There are four different Scholar groups the Center for Women’s Health Research holds: the Women’s Health Fellows, Postdoctoral Research Associates, R-25 TEAM-Science Scholars and the Shapiro Scholars. Open the panels to learn more about the scholars and their research!

Current Scholars

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VA Women's Health Fellows

Nan Sethakorn, MD, PhD

Lacey Alexander, PhD, RN-BC

Adrienne Johnson, PhD


Postdoctoral Research

R25 TEAM-Science Scholars

Adam Beard (2018-2020)

Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology

Quinton Cotton (2018-2020)

Clinical Investigation

Melissa Marver (2018-2020)

Population Health Sciences

Meranda Masse (2018-2020)

Chemical Biology

Anna Marie Rowell (2018-2020)

Comparative Biosciences

Tiffany Harris (2019-2021)

Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Devinefavor Osinlove (2019-2021)

Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology

Alysia Vang (2019-2021)

Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology

Rachel Hutchinson (2020-2022)

Chemical Biology

Jason Moody (2020-2022)

Medical Physics


Shapiro Scholars

The cornerstone program offered by the school is the Shapiro Summer Research Program. More than half of the medical students in the MD Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison participate in the program between their first and second years. The program funds student stipends for 8-12 week research projects under the direction of faculty members in any of our departments, centers, and institutes.

Projects span a broad range of scientific investigation, including basic science, clinical, translational, health services, global health, public health, quality improvement and medical ethics.

To enhance their experience, students also participate in research skills training sessions, roundtable discussions, journal clubs and clinical shadowing opportunities.

Former Scholars

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VA Women's Health

Arpita Ghosh, PhD

Madelyn Alvarez, MD

Jessica Tischendorf, MD

Kristen Pecanac, PhD

Lindsey Byom, PhD

Melissa Dattalo, MD, MPH

Alicia Weeks, MD

Kristin Berg, MD

Belinda Gutierrez, PhD VA

Nicole Rogus-Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP

Tonya Roberts, PhD, RN

Sandra Schumacher, PhD, MSN, CNM, WHNP, RN, APNP

Meghan Brennan, MD, (2011-2014) focused on HIV screening as well as outbreak investigation.

Andrew Katz, PhD, (2012-2013) studied Multicultural Counseling Competence (MCC) theory and healthcare provider factors that lead to outcome disparities among minorities, women, and other stigmatized groups.

Christine Kolehmainen, MD, (2011-2013) focused on how doctors-in-training experience leadership in the setting of medical emergencies.

Noor Husain, MD, (2010-2012) researched reasons of CPAP compliance and non-compliance in the VA patient population.

Jeniel Nett, MD, PhD, (2010-2011) studied infectious disease, particularly drug resistance and immune response to Candida ablicans.

Allison Bearden, MD, MPH, (2009-2010) researched the use of probiotic agents in decolonization of patients with emerging organisms.

Erica Roberson, MD, (2008-2010) focused on the effects of bariatric surgery on urinary and fecal incontinence.

Aubrey Smith, MD, (2008-2010) studied the differences in energy requirements in obese and lean women with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Nasia Safdar, MD, (2005-2009) researched the use of a probiotic preparation in hospitalized patients as a new means of preventing infection by drug resistant bacterial.

Ahmed Al-Niaimi, MD, (2007-2008) focused on research in ovarian cancer. Heather Certain, MD, (06-08) studied interactions of alcohol and the ethical issues this presented.

CWHR Postdocs

Elizabeth Pier
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Education: Dr. Pier earned her PhD in Education Psychology in 2017 and an MS in Education Psychology in 2014 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as earning her MA in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University in 2010.

Research: My research examines the multimodal and embodied nature of how people solve problems and make decisions within various STEM domains. My current research focuses on how expert scientists engage in collaborative decision-making in the context of NIH grant peer review. In particular, I study how reviewers write about, speak about, and communicate their scientific knowledge and expert opinion to the peers during grant review, how multimodal communicative practices such as hand gestures shed light on reviewers’ thinking, and how agreement among reviewers fluctuates as a function of collaboration.

Anna Kaatz, PhD, MPH, (2012-2013) focused on understanding reasons why women physicians and scientists are more likely than men to leave biomedical research careers.

Wairimu Magua, PhD, MS focused on identifying and applying techniques to reduce statical bias in evaluating cluster randomized controlled trials.

R25 TEAM-Science

Youhung Her-Xiong (2017-2019)

Rachel Lane (2017-2019)

Amanda Vanderplow (2017-2019)

LaTonya Simon (2017-2019)

Harris Krause (2016-2018)

Ivan Cabrera (2016-2018)

Kristal Gant (2016-2018)

Yousra Mohamoud (2016-2018)

Onyekachi Nwoke (2016-2018)

Leroy Williams (2016-2018)

Samuel Acuna (2015-2017)

Marcos Navarro (2015-2017)

Rocio Norman (2015-2017)

Tyson Pankey (2015-2017)

Jessica Vazquez (2015-2017)

Yaidi Cancel-Martinez (2014-2016)

Natasha Crooks (2014-2016)

Leonardo Rivera (2014-2016)

Jennifer Valdivia (2014-2016)

Jorge Jimenez (2014-2016)

Mariajose Bedoya, PhD Candidate (2013-2015)

Adriana Rodriguez, PhD Candidate (2013-2015)

Clem Samson-Samuel (2013-2015)

Theo Braden, PhD Candidate (2013-2015)

Marissa Kraynak, PhD Candidate (2013-2015)

James Garcia, BS, (2012-2014) researched the role of the hypothalamus in precocious puberty in female rhesus monkeys.

Porsha Howell, BS, (2012-2014) studied the impact of caloric restriction and aging on white adipose tissue metabolism and structure.

Patrice Leverett, MS, (2012-2014) focused on increasing minority representation and retention in the STEMM fields through enhancing the mentor/mentee relationship and decreasing the impacts of stereotype threat.

Tolu Oyensanya, MS, (2012-2014) researched rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life for persons who have had a traumatic brain injury.

Erika Starks, BS, (2012-2014) studied the function and anatomical brain alterations that accompany corrective electrical tongue stimulation in patients with balance disorders.

Yacob Tedla, MS, MSc, (2012-2014) researched the association between pulse wave velocity and hypertension, and the independent risk of arterial stiffness on different cardiovascular events and examining the sensitivity and specificity of different drug-adherence-measures, and the effect of drug-adverse-effects and drug-complexity on medication compliance among patients taking anti-hypertensive drugs.

Rosalina Villalon Landeros, BS, (2012-2014) focused on the effects of estrogen on uterine artery endothelial cell mitogenesis and tube formation.

Bryan Ampey, MS, (2011-2013) studied shear stress regulation of endothelial cell gap junctions and the role of Cx43 in endothelial cell function.

Fatou Jallow, BS, (2011-2013) focused on how cancer cells acquire resistance by lookingat the close linkage between prolactin and the pathogenesis and therapeutic responsiveness of ERalpha+ breast cancer.

Dennis Paiz-Ramirez, MA, (2011-2013) researched what commercial videogames do well and tried to find out why they do well.

Belinda Gutierrez, MEd, (2010-2012) studied unconscious bias and how it may prevent women and underrepresented minorities from rising within the ranks of academic departments within STEMM.

Patric Hernandez, PhD, (2010-2012) focused on comparing the white and grey matter brain volume differences between patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and healthy controls.

Anna Kaatz, PhD, (2010-2012) studied linguistic differences in grant reviews for male and female RO1 award applicants to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Jasmin Kristianto, BS, (2010-2012) researched the pleiotropy effect on bone and vascular phenotype in recombinant congenic mice.

Wairimu Magua, MS, (2010-2012) studied predictors of re-hospitalization of patients who developed nosocomial infections during index admission.

Ricardo Pizarro, MS, (2010-2012) focused on implementing an EEG-fMRI simultaneous acquisition for epileptic and stroke patients and finding novel ways to analyze the data acquired using multivariate approaches.

Bonnie Paris, MS, (2010-2011) studied the role of communication in medication safety in adult intensive care units.

Patrick Lee, BS, (2009-2011) researched mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation into orthopedic tissues.

Maigenete (Maggie) Mengesha, MS, (2009-2011) focused on mental health approaches for refugee and trauma exposed populations.

Mayra Pastore, BS, (2009-2011) studied the impact of estrogen on protein interactions with uterine arterial endothelial cells.

Olubukola (Bukky) Akinsiku, BS, (2008-2010) focused on the role of mathematics in success of minorities and women in engineering.

Doriane Besson, PhD, (2008-2010) researched effective treatment in psychotherapy for racial and ethnic minorities.

Athena Dunomes, BS, (2008-2010) studied image guided adaptive brachytherapy for gynecological cancers.

Sheikh Omar Jobe, BS, (2008-2010) focused on estrogen metabolism, pregnancy, and the pathophysiology of preeclampsia.

Ernise Williams, RN, (2008-2010) researched the socioeconomic inequalities and disparities in disease- related mortality among African Americans.

Jessica Crain, PhD, (2008-2009) focused on contributions of sex to purinergic receptor regulation in microglia.

Marjorie Curet, MS, (2008-2009) studied nucleotide modulation of microglia in breast to brain metastasis.


Aging T32 Scholars

Carol Isaac, PhD, (2007-2010) focused on women’s leadership in the biomedical sciences.

Allison Bearden, MD, MPH, (2008-2009) researched the use of probiotic agents in decolonization of patients with emerging organisms.

Curt Irwin, PhD, (2007-2009) focused on upper extremity strength, biomechanical variations, and motor control changes that occur as people age.

Maria Nikodemova, PhD, (2007-2009) studied the pathology of Alzheimer¿s disease.

Carolina Schlenker MD, MPH, (2007-2008) investigated how to improve healthcare systems¿ participation in translational research, especially in Mexico and Latin American countries.

Sayyida Abdus-Salaam (Martin), MD, MPH, (2005-2008) studied predictors of cutaneous manifestations of HIV-1/AIDS infection in blacks, disease progression, and response to therapy, as well as the establishment of protocols for routine HIV screenings.

Pamela Summers, MD, MBA, (2006-2007) focused on dermatological problems and Alzheimers disease.

Sabina Agrawal, DO, (2005-2006) researched vitamin D insufficiency and osteoporosis in nursing homes.

Heather Johnson, MD, (2004-2006) studied health disparities in cardiac risk factors in older women.

Francesca Couto, MD, (2004-2006) focused on molecular biology and research in diabetes

Jacqueline Wiltshire, PhD, MPH, (2004-2006) explored trust in physicians among older African American women.

Earlise Ward, PhD, (2003-2005) investigated improving mental health outcomes in the African American community.

Lisa Arendt, PhD, DVM, (2002-2005) studied interactions of aging and prolactin biology in mammary tissue in an ER-pos transgenic model.

Cristin Bruns, MD, (2002-2005) investigated metabolic measures with age and in male siblings of rhesus monkeys with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Barbara Loevinger, MD, (2002-2005) studied psychoneuroendocrinology and emotional dysregulation

Leah Whigham, PhD, (2000-2002) focused on biological mechanisms and clinical treatments of obesity, sex, and age factors.

Judith Houck, PhD, (2000-2002) investigated the history of menopause in the U.S.

Jessica Bartell, MD, PhD, (2000-2003) studied the impact of access to insurance on health outcomes in older women.

Terri Gomez, PhD, (2000-2002) focused on the role of a high fat diet in obesity and oxygen consumption.

Kimberly Price, PhD, (1999-2000) studied the effect of birth weight on glucoregulation with age in rhesus monkeys.

Jennifer Brockman, PhD, (1999-2000) focused on research in prolactin biology and breast cancer.