Current Postdoctoral Fellows

An urban planner by training, Dr. Chrisinger is committed to research that helps us understand relationships between the built environment and health, especially health disparities. Currently, he is coordinating a research partnership between Dr. Abby King’s Citizen Science Initiative with stakeholders in Camden, New Jersey to assess the city's healthy corner store initiatives. His previous research examined efforts to open new supermarkets in underserved areas ("food deserts") by considering development processes, store-level outcomes, and community and customer experiences. While continuing food environment research and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), Dr. Chrisinger is also initiating a new line of inquiry that uses physiological data to better understand neighborhood perceptions.

Dr. Chrisinger completed his doctoral training in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a former fellow with the Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS) Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Graduate Research Fellow with the National Science Foundation. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.

A health psychologist, Dr. Epperson’s research examines tobacco-related behaviors and perceptions, with a focus on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Her dissertation research assessed the impact of individual, familial, peer, and neighborhood-level factors on tobacco-related attitudes and behaviors, including initiation, among African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White adolescents. At SPRC, Dr. Epperson’s current projects explore the relationship between cigarette marketing features and youth health perceptions and examine how environmental factors are associated with smoke free policies of American Indian/Alaska Native tribal casinos. Her current work also focuses on tobacco cessation, including tobacco treatment clinical trials and programs to increase use of state smoking quit lines, with a focus on priority populations (i.e., American Indian, Alaska Natives, etc.).

Dr. Michelle Hauser is board certified in internal medicine and completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree at Harvard. She is also a certified chef via Le Cordon Bleu and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. At Stanford, she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, completing her Master of Science in Epidemiology, and serves on the Nutrition Task Force (to improve nutrition education for Stanford medical students). She practices primary care for the County of San Mateo at Fair Oaks Health Center, a safety-net clinic in Redwood City, where she is also a teaching attending for Stanford Internal Medicine residents. Her research blends her training in medicine, public policy, nutrition, and culinary arts to focus on improving education and access to delicious, healthy food for medical professionals and the general public. Current research topics include: community-based participatory research (CBPR) utilizing lifestyle change interventions for those in underserved communities with, or at risk of, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity; food literacy; weight loss; diet quality; culinary medicine; teaching nutrition and cooking skills; and medical education around lifestyle-based prevention topics.

A registered dietitian and environmental health scientist by training, Dr. Hua’s research interests include mHealth, N-of-1 studies, health impacts of the built environment, obesity and chronic disease intervention and prevention, global health, as well as “omics” technologies in personalized medicine. Dr. Hua’s doctoral research at UC Berkeley investigated built environment exposures and social risk factors, and their associations with the nutrition transitions in China using health technologies such as ecological momentary assessment (EMA), personal mobility tracking and ambulatory monitoring. Dr. Hua is committed to use multi-disciplinary approaches and new technologies to develop and implement cost-effective, sustainable and scalable tools and solutions for researchers, educators, public health practitioners and policy makers to use in order to promote healthier lifestyles and create better built environment.

Dr. Leas’ work focuses on the intersection behavioral medicine and social science with broad applications across health topics including tobacco use, climate change, gun control, distracted driving and mental health. His work incorporates a variety of methods including surveys research, experiments, and social media analytics and has appeared in outlets across medicine and public health, including JAMA Internal Medicine, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and the American Journal of Public Health.

As a Registered Dietitian, Masters in Nutritional Science, and PhD in Educational Psychology with a focus on motivation, Dr. Oppezzo's multi-disciplinary background and experience bridges compatible disciplines and perspectives on behavior change. Marily's current project investigates the use of online social support systems to facilitate weight loss. Another line of her work investigates how the physical and structural environment can influence cognition and motivation. Under this umbrella, one research thread explores how physical movement influences cognition, specifically how walking improves creative thinking. The second thread focuses on how personally structuring one's environment can improve motivation towards habit changes.

Dr. Springfield’s research is focused on gaining a more in-depth understanding of the factors that contribute to poor dietary and physical activity outcomes in African American women. She is currently working on projects that include studies to identify strategies to improve program participation and retention among African American women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Strong and Healthy (WHISH) trial and examines predictors of dietary behaviors among African American women in the Women’s Health Initiative. Her previous research examined socio-demographic and psychosocial predictors of dietary quality in African American breast cancer survivors enrolled in a community-based randomized weight loss intervention trial.

Dr. Springfield completed her doctoral training in Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Rehabilitation at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a former pre-doctoral fellow of the NIH R25T Cancer Education Career Development Program. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry/Biology with a minor in Computer Science from Grambling State University.

Dr. Trepanowski is a meta-researcher. Put another way, John studies how errors or problems in methodology, reporting, evaluation, reproducibility and incentives reduce research efficiency. Dr. Trepanowski also studies how diets can treat obesity and prevent metabolic disease.