Research Areas

Muriel J. Harris, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Health program evaluation, socio-cultural factors that influence health, community based participatory research, disease prevention, culturally appropriate interventions, qualitative research

Jelani Kerr, MSPH, PhD
Assistant Professor
Dr. Kerr’s research focuses on sexual health and HIV/AIDS disparities of racial/ethnic minority youth.  In particular, he examines the individual and structural factors that affect sexual health, how these translate into increased HIV risk, and developing programming to address these issues.  He also examines primary and secondary care-engagement behaviors for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.  Dr. Kerr has been actively working with youth populations and community-based agencies to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities.

A. Scott LaJoie, PhD, MSPH
Associate Professor
Research Interests:  Psychological issues in public health, understanding determinents of health-related quality-of-life, chronic and infectious disease prevention and control

W. Paul McKinney, MD
Professor & Associate Dean
Research Interests: Emergency preparedness and response, immunizations, epidemiology with a particular focus in infectious disease, travel medicine

Peter L. Walton, MD
Assistant Professor & Associate Dean
Research Interests: Instructional design for critical thinking as a public health competency

Richard W. Wilson, DHSc, MPH
Professor and Chair
Research Interests: Communications and education to prevent the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, related public policy development and advocacy

Monica Wendel, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Outreach
Dr. Wendel’s research has included community-based studies in rural and underserved communities in Texas on topics including health disparities, access to care, mental health, childhood obesity, community capacity-building, physical activity, inter-organizational networks, and social capital. She will lead the school’s efforts to become increasingly engaged in our local community. She brings an extensive set of experiences with community-based participatory approaches to applied research and has been extremely well funded in those efforts.

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