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Student Handbook

Student Handbook

Martina Anto-Ocrah, MT(ASCP), MPH, PhD(c)Martina Anto-Ocrah

Martina graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York with an undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science in 2000, and with her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Rochester in 2005. In 2013, Martina returned to the University of Rochester to pursue a doctoral degree in Epidemiology.

Currently in her 4th year of the PhD program, Martina’s interests are focused mainly on vulnerable populations, and center around Reproductive Epidemiology, Injury Research Methods and Epidemiology, and Global Emergency Medicine.

In her spare time, Martina enjoys running and humorously blogging about life as a mother of 4, a 7 year old singleton and his 4 year old triplet siblings.

Adnan Becerra

Adan BecerraAdan Becerra joined the Epidemiology PhD program in 2015. Adnan is a graduate from the University of Chicago where he majored in Biology and Statistics, His dissertation investigates childhood and adulthood stress exposures in relation to late-life cognitive function using life course epidemiology as a guiding framework. Adnan has also examined variation in health care delivery and outcomes among cancer patients in an effort to inform optimization of patient-centered and evidence-based care.

His research areas of interest include Life course epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, surgical outcomes, variation in cancer health care delivery.

Allison CieslaAllison Ciesla

Allison Ciesla is a graduate from St. Lawrence University where she majored in Computer Science and Biology. She received her M.S. in Epidemiology from Case Western Reserve University in 2012. Allison has an interest in take home exposures: what are we doing in the workplace that affects the health of our families?  Her other areas of research include neurological development and aging in relation to occupational exposures and hazards. Allison is currently working with OB/Gyn Research as a research coordinator for the UPSIDE study.


Ashley HolubAshley Holub

Ashley Holub joined the Epidemiology PhD program in 2015. Prior to entering the department, she received her BS in psychology from the University at Buffalo (UB). She has also received an MA in general psychology from Medaille College. Her past work experience includes research with the Depression and Research Treatment Team at UB and in clinical trials as a study coordinator. Her research interests include psychiatric epidemiology, polypharmacy and developmental disabilities.

Linxi LiuLinxi Liu

Linxi Liu joined the Epidemiology PhD program in 2016 after completing her undergraduate degree at Sichuan University in Chengdu China. Her current research focused on clinical trials and cohort studies in cardiovascular research and applying epidemiologic methods to imaging research.

Hannah MartinHannah Martin

Hayley Martin is an MSTP student with research interest in maternal child health epidemiology. Her current research is focused on the impact of prenatal care delivery on breastfeeding outcomes. Following the completion of her PhD, she will return to medical school and plans to complete her residency in a primary care field. She attended SUNY Geneseo where she studied biology and anthropology.

Molly McCann

Molly McCann

Molly McCann began the Epidemiology PhD program in 2015. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a Neuroscience Specialization, from Stony Brook University. She has also received her Master’s Degree in Epidemiology from the University of Albany, School of Public Health. Her past work experience includes working for the New York State Department of Health, in the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology. Her research interests lie within clinical epidemiology and mental health outcomes, primarily substance abuse and post-overdose morbidities. She currently works for Dr. Courtney Jones in Emergency Medicine Research.

Marina OktapodasMarina Oktapodas

Marina Oktapodas began the Epidemiology PhD program in 2014. I completed my Masters in Epidemiology at the University of Buffalo in 2014. I am currently a third year doctoral student. My research interest and working dissertation project are within children's environmental health, specifically relating to immune health, infection and vaccine response.

Research Interests of Current Students

  • Martina Anto-Ocrah: Reproductive health, injury epidemiology
  • Vanessa Assibey-Mensah: Dissertation title: “Gestational Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter Pollution and Risk of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy in Western New York”
  • Adan Becerra: Life-course epidemiology, late-life cognitive function
  • Allison Ciesla: Occupational epidemiology
  • Heather Elder: Dissertation title: "An Investigation of HIV Treatments and BMI on HIV-Infected Patient’s Cardio-Metabolic Profiles and Quality of Life"
  • Ashley Holub: Psychiatric epidemiology, developmental disabilities
  • Timmy Li: Dissertation title: “The Association between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Disparities in Utilization and Quality of Emergency Stroke Care”
  • Hayley Martin: Maternal and child health
  • Molly McCann: Psychiatric and pediatric epidemiology
  • Heather McGrane-Minton: Dissertation title: "Does Bitter Taste Sensitivity Predict Vegetable Intake in Children?"
  • Philip Meacham: Cancer epidemiology
  • Marina Oktapodas: Children’s environmental health
  • Deven Patel: Dissertation title: “The Association between Green Space and Depressive Symptoms in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Population.”
  • Meng Wang: Cardiovascular disease epidemiology, risk prediction
  • AnnaLynn Williams: Dissertation title: “Inflammation and Cognitive Function in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Survivors.”