PE Fellows

Class of 2022

Soumava Basu, PhD, MA

Dr. Soumava Basu earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Utah and his MA in Economics from the University of Hyderabad, India. His dissertation investigated the importance of the dynamics of caste-based social and economic marginalization in India in implementing Tuberculosis control programs. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate for Center for Business, Health, and Prosperity at the University of Utah, Dr. Basu conducted surveys, data collection, analysis, reports, manuscripts for publications, and writing proposals for research project funding. Dr. Basu is assigned to the Center for Global Health – Division of Global Health Protection – Office of Global Noncommunicable Diseases. Here he will conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of an initiative to integrate health services for noncommunicable diseases into an existing PEPFAR program. He will also conduct a literature review of the returns on investment in pandemic preparedness, with an emphasis on the evidence for primary care strengthening and integration of services. Dr. Basu’s goal is to integrate his research into improving people’s lives in communities.

James Henson, PhD, MA

Dr. James Henson earned his PhD and MA in Economics from Georgia State University. His dissertation focused on the relationship between rural hospital closures and consumer financial debt. As an Assistant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he maintained and analyzed big data research projects involving the New York Federal Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax data. He also assisted in policy-related research papers on indoor smoking laws, air pollution, monetary policy, and financial distress. As Research Assistant for Georgia State University, he worked on creating health datasets from micro-level data to help create a novel overlapping generations model. Dr. Henson is assigned to the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention – Division of HIV Prevention. Here he will examine healthcare utilization and costs for pediatric HIV cases and estimate new lifetime HIV treatment costs for perinatally infected children. One of Dr. Henson’s goals is to focus on health policy topics and collaborate with people that are interested in health policy research.

Ramesh Lamsal, PhD, MSc

Dr. Ramesh Lamsal earned his PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto, Canada and his MSc in Health Studies and Gerontolgy from the University of Waterloo, Canada. His experience as a Research Assistant with the Balsillie School of International Affairs included conducting a systematic review of literature, data cleaning and analysis, and writing manuscripts. At the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, he performed data extraction, data cleaning, and data analysis. He has also published several papers with topics including economic impact of neurodevelopmental disability and economic evaluation of interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Lamsal is assigned to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities- Office of the Director. Here he will use claims data to assess use of behavioral therapies and treatment costs for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and mental health diagnoses and services by parents of children with ASD and will conduct a synthetic review of estimates of lifetime societal costs associated with ASD. He will also lead a cost-effectiveness analysis of folic acid food fortification for the prevention of neural tube defects in a low- or middle-income country. His long-term goal is to become a public health researcher with a focus on evaluating interventions to improve the health of children and families.

Lara Marquez, PhD, MPH

Dr. Lara Marquez earned her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego and her MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University. Her dissertation used dynamic, compartmental modeling to inform Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) elimination programs among vulnerable populations, in low-middle income country (LMIC) settings, where the vast majority of HCV burden resides. As a NIH – Fogarty International Center UCGHI GloCal Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, she was involved in the development of a national hepatitis C (HCV) elimination model for Mexico, including key populations such as prisoners, people living with HIV, and people who inject drugs. Dr. Marquez is assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the Division of Public Health Services. ASPE is the principal advisory group to the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on policy development. Here she will analyze the short-and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on people with HIV as well as the delivery of maternal healthcare services. Dr. Marquez’s primary goal is to become a leading expert in modeling infectious disease transmission and prevention, translating public health research to inform and improve programs and policy.

Haeyun (Dave) Noh, PhD, MA

Dr. Haeyun Noh earned his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland and his MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. His dissertation was on the effects of classroom observation on students’ learning in sexual and reproductive health education. As a research consultant for Project Blindness Zero Movement at Yonsie University, Dr. Noh participated in a school-based comprehensive school health program supervising research activities, conducting analysis, and developing impact evaluation plans. He also participated in a cervical cancer screening program in Vietnam. As a Co-Principal Investigator for the World Bank, he contributed to research design. Dr. Noh is assigned to the Center for Global Health Global Immunization Division where he will participate in a school vaccination screen cost analysis, and a measles rapid point of care test cost and cost-effectiveness analysis. In addition, he will participate in the GID economics unit cost analysis sampling methods/tools. Dr. Noh’s belief in the importance of a robust public health system, coupled with a desire to prevent societal harm through well-designed health policies, has driven him to pursue a career in public health.

Muchin Isabel Ayen Bazan Ruiz, PhD, MS

Dr. Muchin Isabel Ayen Bazan Ruiz earned her PhD in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her MS in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Her dissertation studied the effects of exposure to role models on female preferences for STEM majors. As a graduate research assistant at the Center of Gerontology Virginia Tech, Dr. Ruiz studied the effect of caring for people with dementia on caregivers’ health outcomes using longitudinal datasets from a telephone survey. As a Consultant Intern with Inter-American Development Bank, she performed data analysis, statistical analysis, regression analysis, and data cleaning. Dr. Ruiz is assigned to the Center for Global Health Division of Global Health Protection – Workforce and Institute Development Branch where she will work with two groups within WIDB: the National Public Health Institute Program (NPHI) and the Evaluation, Policy, Innovation and Communications (EPIC) Team. Her responsibilities will include serving as the health economist for 3-4 countries (trainings are led jointly by an epidemiologist and health economist), leading training, and providing mentorship on data analysis, presentation of data, policy brief finalization, and readying the team to present the policy brief at a cross-sector government forum. Dr. Ruiz’s goal is to collaborate with national authorities in the US and abroad by recommending interventions and the implementation of policies to improve individual health outcomes, promote health security, and the prevention of malaria and dengue.

Enrique Saldarriaga, PhD, MS

Dr. Enrique Saldarriaga earned his PhD in Health Economics and Outcome Research from the University of Washington and his MS in Epidemiology from the University Cayetano Heredia, Peru. His dissertation was titled “The value of reducing uncertainty of HIV-prevalence estimates at the zip code level.”  As a Research Assistant at The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, Dr. Saldarriaga’s conducted preferences elicitation, economic evaluation, methods for uncertainty assessment, decision modeling, econometrics, and disease modeling. As an intern in Health Economics at the Institute for Disease Modeling, he conducted independent supervised research. Dr. Saldarriaga is assigned to the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention. Here he will assess the burden of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea and estimate the potential impact and cost-effectiveness of a range of efforts to combat the threat. In a second project, data from several U.S. clinics with varying organizational structures will be collected and analyzed to assess how these differences impact clinic operating cost and efficiency. Dr. Saldarriaga’s long-term career goal is to influence the decision-making processes for adoption of policy, centered in reducing healthcare access barriers.

Yixue Shao, PhD, MPH

Dr. Yixue Shao earned her PhD in Health Policy and Management and her MPH in Health Systems Management from Tulane University. Her dissertation focused on a comprehensive evaluation of telemedicine utilization and its impact in Louisiana. As a Research Assistant at Tulane University, she assisted in grant writing, managed multiple large datasets, and conducted systematic literature reviews. As a Practicum at the Louisiana Public Health Institute, she assisted in manuscript writing and report preparation. Dr. Shao is assigned to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion-Division of Diabetes Translation. Here she will apply the newly developed diabetes cost-effectiveness simulation models to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications. She will also apply the Microsimulation of Nutrition, Diabetes, And CVD (MONDAC) model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of food/nutritional policies for preventing type 2 diabetes. Dr. Shao desires a career that focuses on protecting the population and preventing health threats before they start.

Keshob Sharma, PhD, MS, MA

Dr. Keshob Sharma earned his PhD in Economics and MS in Statistics from the University of Georgia. He earned his MA in Economics from Eastern Illinois University. His dissertation focused on whether increased access to mental health care, following the passage of state-level Mental Health Parity Laws (MHPLs), affects crime. As a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Georgia, he leveraged statistical, and causal inference econometric tools to quantify the impact of health care policy on health and spillover outcomes. Dr. Sharma is assigned to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – Division of Reproductive Health where he will collaborate with subject matter experts on assessments of chronic condition care, cost, and associated outcomes in different health care settings before, during and after pregnancy. He will also work directly with state PQCs or use data sources that can do state level analysis to estimate the program impact of PQC initiatives on outcomes such as reduction in low-risk C section rates, preterm birth, opioid use disorders, and pregnancy complications associated with severe hypertension or maternal hypertension. Dr. Sharma’s goal is to become a well-rounded competent researcher capable of working with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from across various fields and carrying out projects in health economics and public health.

Lu Shi, PhD, MPH

Dr. Lu Shi earned her PhD in Health Management and Policy from Oregon State University and her MPH in Health Management and Policy from Tulane University. Her dissertation focused on the impact of commercial insurance on utilization and cost of health care services of patients with cirrhosis. As a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University, she analyzed survey data with econometric analysis models, coordinated the publishing process of certain studies, and published in the Journal of Asthma. As an Instructor at Oregon State University, she taught introduction to advanced courses. Dr. Shi is assigned to the Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health. Here she will assess the association of selected genetic conditions with cost and duration of inpatient care among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. She will also conduct a health technology assessment of genetic testing strategies to identify hereditary cancer and facilitate cascade testing on family members. Dr. Shi’s long-term research goal is to decrease health disparities, provide high-quality healthcare services while decreasing the cost of healthcare services, and promote prevention and management strategy for individuals with chronic diseases, especially individuals with cancer.

Yu Wang, PhD, MSPH

Dr. Yu Wang earned her PhD in Public Health Epidemiology from Georgia State University and her MSPH in Public Nutrition from Emory University. Her dissertation focused on the role of anti-tobacco campaigns and tobacco marketing in individuals’ tobacco use behaviors in the US. As a graduate research assistant at Georgia State University Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), she worked on a NIH-funded TCORS grant that focused on tobacco economics, health disparities, and regulatory science. Her responsibilities include data compiling, management, and analysis. As a Research Assistant with Emory Children’s Center, she performed literature reviews, data analysis, and manuscript drafts. Dr. Wang is assigned to the American Heart Association. Here she will evaluate maternal health outcomes with Medicaid post-partum coverage and evaluate the impact of Medicaid coverage of self-measured blood pressure monitoring and validated devices. She will also evaluate the impact of E-cigarette only taxes vs tax increases on all products. Dr. Wang’s goal is to broaden her knowledge scope, build her capacity to investigate more economic issues in public health programs, and strengthen her research foundation by providing opportunities to practice analytic methods in field experience.