Graduated Scholars

Graduated Scholars


Emily S. Brouwer, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science

Research Topic: HIV, Medicaid, Cardiovascular disease

Mentor: Ann Coker, PhD, Thomas E. Curry, Jr., PhD and Jeff Talbert, PhD

I come to the women’s health research arena as a microbiologist, epidemiologist and pharmacist. After graduating from the University of Michigan focusing in microbiology, I received a MPH in epidemiology from Emory University.  After a year of work as an epidemiologist for a non-profit quality improvement organization, I was motivated to seek a clinical degree in pharmacy to better understand medication use.  As a pharmacy student and subsequently a PhD student in epidemiology, I built upon previous academic, clinical and professional experiences to develop a research agenda focusing on the clinical area of HIV/AIDS and long-term outcomes associated with HIV treatment and care, disparities in access to and response to treatment, as well as, pharmacoepidemiology methods. My current research at UK focuses on cardiovascular disease outcomes among women infected with HIV.  I am passionate about this line of research as cardiovascular disease is increasingly affecting HIV-infected individuals, especially women, racial minorities and those with limited health care access.



Kate Eddens, PhD., MPH

Assistant Professor

Department of Health Behavior

College of Public Health

BIRCWH Appointment:  January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016

Project Title: Connecting Appalachian to Lung Cancer Screening: Knowledge, Networks, and Gender

Research Area(s): health communication, social networks, health disparities, diffusion of innovations, cancer prevention and control

Kate Eddens’ work lie squarely at the intersection of social, economic, and behavioral determinants of health, is transdisciplinary in both approach and methods, and is centrally focused on eliminating health disparities. Her research agenda focuses on increasing the reach and effectiveness of health communication strategies to connect the underserved to health services and solutions. She is particularly interested in the understanding how communication networks affect health outcomes among the poor, and in utilizing social network analysis, word-of-mouth communication and marketing strategies to reach the underserved with relevant, trustworthy, and actionable information. Her dissertation research examined sources and patterns of information about health care reform within the social networks of underserved adults with unmet health needs. To facilitate this work, she has collaborated with faculty with expertise in health economics, health reform, social network analysis, health literacy, and word-of-mouth marketing. Other research includes developing targeted recruitment materials to increase participation in a state colorectal cancer screening program, examining disparities by race and ethnicity in cancer survivor stories online, and utilizing the 2-1-1 information and referral hotline to connect low-income callers with health services.



Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD., RN

Assistant Research Professor

Tobacco Policy Research Program

College of Nursing

BIRCWH Appointment: January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2017

Project Title: Smoking Among Women in Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities: A Community Engaged Approach

Research Areas: tobacco control, vulnerable populations

Dr. Amanda Fallin-Bennett is an active early-career tobacco control scientist with a focus on tobacco policy and disparate populations. As a faculty associate in the Tobacco Policy Research Program, she is currently developing a program of research focused on tobacco use and tobacco-related policies in mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities.

In June 2014, she completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Stanton Glantz at the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. While there she led projects related to tobacco use, policy and prevention for vulnerable populations: in tobacco growing states; and among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, college students, and bar-going young adults. Fallin has led two multi-site capacity-building projects funded by California’s Tobacco Related Disease Research Program to evaluate smoke and tobacco-free college campus policies in California as an extension of her dissertation research. Her article, "To quarterback behind the scenes, third party efforts’: The tobacco industry and the Tea Party,” was the most downloaded article in Tobacco Control in 2013.


Michelle M. Martel, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology

Research Topic: Sex Differences in Impulsivity in Young Adults

Mentor: Rich Milich, PhD and Gregory Smith, PhD

The goal of my research is to elucidate the nature of sex differences in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I study early developmental pathways to ADHD through examination of early-emerging markers of ADHD, including temperament/personality traits and cognition, as well as postulated etiological factors, including both environmental (e.g., parenting) and biological (e.g., candidate gene, gonadal hormone) influences and their interaction. The major question my research attempts to address is: Can distinct pathways to ADHD be identified for girls (vs. boys), and can knowledge of these pathways provide useful information for devising personalized prevention and intervention strategies that can mitigate negative long-term outcomes of ADHD in girls?



Rachel Miller, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research Topic: Effects of chemotherapeutic agents on cognition

Mentor: Allan Butterfield, PhD, Thomas E. Curry, Jr., PhD and Frederick R. Ueland, MD

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences (chemistry/biology) and the College of Medicine.  I  completed obstetrics and gynecology residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire in 2007, followed by fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of Kentucky.  After completing fellowship in June 2010, I was offered a position as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the division of gynecologic oncology at UK.   As faculty, the majority of my effort has been clinically oriented, offering surgical management and chemotherapy for patients with ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers.  My research has involved participation in cooperative group clinical trials (GOG), working with the ovarian cancer screening program, and development of an investigator initiated clinical trial evaluating neoadjuvant chemotherapy and interval surgical debulking in patients with ovarian, primary peritoneal, and fallopian tube cancer.  My BIRCWH project will evaluate chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancers.



Daniela Moga, MD, PhD.

Assistant Professor

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science

College of Pharmacy

BIRCWH Appointment:  January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016

Project Title: An investigation of the impact of neurocognitive disorders on women

Research Area(s): Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurocognitive disorders (NCD)

Dr. Moga joined UK in July 2012 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology.  After graduating from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy with an MD degree, she completed clinical internships in internal medicine, general surgery and family medicine, followed by residency trainings in Public Health and Epidemiology in my home country of Romania. In May 2012 Dr. Moga graduated with a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Iowa, College of Public Health. Her focus during the doctoral training was in the area of pharmacoepidemiology and epidemiologic methodology. She has experience with working with large administrative and claims data (VA, Medicare) and the mandatory assessment data from nursing homes (Minimum Data Set).  Dr. Moga’s research interests are mainly related to medication use and effectiveness in the elderly population, especially complex patients (multiple comorbidities, living in long-term care). With regard to women’s health,  she is particularly interested in gender disparities in treatment, especially for chronic conditions and their impact on health outcomes (urinary incontinence, diabetes).Dr. Moga is currently working in evaluating how the different medications for urinary incontinence impact cognitive function and the risk of falls in elderly enrolled in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center cohort.  She is also developing a project to evaluate the impact of polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate drug use on cognitive decline and mortality in this cohort.


Claire Snell-Rood, PhD.

Research Assistant Professor

Department of Behavioral Science

College of Medicine

I am a medical anthropologist interested in exploring the critical intersection between social relationships and mental health among women living in poverty. I received training in cultural and medical anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Virginia before completing my postdoctoral work in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Behavioral Science. At UK, I have conducted formative research on the social and cultural factors that shape treatment-seeking for low-income women with depression in Appalachian Kentucky, working in collaboration with colleagues at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health. As a BIRCWH scholar, I am excited to continue this collaboration through a project that will culturally adapt an evidence-based treatment for depression to the Appalachian context by using community health workers.The goal of my long-term research is to understand the complex social and cultural factors that contribute to mental health disparities cross culturally and to translate this awareness into culturally tailored interventions to improve mental health.



Robin Vanderpool, DRPH, CHES

Assistant Professor

Department of Health Behavior

Research Topic: Breast cancer, employment, health disparities, longitudinal studies, intervention development

Mentor: Ann Coker, PhD, Richard Crosby, PhD and Jennifer Swanberg, PhD

Dr. Vanderpool serves as the Deputy Director of the CDC-funded Rural Cancer Prevention Center focused on breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer disparities in an 8-county region of Appalachian Kentucky. Robin's women's health research centers on the confluence of low-wage employment and breast cancer among women in Kentucky. The goal is to better understand how employment factors may influence low-wage earning survivors' medical decisions and adherence to cancer treatment protocols, ultimately leading to an intervention strategy to help women achieve positive breast cancer health outcomes and navigate cancer survivorship and employment.


Scholar: Subbu Apparsundaram, Ph.D.
Department: Anatomy and Neurobiology
Project: Estrogen Modulation of Central Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Function Regulation of Presynaptic Choline and Dopamine
Mentor: Lothar Jennes, Ph.D.

Scholar: Kristin Ashford, PhD
Department: Nursing
Project: Smoking and Pre-term Birth
Mentor: James E. Ferguson, MD and Jeffrey Ebersole, MD

Scholar: Phillip Bridges, PhD
Department: Clinical and Reproductive Sciences
Project: Regulation of Oviductal Function and Fertility
Mentor: Jay Ko, PhD, and Tom Curry, PhD

Scholar: Jody L. Clasey, Ph.D.
Department: Kinesiology and Health Promotion
Project: Relationship Between Insulin Sensitivity and Measures of Body Composition in Obese Prepubescents and Adolescents
Mentor: Dennis Karounos, M.D.

Scholar: Paul Dassow, M.D.
Department: Family Practice
Project: Increasing Colorectal Screening Among Women with the use of Mailed Educational Prompts
Mentor: Joyce Beaulieu, PhD, MPH, and Mark Dignan, Ph.D., MPH

Scholar: Anita Fernander, Ph.D.
Department: Behavorial Science
Project: The Influence of Stress and Coping on Smoking Status and Smoking Behaviors Among Disadvantaged African-American Women
Mentor: Linda Dwoskin, Ph.D., and Linda Brown Wright, Ph.D.

Scholar: Joan Griffith, M.D.
Department: Pediatrics
Project: Adolescent Female Obesity, Depression and High-risk Behavior
Mentor: James Anderson, M.D.

Scholar: Joseph Holtman, M.D., Ph.D.
Department: Anesthesiology
Project: Gender, Sex Hormones and Pain Responsivity
Mentor: Tom Kelly, Ph.D.

Scholar: Jane Joseph, Ph.D.
Department: Anatomy and Neurobiology
Project: Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy on Functional Brain Organization for Spatial and Memory Performance
Mentor: Tom Kelly, Ph.D.

Scholar: Michael W. Kilgore, Ph.D.
Department: Pharmacology
Project: Transcriptional Control of Breast Cancer Through Peroxisome-activated Receptor Gamma
Mentor: Tom Curry, Ph.D.

Scholar: Ken Kirsh , Ph.D.
Department: Pharmacy Practice and Science
Mentor: Donald Perrier, Ph.D.

Scholar: Michelle Lofwall, PhD
Department: Psychiatry
Project: The Role of Gender and Pain on the Abuse Liability, Stress Response, and Pharmacokinetics of Intranasal OxyContin Among Opioid Users
Mentor: Sharon Walsh, PhD, and Catherine Martin, MD

Scholar: Karen Lommel, MD
Department: Psychiatry
Project: Childhood Cancer Survivors: Psychosocial Risks for Female Rural Adolescent and Young Adults
Mentor: Cathy Martin, MD

Scholar: Susan Modesitt, M.D
Department: Ob/GYN
Project: In vitro and in vivo Histone Deacetlyase Inhibitor Therapy in Ovarian Cancer
Mentor: Tom Curry, Ph.D., and Steve Zimmer, Ph.D.

Scholar: Igho Ofotokun, M.D.
Department: Internal Medicine
Project: Gender Differences in Response and Adverse Reactions to the Antiretroviral Drugs
Mentor: Claire Pomeroy, M.D.

Scholar: Alice Thorton, M.D.
Department: Internal Medicine
Project: Epidemiology and Host Responses to Trichomoniasis
Mentor: Beth Garvy, M.D., and Dennis Fortenberry, M.D.

Scholar: James Temprano, MD
Department: Internal Medicine
Project: Differences in Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels and Correlation with Markers of Asthma Severity in Pregnant Asthmatics and Controls
Mentor: David Mannino, MD, and Beth Garvy, PhD

Scholar: Anand Vaishnav, MD
Department: Neurology
Project: Effects on Gender on Healthy and Stroke Subtype Patients on P-selectin Expression in Platelets based on Flow Cytometry
Mentor: Suellen Ferraris, PhD

Scholar: Corinne Williams, ScD
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Project: The Effect of Violence on Reproductive Health
Mentor: Ann Coker, PhD, and James E. Ferguson, MD

Scholar: Melinda Wilson, Ph.D.
Department: Physiology
Project: Mechanisms of Estrogen Neuroprotection in HIV-associated Dementia
Mentor: Eric Smart, Ph.D.

Scholar: Faika Zanjani, PhD
Department: Gerontology
Project: Health Disparities Among Women
Mentor: Nancy E. Schoenberg, PhD, and Catherine A. Martin, MD