Postdoctoral research fellows

Mentoring the next generation nurse researchers

Postdoctoral fellows focus on their scholarship with the benefit of strong mentoring relationships, helping develop the next generation of exceptional nurse researchers.

Dana Beck, Ph.D., FNP-BC

Mentor: Deena Kelly Costa

National Clinician Scholars Program Fellow, IHPI/VA Research Fellow

Dr. Beck is a Family Nurse Practitioner with current practice in the VA’s Women’s health clinic. Her research focuses on under-resourced and under-researched populations. She has previous experience studying human trafficking survivors in domestic and international settings, trauma informed care, and evaluating a community mobilization intervention for maternal health in rural Zambia. Her current work maintains a focus on under-resourced and under-researched populations but during the perinatal period, with specific attention to how clinical and policy interventions can mitigate structural inequities for pregnant individuals and their children. 

Cherie Conley, Ph.D., MSN, BSN, MIS, MHS, BS

Mentor: Barbara Brush

National Clinician Scholars Program Fellow, IHPI/VA Research Fellow

As a nurse scientist, Dr. Conley's research focuses on health equity and developing asset-building programs and policies with underserved communities and populations. Her most recent work includes developing and implementing a community-based peer-to-peer support program to promote healthy weight; contributing to the development of an HIV prevention intervention in African American beauty salons; and, establishing a “Campus to Community” forum and speaker series to connect faith communities in underserved communities with health researchers and practitioners. Future directions include systems science methods for intervention design and policy evaluation, and dissemination and implementation science to scale up effective programs and policies.

Emily Dove-Medows, Ph.D., CNM

Mentor: Rob Stephenson

Research Fellow Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities 

Dr. Dove-Medows is a Certified Nurse Midwife. Her primary area of research is structural racism and health. She employs qualitative research methods. Her dissertation was a mixed methods study that explored racial residential segregation and preterm birth among Pregnant Black women. Her work at the Center will focus on men living with HIV and intimate partner violence.

Tammy Eaton, Ph.D., MSN, RN, FNP-BC, ACHPN

National Clinician Scholars Program Fellow, IHPI/VA Research Fellow

Dr. Eaton’s program of research focuses on improving the quality and delivery of care for critical illness survivors and their families. She is also interested in developing interventions to decrease overall symptom burden and improve the quality of life for critical illness survivors. Her dissertation research explored the role of palliative care in critical illness survivors.

Lauren Ghazal, Ph.D., MS, FNP-BC

Interdisciplinary Research Training Center in Cancer Care Delivery

Dr. Ghazal completed her PhD in Nursing Research and Theory Development at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her dissertation focused on multilevel factors impacting work and quality of life in young adult hematologic cancer survivors. Dr. Ghazal also practices as a family nurse practitioner.
She is interested in understanding the financial and economic impact of cancer in adolescents and young adults. She is thrilled to build on her economics undergraduate degree to expand this work.

Megan Mullins, Ph.D., MPH

Mentors: Lauren Wallner and Lindsay Kobayashi

Interdisciplinary Research Training Center in Cancer Care Delivery

Dr. Mullins completed her MPH and PhD at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. Her dissertation work focused on racial disparities in ovarian cancer care.

She is interested in understanding barriers to the receipt of quality cancer care including patient characteristics, structural barriers and the comparative effectiveness of treatment modalities. Her 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, Megan is passionate about care for gynecologic cancers and focusing on disparities among racial and sexual/gender minorities.

Laura J. Ridge,  Ph.D., ANP-BC, AAHIVE

Mentors: Marjorie McCullagh and Jody Lori

Research Fellow

D. Anthony Tolentino, Ph.D., RN-BC

Mentors: Deena Costa and Yun Jiang

National Clinician Scholars Program Fellow - IHPI

Informatics and Health Equity: Leveraging nursing knowledge and health information technology tools to address minority health issues and health disparities, particularly among Filipino Americans and Asian Americans.

Alison Walsh, Ph.D., MFA, MPH

Mentor: Rob Stephenson

Research Fellow, Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities

Dr. Walsh’s research interests include data quality, particularly in sexual health research; disparities in access to health care providers and resources; and social network analysis, specifically, how individual and structural social features are associated with healthcare utilization, behavior change, and research participation. 

Ariel Washington, Ph.D., MSSW

Mentors: Minal Patel, Bradley Zebrack and Katrina Ellis

Interdisciplinary Research Training Center in Cancer Care Delivery

Dr. Washington completed her MSSW and PhD at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. Her dissertation focused on cervical cancer screening and prevention in African American women using mobile health (mHealth) technology. Using a community-based participatory approach she delivered tailored text messages to African American women through their mobile phones.

She is interested in continuing to explore cancer disparities in African Americans during her time with the program. Focusing on innovative community based approaches to reach marginalized populations, especially during this time of social distancing, across the cancer care continuum. She looks forward to collaborating with fellow researchers on ways to improve the cancer care experience for African Americans, from prevention to survivorship care.

D43 International Scholars

Rattima Sirihorachai, Ph.D.

Mentors: Milisa Manojlovich (US) and Yajai Sitthimongkol (Thailand)

In Thailand, where approximately 1.3 million major surgeries are performed every year, patient safety is a central focus. The Institute of Hospital Quality Improvement and Accreditation of Thailand (HA) has developed Thai patient safety goals and given them the acronym “SIMPLE”. Patient safety goals specific to the Operating Room (OR) context include S, the first goal of HA called S means safe surgery. Although Thai hospitals emphasize and implement standard guidelines for patient safety during surgical procedures, adverse events still occur. For example, the prevention of inadvertently retained instruments or surgical sponges by the surgical team in surgical patients is one of the 10 objectives for safe surgery. Retained surgical items (RSI) continue to occur despite prevention strategies recommended by healthcare safety organizations. There is a growing body of literature addressing the intervention strategies to prevent RSIs; however, the results continue to vary across studies. There is a need to identify effective interventions that prevent RSIs in order to improve outcomes. Developing the effectiveness intervention can provide a best practice to decrease adverse events in the operating room and be able to generalized and impact to policy change in OR all over Thailand.

Thitipong Tankumpuan, Ph.D.

Mentors:  Lenette Jones (US) and Yajai Sitthimongkol (Thailand)

Sexual dysfunction has been widely explored in western countries. More than a half of patients with heart failure reported the experience of sexual dysfunction. However, little is known about sexual dysfunction in patients with heart failure among Asian population. Asian culture believes that sex is a sensitive issue and a taboo subject according to culture and norm. In general population, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in Asian found to be higher than Western population. 

Moreover, Asian with heart failure were younger and presented with higher functional class by the New York Heart Association than those of other continents. Therefore, sexual dysfunction become a significant issue that healthcare providers have to explore the influencing factors with sexual dysfunction and develop the intervention to address this problem to promote sexual function in patient with heart failure.

Kusman Ibrahim, Ph.D.

Mentors: Erin Kahle (US) and Yodi Christiani (Indonesia

The potential research aims to utilize and manage the available big data platform to support the development of a social media-based intervention model in improving the health outcomes of people living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PLHA). The benefits of this study are to strengthen the data management information system of HIV/AIDS and related health issues, social media-based intervention for prevention and care of HIV, and finally to improve health outcomes of people living with HIV (PLWH). This study will employ a research and development method which emphasizes a process used to develop and validate a product. It consists of studying research findings, developing the product, field testing, revising until the product meets the objectives.

Andi Masyitha Irwan, Ph.D.

Mentors: Kathleen Potempa (US) and Nugroho Abikusno (Indonesia)

My research area focuses on hypertension self-care especially on low-salt diets to prevent and manage hypertension among older people living in the community. In 2014, we conducted a survey among Indonesian older people and we found that the number of respondents who never limit their sugar and salt intake was especially surprising. An intervention program should be developed to limit salt intake Indonesian elderly because it might bring risk of hypertension. Therefore, in the following year, my research team member and I examined the efficiency of self-care and efficacy intervention to reduce and maintain a low salt diet in the community setting. In those our randomized trials study, we found that hypertension and prehypertension older people who received self-care and efficacy intervention, showing decrease in their salt intake as a way to control their blood pressure. However, those previous studies only involved small sample size and in urban areas. Further studies with larger sample size, various settings and longer follow-up are required to determine the broader effect of this program.

Patcharee Jaigarun, Ph.D.

Mentors: Sarah Stoddard (US) and Sanya Kenaphoom (Thailand)

The long-term goal of my research is to decrease the prevalence of alcohol consumption among those adolescents. In the first step, my research interest is focused on alcohol consumption in minors, or more specifically, development of mindfulness program among Thai vocational students who are one of Thai adolescent groups. My proposal is developing mindfulness program to prevent alcohol consumption among Thai adolescents. My mentor is Dr. Sanya Kenaphoom, who has background about Buddha, community, policy, and public administration. I hope my mentor will support my study.

Kedsaraporn Kenbubpha, Ph.D.

Mentors: Lynae Darbes, Anthony King, David Fresco (US) and Chatchawan Silpakit (Thailand)

My training goals are to 1) enhance my theoretical approaches to the study of depression, 2) gain skills in developing the interventions to maximize reduction and prevention of recurrent depressive symptoms in people suffering from depression, and 3) build my evolving research program on depression. I believe the opportunity to be a fellow at UMICH will enhance my scholarship’s innovation and sophistication and prepare me to become a lead researcher in the field. Moreover, my research will increase access to the intervention, reduce and prevent recurrent depression in Thai people, and include people worldwide.

Chinakorn Sujimongkol, Ph.D.

Mentors: Ivo Dinov, Yi Li (US) and Cholatip Pongskul (Thailand)

Dr. Sujimonkol holds a Doctor of Public Health (Dr. P.H.) from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. I propose to conduct a large-scale population-based study (big data analytics) of chronic kidney disease CKD patients in the Thai population. Because the ultimate goal of CKD management is to prevent renal disease onset or disease progression, therefore, I think that it is necessary to seek out new and high quality sources of information on potential confounding factors, especially in the growing concern with environmental related health problems. This will help to foster improvement in preventive and protective therapies for kidney disease care.

I Gede Putu Darma Suyasa, Ph.D.

Mentors: Jan Larson, Laura Struble (US) and RA Tuty Kuswardhani (Indonesia)

Dr. Suyasa holds a PhD in Nursing from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University (South Australia). Currently, the risk factor scale of fall especially for older people living in the community is limited. Risk factor scale is essential to measure risk of falling. However, risk factor scale alone is not sufficient to better prevent fall. Further step is needed to develop a systematic approach to prevent fall among elderly by developing a clinical pathway based on the risk factor in the developed scale. This clinical pathway is the basic of self-care guideline to be used by older people and family to prevent falling at home. This current study is designed to develop and test :1) Risk factor scale of fall for older people living at home, and 2) A self-care guideline based on risk factor assessment to prevent fall for older people living at home. Five steps are essential: 1) Systematic literature review aimed to search and critically appraise literature around risk factor of fall among elderly living at home, 2) Development of risk factor scale, 3) Reliability and validity test of the scale, 4) Development of a self-care guideline based on risk factors in the developed scale, and 5) Evaluation of the self-care guideline.

C. Nate Nessle, DO

Mentors: Sung Choi, Vineet Chopra and Rajen Mody

Dr. Nessle is a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. He obtained his medical degree at Rocky Vista University in Colorado and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Louisville in Kentucky before practicing as a general pediatrician in 2018.

He is interested in studying fever and neutropenia episodes in pediatric oncology patients by developing an outpatient treatment model for those at low risk for complications. Nate plans on specializing in oncology, possibly bone marrow transplant, and has specific interests in global medicine.

Christopher Su, MD, MPH

Mentors: Minal Patel, Christine Veenstra and Matthew Pianko

Dr. Su is an adult hematology/oncology fellow in the Department of Medicine at Michigan Medicine. He completed his MD/MPH at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and his internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.

He is interested in studying financial barriers to cancer care and examining how this exacerbates existing socioeconomic disparities of treatment outcomes. Clinically, Chris is planning on specializing in malignant hematology, and will be studying patient access barriers to novel antineoplastic drugs.

Supaporn Trongsakul, Ph.D.

Mentors: Ben Hampstead (US) and Nahathai Wongpakaran (Thailand)

Dr. Trongsakul holds a PhD in Studies Allied to Medical Research, University of East Anglia (UEA), the United Kingdom. Her post-doc study plan is to promote local people or village health volunteers to provide cognitive training programs to NCD older people with MCT state in the community. She also would like to find out whether the cognitive training program from Griffith (2020) if delivered by non-medical health professionals will give similar positive results compared with those delivered by health professionals. By integrating village health volunteers closer into the health system will not only support sustainability of the cognitive training in the community but also motivate older people themselves to constantly participate in the program. This study will be one of interventions designed to support the national policy of community-based long-term care for aging population.

International Visiting Fellows 

UMSN's global collaboration through the International Visiting Scholars program and the Fogarty International Training Program for Strengthening Non-Communicable Disease Research and Training Capacity, co-funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant No: 1D43TW009883-01) brings researchers from all over the world to campus.