Keren Ladin teaches courses in health policy, research methods, public health ethics, health disparities, and medical ethics. Professor Ladin incorporates quantitative, qualitative, and normative approaches to study how systemic disadvantage affects health and the ability of individuals to make and pursue lifeplans. Specifically, her research examines socioeconomic and racial disparities in transplantation, mental health treatment, aging, and immigrant health. She aims to better understand how social networks impact health disparities, acute medical decision-making, and resilience in major life transitions. Her research aims to: (1) understand the role of social networks in complex medical decision-making, (2) evaluate the impact of public policies on the health of vulnerable populations, and (3) identify barriers and interventions to improve health care utilization among vulnerable populations.
Professor Ladin is also the Director of the Lab for Research on Ethics, Aging, and Community Health (REACH Lab) at Tufts University.
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health and Associate Professor
Currently, I am an Associate Professor within the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University. Additionally, I am the Principal Investigator of an NIMHD R01 (1R01MD016026-01) study entitled "Reducing Racial Disparities in SMM Post COVID19: Assessing the integration of maternal safety bundles and community based doulas to improve outcomes for Black women" Given my extensive training in community-driven participatory research, health disparities, maternal and child health, and qualitative methods, my participation in the BIRCWH Program as a mentor with a focus on health disparities will be an opportunity to further expand my expertise. For the past 15 years, I have worked successfully in communities of color on issues including advancing the understanding, prevention, and reduction of maternal mortality or morbidity among racial and ethnic minority women and socioeconomically disadvantaged women. I have spent substantial time building community-researcher relationships in urban communities, providing technical assistance, and serving as a member of various community-based organizations. Previously, as a recipient of an NIMH training grant, I served as the PI of a pilot study that focused on mother-daughter communication in HIV+ African American women. The pilot study, Project DASH (DIVAS Against the Study of HIV/AIDS) is a dyadic study that explores HIV risk for daughters with HIV+ mothers. This mixed methods pilot study utilized individual interviews and a quantitative survey to examine the quality and context of the mother/daughter relationship as a predictor of sexual behavior and HIV risk in the daughter.
My work is centered on solutions-oriented research that leverages community goals and assets to respond to priority public health issues .I have 20-plus years of experience in community-engaged and school-based research in obesity prevention, healthy eating and physical activity promotion in the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and other cities and neighborhoods in Massachusetts. Examples of my active living research include assessing the impact of school physical education and physical activity programming on PA and obesity. Examples of healthy eating research include assessing the impact of school-based food service, gardening, farm-to-school, and curricular interventions on healthy eating and obesity. My dissemination activities have focused on bringing study results to the community through reports and presentations for use in rapid quality improvement cycles. My peer-reviewed publications reflect the pragmatic research and evaluation approach I have taken to contributing to community health improvement.
My current research focuses on incorporating social determinants into promoting healthy eating and phys activity and ensuring the equitable reach and relevance of interventions for vulnerable populations. I am an active member of the Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research (ADAPT), a coalition of researchers and community agency leads dedicated to health equity and community health improvement in Boston Chinatown. Through this community-engagement, I am conducting research on Chinese children's healthy eating and physical activity in child-care and dental-clinic settings, as well as a study assessing relationships of health and housing conditions with residents who have recently moved to affordable housing units in Boston Chinatown. I am currently engaged with Shape Up Somerville to conduct a food system assessment designed to inform policies and programs to support healthy eating in that city. These studies set the stage for externally funded longitudinal research trials and for informing local programming and policies to address health disparities.
Dr. Jahanfar is a reproductive epidemiologist with a grounding in public health and biostatistics. Her research focuses on reproductive health, maternal-child health, and genetic versus environment studies. She has worked with several twin studies in Australia, Malaysia, Canada, and the USA. Her research interests are reproductive health, maternal-child health, global health, HIV/AIDS, opioid use, and twin studies. She is working on WHO-funded projects related to reasons for Cesarean sections, family planning, and assisted vaginal birth. As a Cochrane trainer, reviewer, author, and current Director of the Cochrane Affiliate at Tufts with US Network, she is keen to connect Tufts with the Cochrane Collaboration. She is also the co-director of the Pregnancy and Childbirth US Satellite with Cochrane. She actively seeks interested students and researchers to collaborate on Cochrane's work, twin studies, and reproductive health research projects. Dr. Jahanfar is working with Maternal and Perinatal Health, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization.
Dr. Stopka's current research focuses on the intersection of opioid use disorder, overdose, and infectious diseases (HCV, HIV, STIs, COVID-19). He employs GIS, spatial epidemiological, qualitative, biostatistical, and laboratory approaches in multi-site, interdisciplinary studies and public health interventions. He currently leads and contributes to clinical trials and observational studies funded by the NIH, CDC, and SAMHSA to assess the effectiveness of a mobile, telemedicine-based HCV treatment and harm reduction model for rural opioid users in Northern New England, to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in Massachusetts, and to evaluate the overdose prevention impacts of administration of medication for opioid use disorder in houses of correction. Dr. Stopka is also Co-PI of the Tufts research priority group focused on equity in health, wealth, and civic engagement. He teaches courses in GIS and spatial epidemiology, research methods for public health, and epidemiology. He enjoys mentoring research assistants, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in ongoing research studies and collaborative publications.
The response of societies and their governments to cross-border health threats; social theory and the development of sociological approaches to political problems: eg. the 'new institutionalism' in sociology and political science; the impact of cultural frameworks and social institutions on population health; the comparative historical study of epidemics; the generation and international transfer of scientific knowledge; risk regulation in the face of scientific uncertainty and globalization.