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Faculty Grants and Announcements

Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health has experienced an extraordinary increase in our research engagement over the past few years. Our research continues to inspire change in urban and global health policy and practice. 

"We strive to link our research to our policy and practice mission in a way that is valuable for practice but that also promotes creativity, innovation and the intellectual thrill of research itself," said Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology.

Drexel University was awarded the highest research activity ranking,"R1 Doctoral University — Very High Research Activity," by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions in 2019. “The Carnegie designation is a welcome affirmation by independent reviewers of the growth of Drexel research and its impact on society,” said Drexel President John Fry.

Learn more about Faculty Research Interests by topic.

Select Grants and Announcements


Sharrelle Barber

2/19/21: The research of Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, was featured in this month's issue of The Lancet. Read the article, Sharrelle Barber: At the Intersection of Place, Race, and Health.

Ann Carroll Klassen

2/10/21: Ann Carroll Klassen, PhD, professor in the department of Community Health and Prevention, had the article Formative Research to Address Vaccine Hesitancy in Tajikistan published in the March 2021 issue of Vaccine.

Ana Diez RouxUsama Bilal

2/02/21: Urban Health Collaborative Director and Dornsife Dean Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH and Assistant Professor Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, MPH, have been awarded a one year, $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to track equity issues in COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

The study will focus on building on the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) COVID-19 Health Inequities in Cities Dashboard to characterize the availability and inequalities of COVID-19 testing, characterize policies that cities have implemented to reduce these inequities, and evaluate the effects of these policies. 

Scarlett Bellamy

2/01/21: In celebration of Black History Month, Scarlett Bellamy, ScD, associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and faculty development & professor at Dornsife, was recognized by The American Statistical Association for making tremendous contributions to the field of statistics.

 Suruchi Sood

1/27/21: Suruchi Sood, PhD, associate professor in the department of Community Health and Prevention, continues her work with the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the largest global initiative to accelerate the abandonment of this harmful traditional practice and advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls. Programme members released a new publication “Participatory Research Toolkit for Social Norms Measurement.” The toolkit is a culmination of almost two decades of social and behavior change communication research and practice collaborations from around the world and is intended to address social-norms change.

Harrison Quick

1/14/21: Harrison Quick, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, led a team of researchers at Dornsife to explore the utility of spatial Bayesian models to improve the precision of small area estimates used by the County Health Rankings. The published results lay the foundation for the use of modeled estimates in the Rankings, which uses modeled estimates for measures like premature death. Funding was provided by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) in 2019.

Alex Ezeh

1/15/21: Alex Ezeh, PhD, professor of Global Health in the department of Community Health and Prevention at Dornsife, will serve on the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ High Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs. Ezeh will join 19 fellow board members to build on the accomplishments of the first HLAB. Over the next two years, they will continue to strengthen the United Nation’s thought leadership on sustainable development and to reinforce its impact at the forefront of sustainable development policy at global, regional, and local levels.


Shiriki Kumanyika

11/09/20: Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, was awarded funding through Drexel's Rapid Response Research & Development Fund. The project will investigate Drexel University’s response to racial inequities, police brutality and other social injustices experienced by Black people across the country, through the perceptions of students in the Drexel community. This research will be used to inform a model and best practice for developing transformative antiracism strategies that can be institutionally accountable and sustained. Global Engagement’s Director of Global Health Programs and the Dornsife Global Development Scholars Program Idris Robinson, MPH, will serve as manager.

Alex Quistberg

10/7/20: Urban Health Collaborative Professor Alex Quistberg Awarded $690,000 K01 Award From NIH. Alex Quistberg, PhD, MPH, got an award for the Built Environment, Pedestrian Injuries and Deep Learning (BEPIDL) study, which will focus on developing neighborhood built environment indicators and examining their association with pedestrian safety in Bogota, Colombia.

Mariana LazoAna Martinez-Donate

10/1/20: Mariana Lazo, MD, PhD, ScM, associate research professor, and Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD, professor, both in the department of Community Health and Prevention, received COVID-19 supplement funding from an existing $275K R21 from NICHD grant.

The new additional budget of $250K will provide COVID-19 specific training to our cohort of Latino community leaders so they can support other community members with COVID-19 risk reduction, access to testing, and treatment. They will also be evaluating the impact of peer-driven intervention, as well as the Latino Health Collective and the website led by this research group.

Caroline Voyles

10/1/20: Caroline Voyles, MPH, and Randall Sell, ScD, were awarded funding for “Investigating Sexual Minorities’ Navigation of Participation and Disclosure Decisions in Athletic Spaces,” $4,778, NIRSA Foundation, 10/1/2020 – 12/31/2022.

9/30/20: Tran Huynh, PhD, MPH, CIH; Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH; and Lucy Robinson, PhD, were awarded funding for “A feasibility study to develop a multilevel occupational health intervention program for nail salon employees and owners,” $234,996, NIOSH, 9/30/2020-9/29/2022, 1R21OH011740-01.

Alex Ortega

9/29/20: Professor Ortega Awarded $2.7 Million R01 Award From NIH. Alex Ortega, PhD, was awarded an NIH grant to study access to healthcare for Latino youth in mixed status families in California. Researchers that will address four specific goals in the context of families’ citizenship and documentation status compositions.

9/15/20: Seth Welles, PhD, ScD; Neal Goldstein, PhD, MBI; Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH; Ayden Scheim, PhD, and Zsofia Szep, MD, were awarded funding for “A Cross-Sectional Survey of PrEP Awareness, Barriers and Facilitators for PrEP Uptake, and the Impact of Dosing Mechanisms on Willingness to Take PrEP among MSM Indicated for PrEP Use in Philadelphia,” $236,554.89, Marck Sharp and Dohme Corp., 9/15/2020 – 3/15/2022.

Usama Bilal

9/1/20: Usama Bilal, PhD, MPH, MD; Neal Goldstein, PhD; and Mariana Lazo Elizondo, MD, PhD, ScM, were awarded funding for “The Health Consequences of Urban Scaling,” $377,709, NIH, 3DP5OD026429-03S1.

Sharrelle Barber

9/1/20: Professor Barber Awarded $2.2 Million R01 Award From NIH. Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, will lead a research team that will examine how changing neighborhoods influence hypertension and diabetes control.

8/31/20: Drexel Researchers Receive Funding for Racial Equity Projects - Just over $100,000 was awarded to 22 faculty and professional staff through Drexel's Rapid Response Research & Development Fund.

8/25/20: HRSA Names Dornsife a Maternal and Child Health Public Health Catalyst Program Grant Recipient - Dornsife received funding to expand maternal and child health education.

Tran Huynh

8/1/20: Tran Huynh, PhD, MPH, CIH, was awarded funding for “Occupational safety and health technical assistance,” $36,637.18, NIOSH, 8/1/2020 – 7/31/2021, 20IPA2014104.

7/31/20: Philip Massey, PhD, MPH, and Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH, were awarded funding for “Hashtag HPV: Engaging parents through social media to increase HPV vaccination,” $100,000, NCI. Read a related story, Social Leveraging, in the Dornsife SPH Magazine.

 Irene Headen

7/26/20: Irene Headen, PhD, MS, was awarded funding for “System Science Approaches to Understand Neighborhood Opportunity and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Maternal Morbidity,” $664,704, NIMHD, 7/26/2020-2/28/2025, 1K01MD015291-01.

Alexis Roth Ayden Scheim

7/7/20: Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH, and Ayden Scheim, PhD, were awarded funding for “Comparing Treatment Outcomes for Opioid Use Disorder Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak in Philadelphia: A Natural Experiment,” $32,400, Fordham University (NIDA), 7/7/2020-3/31/2021.

Scarlett Bellamy

7/1/20: Scarlett Bellamy, ScD, was awarded funding for “Strengthening Suicide Prevention Efforts for Women Veterans through the Veterans Crisis Line,” $129,423, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 7/1/2020 – 11/30/2022.

 Suruchi Sood

6/29/20: Suruchi Sood, PhD, was awarded funding for “C4D Capacity Building on Changing Social Norms Supporting Child Marriage,” $50,120, UNICEF, 6/29/2020-1/31/2021.

6/1/20: Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, was awarded funding for “Racism, Residential Segregation and COVID-19 in Philadelphia: Mobilizing Data for Action During the Pandemic,” $10,000, Community Initiatives/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 6/1/2020-9/30/2020. This project will examine residential segregation as a fundamental driver of the COVID-19 pandemic in urban settings. It will combine descriptive spatial data analyses and digital storytelling to examine the links between structural racism, residential segregation and COVID-19 pandemic in the city of Philadelphia. Ultimately, this project seeks to shape the narrative around emerging racial inequalities and mobilize data for action with a focus on both short-term and long-term policy solutions.

6/1/20: Meera Harhay, MD; Ann Klassen, PhD; Lucy Robinson, PhD; and Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, were awarded funding for “Identifying Health and High-Risk Weight Loss Phenotypes to Optimize Obesity Management in End Stage Kidney Disease,” $1,421,103, NIDDK, 6/1/2020 – 5/31/2025, 1R01DK124388-01.

5/21/20: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Drexel's Rapid Response Research and Development Fund Awardees

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Visit PubMed for a recent list of Dornsife's peer-reviewed publications.


Student headshot

Advancing Sickle Cell Disease Research in the Caribbean

An undergraduate gets a head start on her career managing a groundbreaking study to advance public health in Jamaica.

More Student Research News