Research Staff

KMBKim M. Blankenship, PhD,  Professor, Drexel University –  Department of Community Health and Prevention:  Kim recently served as Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society at American University and  served as the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core Director of the DC CFAR a position she held for the past four years.  Dr. Blankenship has been faculty at Duke University and at Yale University, where she was also Associate Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (1998-2008) CIRA. Research and publications focus on race, class, and gender analyses of health, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. She has received funding fromNIDA, NIMH, CDC, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).    Email Kim


imgresRobert Heimer, PhD, Professor, Yale University:
Robert’s major research efforts include scientific investigation of the mortality and morbidity associated with injection drug use. Areas of investigation include syringe exchange programs, virus survival in syringes, hepatitis B vaccination, hepatitis C transmission risks, overdose prevention and resuscitation, and pharmacological treatment of opiate addiction.  His current work focuses on the contexts and consequences of drug abuse in the U.S. and Russia and attempts to provide health and prevention practitioners with information needed to assist their educational and advocacy efforts.  Email Robert

D12_306_January_OS_Faculty Michael_Bader, CAS, faculty

Michael Bader,PhD, Assistant Professor, American University:  Michael studies how cities and neighborhoods have evolved since the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He links long-term patterns of neighborhood racial change to the ways that race and class influence the housing search process. He has developed methodological tools that combine survey data with “big data” to study neighborhood environments.  Email Michael 


Ali Groves

Ali Groves, PhD,  Research Assistant Professor, Drexel University:  Ali’s research interest focus on social justice and decreasing gender inequalities in health through multilevel interventions. She has engaged in interventions and research across a diverse array of settings and her work focuses on the social and structural factors that perpetuate poor sexual and reproductive health across the globe. Throughout her career, she has paid particular attention to understanding and addressing the high burden of HIV infection and intimate partner violence (IPV) among women in sub-Saharan Africa. She uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods in her research and interventions.  Email Ali

Image result for alana rosenberg yale

Alana Rosenberg, MPH, Project Manager:  Alana was the Project Manager of SHARRPP.  She has managed several mixed methods research projects and is particularly interested in qualitative and participatory research methods aimed at better understanding structural barriers to health.  She is currently the Project Manager for Justice, Housing and Health Study. Email Alana


_F4A0099Penelope Schlesinger, Research Assistant:  Penelope was a research assistant with SHARRPP.   She has worked in this capacity on a number of different projects.  She is currently working on the Justice, Housing and Health Project funded by NIMH and NIAID.  Email Penelope.



 Photo 2_A_SmoyerAmy Smoyer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut State University:  Amy’s research examines the structural determinants of health and health disparities. Her current work focuses on the experiences of incarceration and reentry and the implications of these experiences on health outcomes, with attention to women’s health, food-related wellness, and HIV care and prevention.  Email Amy


Additional research staff include:  Ana Maria del Rio Gonzalez PhD, Chloe Brown MA, Tina Olayimika, Johanna Elum PhD and Marie-Claude Jipguep PhD.

CHRS – Center on Health, Risk, and Society at American University.  The center seeks to build an interdisciplinary community of scholars interested in conducting research on the social dimensions of health and health-related risks, especially on their roots in social inequality, and on structural interventions aimed at addressing them.

CIRA – Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University.  CIRA supports innovative, interdisciplinary research that combines behavioral, social and biomedical approaches, focused o the implementation of HIV prevention and treatment and elimination of HIV disparities.