Amy (Yan) Chai
Amy Chai completed her PhD in Epidemiology from the Fielding School of Public Health and her dissertation examined paid maternity leave policy and child health outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries. She is also interested in Epidemiologic methodologies for causal inference and bias analysis, quantitative research methods for chronic disease, healthcare and well-being on a global level. Amy completed her BS in Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri and MS in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University. Before coming to UCLA, she worked as a research assistant at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. Her previous experience includes several evidence-based epidemiological research studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, focusing on longitudinal analysis with multiple endpoints for TCM efficacy evaluation in acute ischemic stroke.
Annalijn Conklin is a Canadian Institute for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA. Her research is focused on the social determinants of chronic conditions and will aim to examine the role social policies may play in determining health, and how they may interact with one another and with intermediary determinants. Annalijn received her PhD in medical sciences from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research in the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit. Her dissertation examined the relative contribution and interrelations of socioeconomic status, financial hardship and social ties in determining healthy eating and weight status, with a focus on gender-specific effects. Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Annaljn was a policy Analyst at RAND Europe in Cambridge, UK, where she contributed to 28 collaborative projects and was the Administrative Coordinator for a European project with 10 partners in 7 countries on developing and validating disease management evaluation methods and metrics. She also holds degrees from the University of Toronto (Hon. BSc, philosophy and biology), University of Edinburgh (Research MSc, life sciences) and Columbia University of New York City (MPH, sociomedical sciences).
akoski (at) ph.ucla.edu
Alissa Koski is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA. Her research examines the effect of education on girls’ economic and health outcomes in low and middle-income countries. She is particularly interested in how educational attainment affects women’s reproductive trajectories, including the age at which they marry and begin having children. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, where she is working with colleagues to measure the impact of recent changes in state-level education policy.
Alissa received her PhD in epidemiology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Her dissertation examined trends in the prevalence of child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa and the effects of changes in education policy on the timing of marriage among young women in the region. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Alissa worked as a senior program coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was responsible for overseeing a project that aimed to improve the safety of births that occur outside of health care facilities in Ghana and India. She holds an MPH in Global Health from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and a BSc in Biological Sciences from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.
With expertise in applied quantitative methods, population and global health Natalia is committed to conducting high-quality research that would help solve problems of health disparities and advance healthy living, both locally and globally. At the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health she is primarily focused on a global comparative policy analysis of constitutional right-to-health guarantees and health policies that make a difference. Natalia received her Doctoral degree from the University of California, Irvine, and she also holds degrees in economics (BS), international studies (BA) and demography (MA). She joined the Center after completing a Fulbright fellowship in the European Union.
nomid (at) ph.ucla.edu
Negar Omidakhsh obtained her BSc. from the University of British Columbia in 2010 with a focus in international nutrition and global health, and completed her MSc. in Epidemiology in 2013 from the same institution. Her MSc. research examined breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in rural Cambodia and assessed whether adherence to the WHO complimentary feeding guidelines improved anthropometric and infant health outcomes among children under two years of age. Her global interests range from refugee rights to the ethics of international service learning; however, her passion is maternal and child health. Negar hopes that her work at WORLD will help to lessen the gender gap that exists nationally and globally, and that her research will help to illuminate the economic and health benefits associated with improved gender equality policies. Negar's extracurricular involvement includes volunteer work with the Canadian Red Cross, UNICEF, and Amnesty International. As a first generation refugee herself, she continues to advocate for refugee rights in her spare time and has collaborated with the Vancouver Public Library to host a speaker series that provides a safe and supportive space for refugees to share their stories. Negar just completed her PhD in Epidemiology from the Fielding School of Public Health and her dissertation examined parental occupational exposures and risk of childhood cancers.
Antonio Pedro Ramos
Dr. Antonio Pedro Ramos is a postdoctoral scholar at World Policy Analysis Center (WORLD), Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA. He uses demographic data and advanced statistical methods to investigate the effect of democratic institutions on health, particularly on early-life mortality among the poor in the developing regions of the world. He graduated from UCLA with an MS in Statistics in 2013 and with a PhD in Political Science in 2014. His dissertation was the first large scale analysis of the effects of democratization on child and infant mortality among the poor from the developing world. He also has specialization in Bayesian data analysis, hierarchical models, longitudinal models, and experience in fitting complex statistical models to large data sets. His current research interests include quantifying inequality in early-life mortality, unraveling the mechanisms behind it, and designing public health policies to curb it. He was just awarded the 5 years Path to Independence Award from NIH (NICHD) with the to objective of becoming an expert in methodological and conceptual development in the field of health inequality.
vriossalas (at) ph.ucla.edu
Vanessa is interested in studying how social and family policies improve children’s wellbeing. Her current research explores whether family structure and composition, child support and foster care influence children's development and economic well-being in the U.S. and Latin America. Prior to joining WORLD as a postdoctoral scholar, she worked at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducting research with administrative data on projects relating family policies and students’ educational outcomes. Before that, she worked at the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank, collaborating on policy research for different Latin American countries, and at the Group of Analysis for Development (GRADE) in the evaluation of education programs and projects studying labor policies for the youth in Peru. Vanessa holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare and an M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima, Peru).