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UCLA Fielding School of Public Health announces new faculty members

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Date: 
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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The Fielding School welcomes the following new faculty members:

Department of Biostatistics

Zhe Fei, assistant professor-in-residence
Fei develops statistical methods to analyze big data and has applied these methods to data related to cancer survival, epigenetics and aging, and quality measures for health care providers. He is part of several research collaborations, including one with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Los Angeles Unified School District that aims to improve the mental health of students in Los Angeles.

Department of Community Health Science

Jennifer Wagman, assistant professor
Wagman collaborates with researchers at the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Uganda to investigate intimate partner violence, hazardous alcohol use and HIV infection. She also leads UC Speaks Up, a project aimed at preventing sexual assault and dating violence on three University of California campuses, and is director of Violence Prevention Research with the UC Global Health Institute Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise. In California and Louisiana, she is partnering with researchers and scientists from Tulane University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health departments to understand and respond to the rise of congenital syphilis.

Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Jian Li, professor
Li conducts research about how work stress can affect a person’s health and investigates which interventions can help. He is currently an active member of the International Commission on Occupational Health. Li’s contributions to the field of occupational health have been recognized with awards from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other research societies.  

Department of Epidemiology

Liwei Chen, associate professor 
Chen’s research focuses on identifying dietary and lifestyle approaches to prevent and manage obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other cardiometabolic diseases. Additionally, she addresses maternal and child health, and how exposures to risk factors early in life can affect a person’s health later on. Chen is leading a study funded by the National Institutes of Health on racial disparities in pregnancy and birth outcomes, and working on several national and international studies related to obesity, diabetes and women’s health. 

Dvora Joseph Davey, adjunct assistant professor
Joseph Davey applies her expertise in study design and epidemiological methods to research the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in women, children and couples in South Africa. In addition to her position at UCLA, Joseph Davey is an honorary assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Cape Town where she leads a study evaluating how pre-exposure prophylaxis may help pregnant women and breastfeeding women avoid HIV.

Marissa Seamans, assistant professor
Seamans analyzes large health care databases to learn about patterns related to substance use and mental health. Most recently, she led a study that found that people who live in households with prescription opioid users are at higher risk for taking the drugs themselves. She is also interested in the development and application of causal inference methods in observational studies.

Annette Regan, adjunct assistant professor
Regan studies the maternal and child health impacts of vaccination during pregnancy as well as strategies for promoting vaccines to parents and pregnant women. Her projects have involved collaborations with researchers and patients in Australia, Canada and Europe. Regan is currently working on several projects that aim to improve flu vaccination among pregnant women and children, and is leading a study involving more than 700,000 Australian mothers and their infants to learn the best time to vaccinate against pertussis and the flu during pregnancy. 

Department of Health Policy and Management

Julie Elginer, adjunct assistant professor
Elginer is an expert in health care advocacy who has drafted legislation and testified before the California legislature and Office of the Governor on issues related to perinatal mental health, human trafficking, categorical eligibility of food stamps and microbicide funding. In 2010, the California State Assembly bestowed her with an Individual Member Resolution for her “lifetime of achievements and meritorious service.”   

Dr. Joann Elmore, professor
Dr. Elmore is a primary care physician who conducts research into the accuracy of cancer screening tests and other medical tests. She also studies how patients benefit from accessing their doctors’ office notes via the OpenNotes project and is using AI/machine learning to help improve diagnostic accuracy in radiology and pathology. In addition to her position at the Fielding School, she is a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program

Risha Gidwani-Marszowski, adjunct assistant professor
Gidwani-Marszowski's research focuses on both the costs and health outcomes associated with health care services, especially cancer care and end-of-life care. She is particularly interested in evaluating the financial burden imposed by medical treatments. Gidwani-Marszowski is currently a health economist with the Veterans Affairs Health Economics Resource Center and a core investigator at the Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation to Implementation. 

Isomi Miake-Lye, adjunct assistant professor
Miake-Lye is a researcher with the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System whose research focuses on how the organization of health systems affects doctors and other health care providers’ approach to applying evidence from scientific research to their work. 

Warren Scott Comulada, associate professor-in-residence
Comulada designs and analyzes studies that use cell phone apps to help people engage in healthy behaviors. He is currently the lead statistician on two large studies funded by the National Institutes of Health that are investigating HIV prevention and treatment in adults and teens. He is also overseeing a Health Resources and Services Administration evaluation of 10 social media-based HIV interventions across the United States. Comulada is also an associate professor-in-residence with the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and the co-director of the Methods Core for the Center for HIV Prevention, Identification, and Treatment Services.

Yusuke Tsugawa, assistant professor
Dr. Tsugawastudies variations in quality of care and costs of care among physicians. According to the research analytics website Altmetric, Dr. Tsugawa's paper comparing the quality of care between male and female physicians was the third most widely circulated scholarly article in 2017. Dr. Tsugawa is also an assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has more than 691 students from more than 25 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.