surrounding serious conversations and breaking bad news to trainees and attending physicians nationally.
Her research interest is in the overlap of ethical issues and palliative care within nephrology. This includes symptom burden in chronic kidney disease and conservative medical management of older patients with chronic kidney disease. She has also written extensively on ethically challenging issues such as the practice of emergent dialysis in undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for federally funded insurance programs. Her clinical work in palliative care sparked interest in racial disparities within palliative care utilization and delivery. As a MCUAAAR research scientist she will investigate racial disparities in palliative care utilization among older stroke patients which will inform future interventions to enhance palliative care utilization in minority patients with serious illnesses.
Hee Rin Lee
Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Information, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2019, Computer Science & Engineering, University of California at San Diego
PhD, 2017, Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
M.S., 2011, Human-Computer Interaction, Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S., 2007, Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology
More about Hee Rin Lee
Hee Rin Lee, PhD is a researcher in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Her work addresses problems beyond the efficiency and functionality that are often prioritized in the advancement of robotics. She designs and evaluates robots for social good with the aim of empowering socially marginalized groups, including people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, older adults, and racial minorities. As an expert in community-based participatory design within the field of robotics, Dr. Lee adopted community health approaches to explore health issues as a holistic experience that requires environmental support within the broader community. Throughout her research career, she has built long-term relationships with community centers and co-designed robots with individuals with various health issues (e.g., depression, dementia). Her research has yielded best paper nominations at the premier venues of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).
Jennifer M. Gómez
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI), Wayne State University
Board Member/Chair of Research Committee, Center for Institutional Courage
Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition (PFT) Program, 2017-19, Wayne State University
PhD, Clinical Psychology, 2017, University of Oregon
M.S., Psychology, 2012, University of Oregon
B.A., Psychology, 2011, San Diego University
More about Jennifer M. Gómez
Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D. has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public. Additionally, she is the lead co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities (anticipated publication date: Spring 2021). She also is a Board Member and Chair of the Research Committee for the Center for Institutional Courage, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming institutional approaches and responses to trauma and inequality. She is the Cultural Liaison for the Metro Detroit Association of Black Psychologists as well. Her research has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs and Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). By focusing on societal inequality’s role on the impact of violence for marginalized youth, young adults, and elders, Dr. Gómez uses her cultural betrayal trauma theory to both document harm and identify avenues of hope and healing for youth, families, communities, institutions, and society.
Clinical psychology; cultural betrayal trauma theory; betrayal trauma theory; institutional betrayal; trauma psychology; child sexual abuse; campus sexual violence; youth/young adults; Black/African Americans; cultural minorities; discrimination; cultural competency & humility
Christina N. Harrington
Assistant Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Inclusive Technology Lab, 2017-19, Northwestern University
Ph.D., Design, 2017, Georgia Tech
M.S., Industrial Design, 2013, North Carolina State University
B.S. Electrical Engineering, 2009, Virginia Tech
More about Christina N. Harrington
Christina Harrington, Ph.D. is a designer and qualitative researcher and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the School of Design in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. Her research focuses on addressing health-related challenges experienced by marginalized populations through design. In particular, she is interested in leveraging co-creation and community-based participatory research methods to understand the needs and experiences that can inform inclusive interactive health technologies for low-income and minority older adults. She explores how constructs of identity and social positioning impact our interactions with technology, including individual access to online information, the relevance of certain systems in our everyday lives, and the ways we accept certain interventions.
As an assistant professor at DePaul University, Dr. Harrington teaches classes in human-computer interaction, interaction design, and ethics in technology design. She is the author of several conference proceedings, top-tier journal articles, and a book chapter about aging, technology, health and equitable approaches to participatory research.
Christina is the Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab at DePaul which serves as an innovation studio where students work alongside community residents to envision solutions to health challenges. Dr. Harrington received her Ph.D. in Industrial Design with a focus on accessible interaction design from Georgia Tech in the fall of 2017. She earned a Master’s in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. You can see more about her work and research interests at www.christinaharrington.me.
Inclusive design, human-centered design, community-based participatory research, health information technology, participatory design, design for aging.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostats & Division of Public Health, Michigan State University
Director, Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved
DrPH, 2015, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
MHS, 2008, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
BA, 2001, Johns Hopkins University
More about Mieka Smart
Dr. Smart aspires to provide insight around medical and public health research to underserved and understudied populations. As a MCUAAAR scholar, she will utilize CBPR approaches to increase awareness around the need for genomic and other research participation among older African American adults. She currently directs Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved (LMU), a competitive program for medical students. LMU offers service learning and didactic modules designed to strengthen their clinical and leadership skills for serving medically underserved populations in urban and rural locations locally and internationally.
She also directs the sachet ban-monitoring project in Uganda, a longitudinal data collection and analysis effort. The study is designed to provide the practical evidence needed to monitor policy interventions, enforcement strategies, and refine campaigns for compliance uptake.
At Michigan State University, Dr. Smart contributes leadership and expertise around the management of primary data collection, measurement of environmental predictors, and community engagement. Internationally, she champions cross-cultural professional development via peer-to-peer experiential learning. More than 100 students have taken her cross-cultural public health courses in Uganda and South Africa.
- CBPR approaches to increasing genomic and other research participation among older African American adults.
- Systematic Social Observation (SSO) for evaluating drug and alcohol policy interventions.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (joint appointment), Wayne State University
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-2016, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
Ph.D., Psychology (Area: Cognitive and Neural Sciences), 2014, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
M.A., Developmental and Communication Psychology, 2009, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
B.A. Psychological Sciences and Practice, 2006, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
More about Samuele Zilioli
Dr. Samuele Zilioli is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Wayne State University, Detroit. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences from Simon Fraser University and was the recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal for achieving the highest academic standing upon graduation. His program of research focuses on understanding socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic health disparities. He is the director of the Biopsychosocial Health Laboratory, whose research focuses on the relationships between social stressors, psychosocial resources, and endocrine function (e.g., glucocorticoid-related mechanisms), and the extent to which these biopsychological mechanisms serve as pathways through which stress affects other biological systems (e.g., immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic system) and physical health across the lifespan. Ultimately, the mission of the Biopsychosocial Health Laboratory is to improve health in local and global communities through basic science discoveries that can be instrumental for the development of effective interventions.
Health Psychology, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Psychoneuroimmunology, Social Neuroendocrinology, Racial Health Disparities
Riana Elyse Anderson
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017, Applied Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Predoctoral Internship, 2015, Clinical and Community Psychology, Yale University
PhD, Clinical and Community Psychology, 2015, University of Virginia
M.A., Clinical and Community Psychology, 2011, University of Virginia
B.A., Psychology and Political Science, 2006, University of Michigan
More about Riana Elyse Anderson
Riana Elyse Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. She uses mixed methods in clinical interventions to study racial discrimination and socialization in Black families to reduce racial stress and trauma and improve psychological well-being and family functioning. She is particularly interested in how these factors predict familial functioning and subsequent child psychosocial well-being and health-related behaviors when enrolled in family-based interventions. Dr. Anderson is the developer and director of the EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) intervention and loves to translate her work for a variety of audiences, particularly those whom she serves in the community, via blogs, video, and literary articles. Finally, Dr. Anderson was born in, raised for, and returned to Detroit and is becoming increasingly addicted to cake pops.
Assistant Professor, The University of Michigan’s School of Social Work
PhD, Public Health – Health Behavior & Health Education, The University of Michigan
MPH, Health Behavior/ Health Education, The University of Michigan
MSW, Interpersonal Practice/Health, The University of Michigan
B.A., Secondary Education/Art, Dillard University
More about Katrina Ellis
Rodlescia S. Sneed
Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
PhD, Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
MPH, Epidemiology, Columbia University
A.B. Molecular Biology, Princeton University
More about Rodlescia S. Sneed
Research Interest: Successful Aging in Vulnerable Communities
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
Pilot study PI, MCUAAAR
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 2017
PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2014
MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2011
BSN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2002
More about Lenette Jones
Dr. Jones is a behavioral nurse scientist interested in eliminating the health disparities affecting African-American women with hypertension. Her program of research is focused on uncovering the mechanisms – biological, psychological, social, and physical – of self-management interventions. She uses neuroimaging (fMRI) to explore the neuroprocesses associated with self-management behaviors, such as diet, exercise, and medication-taking. She also examines how health information behavior (seeking, sharing, and use) can be enhanced to support blood pressure self-management. In her current studies, Dr. Jones is designing and pilot-testing interventions to improve self-management of blood pressure among African American women.
- Hypertension self-management
- Health disparities
- Neurobiological mechanisms of interventions
- Health information behavior
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine
University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2014, Physical Medicine & Rehab, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehab, University of MI, Ann Arbor, MI
PhD, Economics, 2012, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
MS, Computer Info Systems, 1995, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
MBA, Business Administration, 1994, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
BA, Accounting, 1988, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran
More about Elham Mahmoudi
Dr. Elham Mahmoudi has extensive experience in quantitative analysis and econometric methodologies and in using a variety of large databases to conduct her research. These include nationally representative survey data, public and private administrative claims data, and electronic health records.
Dr. Mahmoudi’s research focuses on improving efficiency, quality and health outcomes through innovative use of data that focuses on the intersection of aging, disability, and disparity. Her research also extends to predictive modeling and the development of risk assessment tools using machine learning and natural language processing. Most of her work has been devoted to determining the underlying factors associated with racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare.
As an economist, she has extensive expertise in quantitative methodologies to evaluate healthcare policies, and has published almost 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts. She has received funding from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense, as well as non-profit organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and private foundations, including the Craig Neilsen Foundation. Additionally, Dr. Mahmoudi has established international collaborations with health services researchers at Peking University in China.