Population Health Resource Directory

Matt Sparke


My work on population health is principally focused on the impact of globalization on populations and their health, including the ways in which ‘populations’ are increasingly surveilled, visualized and analyzed at global and sub-national scales rather than just at the national scale.

I have published in both books and peer reviews articles on the ways in which population health embodies processes of market-led global integration, both as a result of the damage done by structural adjustment and austerity programs on health systems and through the ways in which the health of different populations globally becomes interconnected through the market-mediated ties of health-worker migration, organ transplants and health data transfers.

Home Campus, School, or College
College of Arts & Sciences
Population Health Focus Keywords
Education Access, Economic Determinants, Social Equity and Social Determinants, Social Policy and Governance
Field of Study
Economics, Global Health, Humanities, Social Sciences
Key Populations
Immigrants, Refugees
In what countries of the world does your research take place?


Home Campus, School, or College

I study social and ethical aspects of visualization, currently focusing on self-representation practices of individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Through participatory research methods, my team seeks to better understand the ways in which the display of self-tracking data influences self-acceptance, empathy, communication, and stigma among those living with bipolar and their support networks.

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My program of research focuses on stress during pregnancy and postpartum and mindfulness interventions to improve maternal-newborn outcomes and parenting.

This research has focused on vulnerable populations including women with histories of sexual trauma or low income.


Kim England’s research on population-health focuses on themes of healthcare, migration, difference/identity and home.

In particular, this includes the global migration of care workers (nurses, home care attendants, personal support workers, and domestic workers), health care policy as it relates to recruiting international workers, and the home as a site of long-term health care (for workers, recipients and families).


Sarah Knerr is an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington. She completed a PhD In Health Services Research, a MPH in Public Health Genetics (both at University of Washington), and a BA in Biochemistry (Vassar College).

Her research interests include clinical implementation of cancer genetic services, health and health care disparities, and stakeholder perspectives on biobanking and precision medicine.


Interested in working with adolescents and emerging adults on ways to reduce emotional distress through providing coping strategies, decision-making, and emotion regulation skills that reduce self-harm and suicidal behavior.


I am a Cardiologist and health services researcher interested in improving the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation. I practice at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and am an Acting Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Cardiac rehabilitation improves health outcomes and quality of life for patients with heart disease, but is underused, with less than 20% of eligible patients participating. There are disparities in participation nationally, locally, and across racial/ethnic and gender groups. There are many barriers to patients attending, including suboptimal rates of referral, limited understanding of cardiac rehabilitation and its benefits, and limited access to traditional cardiac rehabilitation centers due to costs, transportation, and competing work or family demands.

My research program focuses on:
1) Understanding gaps in the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation
2) Developing interventions to improve the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation using an implementation science approach. Particularly, I am focused on interventions in these two areas:
– home-based cardiac rehabilitation
– technology-facilitated home cardiac rehabilitation (e.g., mobile applications, text messaging)

Please feel free to contact me about potential collaborations. There are many opportunities for novel ideas to help people with heart disease to live healthier and more fulfilling lives!


I have over 20 years of NIH grant experience as PI and co-investigator primarily in the area of adolescent health/mental health/substance use, prevention intervention trials, and transition from adolescent to adulthood studies.

My research interests are generally quite broad but I primarily have worked in the sociology of health over the life course looking at mental health and other health related behaviors of adolescents/young adults, often focusing on the role of family, peer group, and neighborhood context on various outcomes.

More recently, with colleagues in the UW Nursing School, I have begun looking at healthy aging for older adults. Part of my work has and continues to explore health promotion interventions and how the organization of interventions/health service is related to positive outcomes and reduction in disparities. I also have a long-standing interest in the distribution and use of research evidence/evidence based programing.

I am currently funded by WT Grant Foundation to explore how organizational structure and organizational networks in the social and health service sectors influence the use of research evidence regarding adverse childhood experiences on health.


I am historian of twentieth-century Africa and much of my research has focused on issues of health.

My first book Politics of the Womb examined the history of colonial and postcolonial reproductive politics in Kenya and I’m currently completing a book on the history of skin lighteners in southern and eastern Africa.

Along with Johanna Crane and Nora Kenworthy and support from the Simpson Center and the Population Health Initiative, I have also launched a project on “Humanistic Perspectives on Global Health Partnerships in Africa and Beyond.”


Contribution of social determinants, health care and public health systems, and prevention to population health and health inequalities.


My research focuses on the dynamic interactions between sleep, media use, and physical activity in children and adolescents — and the impact they can have on development, health outcomes, and family functioning.

Our team also works to develop and assess tailored and family-centered interventions that can meet families where they are and collaborate for sustainable health behavior change.


I study the performance of buildings, bridges and other infrastructure during construction service and extreme events, such as earthquakes. My research includes the assessment of existing infrastructure and the design of new structural systems.


My students and I conduct research on the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. The connection to global health is through the benefits that electrification brings to unserved populations.


Tania Busch Isaksen is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services. In addition to her lecturer responsibilities, she maintains an active, practice-based research portfolio focused on measuring public health outcomes associated with extreme heat; climate change risk communication methods; and climate change-related public health adaptation planning and response.

Tania has over 24 years of environmental public health experience working in local public, private and academic settings. She earned her PhD from the UW in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, her MPH from the University of Washington’s eMPH Program, her BS in Environmental Health from Colorado State University, and is a long-time Registered Environmental Health Specialist.


Dr. Thomas Burbacher is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) where he teaches classes in basic Environmental and Occupational Health. He is the Head of the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences and Director of the Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the UW National Primate Research Center. He is also the Head of the Developmental Toxicology Research Emphasis Area at the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) and serves as the Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores for the UW Superfund Research Program.

Dr. Burbacher holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Washington. His postdoctoral work included research in Developmental Toxicology in the Environmental Pathology Training Program at the UW. Dr. Burbacher’s research investigates changes in brain development and function caused by prenatal exposure to neuroactive substances. His research reaches across species, including studies with human populations and a variety of animal models, to enhance a fundamental understanding of toxicants and their role in biological and behavioral development. Data from Dr. Burbacher’s research program are used to help formulate policies aimed at the protection of human populations from levels of exposure to environmental contaminants such as methylmercury and methanol that are associated with adverse health effects and developmental disabilities.


The Canadian Studies Center and Arctic and International Relations initiative in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies focuses on the growing effectiveness of Arctic Indigenous internationalism and its impact on local and global governance, and on social and economic equity including educational capacity.


Dr. Neumann leads that hydro-biogeochemistry research group, which works to advance mechanistic understanding of subsurface flow and biogeochemical reaction processes that impact water and food quality and influence global climate change; mechanistic understanding of these processes is required for the development of sound management strategies that protect human and environmental health.

Current research projects include determining how the micro-nutrient (zinc) and toxin (arsenic) content of rice may change in the future with climate change; identifying the source of organic carbon fueling arsenic mobilization in groundwater of South and Southeast Asia; arsenic mobilization, bioaccumulation and eco-toxicity in urban lakes; remediation of arsenic contaminated groundwater; rice field irrigation management to reduce arsenic exposure; and plant controls over methane production and methane oxidation in permafrost wetlands.


Dr. Robert’s research interests include identification of vancomycin resistant enterococci [VRE] and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] in environmental samples, antibiotic resistance and mercury resistance genes in the environment, the mechanisms of resistance, how resistance spreads through bacterial populations in man and the environment and ultimately, how these genes affect therapy.

She is now isolating and characterizing MRSA from primates, personnel and the environment from the Washington National Primate Research Center. Future work is to look for MRSA in primate populations outside North America both in Primate centers and wild populations.

The laboratory is also interested in antibiotic resistance in oral and urogenital bacteria in general. Another focus is on the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutants and how treatments affect the organism’s cariogenic potential, as well as, levels in health and disease.


Dr. Gallagher joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 2004 as Sheldon D. Murphy Associate Professor of Toxicology. Dr. Gallagher was formerly an Associate Professor at the University of Florida were he also served as Director of the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Gallagher serves as the Director of the UW Superfund Research Program, a multi-investigator and multi-institutional center funded by NIEHS that addresses the effects of neurotoxic chemicals on ecological and human health. In addition to his Superfund activities, he is also an active member of the UW Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Heath (CEEH) and the UW training grant in Environmental Pathology and Toxicology.

Dr. Gallagher is a member of the Society of Toxicology as well as the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Dr. Gallagher maintains an active research and teaching program focused on chemical injury in aquatic organisms, and using approaches that integrates molecular, biochemical physiological and behavioral endpoints. Accordingly, students and post-docs in Dr. Gallagher’s laboratory potentially have the opportunity to work in the areas of comparative toxicology of aquatic organisms, and also using fish models to address the environmental impacts of chemical exposures on human health.


Professor Marshall studies air pollution and public health. He uses models and measurements to understand human exposure to air pollution, and to estimate the exposure impacts of changes in air pollution emissions.

His work includes cook-stove intervention studies of indoor air pollution in India; modeling health and climate impacts of food, transportation, and electricity systems; satellite-based land-use regression models of air pollution; and, investigations of environmental justice: relationships between air pollution exposures and demographic aspects such as race and income.


I conduct research and teach in expertise areas related to wastewater treatment, fate and transport of pollutants, and remediation of hazardous waste contaminated sites. Much of this work is aimed at reducing the exposure of human populations to environmental contaminants – either through direct human contact, source water protection, or minimizing food impacts.

I have particular expertise in biologic conversion of pollutants that mimic natural processes (such as in wetlands). My work includes extensive use of laboratory reactors to model large-scale systems, monitoring natural systems, and application of advanced statistical data analysis to develop and demonstrate treatment models. I have worked with wastewater treatment facilities in metropolitan areas, small towns, and in refugee camps. I have access to field sites on the Peninsula.


Mr. Gleason worked for Federal OSHA and State WISHA as an inspector for thirteen years. He has been teaching at the University of Washington for the last 15 years. He currently assists the University of Washington OSHA Training center providing services to Region 10 comprising Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Mr. Gleason also assists in third party liability cases as an expert witness in construction, general industry and maritime safety cases. After the cases are settled he uses the information (without the names of the establishments) as real world case histories in his courses.


Associate Professor in History and the Comparative History of Ideas, Thurtle is a historian of biology, medicine, and mental health. He received his PhD in history and the philosophy of science from Stanford University.

He is the author of The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, and Information in American Biology 1870-1920 (University of Washington Press, 2008), the co-author with Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University) and Helen Burgess (English, University of Maryland) of the interactive DVD-ROM BioFutures: Owning Information an Body Parts (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and the co-editor with Robert Mitchell of the volumes Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge, 2003) and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body (University of Washington Press, 2002).

His research focuses on the material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenological domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, theories of novelty in the life sciences, and the history of mental health. His most recent work is on the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and developmental biology research and has a manuscript due out from University of Minnesota Press in 2018, entitled, Life In the Grid: Regulating a New Politics of Life.

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Research interests: maternal and child health, including reducing maternal mortality and improving breastfeeding and child nutrition, infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood, and parasitic infections.

Projects: vaccination coverage in Lubumbashi, DRC; perinatal outcomes in Lubumbashi and surrounding areas

Gordon Holtgrieve

My research group broadly seeks to understand: 1) how ecosystems function in terms of energy and nutrient flows, and 2) how these functions generate the resources and services people depend on.

Our goal is to support conservation, resource management, and human health through research, which is rooted in the belief that most effective policies for sustainability are based on sound science.

We study both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, borrowing methods and ideas from studies of each to inform the other. Specific approaches range from using biogeochemical and isotopic tracers to mathematical models of ecosystem processes and human interactions.

Similarly, our research spans from site-based empirical studies to regional- and global-scale analysis using synthetic analysis of large datasets. 

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I trace the presence, pathways and sources of anthropogenic toxic metals distributed throughout the environment.

My work uses the stable metal isotope composition (as well as concentration) of metals such as Pb, Cu, Zn and potentially others to fingerprint the source and distribution of the anthropogenic component. An example is identifying the source and distribution of Pb emitted from the Teck-Cominco smelter in Canada and distributed by wind and water onto the Colville Indian Reservation.

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