Faculty and Staff
Director at Healthy Cities Labs
Gary Adamkiewicz, PhD MPH, directs the Healthy Cities Lab. He is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Exposure Disparities at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He oversees several research initiatives and projects committed to providing new insights into the real-world mechanisms that shape environmental health disparities and to provide new pathways to alleviate these disparities. Gary brings more than 30 years of experience in environmental health to this mission. He has served on EPA’s Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Review Panel, under the auspices of the agency’s Science Advisory Board. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization’s effort to establish indoor air quality guidelines. Dr. Adamkiewicz holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys travel and food, as well as talking about travel and food (did he mention the food?).
Marty Alvarez, MS is the Healthy Cities Lab Project Manager. She oversees multiple research projects, implements primary data collection, administers compliance with human subject research, and serves as a bilingual (Spanish) community liaison/recruitment coordinator across projects. She also works hard to prioritize work efforts, track project milestones and facilitate communication across the extended team. She brings over 15 years of project management experience from work at Yale University, Yale School of Public Health, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her experience and interests include low-income housing related public health research, community outreach, health promotion and disease prevention. When not at work, Marty values family & friends, good food, crossing items off her to do list and the chilly New England weather.
Judith Rodríguez researches healthy housing in Accra and Dhaka at the Healthy Cities Lab, as part of Pathways for Equitable Healthy Cities. Her research interests include health-promoting urban development, sustainability, and resilience in developing contexts. Judith comes from Harvard GSD where she has been a Research Associate at the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, and Teaching Fellow at the Landscape Architecture Department. At Harvard DCE she teaches sustainable infrastructure standards through real-world projects, with focus on islands. As designer she has practiced professionally architecture and landscape architecture in firms such as Toyo Ito Architects, SOM, Topotek1, LCLA Office, and achieved award-winning designs. Most recent, first prize for proposal Sapphire Necklace for Resilient Communities in the San Juan Bay Estuary, and honorable mention for Berlin’s Tegel Airport redevelopment proposal. She holds master degrees in landscape architecture and urban design from Harvard GSD, architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology, and bachelor in environmental design from the University of Puerto Rico. Judith enjoys plants, traveling and taking pictures with drones.
Jose Vallarino is the Healthy Cities Lab Project Engineer. He manages the design and development of monitoring platforms and provides oversight of sampling protocols, data management and QA/QC. He offers 20+ years of experience working across multiple projects in the Environmental Health Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In his free time, Jose enjoys spending time with his family, including driving his daughters to soccer and band practice, biking to work and following Boston sports teams.
Maddie Wallace is the Research Assistant for the Healthy Cities Lab. She came to the lab after earning her BA in Biology and French from Hamilton College. Maddie maintains air quality sensor equipment, manages data, develops software, conducts primary data collection, recruits participants, and works with project partners to support multiple lab projects. Previously, she conducted land conservation research with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, ecological research with Dartmouth College, and immunological research with Hamilton College. Outside of work, Maddie loves playing ultimate frisbee, learning more about biology, and all things outdoors.
Paula Miller is the Research Assistant for the Healthy Cities Lab. She joined the lab after completing her MPH in Epidemiology from the University at Albany. Previously, she worked for the New York State Department of Health, the Joslin Diabetes Center, and she earned her BS in Biology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Paula collaborates with project partners, downloads and manages data, and works closely with our engineer to maintain the projects’ air sensor platforms. When she isn’t in the lab, Paula enjoys reading, exploring the city, going for hikes, and trying new foods.
Doctoral and Masters Students
Ashley Gripper is a PhD student in the Population Health Sciences Program and Environmental Health Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Using epidemiologic, spatial, and quantitative methods, Ashley’s work explores the mental, spiritual, and social health impacts of urban agriculture on farmers in Philadelphia. She has been active in food justice and land sovereignty movements for almost a decade and as a result, has established connections and built meaningful relationships with urban and rural growers from around the country. Ashley has particular experience in creating and fostering urban design that has explicit public health impacts and benefits. Specifically, she has consulted with architectural firms and New York City Housing Authority to design spaces conducive to healthy eating and agriculture in public housing. She is excited to explore how cities, neighborhoods, and housing can be designed to promote food sovereignty, social equity, and environmental justice. Through a national fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars, Ashley is also learning to translate research into policy that will improve community health. She hopes to bring many of the skills and knowledge she is gaining back home to Philadelphia one day.
Futu Chen is a PhD student in Population Health Sciences, Environmental Health at Harvard University. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health from Emory University, and worked as a data analyst at the Boston Medical Center. Her research interests include geospatial methods, neighborhood and urban environment, as well as the environmental/social factors that sustain and/or drive health disparities. In her free time, she is an avid (albeit slow) swimmer. Swimming is always a part of her.
Sanjana Bhaskar is a doctoral student in Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and she graduated from the Environmental Health MS program in 2021. Her interests are focused on disparities in environmental exposures and their differential impact on health by race and neighborhood. Her background includes a prior Master of Philosophy in Bioscience Enterprise from University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at the University of Surrey, UK. Prior to the SM program, she held diverse roles across research in molecular biology, gene expression analysis, the pharmaceutical industry, life-sciences and digital health consulting and environmental health research in India. She is from India and loves dancing, playing with dogs and music.
Past Team Members
Sara Gillooly was part of the Healthy Cities Lab from 2015 to 2021, and in her most recent role there worked as the Research Lab Manager, overseeing lab testing and maintenance of sampling equipment and providing guidance on data processing and analyses for multiple indoor air quality-focused research projects. She worked closely with Jose, the lab’s engineer, to assemble and test our HOME study air sampling platform – environmental multi-pollutant monitoring assembly (emma) – and adapted emma for other research studies. She received her BA in Physical Anthropology and MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She now works as an investigator for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Unit in Augusta, Maine. In her free time, she enjoys skiing in her onesie, hiking with her corgi Rumford and partner Drew, and birdwatching.
Katie received her PhD in Population Health Sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the summer of 2021. Her research with the HOME Study team focused on environmental exposure data report back and characterizing participants’ environmental health literacy via qualitative analysis. She is now a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Tamara James-Todd’s environmental reproductive epidemiology laboratory at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In her new role, she is expanding her work to characterize environmental health literacy in the reproductive epidemiological space and is working to enhance the environmental health literacy of women’s reproductive health care providers.
Melissa Miller received her MPH in Environmental Health and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health, and her BA in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University. Melissa worked in the Healthy Cities Lab as a Research Assistant, where she worked on data processing and management, coordinating with project partners, and supporting other research tasks. Previous experience has given Melissa a strong background in data visualization, research translation, and data analytics. Melissa now works at ICF International as a Senior Environmental Epidemiologist. Outside the lab, Melissa can be found tending to her houseplants, practicing yoga, and trying to stop her two cats from eating all of her houseplants.
MyDzung Chu, PhD, MSPH joined the Healthy Cities Lab (HCL) from 2016-2020 as a PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences. Her dissertation examined socio-contextual drivers of disparities of indoor and ambient air pollution exposure and poor housing conditions for low-income, immigrant, and Black and Brown households. She led the indoor air pollution data analyses and recruitment of Vietnamese participants for the HOME-CRESSH Study. Currently, she is a postdoctoral scientist with the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, and the Program Director of ADAPT (Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational research) at the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She is interested in community-engaged research with Asian and immigrant populations focused on socio-contextual and environmental determinants of health.
Andrew Shapero received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Tufts University and completed his M.P.H. at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research interests include environmental justice issues – especially those relating to air pollution and housing – data visualization, and engaging with participants in the field. In his free time, Andrew enjoys going to the beach, hiking, and reading. Andrew currently works as a Consultant at Eastern Research Group.
Lacy Reyna received her MS in Environmental Health Exposure Assessment from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2018 and began working with the Healthy Cities Lab as a Research Assistant in 2017. She was involved with data collection and analysis. Her research primarily focuses on revealing determinants of indoor air quality and identifying targets for intervention to promote public health. Her hobbies include painting, traveling, and drinking massive amounts of coffee. Lacy currently works as an Environmental Scientist at Sage Environmental.
Sijie Ma worked in the Healthy Cities Lab as a second-year master’s student (2018-2019) in Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her thesis in the Healthy Cities Lab on the determination of the in-home cooking activity using daily activity logs, occupancy sensor, and real-time thermal monitoring. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Science and her research included utilizing the up-to-date gene editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 to construct an autism-related gene (mbd6) mutant zebrafish model. She enjoys running, swimming, reading, and traveling in her free time. Sijie currently works as an Analyst at Ipsos MMA in New York.
Yulun Zhou (Chris)
Yulun Zhou (Chris) is a Ph.D. candidate in Geoinformation Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also obtained a MSc. in GIS (CUHK 13’) and a B.Eng. in Nuclear Physics and Technology (Fudan 09’). His research focuses on spatial data mining, spatial-temporal statistical methods and their applications in data quality control and environmental analyses. He joined the Harvard Healthy City Lab as a visiting scholar in July 2017 and worked primarily on the data quality control of indoor air quality sensors and robust home occupancy detection using machine learning techniques and multi-source data, including app-tracked trajectories, GPS-tracked trajectories, and indoor gas concentrations. His research has been published in leading journals including Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Pollution, Geoscientific Model Development, etc.
Kelli González joined the HOME study team in 2016 as a Research Assistant, helping with the development of HOME study questionnaires and data collection in Chelsea. Kelli continued her work on the project until receiving her MS in Environmental Health with a focus in Occupational Hygiene from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in May 2017. Following graduation, she spent a year working as an Environmental Health and Safety Consultant with a number of area biopharmaceutical companies. She now lives with her husband and beloved fur-babies in Austin, Texas.
Sheila Tripathy was a Research Fellow in the Healthy Cities Lab and the NIEHS Center Community Engagement Core (CEC) from 2019 to 2022 where she collaborated with community partners to organize and implement projects addressing local and regional environmental health concerns, including soil testing and air monitoring. She also helped with monitoring equipment design and testing for multiple indoor air pollution studies. She is currently a senior research scientist at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health where she is co-designing a community air monitoring study with fenceline residents in Southwest Philadelphia. Sheila received her PhD in Environmental Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and her BS in Environmental Science at the University of Rochester. Sheila enjoys making maps, camping, playing with her cats, and spending time near the ocean.
Meryl Colton, MD MS worked on projects from 2011-2015 when she left to start medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She helped manage the Boston Residential Investigation of Green and Healthy Transitions (BRIGHT) study and do field work for the Green Housing Study, laying the foundation for future work on healthy cities. Meryl completed her MS in Environmental Epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in 2013 and MD from the University of Colorado in 2019. Her interests include health disparities, culturally responsive medicine, data science, and study design. Meryl is now a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado and hopes to become an oncologist where she can use her tools in exposure assessment and epidemiology to reduce health disparities for cancer patients. In her free time, she loves to hike, ski, and try new foods!