Population Health Resource Directory


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Dr. Pratt’s research focuses on understanding patients’ needs and designing new technologies to address those needs. She has worked with people coping with a variety of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Dr. Pratt has received best paper awards from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, and the Journal of the American Society of Information Science & Technology (JASIS&T). Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, Intel, and Microsoft. Dr. Pratt is a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.


Dr. Naranjo’s broad areas of academic interest include, school to community transition for youth with high-incidence disabilities, the structure of educational opportunity and social opportunity within society, and teacher development.

His current research is focused on examining the factors and processes that promote positive postschool engagement for youth with disabilities.


I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle. My work focuses on science, technology, and medicine in urban Cambodia and in Southeast Asia borderlands.

I am currently working on a book manuscript titled, “Seeing Clearly: Medical Imaging and Its Uncertainties in Phnom Penh.” The book, based on over two years of ethnographic and archival research in Cambodia and France, examines contemporary medical imaging services alongside histories of technology within postcolonial health development projects. I explore how imaging services relate to the importance of visualization in medical and other healing practices, to the reconfiguration of public and private health care, to expectations for techno-modernity more broadly.

I have also written about ethics and HIV prevention clinical trials, and am developing a new collaborative project on malaria drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

I teach medical anthropology; visual anthropology; science, technology, and society (STS) studies; and Southeast Asia studies. I mentor students in Anthropology, Southeast Asia Studies, and the Science, Technology, and Society Studies Certificate Program. I coordinate the Medical Anthropology & Global Health program, a unique and thriving undergraduate track in the Department of Anthropology.


Dr. Van Galen’s research focuses on social class and social mobility through education. Most recently, she has focused on ways in which new forms of participatory digital media enable the inclusion of more voices in deliberations about civic and cultural life.

She is currently guest editing a special issue of the journal Excellence and Equity in Education on bridging new digital divides in uses of social media as a means of supporting civic engagement and agency.


At the intersection of chronic illness, disability and technology there is an opportunity to examine health disparities, develop algorithms to support patient self care, and develop technology for increased quality of life. My research explores these issues.

I also do work around landlord/tenant relationships and energy use from both a power and sustainability lens.


Dr. Kaysen is a clinical psychologist and is the Director of the Trauma Recovery Innovations Program at the University of Washington, a division dedicated to developing and testing more robust interventions for trauma-exposed populations.

Dr. Kaysen is a leader in the field of adapting evidence based practices for treatment of trauma-related symptoms to increase access to care. This includes research adapting evidence based treatments for use in low literacy settings, as well as research adapting trainings for evidence-based treatments to increase uptake among community mental health providers, and research adapting treatments for ethnic/cultural minority groups. She also has conducted research examining using more scalable modalities of treatment delivery such as use of task sharing models, telehealth, and mobile technologies to extend access to care.

Savery Hall (SAV), Spokane Lane, Seattle, WA, United States

Steve works on ethics, political philosophy and global environmental problems, especially as these concern duties to future generations. His recent work focuses on climate change, population growth, geoengineering, nuclear energy and the precautionary principle.


Deborah Bowen is a health psychologist conducting research in a broad array of topics relevant to intervention and implementation sciences.


I am interested in the issues of hunger, food security and food sovereignty as they shape social development and change.


Monica Oxford, Ph.D. is a Research Professor in the Department of Family and Child Nursing and the Executive Director of NCAST Programs and interim director of the Barnard Center of Infant Mental Health and Development.

Dr. Oxford’s research focuses on early parenting and child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments.

Dr. Oxford’s interest is in how context, parenting, and child characteristics combine to inform particular patterns of child outcomes and how intervention services promote both parent and child wellbeing.


For more than a decade, my research has focused on the area of genetic and epidemiologic risk factors of common complex diseases. Since 2009 I have led the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO). Within this consortium, we have conducted genome-wide association scans. We are also undertaking one of the first large-scale whole genome sequencing (low coverage) studies for colorectal cancer, in which we sequence the whole genome of 2,000 CRC cases and 1,000 controls within GECCO and impute into roughly 90,000 subjects with GWAS data from within GECCO and other collaborative consortia.

Most recently we have received funding to integrate the tumor and host genome to investigate associations of germline genetic and environmental risk factors in relation to colorectal cancer subtypes defined by existing tumor characteristics as well as novel somatic mutations in colorectal cancer.

Additionally, I am leading or co-leading several other highly collaborative studies, including the Population Architecture Using Genetics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Study, and the Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study (CORECT). This work has provided me with a wealth of experience in designing and coordinating large scale genetic epidemiologic studies, evaluating available technologies and platforms, quality control and assurance, analysis of data and interpretation of results.


Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN is The Aljoya Endowed Professor in Aging in the School of Nursing and an investigator with the Health Promotion Research Center at University of Washington. She is the lead of the CDC-funded Coordinating Center for the Healthy Brain Research Network. Her scholarship focuses on improving the health of older adults through dissemination initiatives with a focus on physical activity interventions.


David Kalman is a professor in the Environmental Health program. He is a chemist by training, earning his doctorate from the University of Washington in 1978. He joined the faculty in that year and has held numerous positions including director of the Environmental Health Laboratory and director of one graduate degree program and (currently) director of undergraduate degree education. His research focuses on chemical issues, such as hazardous properties of materials, environmental fate and transport, environmental quality assessment, hazard management, and occupational and community exposure assessment, especially using biomarkers of exposure.

He has participated in several national peer reviews of biomarker related issues, most recently regarding dioxins and Vietnam War veterans. Active research areas include assessment of exposures and effects of arsenic in drinking water, diet, and soil.


Glutathione (GSH) is an important endogenous antioxidant that has roles in free radical scavenging, protecting against reactive oxygen/nitrogen species and in the metabolism/excretion of xenobiotics. Our laboratory has established in vitro and in vivo transgenic mouse models of altered glutathione (GSH) synthesis. We are using these mice to investigate the effects of altered GSH synthesis on susceptibility to various exposures including air pollutants, engineered nanomaterials, and various drugs and environmental chemicals. We are also interested in the role of GSH synthesis in individual susceptibility of humans to free radical and toxicant-mediated injury. We are conducting studies to determine the effects of genetically altered GSH synthesis on cellular susceptibility to toxicant-induced DNA, protein and lipid damage, cell signaling and apoptosis. We are also interested in the factors that regulate the expression of GSH related genes in humans, rodents and other species.

Multiple sources of air pollutants such as industrial processes, automobile traffic, forest fires or indoor cooking fires continue to plague human society, resulting in adverse effects on the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, and on growth and development. Working with Drs. Joel Kaufman and Michael Rosenfeld, we are investigating the adverse effects of diesel exhaust and particulate matter on lung function, vascular reactivity and the development and stability of atherosclerotic lesions in mice. This project is employing a model of enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress (Gclm null mice), genetically diverse mice (the Collaborative Cross mouse strains), as well as mouse and human vascular endothelial cells and macrophages to examine the biochemical and cellular mechanisms underlying the adverse cardiovascular outcomes associated with exposure to air pollution.

Nanotechnology holds promise for advancement in many disciplines, including electronics, optronics, energy, transportation, biomedicine and other sectors. Because of their small size and inherent high surface area/reactivity, or because the materials used to synthesize nanoparticles can be toxic, we have been interested in helping to define which physical and chemical characteristics of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) predispose to toxicity and adverse health outcomes. Together with Drs. David Eaton, Elaine Faustman, Michael Yost (DEOHS), William Parks (Pulmonary Medicine and UW Center for Lung Biology), Xiaohu Gao (Bioengineering) and François Baneyx (Chemical Engineering and UW Center for Nanotechnology), we are participants in the NIEHS Centers for Nanotechnology Health Implications Research (NCNHIR) Consortium. This program is using in vitro toxicology, in vivo toxicology (including systems toxicology/mouse genetics), and risk assessment approaches to investigate the adverse effects of ENMs with the goals of elucidating the mechanisms by which they cause toxicity and inflammation, and using this mechanistic information to facilitate the design of safer ENMs.

In addition to the above projects, Dr. Kavanagh is Deputy Director of the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH), and oversees its Pilot Projects Program, and the CEEH Technology Access Unit. He also directs the CEEH Analytical Cytology Core. This facility houses two fluorescence activated cell sorters, a spectral imaging microscope, and a Nipkow-disk confocal microscope, which are useful for multi-parameter quantitative fluorescence measurements on cells and tissues.


As part of the Virology Research Clinic at the UW, I help conduct observational and clinical research in virology, particularly on herpesviruses. Statistical methods work includes clinical trial design, assay validation techniques, and regression methods for evaluating viral detection.


I am a Professor in the Toxicology Program and an Adjunct Professor in the department of Pharmacology. I am also a Faculty member of the two interdisciplinary graduate programs at U. of Washington- the Neurobiology and Behavior (N&B) Graduate Program and the Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) Graduate Program.

Our current research interests are to: 1) elucidate mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis (the generation of functional neurons) both during brain development and in adult brain, and the physiological function of adult neurogenesis in olfaction and cognition; 2) investigate whether and how exposure to environmental neurotoxicants, such as heavy metals lead and cadmium, may perturb adult neurogenesis and impair olfaction and cognition; 3) test the hypothesis that environmental factors and gene-environment interactions (GXE) may increase Alzheimer’s disease risk and accelerate cognitive decline; 4) investigate potential sex differences on disease susceptibility upon exposure to environmental neurotoxicants; 5) identify window of susceptibility of exposure to lead and cadmium on impairment in olfaction and cognition; 6) identify mechanisms and strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of lead and cadmium neurotoxicity on cognitive impairment. Our lab is a medium sized lab that consists of post-doctoral fellows and students who are bright, motivated, collegial, and friendly.


Wadiya Udell, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Community Psychology in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at the University of Washington Bothell. Dr. Udell received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University, and received postdoctoral training in HIV prevention research at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University.

Dr. Udell’s research focuses on understanding the role of culture and context in promoting sexual health, and in preventing sexual risk behaviors among urban adolescents of color and marginalized youth. Her work has focused on the factors that place adolescents at risk for a lifetime of health disparities. Specifically, she has examined the role of various individual and structural factors (e.g., mental health, parenting, religion, neighborhoods) on the HIV risk of urban African American youth, and youth in the juvenile justice system.


I am trained as a child psychiatric epidemiologist and view mental health through a public health lens. Depression and other mental health conditions are the most prominent contributors to disease burden in terms of years of life lost to disability worldwide. The onset of mental health conditions is typically during adolescence.

My research identifies social, economic, behavioral factors that contribute to child and adolescent mental health problems. I teach quantitative research methods to public health practice students at UW and to mental health research trainees at the University of Nairobi. I contribute to the development of school-based early intervention programs designed to support students who are experiencing emotional distress. In Malawi I have worked to raise awareness of child emotional health needs and to support community-based child psychosocial support programming.


Thaisa Way is an urban landscape historian teaching and researching history, theory, and design in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle. She currently serves as a member of the Executive Council for the Population Health Initiative, which is developing a 25-year vision to build on the breadth and depth of the UW’s research, teaching, and practice to improve the health of populations around the world. Dr. Way is also the Executive Director of Urban@UW, an initiative of the UW’s Office of Research and CoMotion, a collaborative hub for innovation, to bring urban researchers and teachers together to address the most complex urban challenges.

These two projects build on Dr. Way’s enthusiasm and commitment to strengthening the role of inclusive and innovative research in the efforts to improve the lives of all populations around the world. This work happens when we work collaboratively to address the diverse factors that shape human health and well-being, with a focus on improving the health of individuals and communities, enhancing environmental resiliency, and creating greater social and economic equity.

Dr Way’s scholarship has highlighted the role of designers, planners, and advocates in improving cities as places that foster human and environmental health. Her book, Unbounded Practices: Women, Landscape Architecture, and Early Twentieth Century Design was awarded the J.B. Jackson Book Award. Her book From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design: the Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag explores the narrative of post-industrial cities and the practice of landscape architecture. She co-edited with Ken Yocom, Ben Spencer, and Jeff Hou a collection of essays Now Urbanism: The Future City is Here. Dr. Way is editor of a new collection River cities/ City rivers forthcoming from Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies program. 

Dr. Way serves as Chair and Senior Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies and was the 2015-2016 Garden Club of America Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. Dr. Way earned a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, her Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and PhD in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University.


My research interests relate to population health through the notion of “Total Worker Health”, i.e. how to promote an individual’s health and wellbeing through the work environment and interventions. United States has approximately 4% of its working population in construction, an occupation known for its stress, strains, and occupational hazards. Overtime hours, extreme working environments and chronic health conditions such as obesity, hypertension and hearing losses are also challenges construction workers face.

Being affiliated with the College of Built Environments, Department of Construction Management, and the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS, a NIOSH funded Education and Research Center) at the University of Washington, I am in a unique position to leverage a wealth of resources, talents, and contacts in my agenda of population health. One of my recent successes is the establishment of a new Master degree track, Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health, in 2015.

My overarching approach to support population health is by: (1) identifying and characterizing how the work environment in construction contributes to the personal-level health factors, (2) developing work-related technological, managerial and physical interventions to address the identified health factors, and (3) enabling the practical adoption of developed interventions through partnership, outreach, training and education. I am highly interested in the use of wearable technologies at the personal level and collaborate with industry practitioners as well as colleagues from the School of Public Health in the applications of sensing technologies for health studies in construction.


I have three main areas of interest in my research pursuits: (1) Fatigue in organizations, focusing on sleep and sleep deprivation, (2) emotional labor, and (3) behavioral ethics.


Dr. Mamani’s research interests include: healthcare operations; healthcare delivery; public health policy, Supply chain coordination; incentives mechanisms, product diversions in supply chains, inventory Management, and new product development projects.


Dr. Kost is interested in learning how to best educate medical students to meet the healthcare needs of urban underserved populations.

She teaches the second year introduction to clinical medicine course as part of her role as college mentor, advises students interested in pursuing a career in family medicine and is developing components of the new UWSOM curriculum.


Daniel Foote is Professor of Law at The University of Tokyo and Affiliate Professor and Senior Advisor to the Asian Law Center at UW School of Law. His research has explored many aspects of the relationship between law and society, with a particular focus on Japan. In connection with Population Health, his primary research has related to disasters.

Since shortly after the major disaster in Japan in March 2011, he has been involved in research relating to the intersection between law and disasters. He is a participating researcher in a five-year project (2012-2017) entitled (as translated from the Japanese): The Role of Law in Responding to Disasters and in Preventing Injury and Promoting Recovery: From an International Perspective.

Until recently, his primary focus has been on the development of new systems for compensation for victims of the Japanese disaster. He has recently embarked on comparative research on disaster planning and preparedness efforts in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

Guthrie Annex 3 (GA3), Seattle, WA, United States

I run the TransYouth Project, the first large-scale, national, longitudinal study of transgender and gender nonconforming children’s development. We recruit transgender and gender nonconforming children when they are 3-12 to participate in this study, along with their families, and will follow their development and mental health for 20 years.

We hope to discover how gender diverse youth differ and are similar to other youth at key points throughout development, the medical, familial, and broader social systems that contribute to resilience as well as disparities in well-being amongst these youth, and to work to educate the broader public about transgender and gender nonconforming people throughout the world.

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