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New Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Selected

Madison, Wisconsin - The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will host a sociologist, a psychologist and a neurosurgery resident as a part of the incoming class of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars.


Beginning in August, the three post-doctoral researchers will arrive in Madison to begin their studies. In their training they will investigate the connections among biological, genetic, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health. The scholars will work to build and disseminate knowledge to improve public health.


The 2014-2016 class includes:

  • Christy Erving, a sociologist who will study people with multiple health issues and how that influences outcomes and mortality in different racial and ethnic groups.

  • Daniel Hackman, a clinical psychologist who focuses on how early-life social and environmental stresses affect executive function, stress reactivity and emotion regulation.

  • Debraj Mukherjee, a neurosurgery resident who researches how to decrease disparity and increase access to care for adults and children with brain and spine tumors.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides scholars with a stipend of $80,000 annually. During their time in the program, they participate in intensive seminars, produce scholar-directed research and analysis, and receive focused mentoring in the skills necessary for effective leadership, program implementation, and policy change.


The three scholars were chosen along with nine others to complete research at one of four nationally prominent universities. In addition to UW-Madison, Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of California-Berkeley/San Francisco also host Health and Society Scholars.


The Madison program is directed by professors John Mullahy and David Kindig, of population health sciences, and Stephanie Robert, professor of social work.


"We’re pleased to welcome yet another cohort of outstanding scholars," said Mullahy, co-director of the Health & Society Scholars program. "We all benefit from the synergy of bringing together bright young researchers to solve population health problems.”


Previous UW-Madison scholars have done research on the problems military fathers have reconnecting with their children, on how financial issues affect the health of African-American women as they age, and on the epidemiology of asthma, which led to a growing high-tech company in Madison called Propeller Health (formerly Asthmapolis).

Date Published: 06/11/2014

News tag(s):  public health

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New Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Selected

Last updated: 06/11/2014
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