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Wellness & Disease



  • Mary Harrington, Psychology, Organizing Fellow
    I have been investigating questions related to circadian rhythms and health with the aim of developing a better understanding of cancer-related fatigue, with a focus on cytokines acting on neural pathways mediating the signal to rest. I also conduct studies on the effects of jet lag and shift work on internal synchrony of circadian clocks, and I am particularly interested in inter-relationships between stress, immune response, sleep, and circadian desynchrony.

  • Benita Jackson, Psychology, Organizing Fellow
    I study the contribution of psychological processes to health disparities. I am particularly interested in exploring how social status—whether measured by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, gender, or their intersections—gets under the skin. My latest research project is to conduct pilot work examining social status, self-determination, and sub-clinical disease markers in a community-based sample of low income women of color.

  • Barbara Brehm-Curtis, Exercise & Sport Studies
    I am exploring the relationships among low-level inflammation, changes in gut microbiota, and physiological pH, and their relation, in turn, to chronic diseases and disorders such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and artery disease. I am also considering how lifestyle factors such as diet, energy imbalance, physical activity, and stress response affect (or interact with) these variables.

  • Emily Earl-Royal '10, Comparative Literature
    My research is an ethnographic study of a university hospital in Chennai, India. I am interested in how female trauma victims receive treatment, specifically focusing on the treatment of burns caused by dowry-related violence.

  • Liora O'Donnell Goldensher '10, Sociology
    I am exploring the emerging structure of the shared medical appointment, the experiences of clinicians, patients and administrators who are involved, with a particular focus on the logic of care reflected in the SMA, as well as on its implications for the doctor-patient relationship.

  • Suzanne Gottschang, Anthropology
    My research aims to examine the presumption that universal ideas about risks to the fetus associated with maternal behavior during pregnancy exist cross-culturally. I will be using content analysis of popular pregnancy books and Web sites, as well as interviews with pregnant women in China, France and the United States, to compare the types of risks associated with maternal behavior in those three countries. My goal is to compare the ways that information is communicated about risks during pregnancy and how individuals respond to this communication to illustrate how risk is culturally shaped.

  • Lori Harris AC '10, American Studies
    I am interested in exploring the ways in which African American Lesbians are resilient, and how they stay well and heal. I would also like to determine whether particular remedies or methods of staying well have been passed down from one generation to the next and if so, learn how this information has been collected and disseminated.

  • Shannon Houlihan MS '10, Exercise & Sport Studies
    I am looking outside the framework of commonly prescribed sports medicine treatments to see what lesser-known treatment options are available to athletes to alleviate and treat common running injuries. I am specifically exploring how homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and bodywork are used to treat athletic injuries.

  • Leslie Jaffe, College Physician, Director of Health Services
    I am interested in what evidence-based research exists on the efficacy of traditional Tibetan medicine practices, such as meditation, that have been embraced and incorporated into mainstream clinical practice in the West, including mindfulness. I am particularly interested in research on the physiologic and clinical effects of herbal medications and moxibustion.

  • Kiran Jandu '10, Economics
    I will study how socioeconomic inequality affects health in India. I will do this by analyzing the relationship between human development and access to water. I will research recent management approaches of international, government, and non-governmental organizations with the goal of providing suggestions for effective water resource policy in relation to World Health Organization 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

  • Susan Levin, Philosophy
    I am interested in constructions of health, flourishing, and optimal medical practice in ancient Greek philosophy, including the question of what ancient views and approaches can contribute to contemporary debates on these topics.

  • Jessica Magyar '10, Studio Art & Psychology
    I will be studying Medical Arts Therapy to find how arts in healthcare affect wellness and shapes experiences with illness. I will be interviewing professionals in the field, interning in an arts in healthcare program, and apply my data and experiences to a local.

  • Meenakshi Menon '10, Anthropology
    I am examining the impact that Cambodia's recent political history has had on the development of the healthcare system. By focusing specifically on two border provinces that have turbulent histories, poor infrastructure, and a general lack of access to basic resources, I hope to be able to better understand the etiology and epidemiology of malaria and Dengue fever in Cambodia. I especially hope to analyze disease burdens, patients' experiences seeking treatment, as well as indigenous ideas surrounding treatment of infectious disease.

  • Sarah C. Miller '10, Anthropology & French Studies
    Exploring the relationship between medical treatment of, government responses to, and media discourse on substance use and dependence through the study of illicit Oxycontin use and dependence in rural American communities.

  • Margaret Mumbi Mongare '10, Biochemistry
    How has evidence based on health policies influenced quality of maternal healthcare in South Africa from 1994 to the present? A comparative study of eclampsia control following the Magpie Trial in the United States, India, and South Africa.

  • Albert Mosley, Philosophy
    I am examining epidemiological causation and its relationship to the biomedical sciences through a critical review of the Disunity of science thesis advocated by neo-pragmatist philosophers such as John Dupre and Nancy Cartwright. My research involves comparing infection and treatment rates of HIV/AIDS and other STDs among Africans, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans, with a focus on genetic and social factors affecting the spread of STDs among populations made more vulnerable by disparities and wealth and access to basic health care.

  • Maria-Fatinha Santos '10, Philosophy
    I am reviewing nonfiction prose writings of prisoners during their incarceration in the U.S. between 1970 and today, a time period when the aim of imprisonment transitioned from a more rehabilitative aim to the current notion of imprisonment as a form of human warehousing. I want to explore prisoners’ narratives and consider what their writings reflect about how prison environments affect prisoners’ mental and physical well-being.

  • Jane Stangl, Exercise & Sport Studies
    I am engaged in a critical reassessment of the cultural practices around sport and physical activity as ideological distributors of (often false) assumptions about health and well-being, and incorporating both sport and physical activity into more philosophic models that engage the notion of “being” over “doing.” I am also interested in yoga as a commodified expression of health and wellness but more specifically to what end it is perceived as such by its practitioners.

  • Christine White Ziegler, Biological Sciences
    My research investigates how environmental cues are sensed and used by Escherichia coli to regulate gene expression, and especially at understanding how bacteria use temperature as a cue, genome-wide, to control gene expression. These studies are targeted toward the goal of developing better treatments and novel medicines for infectious disease by aiding in the development of “anti-infectives,” drugs that target proteins that facilitate the bacteria’s ability to colonize a host.


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