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Department ofPublic Health


  • Jamie Chang

    Jamie Chang’s research involves investigating the structural determinants that impact the health of unhoused people, focusing on the role of social policies (e.g. encampment sweeps) on unhoused people’s health outcomes. Recently, Professor Chang leads mixed-methods studies documenting the soaring numbers of people dying while unhoused in Santa Clara County. Her lab developed the SCC Unhoused Death website, a research tool to track unhoused people’s deaths and increase public awareness.

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    Sonja Mackenzie

    Professor Mackenzie's current research focuses on intersections of gender, sexuality, and racism with health in the United States. She is Principal Investigator on a 5-year NIMH K01 Award investigating the cultural and relationship context of HIV among bisexual Black men and their female partners, and is conducting a two-year study of police violence as a public health issue. As a SCU Bannan Institute Scholar on Gender Justice from 2016-2018, she will be conducting research on gender and kinship among children in LGBTQ Families. Her book, Structural Intimacies: Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic was published in 2013 by Rutgers University Press as part of their Series in Critical Issues in Health and Medicine.

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    Katherine Saxton

    Exposure to stress during critical periods of development can shape health trajectories and interact with later exposures to determine well-being and disease. Professor Saxton's research focuses on the ways in which social experiences affect biology and health, including inflammatory and metabolic processes, the endocrine responses to stress, and gestational outcomes, all of which influence and predict a wide range of diseases. She is interested in questions such as: Can environmental interventions reduce the harmful effects of low social status? How do prenatal and postnatal environments influence inflammatory and metabolic outcomes? Katherine is particularly interested in the environmental and social circumstances which can produce disease susceptibility or resilience, as well as the biological mechanisms responsible for behavioral and health outcomes, in order to identify opportunities for intervention.

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    Craig Stephens

    Professor Stephens current research is focused on genomic analysis of the acquisition, regulation, and evolution of antibiotic resistance in commensal and pathogenic E. coli, a common gut bacterium in humans. Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health problem, and understanding how potential pathogens acquire resistance is of biological, epidemiological, and medical significance. During the 2014-15 academic year he was on sabbatical leave working in the laboratory of Dr. Lee Riley, Division of Infectious Diseases, UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

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    Alice Villatoro

    Alice Villatoro’s research is centered on health equity and studying populations that have been historically underrepresented in public health research. Her research is interdisciplinary in that she fuses theory driven-basic research with an applied population health orientation to understand the ways in which structural, social, cultural, and psychological factors shape mental health care disparities in Latinx communities and other diverse populations. As a result, she has examined (1) how families influence entry into mental health care services among Latinx groups (Villatoro, Morales, & Mays, 2014) and African American adults (Villatoro & Aneshensel, 2014), (2) intersectional patterns in perceptions of need for mental health care (Villatoro, Mays, Ponce, & Aneshensel, 2018), and (3) mental illness stigma in adolescents and parents (Villatoro, DuPont-Reyes, Phelan, Painter, & Link, 2018). Collectively, her research has been frequently cited, presented at international conferences, and recognized by the National Center for Institutional Diversity and The AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation for Minority Scholars.

Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice