BEBTEH Trainees

Current Pre-doctoral Trainees

Cory Arrouzet, Epidemiology

Cory is a third year PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. His research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, mathematical modeling, spatial epidemiology, and One Health. He holds a bachelor's degree in public health science and biology from Santa Clara University and an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University. Prior to starting the PhD program at UW, Cory worked in state, local, and federal governmental public health agencies on infectious disease epidemiology, COVID-19 response, and border health. He is currently working on his dissertation with Dr. Julianne Meisner investigating the effects of land use and land ownership on mosquito-borne diseases in Brazil. 

Willow Crawford-Crudell, Biostatistics

Willow is a first year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. Her research interests include statistical methods that can be used to answer questions related to environmental health. Prior to starting at UW, Willow worked as a Data Scientist at Mathematica, a public policy research company.  Most of her work at Mathematica existed at the intersection of data science and health equity in public health. When she’s not studying or working, you can find her walking her dog, trying a new baking recipe, or rock climbing.

Anna Harrington, Epidemiology

Anna Harrington is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research interests include environmental and social epidemiology, the developmental origins of health and disease, reproductive justice, and community engaged research. Prior to starting the PhD program at UW, Anna earned an MPH in Epidemiology (Maternal and Child Health Track) at the University of Washington. She previously worked as a Summer Associate at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a Disease Research and Intervention Specialist at Public Health—Seattle and King County and contributed to numerous studies at the University of Washington on topics ranging from postpartum depression to Alzheimer's disease. Anna is excited to grow her environmental health research skill set and conduct her doctoral work on the associations of air pollution exposure and structural racism with chronic disease to reduce environmental health disparities. 

Tanya Libby, Epidemiology

Tanya Libby is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. She is interested in environmental justice, the social and environmental determinants of health, and applied public health practice. Prior to coming to UW, she received a MPH in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology from the University of California Berkeley, completed a fellowship with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and worked as an Epidemiologist for the California Emerging Infections Program. Her research spans diverse topic areas including examining the effect of air pollution on risk of dementia and exploring risk factors for antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

James Peng, Biostatistics 

James is a third year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. His research interests include causal inference, global health equity, infectious disease, and environmental health. Prior to UW, he worked as a data scientist at the University of California, San Francisco and as a middle school math teacher in San Jose, CA. James received his undergraduate degree in math and chemistry at Dartmouth College and his master's degree in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Elijah Scott, DEOHS 

Elijah is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science. He is currently working under Dr. Judit Marsillach, researching the systematic effects of air pollution exposure. His research interests include air pollution, environmental mixtures, and biomarkers of exposure. His project is focused on how air pollution causes various adverse health outcomes due to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation. In his free time, Elijah enjoys climbing, hiking, and traveling.  

Charlotte Talham, Biostatistics

Charlotte is a second year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. Her interests include causal inference and statistical methods for environmental exposures. Prior to joining the University of Washington, she received her undergraduate degree in mathematics, statistics and economics at the University of Florida and worked at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities as a post-baccalaureate research fellow. 

Katelin Teigen, DEOHS

Katelin Teigen is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences. Her research interests include climate and health, air quality modeling, environmental epidemiology, community engagement, and environmental justice. Prior to coming to UW, she earned her MPH in Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health, during which she investigated the mental health impacts of climate change and extreme heat. Outside of academia, Katelin enjoys hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, skiing, surfing, and embarrassing herself at karaoke. 

River Williams, Epidemiology

River Williams is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences. Her research interests include climate and health, specifically infectious disease, environmental epidemiology, environmental justice, water quality, and environmental microbiology. Prior to coming to UW, she earned her MPH in Global Epidemiology & Disease Control at George Washington University. There she investigated the impacts of climate change (temperature, humidity, precipitation, and extreme weather events) on dengue transmission, as well as conducted a case study using SEIR modeling to simulate the impact of temperature on dengue transmission in Baton Rouge, LA (based on IPCC temperature change predictions) . Outside of academia, River enjoys hiking, reading, thrifting, trivia nights, and exploring the outdoors with her dog Boba. 

Current Postdoctoral Trainees

Brennan Baker, DEOHS

Brennan completed his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University in 2022. He is an environmental molecular epidemiologist investigating the links between prenatal exposures and children’s health and their underlying molecular mechanisms. His PhD work was the first to examine human functional brain phenotypes in relation to prenatal acetaminophen, showing that acetaminophen exposure measured in meconium was associated with child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and that the association was mediated by functional brain connectivity measured via functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Follow-up work uncovered that prenatal acetaminophen may increase risks for low birthweight and reduced gestational age, but that these adverse birth outcomes do not mediate links with child ADHD. Serving as a co-investigator on a pilot grant, Brennan conducted the first study of the effects of prenatal acetaminophen exposure on genome-wide gene expression (via RNA-sequencing) in the brain (using a mouse model). As a BEBTEH postdoctoral fellow, Brennan is working under the mentorship of Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana. Gene expression studies are uncommon in observational epidemiology, and Brennan’s postdoctoral work is at the leading edge of methods development integrating epidemiologic and transcriptomic approaches. He developed the only existing RNA- sequencing analysis pipeline allowing for multiple imputation of missing covariate data and conducted the largest analysis of the relationship between prenatal psychological stress and the placental transcriptome to date. Spanning beyond prenatal pharmaceuticals, Brennan’s work has also examined the impact of prenatal exposures to ubiquitous environmental chemicals including phthalates, parabens, and flame retardants.

Carrie Fahey, Epidemiology

Carrie Fahey is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research seeks to elucidate and address intersecting social and environmental determinants of health. She completed her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she used impact evaluation and implementation science to understand the effects of behavioral economic interventions on health care access, utilization, and outcomes. Carrie’s current work examines how climate and environmental exposures affect vulnerable populations, including marginalized communities, people living with HIV and other chronic conditions, older individuals, pregnant people, and children. She uses quasi-experimental and spatiotemporal methods to analyze large datasets, from collaborative consortiums to electronic medical records. She also has extensive experience designing mobile health technology (mHealth) systems and conducting primary data collection, including randomized controlled trials and longitudinal cohort studies in both the United States and global settings. 

John Flunker, DEOHS

Dr. Flunker completed his PhD in environmental and occupational epidemiology at the University of Kentucky in 2021. He specializes in occupational and residential exposure assessment, exposure-outcome modeling, and promoting the health of vulnerable populations. Working in a multi-disciplinary and stakeholder-engaged context, Dr. Flunker has examined factors related to adverse health outcomes and implemented evidence-based workplace interventions among Latino thoroughbred horse farm workers, elucidated the relationship between resource extraction particulate exposures and respiratory health experienced by residents of rural Appalachia Kentucky, and co-led a Maryland casino worker occupational safety research feasibility study designed to explore under-reported industry hazards. His past research support includes two studies funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC-NIOSH) where Dr. Flunker served the role of co-investigator. He was also the principal investigator of two pilot studies funded by the University of Kentucky CDC-NIOSH Educational Research Center and the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention. As a BEBTEH post-doctoral fellow Dr. Flunker continues his research in occupational and environmental epidemiology, focusing primarily on agricultural worker heat and particulate exposures, yet broadens his research diversity, expertise, and impact via academic and industry stakeholder collaborations, policy-informing research, and small-scale region-specific occupational epidemiology studies. Dr. Flunker serves as a mentor for the Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences in Environmental Health (SURE-EH) program and collaborates with the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.

Emilia Vignola, Epidemiology

Emilia (Emma) Vignola completed her PhD in Community Health and Health Policy at the City University of New York School of Public Health in 2023. Her multi-methods dissertation drawing on both primary and secondary data focused on understanding and mitigating the health influences of precarious employment among food chain workers. She is interested broadly in how work and employment quality influence health and health equity, as a way of incorporating questions of power into her public health research and practice. While pursuing her doctorate she worked as a fellow at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute on research and advocacy related to food labor and food justice. She also collaborated on a multi-country qualitative study on non-standard employment and health as part of the Precarious Work Research consortium. As a BEBTEH postdoctoral trainee, she will work with Dr. Anjum Hajat on research projects related to measuring precarious employment and its health impacts, and with Dr. Marissa Baker on an evaluation of a mentorship program for women in construction.