People

Lindsay Kobayashi, PhD

Principal Investigator

My research focuses on the social epidemiology of cognitive aging from a global perspective. I primarily use data from internationally harmonized longitudinal studies of aging, including older populations of England, Canada, the United States, and South Africa. My current research is on the life course social and economic determinants of cognitive aging in rural South Africa using longitudinal and randomized exposure measures. I am also investigating the population health implications of continually improving cancer survival rates at older ages in the United States. The goal of my research program is to inform policy solutions to improve cognitive health and health equity among low-income older populations.

Outside of work, I enjoy long-distance running, traveling, playing with my dog Zola, and being outside as much as I can!

Ashly Westrick, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I earned a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Miami.

My current research interests include epidemiological methods, health inequalities in cancer, social determinants of health, and the influence of the neighborhood environment on health outcomes.  

In my downtime, I like to travel, read, and get outside to enjoy nature and be active.

Megan Mullins, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I completed my MPH and PhD at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. My dissertation work focused on racial disparities in ovarian cancer care. I am interested in understanding barriers to the receipt of quality cancer care including patient characteristics, structural barriers and the comparative effectiveness of treatment modalities.

My postdoctoral work will focus on generating evidence to identify gaps in the quality of cancer care among cognitively impaired older adults and understanding functional aging trajectories among cancer patients. More broadly, I am passionate about care for gynecologic cancers with a focus on disparities among racial and sexual/gender minorities. 

In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis and growing succulents.

Jasdeep Kler, MPH

Research Associate

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Neurobiology, Psychology, and Political Science and from the University of Michigan with an MPH in Global Health Epidemiology.

I began working with Dr. Lindsay Kobayashi during my Masters program, where we explored the relationship between literacy/numeracy and preventative health services in the U.S. After graduation, I joined the Kobayashi Research Group. My research interests involve understanding racial-ethnic cancer disparities, the impact of health and social policies on racial-ethnic health disparities, and the influence of neighborhoods and communities on health outcomes.

Currently, I split my time between research and teaching creative arts with justice-involved and under resourced youth. I am passionate about addressing inequities in the criminal justice system and enjoy wheel-throw pottery, water color painting, and poetry.

Brendan O’Shea, MPH

Research Associate

I am a recent MPH graduate in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I began working with Dr. Kobayashi during my Masters program where she served as my Capstone project advisor looking at the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the rate of memory decline in mid-to-later life. I joined the Kobayashi Research Group following graduation and took part in launching the COVID-19 Coping Study. I currently serve as the main data analyst for the COVID-19 Coping Study.

My research interests include impacts of early-life environment on adult behaviors, and fundamental causes of health inequities.

In my free time, I enjoy photography, acrylic painting, and spending time outside.

Marisa Eastman, MPH

Research Associate

I joined Dr. Kobayashi’s research team in May, 2020 after graduating from the University of Michigan with my Master of Public Health in Global Health Epidemiology. My research interests are numerous and evolving, but have explored topics including emergency medical care in sub-Saharan Africa, traumatic brain injury in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and racial disparities among older US adults in the coordinated care experience. Currently, I am working on projects focused on behavioral coping strategies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and racial disparities in cancer.

Outside of work I may be found getting lost in the beauty and healing energy of nature, on a long run, perusing an art museum for obscure Dalì originals, or teaming up with my horse for a three-day event.

Haeyoon Chang, MPH

First Year PhD Student

My name is Haeyoon Chang, and I’m a first-year PhD student in Epidemiology at University of Michigan. I received my MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, and my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I served in the Peace Corps Tonga 2013-2015 where I collaborated with a local medical provider on developing accessible skill-building materials on nutrition to combat the local obesity issues. Additionally, I’ve developed an appreciation for global health research from experiences such as investigating challenges to cardiometabolic management in rural Uganda and examining cardiometabolic disparities among American Indian elders using mixed-methods at Partnerships for Native Health located in Seattle, WA.

Outside of work, I enjoy exploring nature, critiquing ice cream, crafting, and cooking!

Carly Joseph, BS

First year Masters Student

I am currently an MPH student in Epidemiology and a 3rd year medical student at Central Michigan University. For my MPH thesis project, I am investigating the relationship between social isolation and mental health in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. My research and clinical interests include social determinants of health in geriatrics, oncology, and rural medicine.

I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and spending lots of quality time with my cat, Sandra.

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