Research Faculty | Department of Family and Community Medicine | UC Davis Health

Research Faculty

The following faculty members dedicate a significant portion of their effort to research activities, in addition to clinical and educational work.

  • Alicia Agnoli M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S. (She/Her) - Assistant Professor and Associate Residency Director

    Alicia Agnoli, M.D.Dr. Agnoli is a board-certified family physician and health services researcher. She joined the department of Family and Community Medicine in 2017, providing full-spectrum family medicine and addiction medicine. Her clinical and research interests focus on issues of access to care and harm reduction, particularly for marginalized populations and individuals with substance use disorders. Dr. Agnoli grew up in Massachusetts, earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and completed her medical and public health training at Tufts. She then completed a research and policy fellowship at Yale through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Agnoli is committed to advancing patient care, population health, and health equity through her research, teaching, and clinical care.

  • Joshua J. Fenton, M.D., M.P.H. (He/Him) - Professor and Vice Chair of Research

    Joshua Fenton, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Fenton graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and completed his residency at San Francisco General Hospital. He subsequently served as a family physician on the Navajo Indian Reservation at Crownpoint, NM and as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Washington. Dr. Fenton’s research focuses on screening and prevention, patient-doctor communication, and increasing the value of primary care. Dr. Fenton is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine and is Associate Editor of the Evidence-Based Medicine.

  • Anthony F. Jerant, M.D. (He/Him) - Professor and Department Chair

    Anthony F. Jerant, M.D. Dr. Jerant earned his M.D. from St. Louis University School of Medicine under an Army Health Professions Scholarship (HPS), and then completed family medicine residency training at Madigan Army Medical Center. He spent his four-year HPS service commitment on the teaching faculty of the family medicine residency program at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He joined the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine in 1998, and was appointed as Chair in January 2018. As Chair, Dr. Jerant strives to embody the servant leadership philosophy, maintaining a primary focus on cultivating the growth and well-being of the people in the Department and the patients and communities it serves.

    Before becoming Chair, Dr. Jerant had many other Departmental leadership roles, including Vice Chair, Mentoring Director, Medical Student Education Director, and Associate Residency Director. In 2014, he received the C. John Tupper Prize for Excellence in Teaching, UC Davis School of Medicine’s highest teaching award, recognizing sustained and enduring contributions to medical education. Dr. Jerant practices broad scope family medicine, with particular interest in primary mental health care, preventative care, chronic illness care, and outpatient procedures. He is also a health services researcher with a strong interest in developing and evaluating interventions to activate patients to participate more effectively in their own care. Dr. Jerant has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and has been awarded more than $9 million in career extramural research funding as a principal investigator, including grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. When not working, Dr. Jerant cherishes spending time with his two sons and enjoys walking, playing the guitar, and listening to records (yes, vinyl!) and other recordings.

  • Jennifer Karlin, M.D., Ph.D. (She/Her) - Assistant Professor and Co-Director Medical Student Education Program

    Jennifer Karlin, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Karlin is a board-certified family physician and fellowship-trained family planning specialist whose primary care practice is anchored in caring for patients--particularly those who have been historically disenfranchised--in ways that encourage their empowerment and autonomy. Trained as an anthropologist and historian of medicine, her research aims to understand how social, political and institutional structures affect people's experiences with diagnosis, treatment and health care. Dr. Karlin completed her graduate and medical degrees as well as a fellowship in clinical medical ethics at the University of Chicago and then finished her residency training and family planning fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). For her doctoral work, she examined how diverse understandings of health were, and were not, integrated into a large teaching hospital, one with particularly high rates of poor and uninsured patients. Since then, her research has spanned a wide range of topics to address how health care can be delivered in ways that are person-centered and empowering with a focus on reproductive health, end stage renal disease and chronic illnesses including autoimmune disorders. As important, Dr. Karlin is committed to medical and resident education and research that aims to encourage physicians-in-training to approach their practices from an historical, trauma-informed and self-reflexive perspective as a way of improving quality of care and decreasing trauma caused by the medical system.

  • Elizabeth Magnan, M.D., Ph.D. (She/Her) - Associate Professor

    Elizabeth Magnan, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Magnan received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Her primary interest is research to improve health outcomes and the patient experience for patients with complicated health needs, including diabetes and multiple chronic conditions. Outside of research, Dr. Magnan loves to teach and showing trainees how wonderful family medicine and the patient-doctor connection can be. Clinically, she believes in working with patients to find plans that work for them and enjoys chronic condition management and behavioral health.

  • Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H. (She/Her) - Professor Emeritus

    Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H. - Professor Emeritus Dr. Melnikow received her M.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her family practice residency training at the University of Massachusetts in 1987. She served as a family physician at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital before joining the faculty of Case Western Reserve University. Since joining the department in 1992, Dr. Melnikow has explored her professional interest in women's health through her research on cancer screening and prevention issues in underserved populations, evaluation of women with abnormal pap smears, and cost effectiveness analyses. She is a nationally recognized leader in health services research with appointments on the United States Preventative Services Task Force, the National Institutes of Health’s Health Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group, and is the vice chair for public health for the California Health Benefits Review Program.

  • Adeola Oni-Orisan, M.D., Ph.D. (She/Her) – Assistant Professor

    Adeola Oni-Orisan, M.D., Ph.D Dr. Oni-Orisan is a board-certified family medicine physician who provides comprehensive primary care, prenatal care, and obstetric care to individuals across their life span. She has special interest in full-spectrum reproductive health, adolescent health, substance use disorders, global health, and care for historically marginalized populations. Dr. Oni-Orisan believes that quality, respectful, effective care can only be achieved in partnership with patients, their families, and the communities they live in. As an anthropologist and physician, she attends to social, structural, and biological factors that affect a patient's health. She strives to build longitudinal relationships with patients as she accompanies them through various stages of health and illness throughout their lives. Trained in medical anthropology, Dr. Oni-Orisan has expertise in community-centered research, qualitative research, critical race theory, Black feminist studies, and science and technology studies. She has conducted research on issues related to reproductive health, global health, development, religion, and informal sites of care in Nigeria, Zambia, and the United States.

  • Na'amah Razon, M.D., Ph.D. (She/Her) - Assistant Professor

    Na'amah Razon, M.D., Ph.D.Dr. Razon is a family physician and medical anthropologist with expertise in caring for individuals throughout their life course. Family medicine carries a philosophy that views health as rooted in community and relationships. Dr. Razon thus sees her role as one of partnership, and she is committed to caring and partnering with patients, their families, and communities to promote their health and well-being.

    Dr. Razon is committed to promoting the well-being and health of her patients and community. She is committed to caring and partnering with her patients throughout their life course with a particular interest in reproductive health. Her current research examines the ethics and complexity of integrating social determinants of health into clinical practice.

    Dr. Razon brings extensive expertise in qualitative research of health policy with the goal of advancing health equity. A growing science of social determinants of health demonstrates that most of health and illness occur because of individuals’ social and economic contexts. Yet how to best address the complexity of these contexts within healthcare remains largely unanswered. Dr. Razon’s research focuses on improving clinical resources and evaluation of policies that address patients’ social contexts. She has studied an array of topics including universal health insurance, language access, transportation services, and reproductive health.