Current Scholars

Abiola Keller

Dr. Abiola Keller, clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Physicians Assistant Studies at Marquette University, was awarded a $100,000 New Connections grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This 2-year career development award will allow Dr. Keller to further examine the role of non-physicians in improving the quality of treatment of depression.

Prior to her appointment at Marquette University, Dr. Keller was a HDRS postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Women’s Health & Health Disparities Research. Dr. Keller will return to the University of Wisconsin on September 18th to present her research at the 2014 UW Women’s Health & Health Equity Research Lecture & Symposium. This event will also feature keynote speaker Dr. David A. Grimes, Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina.

Jenny Higgins

Contraception Journal, brought to us by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, recently published commentary on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) by BIRCWH Fellow and UW Ob-Gyn Research Division Assistant Professor Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH. In her commentary, Higgins highlights compelling advantages and possible drawbacks of LARC, and advocates for a reproductive justice approach to the promotion of LARC.

Sheryl Coley

Sheryl Coley completed her DrPh degree in Community Health Education at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2014.. Her research interests include reducing health and health care disparities in maternal health, reproductive health, infant health, and adolescent health among underserved populations. As an HDRS postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Coley is investigating the perceptions of prenatal care quality and prenatal care access of African American mothers, with a goal of reducing birth outcome disparities.

Chioun Lee

Chioun Lee obtained her PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University in 2012. She is committed to illuminating the role of gender, a key indicator of social inequality, in relationships between stressful life experiences and health disparities. Her research focuses on three domains: (a) differential exposure and vulnerability to life adversities (stress); (b) social, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms that link life adversities and health outcomes, including physiological risk for disease endpoints; and (c) resilience factors (social, psychological, behavioral) that may mitigate the health-compromising effects of life adversities. Her research is multidisciplinary, rooted in her doctoral training in sociology (medical sociology, mental health, aging and the life course), followed by postdoctoral training in population studies (biodemography) at Princeton University and health psychology (resilience and psychoneuroimmunology) at UW-Madison. She has employed advanced analytic techniques to multiple longitudinal studies of aging, focusing on life adversities in both early and later life.

Alyn McCarty

Alyn McCarty earned a MS in Population Health Sciences and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014. Her research interests include: socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in infant health; social capital and systems of maternal social support for disadvantaged populations; and statistical methods for causal inference. As an HDRS postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. McCarty is pursuing two related goals: first, to examine the reciprocal causal connections among postpartum depression, mothers’ help-seeking through the use of formal and informal social support systems, and infant feeding patterns, and second, to understand racial/ethnic disparities in the processes linking postpartum depression, systems of social support, and infant feeding patterns.

Edward Vargas

Edward Vargas obtained his Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University (2010). Since then, he has held postdoctoral positions at the University of North Carolina and the Robert W. Johnson Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. He has also held a visiting lecturer position at Indiana University. His research interests include the effects of poverty and inequality on the quality of life, focusing specifically on health, education, and social policy, and how these factors contribute to the well-being of vulnerable families. He also investigates the methodological issues involved in the quantitative study of race and ethnicity. As an HDRS postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Vargas is investigating how socio-political, familial, and personal contexts that make up the Latino/a experience affect their physical and mental health. In particular, he is examining the effects of immigration policy and deportations on health, health hardships on the well-being of Latino/a families.

Principal Investigator

Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH
Deborah Ehrenthal MD, MPH
Associate Professor Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Endowed Chair

McConnell Hall
1010 Mound Street,
Room 416
Madison, WI 53715

Warf Office Building
Room 1007b
614 Walnut St
Madison, WI 53726

Tel: (608) 265-0559

Gloria E. Sarto, MD, PhD
Gloria E. Sarto, MD, PhD
Professor Emeritus

310 Midvale
Madison, WI 53705

Phone: 608-262-7573