Qudsia S. Banu, MD

I am a rising junior pursuing a B.S. degree in Biology on a pre-med track with a concentration in Molecular Biology at LIU Brooklyn. My medical interests include diagnostic radiology and internal medicine, specifically cardiology. Currently, I am looking forward to acquiring a great deal of clinical research experience to provide me with the proper skills and knowledge to better appreciate and understand medical science. Aside from ultimately becoming a physician, I also intend on establishing an advocacy network for achieving health equity among underrepresented minorities in regards to improving social determinants of health and reducing leading health disparities.

Area of Interest: After obtaining my undergraduate degree in Biology, I plan to attend medical school and study Dermatology or Psychiatry.

My goals consist of finishing my undergraduate degree, Integrative Neuroscience at Binghamton University. Post Graduation I am going to obtain my Masters in Business Administration through a 4+1 program and then head to a school of medicine. I am extremely passionate about health disparities that occur in minority dominated communities. I aspire to become a medical doctor who will bring attention to men of color mental health and evoke change in how it is viewed by society. I strongly believe that it is not enough to desire change, instead I need to become the change that I want to see. I have numerous ideas on how to allocate funds, create facilities and spark change in the medical community, thus more men of color can learn how to deal with their emotions properly and feel comfortable speaking out about them. Lastly, this small, but radical change to the field of medicine would lead to many positive changes in our community. I know that I am more than capable of conquering my goals in hopes of creating a more inclusive medical environment for patients all around the world.

Nadia Ashraf

College: Stony Brook University

Area of Interest: I am a Biomedical Science major on the Administrative Science and Pre-Med track interested in obtaining a Medical Degree and a Master's of Public Health.

Qurrahtulain Ashfaq

College: Hunter College

I am a senior at Brooklyn College majoring in psychology with a minor in chemistry on the Pre-Med track. My aspirations for the future are to obtain an occupation within the medical field by earning a MD/PhD degree. One in which I can use my interest in science and research of medicine to achieve my dream of helping others.

My aspirations were always to help others. I am a rising senior at Medgar Evers college currently in the field of science..

I am a rising senior at Hunter College majoring in Human Biology. I plan to apply to medical school and hope to become a physician. I also want to reduce the health disparities in the local community in which I reside, serving the vulnerable and underserved population.

Dr. Rebecca Hill is a health researcher, biostatistician, and postdoctoral associate at the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. Her research focuses on applying health equity and anti-discrimination frameworks towards reducing cardiometabolic health disparities among racial/ethnic and sexual minorities. Dr. Hill received her Doctorate of Public Health in Epidemiology from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. She also holds an MPhil in Criminology from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, MA in Criminal Justice from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Noriyuki Murakami is an Academic Hospitalist at SUNY Downstate
Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently studying the clinical outcomes in
both outpatient and inpatient healthcare settings related to substance use disorders and
their relationship to structural violence within the communities of central Brooklyn.

Jonathan Acosta 

College: Hunter College

Shekiel Sydney 

College: Medgar Evers College

Area of Interest: My name is Marcos and I'm a second-year medical student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Miami, I realized from a young age the importance of structural and societal determinants of health and the impact they have on disadvantaged groups. My dedication to serving underprivileged and underserved populations led me to pursue a Master’s in Public Health from Florida International University, where I focused on HIV/AIDS and STD education, as well as conducting research on opioid usage. As a current medical student, I hope to bridge public health and medicine, in order to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.

Area of Interest: My aspiration has always been to help others in need, so I plan to continue being
involved in programs that will further strengthen my knowledge and promote the wellness of others. In the future, I plan on finishing my studies and attending medical school while continuing research in Public Health, using what I have learned to help serve people in underrepresented
communities and other countries.

Cherron Griffith 

College: LIU Brooklyn 

My name is Nina Zylberberg and I'm currently a rising Senior at Stony Brook University studying on the pre-dental track. From a young age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field and dentistry always stood out to me. I am truly interested in a career in dentistry to give back to the community as it has provided me with wonderful opportunities and programs.

Vivian Nguyen

Navika Gangrade is a registered dietitian and postdoctoral fellow at SUNY Downstate. Her research focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based interventions that empower adolescents from minority, low-income, and urban backgrounds as change agents to improve their own dietary behaviors, as well as the environmental conditions in their communities that promote an unhealthy diet. Dr. Gangrade's dissertation research focused on designing and implementing a 12-session youth advocacy program where adolescents from a Boys & Girls Club in New York City were empowered to advocate for healthier corner store environments to food policy/retail decision-makers. In her postdoctoral work, Dr. Gangrade will continue to design interventions allowing adolescents to promote their own wellbeing, in turn dissolving systems that perpetuate health inequity. Dr. Gangrade obtained her PhD in Nutrition from Cornell University working with Dr. Tashara Leak and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware.

Nina Zylberberg 

College: Stony Brook University 

Claudia Brown

College: SUNY At Albany

José E. Diaz is a postdoctoral associate in the STAR Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and a fellow in the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS) program at Yale University. Dr. Diaz’s research aims to advance our understanding of overlapping health disparities among Latine sexual minority adults, including HIV, substance use, and cardiovascular disease. His pilot study, recently funded by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU, examines how intersectional stigma and resilience are linked to past-year substance use treatment utilization among a nationwide sample of Latine sexual minority men who use stimulants (i.e., cocaine, methamphetamines). He is also collaborating on an mHealth intervention to improve HIV care outcomes among sexual minority men living with HIV with moderate-to-severe stimulant use. Lastly, his ongoing work includes the examination of multi-level correlates of acute and chronic health outcomes among sexual minority men in New York City and nationwide. 

Marlene Camacho-Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Success at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. As a social epidemiologist, Dr. Camacho-Rivera’s research and scholarship focus on three main themes: (1) identifying structural and social determinants of chronic disease disparities among urban racial and ethnic minoritized communities; (2) developing community-engaged approaches to promote chronic disease self-management; and (3) improving linkages and continuity of care using mobile health and health information technology. Dr. Camacho-Rivera holds a BS in Biology and Society from Cornell University, an MPH from Tufts University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Type your paragraph here.


Area of Interest: I am interested in becoming a PA. Additionally, due to my time at SPRINTER became very interested in pursuing a career in research and also teaching as well. I would like my research to be based on health disparities, clinical research, or research within the life sciences.

Emerald Carter  

College: Xavier University of Louisiana

Amani Nation 

College: LIU Brooklyn 

Area of Interest: vaccine hesitancy among religious communities.

Currently, I am a rising junior at Hunter College pursuing a bachelor's degree in Human Biology to gain a role in medicine. With my degree, experiences, and knowledge accumulated during the SPRINTER program, I aspire to help others as a healthcare professional. I'm motivated to continue learning and doing research on health disparities in that it will guide me to be a dependable and open-minded provider. While it's a big dream, I would like to see health equity across the globe. Therefore, as a healthcare provider and a person, I hope to promote eliminating health disparities.

Area of Interest: I am a biology major interested in becoming a trauma surgeon in the future.

                            Post Doctoral Fellows  

I have always wanted to help people from a very young age. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (BS), I intend to pursue graduate studies in Neuroscience in hopes of becoming a research psychologist.

Research Interests: urinary miRNA as biomarkers in chronic kidney disease.

Marcos Vargas

Brooklyn Health Disparities Center

Area of Interest: My area of interest is biomedical science.

I am currently a senior at Brooklyn college pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Chemistry on the pre-med track. My goal is to matriculate to Medical school. I am currently interested in gene therapy and epigenetic. In my graduate studies and in my professional career, I would like to make great contribution to those rapidly advancing fields in medicine and public health. I also have an interest in doing research on the proteins that are involved in encoding memory as it may have a major contribution to understanding and treating cognitive diseases that involves the loss of memory.

Navika Gangrade, PhD, RD​Transport Years: 2022-2024

Haylee Rippy 

College: Xavier University of Louisiana

Naomi Ligon

College: CUNY New York City College Of Technology

I am an aspiring nurse practitioner, with the intentions of maybe one day even furthering my medical career to become a orthopedic surgeon. I am blissful, determined, intelligent, and hardworking. I am also extremely cooperative, motivated and driving to make an health define contribution to the cure for paralysis.

Imani Williams

College: Howard University

Rebecca Hill, DrPH 

​Transport Years: 2022-2024

Area of Interest: Interested in applying to med school. Career aspirations to be a physician.

Faizan Maqsood

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

Dr. Qudsia S. Banu research interests focus on the expanded role of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology in controlling Diabetes mellitus, considered a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent, in traditionally health disparate and underserved communities. She would like to investigate the prevalent anecdotal concept that the use of CGM technology is more suited for patients with a high health literacy and look into protocols that can help patients with low health literacy overcome barriers and optimize CGM use.

As a biology and psychology major. Im looking forward to give back to the community as a doctor. Im looking forward to grow and inspire other young individuals to be the best version of them self.

Omar Rezaka

College: University at Albany (SUNY)

Anthony Persaud 

College: Hunter College

Basimah Zahid

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

I am Senior attending Brooklyn College, currently majoring in health and nutrition sciences with a concentration in health and nutrition food. I aspire to become a Registered dietitian Nutritionist in the future and eventually gain a PhD, this is the path I have decided to endure on because I believe that nutrition plays a big role in preventing diseases from occurring and so I want to be able to make an impact in my occurring by educating people on the importance of nutrition.

Area of Interest: I would like to go on to get my M.D and work in medicine in the field of cardiology.

Portia Thomas

Transport Years: 2020-2022

Fitzgerald Alcindor 

College: Binghamton University 

Genesis Rodriguez 

College: Hunter College

Jonathan Shields

College: CUNY New York City Of Technology 

LaToya L. Trowers, Ed.D, MBA is the Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.  Dr. Trowers is skilled at designing, coordinating, and providing the best practices and procedures for teaching and learning Healthcare Management principles. Dr. Trowers-Bell is a published author with many years of Healthcare Management experience working in administration as well as a consultant, in areas such as Cardiology, Clinical Outreach, Neurosurgery, and Neuro-Ophthalmology.


Areas of Interest: ​I am interested in pursuing optometry and learning about how health disparities impact the care patients receive. My studies in cultural anthropology have informed my interests in
health policy as well and their ties to both optometry and health disparities.​

Raina Frederic

College: CUNY Brooklyn College 

Jesse Landis 

Iqura Naheed

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

José E. Diaz, Jr., Ph.D.​Transport Years: 2022-2024

I aspire to become a Medical Doctor specializing in Oncology. When I was 9 years old, I lost my mother to cancer, and I could never forget the agony and pain that my family endured throughout her battle. Shortly after, I lost many more love ones to cancer, and I dream to do research to provide comfort to families in need, excellent medical attention a long side ground breaking treatments to help cure this disease.

I am currently a rising junior majoring in Biochemistry at Long Island University in Brooklyn with an interest in the medical field. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I plan to become a medical laboratory scientist and continue my graduate studies in medical technology.

Amina Tariq

College: University of Pennsylvania  

Margaret Salisu, PhD., LMSW, is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. Margaret received her Social Work Master's Degree from SUNY, Stony Brook, NY, and her Doctorate degree from Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research focus is determining the environmental and social determinants of health that may impact various metabolic disorders, in African American (AA) individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). 

Somia Azzam 

College: CUNY Brooklyn College 

Margaret Salisu

Transport Years: 2020-2022

Ernie Yap, MD

Area of Interest: My educational area of interest is in the medical field, I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Brooklyn College, and would like to go to medical school to pursue an M.D. and a career as a physician (specialty unsure).

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology at CUNY Hunter College and would like to go to medical school to pursue an M.D. and a career as a physician. I'm committed to eliminating health disparities and delivering culturally appropriate and equitable care for children and women, especially women of color. Opening my practice has been a dream, I want to be dedicated to not only providing care to underserved communities but also to providing health education. I'd like to work in global health clinics and research, starting with my community in Brooklyn. The more I understand people's diversity and cultures, the better prepared I'll be as a physician, educator, and individual. I want to visit underrepresented nations, particularly in South Asia, where women endure prejudice owing to strongly ingrained cultural norms. Gender disparities arise in education, healthcare, and the workplace. To bridge these gaps, women's health literacy and educational attainment must be promoted.

Hidayethunisa Rehmat 

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

Area of Interest: My interests are to go to medical school in the future and specialize in cardiology. I am also interested in conducting clinical research in the future.

Translational Program of Health Disparities Research Training Trainees  

​Research Interests: I am interested in studying cardiovascular epidemiology related to health disparities and public health, developing Health IT and community-based solutions tackling these health issues, especially among the underrepresented minorities.​​

Johann Zephirin

College: SUNY at Albany

Dr. Portia Thomas is a nurse scientist and postdoctoral associate at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in the Department of Medicine, Special Treatment and Research (STAR) program. Her research aims to decrease HIV disparities among racial and sexual minorities by reducing barriers to engaging in HIV prevention methods and behaviors. Thus, her research program focuses on understanding and supporting decision-making surrounding HIV behaviors and risks among racial and sexual minorities in the Southern US. Current and upcoming studies are: 1) assessing the acceptability of telemedicine to provide HIV care services among Black and Hispanic sexual minority men (SMM); 2) exploring pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) decision-making among Southern SMM; and 3) increasing representation of minority populations in HIV interventional research. Dr. Thomas earned her Doctorate in Nursing Science from Kennesaw State University, WellStar School of Nursing and is a certified nurse educator. She also holds an MPH with a focus on public health practices from the University of South Florida.

Rose Calixte, PhD, PStat®

Areas of Interest: I'm passionate about eliminating health disparities and providing culturally appropriate and equitable care for children and women, particularly women of color. My interest in health policy further intensified during the SPRINTER program with the mentorship of Dr. Girouard. I've learned over the course of the 8 weeks that it's not enough to address problems with one individual at a time. If we want to see major change that benefits communities, we need to radically change the system within and be in tune with peoples needs by diversifying leadership and allocating funds in preventative education and resources. That's how crucial health policy
is, so at the forefront of these laws, there should be professional healthcare workers, community leaders, and the individuals impacted. Furthermore, I'd like to do global health clinics/research as well, starting with my parent's home in Noakhali, Bangladesh. The more I know about the diversity and cultures of people, the better equipped I'll be as a doctor, an educator, and a person. I'm a curious being so I'm sure there will more interests as I go on in my career. At the moment, I plan to take a gap year after graduation (May 2022) to obtain clinical experience/research and then head to medical school for a MD-MPH degree.


I am a 20 year old rising junior with a major in statistics. I am from Cecilia, Louisiana. I love the math and technology field, and after I graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana, I plan on getting a master’s degree in biostatistics, data science, or a related field. I would love to work in pharmaceuticals and move to a big city.

Samia Ahmed

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

I am currently studying Nursing and Public Health. My academic interests lie in the cultural and social determinants of health. I am interested in the sociological implications of a growingly pluricultural society. I have a genuine passion for helping people and am working to gain the education and credentials to make a positive and meaningful impact on the healthcare field.


LaToya L. Trowers, Ed.D, MBA

Tolulope Atolagbe

College: St Francis College

Area of Interest: My educational area of interest is Biology. I hope to continue doing more research in the future, go to Physician Assistant school, and work in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.

Anika Aurpa

College: Hunter College

Gladys Joseph 

College: CUNY Hunter College

Ashley Rainey

College: Spelman College

Area of Interest: Medical Anthropology, Healthcare systems, Women's Health

Area of Interest: my educational area of interest is to pursue a joint MD/MPH degree! I hope to one day become a Trauma Surgeon and use my experience in Public Health research to discover ways in making improvements in local community violence. I want to thank the SUNY Downstate SPRINTER Program for the valuable research enrichment program offered to me. I hope to continue my education further with SUNY Downstate in the future.

In the future, I am interested in doing research in regards to health disparities to deliver the best standard of medical care to my patients as their health care provider.

Simone Lee

College: Cornell University; Houston Community College Syst.

                            Junior Faculty  

Adiebonye E. Jumbo, Ph.D., ITIL.

Rose Calixte, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University School of Public Health with a PStat® accreditation from the American Statistical Association. Her main research interest is in child health outcomes with a particular interest in factors that are associated with health care utilization in children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and barriers to access to care in CSHCN. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from The City College of New York and a PhD in Statistics from Stony Brook University.

Noriyuki Murakami, MD

Area of Interest: My research interests include delineating the various disparities in individuals’ and communities’ exposure to the natural, built, social, and occupational environment; demonstrating how these disparities in exposure in turn impact and cause disparities in adults’, children’s, maternal, and/or workers’ health; and ultimately determining the solutions that can help us decrease the disparities observed to ensure environmental justice and health for all.

Shevar Richards  

College: CUNY Brooklyn College 

I plan to become a pediatrician in an underprivileged and underserved area where I can share my knowledge with young children and assist in their journey to adulthood through their health.

Jeremy Wilson

Sanibel Felipe

College: City College

Area of Interest: Physician - obstetrics and gynecology

Jesse's research interest's stem from his background in public health and desire to leverage data science for social justice measures.  After completing his MPH at the University of California, Davis, he has worked on research related to farmworker exposure to organophosphate pesticides at the California Environmental Protection Agency, as well as pre-diabetes, substance abuse, and homelessness in a Medicaid population at Partnership Healthplan of California.  Currently, he is working on research regarding High Risk Neurodevelopmental Neonatal Follow Up for babies graduating from the NICU with Dr. Lawrence Fordjour at University Hospital Brooklyn.  His goal is to leverage geospatial and statistical analysis to disaggregate sociodemographic risk factors associated with disparities in chronic disease burden and adverse outcomes.  

Josefina Rivera-Zhelev

College: St. Francis College 

My name is Genesis Rodriguez and I am majoring in Medical Lab Sciences with a minor in sociology. I like to paint, play volleyball, tennis and softball, go dancing with friends and playing video games with my family. I plan on applying to MD or MD/PhD programs. I know that I want to be a physician and would like to incorporate research into my work. In the past, I've worked with organizations that focus on healthcare equity in low-income communities highly impacted by health disparities. Through this, I've learned the importance of improving healthcare for such populations and hope to be able to combine my love for science, medicine and research with my strong interest in community based work. I aspire to improve as many lives as I can in my career.

Area of Interest: I am a rising Senior attending Stony Brook University majoring in Biology with a minor in Health, Medicine, and Society. I plan to attend medical school with hopes of becoming a physician and conducting public health research on health disparities.

Nawab Rustum Qaderi

College: SUNY at Stony Brook

Vicki Yang

College: CUNY Hunter College

​Marlene Cam​acho-Rivera

​Transport Years: 2020-2022

Tanya Victor

College: St. Johns University - New York

Sheneene Robinson

College: CUNY Brooklyn College

Area of Interest: I am currently arising sophomore at Hunter College. I am a pre-med student and plan on attending medical school to become a pediatrician in the future. I also have interests in cell biology and oncology, hoping to participate in research relating to these fields in the near future.

Area of Interest: My areas of interest are Psychiatry, research on brain diseases, and Sports

Andraiae LaCour

College: Xavier University Of Louisiana

Farhana Khatun 

College: Stony Brook University

Area of Interest: I am a rising junior at CUNY Brooklyn College and will receive my Bachelor of Arts in health and nutrition with a concentration in health science on the pre-med track in Spring 2023. After my undergraduate, I hope to attend medical school and am considering a gap year to focus on research. I have a strong interest in women’s health and health disparities. As a physician, I want to travel to underrepresented countries especially in South Asia because women face discrimination due to deeply rooted cultural norms. There are gender gaps that exist in education, healthcare, and employment. In order to minimize these gaps, it is important to raise awareness of the importance of health literacy and educational attainment among women.

Area of Interest: My educational areas of interest: I am a premed student and I plan on going to medical school to obtain an MD as well as an MPH to hopefully become an Oncologist who conducts research while also focusing on health disparities within cancer.

Priscille Hilaire  

College: Brooklyn College