Black Pre-Health at Yale

Black Healthcare Professionals at Yale

Below is a list of black faculty members at Yale who can serve as points of contact for interests and concerns in black medical research, black medicine, and overall black healthcare.

Anjelica Gonzalez, Biomedical Engineering

Anjelica has a dedicated interest in training the next generation of scientists to think interdisciplinary and approach problems form a scientifically global perspective. With a multi-disciplinary approach, the Gonzalez lab combines organic chemistry, molecular biology, mathematics, computational modeling and image analysis to develop and use biomedically engineering scaffolds to dissect the chemo-mechanics of immunological processes. This work has special significance to an array of diseases and disorders, including atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and sepsis.

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Marcella Nunez-Smith, Chronic Disease Epidemiology/General Internal Medicine

Dr. Nunez-Smith is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management; Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC); Director of the Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Core Faculty in the National Clinician Scholars Program; Research Faculty in the Global Health Leadership Initiative; Director of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership; and Co-Director of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship. Dr. Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development, developing patient reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases. She is the principal investigator on several NIH and foundation-funded research projects, including an NIH-funded project to develop a tool to assess patient reported experiences of discrimination in healthcare. She has conducted an investigation of the promotion and retention of diversity in academic medical school faculty and has published numerous articles on the experiences of minority students and faculty. Funded by NIH/NIMHD, she established the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN), a research collaborative across four Eastern Caribbean islands, supporting several chronic disease research projects and enhancing health outcomes research and leadership capacity in the region. She recently received NIH/NHLBI funding to build upon this work by recruiting children into an expanded intergenerational ECHORN cohort, inclusive of a biorepository. She is also PI on one of five NIH/NIMHD-funded Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers on Health Disparities focused on Precision Medicine which leverages the ECHORN infrastructure to conduct collaborative research on hypertension and diabetes. Dr. Nunez-Smith is board certified in internal medicine, having completed residency training at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowship at the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, where she also received a Masters in Health Sciences.

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Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu, Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, MD, MPH is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, at the Yale School of Public Health. A board-certified Physiatrist, Dr. Tuakli often draws upon her personal experiences as an athlete when she works with patients: she is a long jumper who represented the Ghana National Team until 2016. Dr. Tuakli serves as chair of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) Task Force on Physical Activity for Persons with Disabilities, member of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) medical committee, member of the U.S. Center for SafeSport Athletes with Disabilities advisory group, and she represents the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Prevention of Harassment and Abuse working group. Dr. Tuakli is the founder and director of the Sports Equity Lab in association with Yale (SELY).

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Sakinah Carter Suttiratana, Chronic Disease Epidemiology

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Yusuf Ransome, Social and Behavorial Health

Dr. Yusuf Ransome is an assistant professor of public health, specializing in social and behavioral sciences. His research focuses the social influences on disparities in HIV/AIDS, substance abuse issues, and homelessness among younger populations. The National Institute of Mental Health gave him a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to study the direct impact of various socioeconomic factors on HIV care in the United States healthcare system.

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Christine Ngaruiya, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Christine Ngaruiya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) at Yale University. She completed the Global Health and International Emergency Medicine fellowship in the DEM in 2015, also matriculating with a Master of Science and Diploma in Tropical Medicine and International Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at that time. Her research interests center on: Non- communicable Diseases, barriers to care, and community-based interventions with a particular focus on Africa. Her past professional work has focused on health disparities amongst minority populations in the U.S. and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Some past honors include: the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association (EMRA) Augustine D’Orta Award for outstanding community and grassroots involvement, Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Associate and the 2014 Harambe Pfizer Fellow Award for social entrepreneurship, the 2016 University of Nebraska Outstanding International Alumnus award, the 2018 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Global Emergency Medicine Academy Young Physician award, and the 2019 Yale School of Medicine Leonard Tow Humanism award. She has held several national and international leadership positions including with: the American Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine’s (SAEM) Global Emergency Medicine Academy, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH)-Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC)-Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) Trainee Conference and Advisory Committee, and the Women Leaders in Global Health (WLGH) mid-career conference committee. She was a member and regular contributor to the Young People’s Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN) and the U.S. Investigators’ Global NCD Research Network Steering Committee. She is also a founding member of the Yale Network for Global Noncommunicable Disease (NGN) with an inaugural cross-campus symposium in 2016, which continues to plays a role as a hub for global NCD work involving the Yale community. Additionally, she served on the Research Symposium Committee for the African Congress on Emergency Medicine in 2014, and on the Scientific Committee in 2016. She has sat on a number of NIH panels related to global NCD topics, and has lectured both nationally and internationally on the same. She most recently was a senior contributor to the Kenya Ministry of Health, leading a WHO-validated national cross-sectional study assessing burden and risk factors for NCDs, and was awarded one of five 2017 Yale Global Health Leadership Institute Hecht-Albert junior faculty pilot awards to do an ED-based study on NCDs in Kenya. She was selected as one of twenty Yale Public Voice Fellows for 2015-2016 from across campus with around 20 publications in outlets such as Time, Huffington Post, Medium, and The Hill since that time. She joined faculty at in the Yale DEM as Assistant professor in Fall 2016.

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Kristen Nwanyanwu, Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Dr. Kristen Nwanyanwu graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan. Her degrees in African-American Studies and Biochemistry became the foundation for her career as a health disparities researcher. At the University of Pennsylvania, she earned her medical degree and MBA from the Wharton School. She is a board-certified ophthalmologist and a practicing vitreoretinal surgeon. She completed residency at the University of Michigan and vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at the University of Illinois at Chicago. After joining the Yale faculty, she was selected for the YCCI Junior Faculty Scholars Program through which she completed her Master of Health Science with Honors. She is currently the PI for the NIH-funded Sight-Saving Engagement and Evaluation in New Haven (SEEN) Program, a multi-method approach to identifying and addressing health disparities in diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Nwanyanwu is currently Co-Chairperson of the National Medical Association Retina Section. She has lectured nationally on health disparities, access to care, and the surgical management of diabetic retinopathy. Email Dr. Nwanyanwu

Carmen Carrión, Clinical Neurology

Carmen I. Carrión, PsyD is a licensed, bilingual clinical psychologist who conducts neuropsychological evaluations in both English and Spanish. Dr. Carrión earned her Doctor of Psychology degree from Roosevelt University, completed her predoctoral clinical internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. Dr. Carrión provides culturally-informed neuropsychological evaluations to individuals presenting with diverse clinical conditions. Her clinical and research interests include memory and neurodegenerative disorders with a particular focus on how demographic factors influence the manifestation of neurological syndromes.

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Donna-Ann Thomas, Anesthesiology

Dr. Donna-Ann Thomas is the Division Chief of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. Thomas received her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in 1999. Following her General Surgery residency at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, she completed a residency in Anesthesia at SUNY Syracuse. She is co-chair of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and co-chair of the Pain Curriculum Committee at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Thomas is actively involved in public service, including her steady volunteer work for Abundant Life Christian Center and her contributions to medical missions in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

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Cheryl Gooden, Anesthesiology

Cheryl K. Gooden, M.D. is a pediatric anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale New Haven Hospital and an Associate Professor in Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine. She joined the Yale faculty in November 2018. Since 2005, she has been a global health advocate with involvement in humanitarian missions that have spanned several continents. For the past 10 years she has been involved in an educational initiative with Komedyplast at El Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño in Lima, Peru. She served as a member of the writing group for the 2015 PALS Guidelines, American Heart Association. She is the senior editor for “The Pediatric Procedural Sedation Handbook,” published by Oxford University Press in November 2018. She is the current Vice-Chair for the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Abstract Review Subcommittee on Pediatric Anesthesia, a member of the ASA’s Global Humanitarian Outreach Committee and Committee on Women Anesthesiologists. She co-Chairs the International Scholars Committee of the Anesthesiology Foundation of New York, and is on the Medical Advisory Board for Verathon (GlideScope). In 2019, Dr. Gooden was appointed as an Anesthesia Surveyor for the American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Program. In July 2020, she was appointed to serve as a Hotline Consultant for the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States.

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Nii Addy, Psychiatry/Cellular & Molecular Physiology

Dr. Addy directs a federally funded research program investigating the neurobiological bases of addiction, depression and anxiety. His laboratory utilizes multiple methodological approaches in rodent models, including behavioral pharmacology, in vivo electrochemistry (fast scan cyclic voltammetry), electrophysiology, and cellular and molecular techniques. His lab team uses these approaches to examine the role of cholinergic, dopaminergic and L-type calcium channel (LTCC) mechanisms in substance use disorders (SUD), mood disorders, and comorbid SUDs and mood disorders. Dr. Addy’s team also studies the ability of tobacco product flavor additives to alter nicotine use behavior and addiction. In addition to work within the lab, Dr. Addy contributes to the public discourse on mental health through conversations and forums on the intersection of neuroscience, mental health, faith, culture and social justice. His research and advocacy work has been featured by National Public Radio (NPR), Newsday, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), The Source Magazine, Chuck Norris, BoldTV, Legitimate Matters, Relevant Magazine and others.

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Chima Ndumele, Health Policy & Management

Chima Ndumele is an Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health and a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. He is also the co-director of the Yale Medicaid Policy Lab. Broadly, his research is focused on better understanding factors which influence the way vulnerable populations connect with and access health care resources. Specifically, he conducts work in three interconnected areas. The first examines how changes in public policy impact the care received by Medicaid enrollees. The second area explores how safety-net organizations, which serve a large proportion of traditionally disenfranchised groups, can improve health care services delivery. Finally, he investigates how the design and allocation of services in social policy programs (i.e. SNAP) influences patterns of care and health outcomes for low-income families. He received his PhD from the Brown University School of Public Health.

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Carolyn Roberts, History of Medicine

Carolyn Roberts is an historian of medicine with a joint appointment in the departments of History/History of Science and Medicine and African American Studies. Professor Roberts’ research interests concern early modern medicine where she explores themes of race and slavery, natural history and botany, and African indigenous knowledge in the Atlantic world. Professor Roberts is currently working on a book project called To Heal and To Harm: Medicine, Knowledge, and Power in the Atlantic Slave Trade. This manuscript represents the first full-length study of the history of medicine in the British slave trade. The book’s narrative is centered around the pharmaceutical and medical labor performed by a largely unknown group of African and British women and men, both enslaved and free. In studying their labor, her project illustrates how the slave trade functioned as an insidious, and even ghostly, knowledge project which pushed the boundaries of pharmacy, surgery, and natural history. Professor Roberts vividly traces how the slave trade contributed to the development of the pharmaceutical industry, the modernization of medicine, and the advancement of natural history. Professor Roberts is an award-winning educator who teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of medicine from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Her classes explore medicine, natural history, and epistemology in the context of early modern empires, slavery, the Atlantic slave trade, and in African American history more broadly. Professor Roberts’ teaching also blends history with medical sociology in order to explore present-day crises of race and health. Professor Roberts received an M.A. and PhD from Harvard University, an M.A. from Andover Newton Theological School, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.

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