Kathryn Whetten
Director, CHPIR
CHPIR Director Kathryn Whetten, PhD, is the director of the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, as well as Professor of Public Policy, Global Health, Nursing and Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. Her research interests include understanding of health-related issues for the poor, the disenfranchised and chronically ill; HIV/AIDS in the Deep South and in less wealthy countries.
Gary Bennett
Associate Professor
Gary Bennett, PhD, works with the Duke Obesity Prevention Program on research work focused on developing strategies to prevent obesity in high risk populations.
Chris Conover
Research Scholar
Christopher J. Conover is a Research Scholar in the the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University, an adjunct scholar at AEI, and a Mercatus-affiliated senior scholar.
Sara Legrand
Assistant Research Professor
Sara LeGrand is an Assistant Research Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute and the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research with a doctoral degree in Health Services Research. Dr. LeGrand has conducted health disparities research for nearly a decade.
Lynne Messer
Assistant Professor
Lynne Messer is a social and reproductive / perinatal epidemiologist whose work focuses developing environmental and neighborhood measures to address maternal and child health disparities. Her research interests include women’s and children’s health, social epidemiology, perinatal and reproductive epidemiology and health disparities.
Karen O'Donnell
Associate Professor
Karen O’Donnell, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center and a Senior Research Fellow in Health Policy at Duke University. She is a child psychologist with a background in child development and Pediatric HIV.
Jan Ostermann
Associate Research Professor
Jan Ostermann, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Professor in Duke University’s Global Health Institute. Dr. Ostermann is a health services and population health researcher who specializes in analytic techniques for longitudinal and complex survey designs.
Jay Pearson
Assistant Professor
Jay A. Pearson's research examines how various forms of structural inequality influence social determination of health. A native of Hertford County in northeastern North Carolina, Pearson's early experiences in the rural agricultural south shaped his academic interests and inform his research agenda.
Brian Pence
Adjunct Associate Professor
Brian Wells Pence, PhD MPH, is an infectious diseases epidemiologist with the UNC Department of Epidemiology and an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Community and Family Medicine, the Global Health Institute, and the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University.
Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell
Assistant Research Professor
Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, Ph.D., focuses her research on the joint treatment of mental and physical health. She has research interests in the areas of clergy health, hepatitis C, substance abuse, and integration of care within systems.
Eve Puffer
Assitant Professor
Dr. Puffer is a global mental health researcher and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating integrated community-based interventions to promote child mental health, improve family functioning, and prevent HIV risk behavior.
Susan Reif
Research Associate
Susan S. Reif is a Principal Investigator for a federally funded study of the feasibility and outcomes associated with in-home mental health treatment for individuals with HIV/AIDS and a study focused on development of a substance use intervention for individuals with HIV.
Kristen Shirey
Affiliate Faculty
Kristen Shirey, M.D, is a joint Clinical Associate at Duke’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Medicine. Her clinical interests include inpatient general internal medicine and psychiatry, consultation liaison psychiatry, electroconvulsive therapy and global mental health research.
Kristen Sullivan
Research Scholar
Evaluator and site Principal Investigator for projects intervening to promote entry, engagement and retention in care for people living with HIV in North Carolina.
Donald Taylor
Associate Professor
Donald H. Taylor Jr. is an associate professor of public policy at Duke who blogs about U.S. health policy, the federal budget and the politics of these key public policy issues at Free For All.
Nathan Thielman
Nathan Thielman is Director of the Global Health Residency/ Fellowship Pathway. His research focuses on a range of clinical and social issues that affect persons living with or at risk for HIV infection in resource-poor regions in the rural southeastern U.S. and in sub-Saharan Africa.
Lavanya Vasudevan
Research Scholar
Dr. Vasudevan is an early career public health researcher with training in epidemiology and biostatistics. Her research focuses on understanding disparities in maternal and child health outcomes, primarily with respect to childhood vaccinations and healthcare access among children in adversity in low and middle-income countries.



Morgan Barlow
Research Analyst
Alisa Barrett
Research & Assistant to the Director
Miriam Berger
Project Coordinator
Latoya  Bethea
Grants and Contracts Adminstrator
Mary Butler
Case Coordinator
John  Carbuccia
IT Analyst
Ashley  Cephas
Program Coordinator
David  Eagle
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Christine Gray
PhD Student
Tova Hairston
Program Coordinator
Amy Hobbie
Research Manager
Genevieve Hunter
Project Coordinator
Anna Koons
Project Coordinator
Renee Jensen
Project Coordinator
Christina Latta
Business Manager
Christina Makarushka
Senior Project Coordinator
Carla Mena
Senior Research Aide
Heather Parnell
Research Project Manager
Donna Safely
Analyst Programmer
Jana Sartor
Staff Specialist
Beth Stringfield
Senior Project Coordinator
Kimberly  Walker
CHPIR Assosicate Director
Andrew Weinhold
Research Analyst
Rachel  Whetten
Research Specialist
Jia Yao
Research Associate

The Duke Obesity Prevention Program: Dr. Gary Bennett and his staff, Perry Foley, Erica Levine, Sandy Askew, Ilana Schriftman, Michele Lhanper and Charlotte Stoute
Our 25 Health Inequalities Program Fellows are partners with us in our work to address policy issues relevant to health care access and provision, as well as health-seeking behavior.