I am an assistant professor of public health at the University of California, Merced. My research interests focus on understanding how the social environment can affect risk for psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior – and, in turn, how those psychological problems affect our risk for other kinds of poor health outcomes.
In particular, I study determinants of suicidal behavior over the lifecourse; bidirectional links between violence and psychological disorder; and the effects of psychological disorder on physical health and economic outcomes.
I currently have NIH funding (R15 MH113108-01) to study the long-term morbidity, healthcare utilization, and hospitalization costs of people who present to the emergency department after a suicide attempt. This work uses statewide longitudinal hospital data from California, and has been widely covered in the media (see news reports on California public radio, the Sacramento Bee, and the U.C. press). Additional funding comes from the UC Firearm Violence Research Center, to study the epidemiology of firearm suicide among emergency department patients. My work has also been funded by the Hellman Fellows Fund.
I received my M.P.H. in Social and Behavioral Health and my Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. I subsequently completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, working primarily with mentors at Duke University.
Please see the Research page for more information about ongoing and past projects, and the Publications page for links to recent publications and my current CV. You can find information about the courses I teach on the Teaching page.