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About Us

People

Core Staff

mclawson

Margaret Clawson, MPH
Project Coordinator

Margaret Clawson is a NEMS Master Trainer and Project Coordinator for NEMS as well as co-coordinator of the Built Environment Assessment Training Institute. She received her Master's degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in Health Behavior and Health Education. Before attending graduate school, Margaret was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa. Her interests include participatory research, minority health, obesity prevention, and translation and dissemination of research. Some of her previous work areas include HIV care, HIV prevention, youth empowerment, lay health advisors and Latino health.

Erica

Erica Davis
Senior Research Coordinator

Erica Davis is a Senior Project Coordinator with the Center for Health Behavior Research. Erica has 5 years of experience working in public health research, training, and project coordination including work as a Master Trainer on the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS), the Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute and Pool Cool, a skin cancer prevention program geared towards staff and patrons in aquatic settings. Erica graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a concentration in Chemistry and a minor in Studio Arts. Outside of the office, Erica enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and testing out her new (and sometimes healthful) creations on her friends and co-workers.

Lisa Downey

Lisa Downey
Administrative Coordinator

Lisa Downey is an Administrative Coordinator at the Center for Health Behavior Research. In this capacity, she implements, facilitates, and organizes communication, logistical, and administrative functions related to several different research projects. Previously, Lisa worked for Wharton Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania as a Program Coordinator planning various open-enrollment and custom programs. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Temple University in Tourism & Hospitality Management. In her spare time, she likes to travel, read, ski, watch and attend baseball games and enjoy time with her family.

Sarah

Sarah Green, MPH
Research Project Manager

Sarah Green is a Research Project Manager with the Center for Health Behavior Research and is involved in several CHBR projects, including the Perceived Food Environment Study (NEMS-P) and the Community Engagement and Research Core (CEAR Core). She earned a Masters degree in Public Health from Emory University, with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education. Some of her research interests include obesity prevention, health promotion, community health, and community-based participatory research.

Sara Grossman

Sara Grossman
Research Coordinator

Sara Grossman is a Research Coordinator with the Center for Health Behavior Research. She is involved in the Community Engagement and Research Core (CEAR Core) and the Prostate Cancer Community Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination Core (Pro-CEED Core). Sara is currently enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Public Health program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University with a concentration in global health and a minor in public health. Her previous experience includes research and programmatic work to promote health for underserved communities.

Cate Parker

Cate Parker
Research Coordinator

Cate Parker is a Research Coordinator with the Center for Health Behavior Research. She is involved in several CHBR projects, including the Healthy Retail Solutions Project and the UPenn Prevention Research Center. Cate graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Global studies and a minor in Urban Planning. After graduating, Cate spent a year facilitating nutrition and type 2 diabetes education with a community development organization outside of Quito, Ecuador. She is interested in nutrition policy and programming and plans to pursue a Master of Public Health. Outside of work, Cate enjoys cooking, good weather and photography.

Colleen

Colleen Watts
Senior Research Coordinator

Colleen Watts is a Senior Research Coordinator at the Center for Health Behavior Research. Her previous experience includes program development at Philabundance, where she helped create food access by building food pantry capacity. Colleen is a graduate of Lehigh University and holds a Baking and Pastry Diploma from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She is active in the Philadelphia Women's Culinary Guild and is a Director at Large for the Kensington Community Food Co-op. She lives in Fishtown with her husband Christian and daughter June.

Alyssa Yackle

Alyssa Yackle
Project Coordinator

Alyssa Yackle is a Senior Research Coordinator with the Center for Health Behavior Research. She is currently involved in two CHBR projects—The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) and the skin cancer communications research study, Reducing UV Exposure to Prevent Skin Cancer: Message Development and Testing. Alyssa has a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College in Business and Spanish and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University. She also spent a year in Cuba conducting research and fieldwork to implement the socio-cultural project, Puente de Saberes (Bridge of Knowledge) focusing on the importance of preventative health and intergenerational exchange for senior citizens. Outside of work she enjoys running, crafting, and making cake pops.

Student Research Assistants

Aditi

Aditi Gogate

Aditi Gogate is a Research Assistant with the Center for Health Behavior Research. Aditi is currently enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Public Health program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and International Business from New York University's Stern School of Business. Her previous experience includes work in healthcare public relations, with a focus on patient education programs. Outside of the lab, she likes to dance, cook and read in her spare time.

Graceann

Graceann Palmarella

Graceann Palmarella is a Research Assistant with the Center for Health Behavior Research. Graceann is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at The University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Maryland's School of Public Health. She is interested in Health Behavior and Health Education, especially in regards to Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Zhi

Zhi Pan

Zhi Pan is a Research Assistant with the Center for Health Behavior Research, and she is also pursuing a MPH degree at The University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Science in biostatistics from the School of Public Health at Columbia University. Zhi is interested in interdisciplinary research in Health Behavior, and outside of work, she enjoys music, swimming, reading and cooking.

Matt

Matthew Phillips

Matthew is a Research Assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Research. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health from Temple University, where he also works as a Teaching Assistant. Matthew has a Bachelors of Science in Public Health from Temple University, with a focus on nutrition and health education. Matthew enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, and weekends at the beach. Upon graduation in May, he hopes to find a job at a research institute in Philadelphia.

 

 

Trainees & Mentees

 

Sandra Amaral, MD - Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Co-Mentor with Susan Furth, MD, (primary mentor) on K23 award.

Erin Blevins, MD - Fellow at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Elizabeth Lowenthal, MD, MSCE – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (Co-mentor with Robert Gross).

Ronac Mamtani, MD, MSCE - Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Marilyn Santana, MD – Fellow in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, currently pursuing an MSCE

Jason Parad - MPH student, Capstone Advisee

Terease Waite, MSN, JD - Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Pre-Doctoral Fellow (Co-Mentor with Connie Ulrich, Marilyn Sommers, and Christine Bradway).

Charmaine Wright, MD - Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and an Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program. Received Harold Amos career development award (RWJF).

Beligh Yehia, MD – Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center. Co-Mentor with Josh Metlay on K23 award; received a score of “10” (7/12).

Recent Trainees and Students

Robert Hsu

Robert Hsu

Robert Hsu was a Research Assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Research. At Penn, he is pursuing a dual degree in biology and business with an individualized concentration in public health. Outside of school, Robert is a project leader for Social Impact Consulting, a biweekly columnist for the Daily Pennsylvanian, project leader at Penn Fitness for Life, and an intern at Campus Health Initiatives of Student Health Service. Robert is also working on an independent research project funded by the College House Research Fellows Program on contact lens care protocol compliance and a public health promotion project called the Healthy Food Truck Initiative. In the future, he hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public health.

Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson is a Research Assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Research. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Urban Studies. She is the historian for Penn's Black Student League and a mentor at West Philadelphia High School. Lauren enjoys cooking, shopping, and spending time with her friends.

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