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Lab Members


  • Lab Director

    Associate Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences)

    Danya Keene is an Associate Professor of Social Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research examines housing and housing policy as determinants of population health equity. Moving beyond a focus on housing and individual health, her work considers how an ongoing history of racially discriminatory housing and urban policies have constrained housing access for non-white Americans, and thus contribute to racial health equity. Her work has examined a range of topics including public housing demolition, home foreclosure, the stigmatization of  marginalized communities, and the housing experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals. Much of her current work is focused on examining the population health implications of the affordable rental housing crisis. For example, she is using local and nationally representative data to explore whether and how access to federal rental assistance can improve type 2 diabetes management and outcomes. In other work, she is investigating  the impact of eviction prevention policies during the COVID 19 pandemic. Dr. Keene is recognized as an expert in qualitative methods and frequently employs both qualitative and quantitative approaches in her work. She teaches a core MPH course called Social Justice and Health Equity and is the founding director of YSPH's US Health Justice Concentration.
  • Lab Investigator

    Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry

    Annie Harper has a PhD from Yale University in cultural anthropology. She conducts research on how vulnerable populations, particularly low income people with mental illness, cope with poverty and financial difficulties, and how to support them in this area. She is particularly interested in understanding how the financial services and retail industries could better serve low income people generally, and people with mental illness in particular. She is committed to combining rigorous research with practical work that makes a difference now, to which end she works closely with the City of New Haven and the broader community’s efforts to provide support to low income residents struggling with financial difficulties. She is originally from the UK, but has lived for many years in New Haven with her husband, who is originally from Pakistan, and their three children.
  • Lab Investigator

    Associate Dean for Research, CAS Sociology

    Kim is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Associate Dean of Research in American University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health and structural interventions to address them. More specifically, she has focused on race, class and gender inequality as they intersect with processes of community disruption in analyzing HIV related inequities and their implications for prevention interventions.

PhD Students


  • Professor of Biostatistics

    Denise Esserman joined the Yale School of Public Health faculty in 2014 as an associate professor of biostatistics. She is interested in methods related to clustered randomized trials and the impact of the ICC and other factors on calculating sample size. As a member of the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences, she collaborates with a number of departments at the Yale School of Medicine, including the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Cancer Center. She has reviewed articles for the American Journal of Epidemiology, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Statistics in Biopharmaceutical Research; Clinical Trials; and Obesity. Esserman earned her doctorate at Columbia University and has since taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Associate Professor of Medicine; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Dr. Lipska is an endocrinologist at the Yale School of Medicine and a Clinical Investigator at the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). Her research program seeks to better understand the balance of benefits and harms of glucose-lowering therapy in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Her current research projects are primarily focused on severe hypoglycemia. She is investigating trends in admissions for hypoglycemia among the elderly Medicare population; race, sex, and age disparities in these admissions; using qualitative research methods to explore reasons for hypoglycemia admissions; examining key risk factors for hypoglycemia; and developing prediction models for hypoglycemia. Based on these data, she seeks to develop and implement decision support tools to help clinicians and patients make better decisions about their care. Her overall goals are to generate data that patients and clinicians need—data which currently do not exist—so that they can make better, smarter treatment decisions.In addition, Dr. Lipska works at CORE on the development of ambulatory care quality measures for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She is currently leading the development of an outcome measure of care quality among people with diabetes mellitus. YCCI Scholar 2013Project: 11/01/13 - 10/31/15Treatment-Related Determinants of SevereHypoglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes
  • Research Associate 3, HSS; Research Associate III, Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

    Alana Rosenberg is project manager at the SEICHE Center for Health and Justice, where she manages qualitative research projects aimed at understanding cancer diagnosis and care during and after incarceration, and COVID mitigation in prisons and jails. Previously she managed two projects funded by the National Institute of Health on the impact of mass incarceration on health at the Yale School of Public Health: the Justice, Housing & Health Study (JustHouHS) and Structures, Health, and Risk Among Reentrants, Probationers & Partners (SHARRPP). She started her career at Yale at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS after receiving her MPH from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health in 2001. She is particularly interested in qualitative and participatory research methods aimed at better understanding structural causes of health inequities.

Current Students

  • Gaby Olea Vargas (she/her) is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and a lab research assistant. Gaby supports Project ReSIDe and is completing her summer internship with the Right to Counsel (RTC) evaluation. She completed an independent research project in partnership with New Reach focused on qualitative interviews with landlords and property management companies in CT. Her research interests focus on housing inequity and its influence on the health of Latinx, immigrants, and undocumented communities.
  • Allison Steele (she/her) is a second year MPH student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences with a double concentration in Health Justice and Public Health Modeling. As a 2022 Health Equity Fellow, Allison is conducting research with a local non-profit and the City of New Haven on the feasibility of Tiny Homes as a permanent supportive housing model for people experiencing homelessness. Allison is also the Director of Social Services at the HAVEN Free Clinic where she works to connect New Haven residents to rental assistance programs, food resources, and employment resources.  Her research interests focus on using systems thinking and data modeling to explore the intersection of housing and healthcare.
  • Sunny Sun is a second year MPH student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in US Health Justice. She is currently conducting a qualitative impact evaluation for New Reach’s Integrated Care Program. Her areas of focus include environmental health (housing, neighborhoods, green spaces, climate change); racial, social, and environmental justice; and improving access to basic physiological and safety needs in communities of color and for immigrants. Sunny is also a Research Analyst at Child Trends and holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Alumni Lab Members

  • Shannon Carter, MPH
  • Anna Kapolka, MPH
  • Leah Robinson, MPH
  • Emma Tran, MPH
  • Melody Tullier, PhD
  • Sascha Murillo, MD
  • Kendra Hanlon, MPH
  • Mariana Henry, MPH, MD Candidate
  • Ann Sarnak, MSc
  • Monica Guo, MPH