Our Team

Faculty Directors
  • Kathleen Angkustsiri, M.D., M.A.S.

    Co-Director, Integrating Special Populations Into Research

    Kathleen Angkustsiri is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with interests in neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome (FXS). She completed her B.A. in Psychology and Human Biology at Stanford University and received her M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. She is involved in research on immune dysfunction and gastrointestinal conditions in autism, behavioral characteristics of children with 22q11.2DS, and clinical trials in autism, FXS, and down syndrome.

  • Theresa Keegan, Ph.D., M.S.

    Co-Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Recruitment and Retention

    Theresa Keegan is a cancer epidemiologist with primary research interests in studies of cancer outcomes, health disparities and cancer survivorship. She has undertaken numerous studies with population-based cancer registry data in the United States, both alone and linked to other administrative and clinical databases, to understand patterns of cancer treatment and outcomes. Keegan has also been involved with multiple studies examining patient experiences with cancer and patient-reported outcomes after cancer diagnosis. A focus of her research is in adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology where her research has documented sociodemographic disparities in stage at diagnosis, treatment, access to specialized cancer center care, late effects and survival.

  • Oanh Meyer, Ph.D., M.A.S.

    Co-Director, Integrating Special Populations Into Research

    Oanh Meyer an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. She also leads the research education component at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

    Meyer received her Ph.D. in social psychology and her Masters in Advanced Study in Clinical Research at UC Davis. Her current research interests include social determinants of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), geographic disparities in cognitive and mental health for older adults, and culturally appropriate dementia caregiving interventions. She has a particular interest in reducing ADRD for older adults and their family caregivers. She has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association for her work on dementia and dementia caregiving in ethnically diverse populations.

  • Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.

    Co-Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Recruitment and Retention

    In addition to serving as co-director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Program within the Health Equity Resources and Outreach Program, Julie Schweitzer also serves as director of the Mentoring Academy for Research Excellence (MARE) and the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program, and co-director of the TL1 program. She is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, a faculty member in the Medical Investigations in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, and a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist.

    Schweitzer has expertise in translational research in neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly in the field of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the application of learning theories to clinical populations.

  • Jessica M. Jones, M.P.Aff., M.S.C.R.P.

    Community-Engaged Research Training Program Coordinator

    As the Community-Engaged Research Training Program Coordinator for the Health Equity Resources and Outreach (HERO) and Translational Research Education and Development (TRED programs, Jessica co-creates, uplifts, and enhances community engagement programming and resources for health researchers and community members. She collaborates with community engagement professionals within the UC Davis Health Campus, the UC Davis Campus, and nationally to support knowledge sharing and co-creation of community engagement resources.

    Before coming to UC Davis Health, Jessica served as Social Science Humanities Research Associate with the University of Texas at Austin and the City of Austin where she supported community engagement practices, research, and the co-development of community preparedness information and training for the City of Austin's Office of Resilience. Jessica has a Master in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture. She is an alumna of the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development. Jessica has over a decade of experience working on community, environmental and social policies and programs. She has extensive experience working with community partners in research, co-creating products with researchers and community members, and translating technical information for community dissemination.

    Outside of work, Jessica enjoys painting, hiking and spending time exploring the world with her family.

  • Silvia Molina

    Program Lead, Integrating Special Populations Into Research (INSPIRE)

    As the INSPIRE program lead, Silvia collaborates with staff and Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) faculty directors on various projects and deliverables. She interfaces with staff managers in other CTSC programs, community engagement professionals across the university, and the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) network nationally, in support of knowledge sharing, capacity building, and scientific collaborations between researchers and diverse communities. She also contributes to shared functions across Health Equity Resources and Outreach programs, including consultations with investigators and research teams, planning, and coordinating community focus groups, and supporting the development and delivery of new research training workshops and courses designed to build the capacity of UC Davis researchers, health staff, and community members.

    Prior to joining CTSC, Silvia was the Community Education Specialist at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center bringing educational programs and services to patients. Before joining UC Davis, She served as a community ambassador for a nonprofit hospice organization bringing discussion events about palliative care and hospice to the community. In her earlier career, she worked for over 16 years at a local nonprofit where she built and nurtured business relations, directed grants administration, and coordinated program development for underserved populations.

    Outside of work, she is a Gerontological Specialist who enjoys connecting resources to families caring for their elderly loved ones. She has experience leading and being on various advisory councils and boards in the field of Gerontology. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Gerontology from California State University, Sacramento, and enjoys spending time with friends and family, crafting, gardening, and being at the beach.

  • Elizabeth Vasile, Ph.D., M.S.

    Program Director, Health Equity Resources and Outreach
    Program Manager, Integrating Special Populations Into Research

    As Director of the UC Davis CTSC Health Equity Resources and Outreach program, Elizabeth works with researchers and her administrative counterparts across the institution to nurture relationships with community stakeholders, organize public dialogues and learning activities, convene and expand access to community advisory groups, and develop strategies and capacities to bring patient voices into research design and content, with special attention to the unique health needs of populations at different points in the human lifespan, and of historically underserved, disadvantaged, and culturally diverse communities.

    Before coming to work at UC Davis Health, Elizabeth managed an NIA/NIH-supported P30 center at the University of California, Berkeley, where she facilitated the development and dissemination of studies in the demography of aging. Her research background is in the social sciences, with a broad base in community development and regional change and in field studies employing qualitative, ethnographic methods to examine mechanisms of shifting social identity and material practices. She earned a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. She has lived, worked, and conducted field research in North Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean and with Latinx, Asian, and African-American communities in California, and trained and supervised field teams in ethnographic techniques and cultural analysis, working in Spanish and French. Her early career, post-Ph.D., was in management and research consulting, centered on informing the design of service innovations in underserved markets, supporting long-long range strategic planning, and conducting third-party evaluations of complex community development initiatives.

    Beyond her professional work with UC Davis, Elizabeth studies, practices, and teaches Iyengar yoga.

  • Gloria Zavala Perez, M.P.H.

    Project Policy Analyst

    Before joining the CTSC, Gloria was employed by the UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB) for four years. She comes from a regulatory and research background. Before joining the IRB, Gloria worked on two major NIH-funded projects with the UC Davis Nutrition Department. Both projects focused on childhood obesity among the Latino/a community.

    Gloria’s academic career began at UC Davis, where she pursued dual bachelor's degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chicano/a Studies. This unique combination of disciplines provided her with the unique opportunity to not only build a foundation in the health sciences, but also understand how health is impacted by cultural influences, socioeconomic disparities, and language barriers. She is currently working on completing her master's degree in Public Health with a concentration in Community and Public Health Practice at the University of San Francisco.