Janelle Sobecki, MD
BIRCWH Scholar 2023-present
Janelle N. Sobecki, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Gynecologic Oncology in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University and fellowship in gynecologic oncology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Sobecki specializes in the surgical and medical care of women with gynecologic cancer. Dr. Sobecki serves as the medical director of the Women’s Integrative Sexual Health (WISH) program at UW Health and is the co-leader of the gynecologic oncology clinical trials program at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Dr. Sobecki’s research focuses on cancer survivorship and improving the quality of life of women undergoing treatment for gynecologic malignancies. She is particularly interested in improving sexual health after cancer as well as identifying ways to prevent bone loss following cancer treatment. Her long-term research goal is to identify how best to prevent bone and muscle loss in those undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancers to decrease osteosarcopenia and bone fractures in women with cancer.
Laurel Legenza, PharmD, PhD
BIRCWH Fellow 2023-present
Laurel Legenza, PharmD, PhD, is a UW BIRCWH Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Pharmacy, Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Outcomes (SRC), at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). Dr. Legenza received her PharmD from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, and her PhD in Pharmacy from the University of the Western Cape. She completed the inaugural UW-Madison Comparative Health Systems Global Pharmacy Fellowship. She recently completed a TL1 Postdoctoral Fellowship with the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). She is passionate about improving patient outcomes, specifically addressing antimicrobial resistance with action-oriented information. Her UW BIRCWH research aims to quantify sex and gender-based differences in antibiotic resistance and antibiotic prescribing as a means to advance women’s health. Dr. Legenza’s research strives to ultimately inform treatment protocols and clinical decision support tools for optimized antibiotic treatment.
Krisjon Olson, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar 2022-present
Krisjon Olson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was also a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. Her current work aims to improve health services outcomes and address the gender-health gap in congenital heart disease. She conducts ongoing fieldwork and participant observation with children and families facing difficult treatment decisions in pediatric intensive care. Dr. Olson is the Director of the Experimental Ethnography Lab, an incubator for research on decision making, child-centered care, and congenital heart disease in Wisconsin, supported by the Children’s Wisconsin Research Institute, the Herma Heart Institute, and the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
Lara Gerassi, MSW, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar 2022-present
Lara B. Gerassi, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Gerassi holds an MSW and PhD from the Brown School of Social Work in Washington University in St. Louis. Her research aims to enhance the wellbeing of people who are involved in the sex trade, and is strongly informed by her clinical experiences with survivors of intimate partner violence and sex trafficking. Dr. Gerassi uses community-engaged research approaches to increase the methodological rigor of her studies and translate knowledge into practice and policy. She strives to use an anti-oppressive, intersectional approach that promotes social justice for individuals who trade sex across a spectrum of agency and victimization.
Susan Andreae, MPH, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar 2022-present
Susan Andreae, MPH, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Health Promotion and Health Equity Program in the Department of Kinesiology, School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Andreae is a behavioral scientist who earned her MPH and PhD at the School of Public Health, University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB). She completed postdoctoral training in the Division of Preventive Medicine at UAB. She was also named a UW-Madison Morgridge Fellow in 2020. Her research aims to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for mothers and their families who have been underserved due to limited access to health care and health promotion initiatives.
Madelyne Greene, PhD, RN
BIRCWH Scholar 2021-2023
Madelyne Greene, PhD, RN, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her PhD in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and the Health Disparities Research Scholars Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of OBGYN. The long-term goal of Dr. Greene’s research is to improve health outcomes for groups of women who are socially and structurally vulnerable by improving the design and function of the reproductive healthcare system. As a nurse, Dr. Greene’s research is driven by clinically relevant issues. She is committed to conducting research that is grounded in stakeholder and community engagement and input. She also has expertise in sexual and gender minority health and health disparities.
Rebecca Myerson, PhD, MPH
BIRCWH Scholar 2020-2022
Rebecca Myerson, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences. Dr. Myerson holds a doctorate in public policy from the University of Chicago and an MPH from the University of Washington. The long-term goal of Dr. Myerson’s research is to reduce disparities in health and access to care by providing actionable information on the impacts of policy. Her current work assesses the impact of Medicare or Medicaid eligibility on gender and racial disparities in colorectal and lung cancer care. Dr. Myerson’s policy research has been honored with the ISPOR Award for Excellence in Application of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes Research, funded by a Fulbright scholarship and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC Nightly News, and the Congressional Budget Office.
Judith Simcox, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar 2020-2022
Judith Simcox, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with affiliate appointments in the Departments of Endocrinology, Nutritional Sciences, and American Indian Studies. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Utah followed by a postdoctoral fellowship studying inter-organ lipid processing at the University of Utah. While at the University of Utah she earned multiple awards for her work aimed at enhancing health equity and inclusion. Her research focuses on using mass spectrometry based lipidomics to identify biomarkers for metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease with a particular emphasis on gender, ethnic and racial disparities. Her long-term research goal is to identify circulating lipids that serve as predictive markers for metabolic disease in diverse populations and determine how these lipids contribute to the etiology of metabolic diseases. In 2022 she received an NIH R01 award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) examining the discovery and characterization of a novel acylcarnitine transporter in brown adipocytes.
Evie Carchman, MD, FASCRS, FACS
BIRCWH Scholar 2020-2021
Evie Carchman, MD, FASCRS, FACS, is an Assistant Professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Surgery. She completed her residency in General Surgery at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center and a fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Carchman specializes in colorectal surgery with a focus on benign and malignant diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Carchman’s research focuses on human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease prevention and treatment, especially in female patients, who constitute the majority affected by anogenital cancer. Her long-term research goal is to define the mechanism(s) that promote persistent HPV infection, HPV-disease development, and HPV-associated cancer progression that will ultimately improve the health of women. In 2021, she received a VA Merit award for the Prevention of Anal Cancer in People Living with HIV.
Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH
BIRCWH Scholar 2013-2017
Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has affiliate appointments with Obstetrics & Gynecology, Population Health Sciences, and the Center for Demography & Ecology. She received a PhD in women’s studies and an MPH in Global Health from Emory University, followed by postdoctoral training in HIV/AIDS and sexuality at Columbia University and contraceptive technology at Princeton University. A behavioral scientist, she employs both qualitative and quantitative approaches to explore relationships between sexuality, gender, and the use of condoms and other contraceptive methods. Dr. Higgin’s research explores how women’s and men’s sexual pleasure-seeking influences HIV risk, unintended pregnancy, and contraceptive practices. She also examines psychosocial influences on contraceptive use such as pregnancy ambivalence and relationship dynamics. In 2017 she was awarded an NIH R01 award titled Sexual Acceptability’s Role in Contraceptive Preference and Behavior which will further her research to advance health outcomes relating to women’s health.
Heather Neuman, MD, MS, FACS
BIRCWH Scholar 2013-2017
Heather Neuman, MD, MS, FACS is an Associate Professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Surgery. She completed her medical training at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and residency in General Surgery at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Dr. Neuman specializes in surgical oncology with a focus on breast, melanoma and sarcoma. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Neuman’s research focuses on patient-oriented clinical outcomes, including patient decision-making, quality of life, and survivorship. Her long-term research goal is to develop follow-up guidelines regarding who should provide follow-up care that will ultimately lead to improved quality and efficiency of breast cancer follow-up. In 2017 she received an R01 award through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for her project titled Increasing Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Patients’ Engagement in Breast Cancer Surgery Decision Making through a Shared Decision Making Intervention.
Jennifer Rehm, MD
BIRCWH Scholar 2013-2017
Jennifer Rehm, MD is an Assistant Professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Pediatrics. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Florida, where she received both the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Student Hippocratic Award. She also received the Society for Pediatric Research’s 2011 Fellow Clinical Research Award, and a Research Fellowship Award from the Pediatric Endocrine Society. Dr. Rehm’s research interests are in clinical research of pediatric obesity and insulin resistance, adipose tissue distribution, polycystic ovary syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). She is utilizing novel MR technology to develop a NAFLD risk assessment model incorporating fasting insulin, total cholesterol, waist circumference, and ethnicity to improve early diagnosis of NAFLD in at risk populations. Future studies will investigate the evolution of adiposity and associated insulin-resistance in middle-school aged girls of different races and ethnicities. In addition to clinical research, she coordinates the American Family Children’s Hospital Pediatric Adolescent and Transgender Health Clinic and has a special interest in working with Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer (LBGTQ) and gender variant youth.
Tova Walsh, PhD, MSW
BIRCWH Scholar 2015-2017
Tova Walsh, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a PhD in Social Work and Psychology and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Her training and research experiences have coalesced in a honed research agenda, centered on women service members, veterans (SMV) and their families. Dr. Walsh aims to expand understanding of the stressors and support mechanisms that shape the health of women SMV, their care needs, and how they can be better served. This work will also expand understanding of the distinct experiences of women SMV and their families as they reintegrate into family life following a deployment and of the association between women’s health and family adjustment. Dr. Walsh’s goal is to apply this research knowledge to inform the design of tailored interventions that are responsive to the unique experiences, needs and preferences of women SMV.
Sara Lindberg, PhD, MS
BIRCWH Scholar 2013-2015
Sara Lindberg, PhD, MS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently the Program Director for Evaluation Research at the UW Population Health Institute. She specializes in evaluating interventions to improve maternal and child health and interventions to prevent health disparities. As a BIRCWH Scholar, Dr. Lindberg developed clinical and community interventions to improve women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy in order to optimize women’s and their children’s chances of long-term health. She advanced her research through publications and presentations addressing various components of gestational weight gain.
Chanel Tyler, MD
BIRCWH Scholar 2011-2013
Chanel Tyler, MD is an Assistant Professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of OB/GYN in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Tyler earned her medical degree from MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is board certified in this field. Dr. Tyler’s research focuses on the immunologic role of natural killer (NK) cells during pregnancies that are complicated by preeclampsia, and on health disparities in maternal-fetal outcomes. Dr. Tyler is working toward a PhD in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology.
Alison Brooks, MD, MPH
BIRCWH Scholar 2008-2013
Alison Brooks, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Orthopedics and Pediatrics, within the Division of Sports Medicine, in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Brooks’ research program is directed toward achieving optimal bone health in athletes of all ages and the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries in pediatric and adolescent athletes. While a BIRCWH Scholar, Dr. Brooks conducted two large randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of lace-up ankle braces in preventing injury in over 3,000 Wisconsin high school basketball and football players, for which she received the Best Research Award at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in 2011. Dr. Brooks is currently the Associate Director of Sports Concussion and Nutrition Research for the Badger Athletic Performance Program, and in addition, she is the UW-Madison site PI for the landmark multi-center longitudinal cohort study sponsored by the NCAA and Department of Defense to evaluate sport-related concussion in collegiate athletes.
Sumona Saha, MD, MS
BIRCWH Scholar 2008-2013
Sumona Saha, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Saha’s research focuses on women’s health issues including pregnancy outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis) and women’s gastrointestinal health training and education. Dr. Saha served on a national taskforce to build a women’s gastrointestinal health curriculum for gastroenterology fellows across the country, and is a charter member of the American Gastroenterological Association’s (AGA) Academy of GI and Liver Educators Advisory Board. Dr. Saha directs the Gastrointestinal Disorders in Pregnancy Clinic and helped establish a new multi-disciplinary clinic for patients with inflammatory Bowel disease at UW Health. She received the UW Health Patient Experience Physician Champion Award in 2012. She is the recipient of two Ambulatory Care Innovation Grants, pilot funding from the Departments of Medicine and Radiology at the University of Wisconsin, and an AGA Academy of Educators’ Education Grant.
Sana Salih, MD
BIRCWH Scholar 2008-2013
Sana Salih, MD, MS is an Associate Professor at West Virginia University. Dr. Salih has a particular interest in promoting fertility and reproductive health preservation in female cancer patients. While a BIRCWH Scholar, Dr. Salih conducted research investigating the toxic effects of doxocyclin and other chemotherapy agents in the ovary and the role of drug metabolizing enzymes (DME) and their regulators such as Pregnane X receptor in mitigating chemotherapy toxicity. Dr. Salih’s research seeks to identify novel mechanisms to improve fertility and reproductive health outcomes in women and children diagnosed with cancer.
Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH
BIRCWH Scholar 2008-2009
Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH is a Professor, Academic Division Chief of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Division, and Vice Chair of Digital Health in the Department of Pediatrics at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. She is the PI of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT). In 2009, Dr. Moreno received an NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) award: “Facebook: A screening tool to identify alcohol use among female college freshmen,” and an R21, also from NIAAA: “Use of Social Networking Web sites For Problem Drinking Screening in Adolescents”. In 2010 she received an R01 award: (NIDA/NICHD/NIAAA): “Using Media to Investigate Mechanisms of Behavior Change”. In 2017, she received a NIH/NIDA R01 award titled “Marijuana ads in traditional and social media: Influence and policy implications”. She has published numerous articles on the effects of social media and adolescent health and behavior. Her book, “Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook…: A Parent’s Toolkit for Promoting Healthy Internet Use”, was released in 2013.
Nancy Pandhi, MD, MPH, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar 2008-2009
Nancy Pandhi, MD, MPH, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Pandhi’s research program is directed towards effective ambulatory care redesign for vulnerable populations. She completed a five-year K08 Career Development Award from NIH/NIA. Currently funded areas of interest include the integration of behavioral health and primary care, and patient engagement in care redesign. Her clinical practice is with Access Community Health Center. She co-leads the Primary Care Academics Transforming Healthcare (PATH) Collaborative whose mission is to communicate UW Health’s primary care redesign innovations through scholarly publications.