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Faculty, Staff, & Advisors

The quality and importance of our work depends on the diverse skills, passion, and innovation of Health Research for Action's remarkable staff.

Linda Neuhauser, DrPH, MPH
Co-Principal Investigator

S. Leonard Syme, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator

Susan L. Ivey, MD, MHSA
Director of Research

Anthony Eleftherion, MFA
Director of Communications

Winston Tseng, PhD 
Associate Director of Research, Research Professor

Becca Freed
Associate Director, Health Literacy Communications

Jessica Liu
Research Project Coordinator

Carl Pacheco
Business Manager

Jason G. Su, PhD, MS Affiliated Faculty
Doug Oman, PhD Affiliated Faculty
Marlon Maus, MD, DrPH, FACS Affiliated Faculty
Alina Engelman, DrPH, MPH Affiliated Researcher
Julian Chun-Chung Chow, PhD Affiliated Faculty
William Satariano, PhD, MPH Affiliated Faculty
Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, MD, MPH Clinical Professor
Maria Hernandez, PhD Special Advisor, Pay For Success Initiatives
Eve Lee, MA Special Advisor, Asian Health Programs
Shelley Martin, MPH, CHES Special Advisor, International Affairs
Melissa Kealey, PhD, MPH, CPH Affiliated Researcher
Arnab Mukherjea, DrPH, MPH Affiliated Researcher
Atalie Thompson, MPH Affiliated Researcher
Kenny Chung, ScM Affiliated Researcher
Sidhanta Gurung Affiliated Researcher


Principal Investigators

Linda Neuhauser, DrPH, MPH, is Clinical Professor of Community Health and Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, and Co-Principal Investigator of Health Research for Action. Her research, teaching, and practice are focused on conducting inter- and transdisciplinary research and translating findings into improved health programs and policies. She uses participatory approaches to create programs and communication resources that are relevant to people's literacy levels, languages, cultures, access, and functional needs, and to their social contexts. She is internationally known for her success in helping government agencies, community programs and private industry understand and design better health programs, especially those that involve communication. She has served on many federal agency health committees (FDA, CDC, NLM, ODPHP, etc.) and has been an advisor to the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and many governments and universities globally. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Charles Atkin Outstanding Translational Health Communication Scholar Award, UC Berkeley Institute for East Asian Studies Residential Scholar Award, Pfizer Visiting Professor in Health Literacy, and Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs Best Practices Award. She was previously a health officer in West and Central Africa with the US Agency for International Development. Email: (Publications)

S. Leonard Syme, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health (Emeritus) in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. During more than 20 years as Co-Principal Investigator at HRA, he has worked on developing community interventions to prevent disease and promote health. Pursuing his research interest on the relationship between health and such psychosocial factors as poverty, stress and social isolation, he has studied San Francisco bus drivers, civil servants in London, and Japanese living in Japan, Hawaii, and San Francisco. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and won the J. D. Bruce Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine from the American College of Physicians, as well as the Wade Hampton Frost Award from the American Public Health Association for developing the field of Social Epidemiology. Len holds a PhD in Medical Sociology from Yale University, following a BA and an MA in Anthropology and Sociology at UCLA. Email: (Publications)

Directors, Managers, Researchers, Staff

Susan L. Ivey, MD, MHSA, is Director of Research. She is a physician who has been conducting health services research for 16 years. She has a master’s degree in Health Policy and post-doctoral training (2 years) in Health Policy and Health Services Research. She is currently the Director of Research at Health Research for Action center (7 years), an affiliated research center at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. She has previous expertise in prevention research and health services research at UCB’s CDC-funded prevention research center (UCB 1997-2004) and continues as an affiliated researcher with the UCB PRC. Her major focus is in design and evaluation of health care interventions which includes patient-centered projects (e.g., individual level projects in diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases), organizational level projects (implementation of physician learning collaboratives for quality improvement, assessment of team care such as using pharmacists on the care team), and policy level work (white papers on use of the EHR for meaningful use, state-level organizing for physician action on cardiovascular and diabetes care improvements). Dr. Ivey also uses a variety of methods to understand research and evaluation questions including secondary data analysis, needs assessment, formative qualitative research, and quantitative outcomes research (including survey research and clinical trials). Many research projects at HRA use participatory research methods such as use of an advisory board. Research projects and materials designs are often conducted in multiple languages. Her work using participatory methods has ensured that she has a very large and loyal group of physician organizations, local health care organizations, and community-based organizations who offer capacity in many languages. She has published significant research in the area of health services research and health disparities, with more than 60 publications, of which over 40 are articles in peer-reviewed journals. Email: (Publications)

Anthony Eleftherion, MFA, is Director of Communications. He provides strategic and creative oversight for print, digital and interactive health literacy content. He has been writing health communications materials for ten years, much of it for readers with low literacy levels. Most recently, he was senior medical writer at a life sciences company that produces 3-D animations, infographic videos, websites, and mobile applications for the healthcare industry. He holds a master of fine arts degree in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Maytag fellow, and has been an Olive B. O’Connor fellow at Colgate University. A short film he co-wrote received a student academy award, the HBO short film award, the grand jury awards at South by Southwest and Palm Springs film festivals, and was an official selection at Sundance. Email:

Becca Freed is Associate Director, Health Literacy Communications. She writes and edits health-related materials for the center. In addition, she designs and conducts usability tests and manages projects. Becca also keeps HRA’s website updated. Before joining HRA, Becca wrote and edited health-related materials for Krames Patient Education, where she focused on making complicated topics understandable without talking down to the reader. She has more than 20 years of publishing experience, having worked on books, magazines, websites, and marketing communications. Becca has a BA in French and English from UC Santa Barbara. Email:

Jessica Liu, MPH, is Research Project Coordinator. She manages projects and conducts usability tests. She brings seven years of experience in conducting and coordinating public health research. Most recently, Jessica was a Project Coordinator at a large non-profit health system in Northern California. Prior to that, she was a Research Assistant at a small non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals affected by Fragile X. She also volunteers as a judge for the ClearMark Awards hosted by the Center for Plain Language. Her interest in public health and community outreach stems from her previous work on a longitudinal autism study during her undergraduate studies. Jessica has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Development and a Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion and Health Education. Email:

Winston Tseng, PhDis Research Professor of Community Health Sciences and Associate Director of Research. Dr. Tseng's research focuses on community health collaborations with underserved communities of color to understand their assets and needs, and develop and implement interventions to strengthen their community infrastructure and improve their health and social conditions. He uses participatory approaches by exchanging/sharing research and evaluation skills with his community partners to develop community data/research capacity, define community health inequities, identify critical community health resources, and design and conduct culturally relevant interventions and evaluations to strengthen their community infrastructure for research and services. His research includes work on racial/ethnic health inequities, health promotion/education in diverse communities, community health planning and policy development, mental health, and healthy aging. Select recent projects include: community-defined evidence practices for mental health among Hmong older adults in Butte County, CA; arsenic remediation technology, safe drinking water, and community education in San Joaquin Valley, CA; Help@Hand virtual screening of mental health services in Monterey County; and Regional Pacific Islander Taskforce health equity initiative across San Francisco Bay Area. Email:; phone: (510) 643-4461. (Publications)

Alina Engelman, DrPH, MPH, is an Affiliated Researcher with a focus on health initiatives for underserved populations, including the deaf and hard of hearing. Dr. Engelman is Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Engelman participated in HRA's Preparedness and Emergency Response Research project "All-Hazards Communication to Improve the Resilience of Vulnerable Populations.” She received a DrPH degree from UC Berkeley in 2012. Dr. Engelman was the recipient of a Health Policy & Health Systems Research project award from the Center for Infectious Disease and Emergency Readiness at UC Berkeley. She completed her MPH in Global Health at Yale University, where she worked in Kenya on a program evaluation of HIV/AIDS services for the Deaf using community-based participatory research (CBPR) techniques. Findings were implemented on a national level. Previously, at Brown University, her honors thesis focused on the Sandinista Revolution's impact on the deaf community in Nicaragua. Her interests include health disparities, global health policy, health literacy, cultural competence training, program evaluation, qualitative methods, HIV/AIDS education, and emergency preparedness for at-risk populations.

Marlon Maus, M.D., DrPH, FACS is Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in oculoplastics surgery and received his doctorate degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. Teaching and mentoring have always been an integral part of Dr. Maus’ professional activities. He has trained and teaches fellows, residents, and medical students, undergraduates, and graduate students. His research covers various areas including the relationship between public health and the built environment and aging. In this area he has helped develop and test new technologies (WordWalk Project) to support physical activity and cognitive fitness that may contribute to healthy aging. In the area of vision and public health he helped conduct a binational collaboration with Mexico that investigated the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in underserved Mexican migrant populations using artificial intelligence, technology and telemedicine in Mexican Consulates. He is the faculty and medical advisor for the EIM program at UC Berkeley that focuses on increasing physical activity to address mental and physical problems in the student population, especially those most at risk. He is a member of the collaboration team, with other HRA faculty, between Osaka University and UC Berkeley in the areas of healthy aging and caregiving. Email:

Jason G. Su, PhD, MS, is an Affiliated Researcher directing the HRA Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative project. The focus of this project is to address the problem of childhood asthma. It will learn how to prevent asthma and to act quickly to address housing problems that lead to asthma in children. Jason has deep experience in this area, having conducted or contributed to more than 10 research projects on exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and public health. He has investigated air pollution using sensors and environmental modeling, as well as other triggers of asthma and rescue inhaler usage. His research goal is to use detailed information about individuals’ exposure to asthma triggers to develop highly targeted prevention strategies. Funders of Jason’s work have included Health Canada, Health Effects Institute (HEI), California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Energy Commission (CEC), California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), University of California Transportation Center (UCTC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Jason has published more than 60 scientific papers and won the best paper issued by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Email: (Publications)

Special Advisors to HRA

Maria Hernandez, PhD, is Special Advisor on the Pay For Success initiatives at Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley. Dr. Hernandez is President of Impact4Health and consults in the public and private sector across several industries including healthcare. Her work focuses on large scale change initiatives, executive education and a wide range of human capital development efforts. Her early work in applying Social Impact Bonds to address chronic conditions is chronicled in an HRA white paper sponsored by the California Endowment. This work lead to the AIM4Fresno initiative which will focus on reducing asthma related hospitalizations using a home based intervention including health education and remediation of common household asthma triggers. Dr. Hernandez is now engaging other communities also be looking to create a similar project in 2014. Once successful, these communities will be in a position to attract private investors to expand these pilot projects and further address known social determinants of health.
Eve Lee, MA, is Special Advisor for Asian Health Programs at Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley. She was trained as a health educator and has been working in the women’s health and rights issues for the past three decades. Eve is also a senior advisor for Pathfinder International, and was a grant maker for the Ford Foundation’s Beijing office from 2001-2010 focusing on sexuality and reproductive health and rights. Prior to Ford, she was Vice President of the Public Media Center, a public interest communication and technical assistance agency based in San Francisco, California, and a health educator/counselor in the Women Health Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital. Eve was born in Taiwan, graduated from the Health Education Department of the National Taiwan Normal University, and has a Master of Health Science degree from California State University in Sacramento, USA.
Shelley Martin, MPH, is Special Advisor on International Affairs at Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley. Ms. Martin served as Executive Director of HRA from 2003-2010. She provides leadership for resource and program development for national and international programs and is a contributing author to many of HRA’s accessible and user-friendly, multi-lingual materials, including: The Wellness Guide, Parents Guide, California’s HMO Guide, California’s HMO Guide for Medicare Recipients, Healthy Steps: A Fall-Prevention Guide for Pennsylvania. In 2002, Ms. Martin received the B. Holzer Health Literacy Award for published materials from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. In 2004, she received the Pratt Fellowship in Melbourne, Australia, to enhance empowerment models for Australia’s community-based organizations. She is a graduate of the 2007 Global Health Leadership Forum, a joint offering between the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, bringing together international senior health care leaders to improve health care systems worldwide. She has helped design and disseminate international health literacy and wellness initiatives in Australia, Canada, China, and Switzerland. Before joining UC Berkeley, Ms. Martin had an extensive career in health promotion and consultation that included national training on HIV/AIDS prevention, improving access to health care for rural Americans, and developing the Medical Home Training model for Head Start.