Global Health Faculty
Global Health Faculty Bios
Maria Argos, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology, focuses on evaluating the health effects of environmental exposures across the life course. She is the principal investigator of a cohort of mother-child dyads residing in rural Bangladesh to assess the impact of metal exposures on cardiometabolic traits in children. She is particularly interested in epidemiologic methods for the assessment of gene-environment interactions and environmental mixtures. Her work on the health effects of arsenic exposure has supported national and international guidelines on arsenic in drinking water.
Robert Bailey, PhD, is Emeritus but remains active in global health research and programs. He was recently awarded a grant from Merck, Sharp and Dohme to conduct the URCHOICE Study. This study will be conducted in collaboration with the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society in Kisumu, Kenya and two other research and service organizations in Kenya. Its purpose is to determine the preferences of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women in Kenya for using condoms, daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or several methods of longer acting PrEP to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV. Bailey has also applied for an R21 grant from NIAID entitled, Bailey is a Co-Investigator to an R21 grant from NIAID with Dr. Ignatius (Gambit) Praptoraharjo, who is on the faculty at our collaborating institution, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, and received his PhD at UIC when he was a Fogarty Fellow under Dr. Judith Levy. Dr. Levy is a co-investigator on the grant which is titled, “The Papuan Indigenous Model of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision.” This study will work with communities in Papua Indonesia to develop a model for introducing safe and acceptable medical male circumcision for HIV prevention. Prof. Bailey also continues to mentor global health students and expects to continue assisting students seeking research and practica experiences in Kenya.
Rebecca Campbell, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Epidemiology in the Epi/Biostats Division. Her research interests are in environmental and nutritional determinants of early life growth and development, particularly interactions among exposures and drivers of health disparities. Her recent global research investigated prenatal determinants of fetal iron status at birth in a Mexico City pregnancy cohort study. Prior research in Bangladesh investigated intestinal dysfunction and diet quality in young children as drivers of poor growth.
Motria Caudill, PhD, is an adjunct associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. She has provided environmental health training to specialists in Asia and Eastern Europe, specifially on air monitoring and risk assessment. Dr. Caudill’s specialty is evaluating health risks in communities with multimedia exposures to metals and volatile organics. She has worked on emergency response to protect residents from impacts of industrial accidents, hurricanes, and drinking water crises. Her research interests include environmental health impacts of climate change and military conflict, with a focus on underserved populations.
Lelia H. Chaisson, PhD, MSc, is a research assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases in the UIC College of Medicine. Her research interests center on tuberculosis and HIV, including global epidemiology and control, prevention, and diagnostics. Her current work in Brazil and Uganda focuses on scale-up of tuberculosis preventive therapy for people living with HIV and active case finding for tuberculosis.
Irina Dardynskaia, MD, PhD, is a research associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. She is leading a National Institutes of Health-funded study of HIV risk and protection among labor migrants to Russia, and a second study on risk reduction strategies for populations of the US and Russian Arctic exposed to persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals due to changing climates. Her research interests include health effects of climate change on indigenous communities; health effects of radiation and chemical exposures on populations of low and middle income countries; environmental global health risks and risks reduction strategies, and global HIV/AIDS health care policy. She is working with the Arctic Council on biosecurity issues to support public health systems and public services in implementing a quick response to current and future biological threats related to the uncontrolled spread of highly virulent pathogens, parasites, biotoxins and other biohazards across the Arctic. Dardynskaia is also the principal investigator of a project on “Collaborative initiative on addressing emerging infectious disease threats in the Republic of Uzbekistan.” The goal is to improve the surveillance strategy and response capacity of the public health workforce in Uzbekistan and empower the workforce responsible for preventing and controlling emerging diseases and to foster education and research exchange between two countries in the area of the emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Dr. Samuel Dorevitch is conducting three environmental research studies in western Kenya. One project compares the health impacts of three household water treatment methods on diarrhea occurrence in children. A project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on approaches deploying solar-powered technology to bring clean drinking water to residents of urban informal settlements. A study that will be launched in the field in 2019 evaluates chronic kidney disease in a rural area where sugarcane is grown and processed.
Dr. Jeffrey Drope is a Research Professor in the Health Policy and Administration division of the School of Public Health at University of Illinois at Chicago. Jeff’s work focuses on the nexus of public health (including tobacco control, nutrition, physical activity, alcohol misuse, etc.) and economic policymaking, especially taxation, trade and investment. His work seeks to integrate these areas in proactive ways that engender both improved public health outcomes and economic prosperity. Ongoing globally-oriented projects include an examination of the livelihoods of tobacco farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia funded by the US National Institutes of Health, and a program to build capacity in economic think tanks in Latin America, Asia and South-East Europe on tobacco taxation funded by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. He is the author/editor of three books and more than 100 research articles, chapters and reports on the political economy of non-communicable disease, including in journals such as the Lancet, Preventive Medicine, Tobacco Control and Social Science & Medicine, among many others. From 2012 to 2020, Jeff was Scientific Vice President of Economic and Health Policy Research at the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Mark Dworkin is currently developing projects that use technology to address medication non adherence among HIV-infected patients in Chicago. He also studied medication adherence in Puerto Rico and syphilis HIV co-infection in France. His research interests include clinical epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, influenza transmission, and prevention of foodborne disease.
Dr. Linda Forst, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is the director of the Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, a World Health Organization Collaborating Center. She is on a WHO international working group to develop an evidence based guidance on early diagnosis of occupational diseases. She directs the Global Program in Occupational Health and Hygiene Practice to prepare professionals to take on occupational health and hygiene in their home countries. And she has worked with the Ghana Health Service to prepare researchers and develop curriculum for reducing mercury and pesticide related illnesses in agriculture and small-scale mining.
Dr. Ronald Hershow has studied the most effective ways to promote successful antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected injection drug users in Indonesia and has evaluated Tuberculosis control efforts in Ukraine. His research interests include HIV as it affects women and substance users, viral hepatitis, particularly hepatitis C, and hospital-acquired infections focusing on antimicrobial resistant microorganisms.
Dr. David Hinkamp is co-director of the Health in the Arts program at UIC. He currently leads School of Public Health efforts in Cuba addressing the public health needs of workers in the arts. He was an organizing committee member for the International Diseases and Rehabilitation of Professionals in the Arts that took place in Havana in July 2016 and the director of Health and Safety in the Arts in Cuba research program in January 2016.
Dr. Daniel Hryhorczuk is a professor emeritus of epidemiology and directs the global environmental health programs within the UIC Center for Global Health. He directed the Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, a World Health Organization collaborating center, and he has consulted on environmental health issues with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the World Bank. His research interests include children’s environmental health, toxic metals, and persistent organic pollutants.
Joan Kennelly, PhD, is a research assistant professor of community health sciences. Her research interests relate broadly to the social determinants of population health and illness (particularly for women and children), disparities across population groups, and the effect of local contexts. She is actively involved in service activities on behalf of public health and maternal and child health in particular, from the local community to the national level.
Dr. Janet Lin, affiliate associate professor of community health sciences, is currently conducting projects which focus on a complementary program of clinical and population-based improvement of health access and delivery in Uganda with Engeye Health Clinic in Ddegeya Village. She is also working in Haiti with local physicians in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, and in Bolivia and Peru in the Lake Titicaca binational region. Dr. Lin’s ongoing projects with former and current international emergency medicine fellows have been conducted in Guatemala, India, Zambia, Laos, and Uganda. Her previous activities and projects have included acute disaster response post-earthquake in Haiti and a survey of hospital capability of emergency departments as part of an emergency medicine initiative in Azerbaijan with USAID.
Dr. Mary Ellen Mackesy-Amiti is Research Associate Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Her research interests include HIV and hepatitis C risk among drug users, mental health of people who use drugs, suicide and overdose risk, and behavioral interventions for people who inject drugs. She is currently leading a study to test the efficacy of a peer education intervention for Tajik migrant workers who inject drugs in Moscow, a population at high risk for HIV and hepatitis C infection.
Supriya Mehta, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology, focuses on identifying bio-behavioral risks and pathways for STIs and HIV. Her work in antimicrobial resistant N. gonorrhoeae has provided support to national STI treatment guidelines in Kenya. A current study in Kisumu, Kenya seeks to understand how the penile microbiome contributes to STIs. Her teaching interests include core epidemiologic concepts and the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections.
Naoko Muramatsu, PhD, associate professor of community health sciences, is focused on long-term care policies, access to and quality of health services, long-term care workforce, social determinants of health and well being in older adults and their caregivers, and cross-cultural studies of aging and health. Research funded by the National Institute on Aging has examined how state, community and individual-level factors influence the well-being of older adults.
Vanessa Oddo, PhD, is an obesity epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. She has expertise in investigating the nutrition transition and increases in overweight/obesity in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, she has studied the diet quality of populations, the dual burden of malnutrition, and the systemic drivers of obesity in Indonesia, India, and Guatemala. Forthcoming research will explore diet quality among adolescents in Indonesia, in order to inform interventions and policy-level approaches to prevent and control obesity.
Peter Orris, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM is a professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the UIC School of Public Health and chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for UI Health. He had been an attending physician in the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine at the Stroger Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital), for over three decades where he practiced and taught internal and occupational medicine. He was the midwest regional medical officer for NIOSH during the 1980s. His research and teaching have focused on international health care systems, the Cuban Health Care System, occupational and community effects of toxic chemicals, and more recently sustainable health care and climate change. Dr. Orris has served as an adviser to many labor unions, corporations, and nonprofit groups. Internationally, he has been a consultant to WHO, ILO, UNEP, PAHO, the Canadian Government, Greenpeace, and Health Care Without Harm, participating in the negotiation of three international environmental treaties – Stockholm Convention, the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management, and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. He chaired the Environmental Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations from 1996 to 2018, and currently co-chairs the World Medical Association’s Environmental Caucus.
Nadine Peacock, PhD, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and associate professor of community health sciences, is currently conducting a mixed-methods investigation of unintended pregnancy among an ethnically diverse population of young women and men in Chicago, and a formative research project on safe infant sleep messaging. Other research activities have included an evaluation of an outreach and inter-conceptional care program for at-risk African American women, formative research on the recruitment and retention process for the National Children’s Study, and a qualitative studies of transactional sex and HIV risk in Kenya.
Karen Peters, DrPH, is a clinical assistant professor of community health sciences. She is involved with Project Chataae, co-conducted with the Universidad de Antioquia, in collaboration with three rural communities in the Colombian Amazon. This project utilizes a community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) approach to develop community transformation activities concerning health priorities focused on infectious and chronic diseases including mental health. Her work with PeaceCare Senegal utilizes a CBPAR approach to develop local health workforce infrastructure in a rural region of Southeastern Senegal.
Caryn Peterson, PhD, research assistant professor of epidemiology and co-director of the UIC Cancer Education and Career Development Program, focuses on cervical cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment in low-resource settings in the US and Senegal. Her research has identified interpersonal, organizational, and community/societal factors associated with cervical cancer health disparities, and explores clinical and community-based solutions to improve HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening rates. Her teaching interests include the effects of social-structural factors on health and analytic methods in social epidemiology.
Benjamin Shaw, PhD, MPH, is Division Director and Professor of Community Health Sciences. His research focuses on social and behavioral influences on aging and health. He is currently a Visiting Researcher at Karolinksa Institute’s Ageing Research Center, with funding from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. He was previously awarded a R01 from NIH to study aging-related changes in diet, exercise, and substance use in the US and Japan.
Dr. Abhilasha Shrestha is a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) with expertise in water quality management and public health protection. Her primary research interests include studying the use of different indicator targets/genes for rapidly evaluating infectious agents in surface water. Previously, she has worked on projects evaluating and improving drinking water quality in rural Kenya. She is currently developing a project to optimize a novel method for preserving DNA of waterborne microbes at ambient temperature so that molecular methods can be applied to understanding fecal pollution sources in places like rural Kenya, where such testing would not be possible. Her goal is to develop a method that would be useful in waterborne outbreak investigations and source water protection by identifying and controlling sources of fecal pollution in rivers and lakes in developing countries that are used as drinking water resources.
Wayne Wiebel, PhD, professor emeritus, directed the USAID Health Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2011-2013), and he coordinated the implementation of an AIDS Research Center and was a visiting Professor at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta Indonesia (2009-2010). Dr. Wiebel also developed sampling strategies for epidemiologic studies of high-risk populations in Vietnam (2006-2008) and directed implementation of USAID sponsored AIDS prevention programs targeting drug risk in southeast Asia.
Leslie Williams, PhD, completed her doctoral training in Psychology and Social Intervention at New York University. Her dissertation work examined multilevel relationships among HIV-related stigma, health service utilization, HIV prevalence, and mental health among 24 communities in South Africa. She has worked for the last 5 years (in her previous role as a Principal Research Associate at National Development and Research Institutes in NYC) on a study of the efficacy of a risk network-based intervention to locate people with recent and/or acute HIV infection and link them to care sooner in Ukraine, Greece, and Chicago. She completed a pilot study of a version of this network-based HIV case-finding intervention that she adapted to be culturally appropriate for South African settings, and has recently obtained seed funding from UIC School of Public Health to conduct a larger trial of it in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is also engaged in research around substance use harm reduction and substance use-related stigma in Chicago and in Southern Illinois.
Don Ziegler, PhD, adjunct associate professor of health policy and administration, has been involved in three Eurasia Foundation US-Russia Civil Society Collaborations as a member of the Public Health Working Group: a 2009 Moscow Civil Society summit and collaboration on the development of draft national tobacco cessation guidelines for the Russian-speaking countries; a Social Expertise Exchange and a joint project on migrant health issues in Russia and the US; and the University Partnership Program between UIC and North-Western State Medical University of St. Petersburg on an Arctic health project.