Research Team

Our research team includes Boston University scientists from the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics. They have expertise in cancer, aging, social and economic factors, nutrition, cardiovascular disease, and other less common health conditions.

Mollie Barnard, ScD Kimberly Bertrand, ScD Patricia Coogan, DSc
Yvette Cozier, DSc Etienne Holder, PhD Julie Palmer, ScD
Jessica Petrick, PhD Lynn Rosenberg, ScD Shanshan Sheehy, ScD
Gary Zirpoli, PhD


Our scientists are supported by a talented group of staff who manage the study by maintaining the study database, staying in touch with subjects, mailing and processing questionnaires, and assisting with research analysis.

Carolyn Conte, MPH Lisa Crowell, BSN, MS Lauren Delp Katelle Donkor, MPH
Dianne Dunn Nastia Dynkin Cassandra Edwards Pamela King, MS
Hannah Lord Chanel Peguero, MS Maria Petzold Renee Pittman
Sarah Rothbard, MS Delia Russell, MPH Yifei Shan Oleg Starobinets
Nora Xu, MSPH

BWHS Advisory Board

Members of the BWHS Advisory Board have a wide range of expertise. They provide advice and guidance on research directions in the BWHS and the health needs of Black women.

Linda Clayton for web Linda Clayton, MD, MPH, gynecologic oncologist, is the Co-Director, Institute for Optimizing Health and Health Care, Inc.; Health Policy Researcher and Instructor, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical College. She is co-author (with W. Michael Byrd, M.D.) of “An American Health Dilemma,” which documents the history of poorer health of African-Americans and the failures of the American health care system.

Heather Eliassen Heather Eliassen, ScD is Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the roles of dietary and hormonal factors in risk and survival from breast cancer. As a leader of the Nurses’ Health Studies, her experience in large cohort studies is especially relevant for the BWHS.

C_Georges_HiRes (1)C. Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN is Chairperson of the Lehman College Department of Nursing, former President of the Black Nurses’ Foundation, and a member of the board of directors of AARP.

EllenGrantEllen E. Grant, PhD, LCSW-R is Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility/CARES at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has previously served as the Second Deputy Mayor of Buffalo, New York and is a former executive in several health organizations in New York State, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

ShirikiShiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH is Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and is founder and Chairperson of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN).

LaurenMcCulloughLauren E. McCullough, PhD, MSPH is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. She is a cancer epidemiologist whose research focuses on the contributions of obesity and the social environment to breast tumor characteristics, as well as to disparities in cancer outcomes.

McLeodJacqueline McLeod, MPH, MEd is currently Director of Healing Communities Network, an organization that works to reintegrate prisoners and former prisoners into the community, and a former executive at organizations that include Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and the American Lung Association.

Former Advisory Board Members

Leslie Bernstein, PhD, epidemiologist, served on the BWHS Board 2016-2022

Ruth Cage, educator, served on BWHS Board 1994-2014

Rosemary Graham, lupus educator, served on BWHS Board 1994-2008

Sue Hankinson, epidemiologist, served on the BWHS Board 2016-2023

Linda Villarosa, journalist/author, served on BWHS Board 1994-2000