PhD Student Profiles

Beginning in Fall 2016 the School of Public Health refocused our PhD program on a small class of students with career goals of faculty research positions at Tier 1 institutions. Learn more about our current students.


Health Behavior Research

Annalynn Galvin Edited Headshot

Annalynn Galvin, MS, BS

2nd Year, Doctoral Student

About Annalynn

I am a second-year PhD student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s School of Public Health, studying Health Behavior Research. I am also a certified pediatric registered nurse, with previous experience at a children’s hospital and the Texas Department of State Health Services. I obtained my Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Nursing with the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin. My research interests primarily focus on maternal and child health topics. More specifically, I am interested in using mixed-method, implementation, and evaluation research to promote sexual and reproductive health equity across the life-course.

Academic History:

  • BS, Nursing, University of Texas, Austin (2011)
  • MS, Nursing University of Texas, Austin (2015)

    Awards and Achievement:

  • Doctoral Fellowship Award, UNTHSC, Fort Worth, TX; 2018
  • Undergraduate Honors, UT Austin, TX; 2011
  • Undergraduate Research Support Grant, UT Austin, TX; 2009

    1. Thompson, E.L., Griner, S.B., Galvin, A.M., Lowery, A.D., & Lewis, M.A. Correlates of STI testing among U.S. young adults: Opportunities for prevention. (Under review).

    2. Thompson, E. L., Galvin, A. M., Daley, E. M., Tatar, O., Zimet, G., & Rosberger, Z. Recent Changes in Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines: U.S. Women’s Willingness for HPV Testing Instead of Pap Testing (Revise and Resubmit).

  • Cassidy Loparco Edited Headshot

    Cassidy LoParco, BS

    2nd Year, Doctoral Student

    About Cassidy

    I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Florida (UF) in Biology. While at UF I worked under Dr. Robert Leeman conducting research in his alcohol simulated bar laboratory. My research interests include alcohol and other drug use and how they relate to risky sex and mental health. While pursing my PhD. at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, I will be conducting research with both Dr. Dana Litt and Dr. Melissa Lewis in their Studying Alcohol and Related Risks (STARR) Laboratory.

    Academic History

  • BS, Biology, University of Florida, FL (2017)

    Awards and Achievements:

  • Student Travel Scholarship from UNTHSC’s PHSGA ($700) for RSA; 2019
  • Student Travel Scholarship from UNTHSC’s PHSGA ($700) for CPDD; 2019
  • First place School of Public Health Poster at UNTHSC’s RAD ($500); 2019
  • Doctoral fellowship at University of North Texas Health Science Center; 2018- Present
  • Student Award Candidate at APHA Annual Conference; 2017
  • Bright Futures: Florida Academic Scholar; 2015- 2017

    1. Berey, B., LoParco, C. R., Leeman, R., Grube, J. (2017). The Myriad Influences of Alcohol Advertising on Adolescent Drinking. Current Addictions Report, 4(2), 172-183. (
    Manuscripts under Review

    2. Lewis, M. A., Litt, D. M., King, K. M., Fairlie, A. M., Waldron, K. A., Garcia, T. M., LoParco, C. R. & Lee, C. M. (2019). Examining the ecological validity of the prototype willingness model for adolescent and young adult alcohol use. Manuscript submitted for publication.

  • Epidemiology

    Esther Annan Edited Headshot

    Esther Annan, MPH, MBCHB

    2nd Year, Doctoral Student

    About Esther

    I am a current Ph.D. student at the UNTHSC’s School of Public Health. I received my MBCHB degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Prior to pursuing my MPH degree at NYU’s College of Global Public Health, I practiced clinical medicine for approximately 3 years and had the opportunity to treat various clinical conditions, including Tuberculosis. My research interests are in the field of infectious diseases; particularly tuberculosis, vaccine-preventable diseases and the role of health policy in addressing these issues.

    Academic History:

  • B.Sc., Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (2007)
  • MBCHB, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (2013)
  • MPH, New York University, College of Global Public Health, New York, NY (2018)

    Awards and Achievements:

  • Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) Outstanding Dependent’s Travel Award; 2012
  • Graduate Student Scholarship Award, College of Global Public Health, NY; 2016-2018
  • Graduate Student Scholarship Award, Department of Epidemiology, UNTHSC; 2018
  • PHSGA Travel Scholarship, UNTHSC; 2018
  • Travel Award, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, UNTHSC; 2019

    Poster Presentation:
    1. Esther Annan MBCHB, MPH (2018). Translating Disaster Research into policy. A literature review to determine if health system management response during disasters is evidence-based. Poster Presentation at New York University, College of Global Public Health Culminating Presentations.

    2. Esther Annan MBCHB, MPH (2019). Opportunities for Tuberculosis Prevention in Private Sector Healthcare: Health Insurance and Usual Sources of Healthcare in Foreign-Born Persons with Latent Tuberculosis Infection. Accessed at:

    3. Esther Annan MBCHB, MPH (2019). American Thoracic Society 2019 International Conference, May 2019
    Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) in the Private Healthcare Sector: Do Persons with LTBI Have Health Insurance and Usual Sources of Healthcare?

    Accepted Abstracts/ Oral Presentations:
    1. Poster Presentation: Private Sector Opportunities to Mitigate Disparities in Tuberculosis Risk among Foreign-born Individuals in the US: Data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Texas Center for Health Disparities. Poster Presentation at University of North Texas Health Science Center, June 2019. Accessed at:

    2. Oral Presentation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2019
    a. Systems thinking and US TB elimination: background, logic, and opportunities
    b. Tuberculosis Prevention Potential in the Private Healthcare Sector: Usual Sources of Healthcare and Health Insurance in Foreign-Born Persons with Latent Tuberculosis Infection

  • Ashvita Garg Edited Headshot

    Ashvita Garg, MPH, MBBS

    2nd Year, Doctoral Student

    About Ashvita

    I am a PhD student in Epidemiology at the school of public health. My research interests include sexual and reproductive health, women’s health, and health disparities. I am currently working on human papillomavirus prevention, and child sexual and physical abuse prevention research. Before I came to University of North Texas Health Science Center, I worked at the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at University of Nebraska Medical Center where I conducted research on health disparities in Nebraska.

    Academic History:

  • MBBS, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal (2011)
  • MPH, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (2017)

    Awards and Achievements:

  • Doctoral Fellowship Award, UNTHSC, Fort Worth, Texas; 2018
  • Non-Resident Tuition Scholarship, UNMC College of Public Health; 2015
  • Non-Resident Tuition Scholarship, UNMC College of Public Health; 2014

    1. Richards, S.E., Thompson, R., Paulmeyer, S., Garg, A., Malik, S., Carlson, K., Lyden, E., & Shiffermiller, J. (2018) Can Specific Feedback Improve Patients’ Satisfaction with Hospitalist Physicians? A Feasibility Study Using a Validated Tool to Assess Inpatient Satisfaction. Patient Experience Journal, 5(3), 34-40.

    2. Su, D., Samson, K., Garg, A., Hanson, C., Berry, A.A., Lin, G., & Qu, M. (2018) Birth History as a Predictor of Adverse Birth Outcomes: Evidence from State Vital Statistics Data. Preventive Medicine Reports, 11, 63-68.

  • Jonathan Moore Edited Headshot

    Jonathan Moore, MPH, BA

    3rd Year, Doctoral Candidate

    About Jonathan

    I’m Jonathan Moore. I am a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology in the School of Public Health here at the UNT Health Science Center. Prior to attending the Health Science Center, I obtained my Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at San Diego State University. My research interests are primarily focused on infectious diseases with a particular interest in hepatitis C. For the past two years, I have been a predoctoral fellow with the Center for Outcomes Research (COR) at JPS hospital where I work on research projects with their Hepatitis C Working Group. I am also conducting my dissertation research through partnership between the Health Science Center and COR.

    Academic History:

  • BA, Psychology, San Diego State University, California (2012)
  • MPH, Epidemiology, San Diego State University, California (2014)

    1. Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir Effectively Treats Hepatitis C Virus Infections in an Underserved Population.

    2. Comparative effectiveness of 8- and 12-week ledipasvir/sofosbuvir regimens for HCV infection.

    Link to NCBI:

  • Noah Peeri Edited 2 Headshot

    Noah Peeri, MPH, BA

    2nd Year, Doctoral Student

    About Noah

    I’m a second year PhD student in the school of public health epidemiology program. My passions include cancer and neuroscience research, and I have been author on several publications regarding primary central nervous system tumors. I am currently working on nutritional epidemiology research and how nutrient intake impacts cognitive function and neuro-degenerative diseases. Before coming to the University of North Texas Health Science Center, I held a position as the research coordinator for the ‘GliomaSE’ project at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida where I conducted patient recruitment, wet lab work, data analysis, site coordination for the 18 centers involved, and manuscript development. My goal after completion of the PhD program is to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship at a major cancer institute in the United States.

    Academic History:

  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of South Florida, (2016)
  • BA, Psychology, University of South Florida, (2014)

    Awards and Achievements:

  • First Place, Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science, American Society for Nutrition 2019 Conference

    Oral Presentations:
    1. Peeri NC, Egan KM, Tao M. Association of Vitamin D and Magnesium status with Cognitive Function in older adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011 to 2014. ASN’s flagship meeting, Nutrition 2019; Baltimore, MD, June 8-11, 2019.

    1. Miller B, Peeri NC, Nabors LB, Creed JH, Thompson ZJ, Rozmeski CM, … & Egan KM. (2018). Handedness and the risk of glioma. Journal of neuro-oncology, 137(3), 639-644.

    2. Peeri NC, Creed JH, Anic GM, Thompson RC, Olson JJ, LaRocca RV., … & Egan KM. (2018). Toenail selenium, genetic variation in selenoenzymes and risk and outcome in glioma. Cancer epidemiology, 55, 45-51.

    3. Stringfield O, Arrington JA, Johnston SK, Rognin NG, Peeri NC, Balagurunathan Y, … & Gatenby R A. (2019). Multiparameter MRI Predictors of Long-Term Survival in Glioblastoma Multiforme. Tomography, 5(1), 135.

    4. Reblin M, Sahebjam S, Peeri NC, Martinez YC, Thompson Z, & Egan KM. (2019). Medical Cannabis Use in Glioma Patients Treated at a Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida. Journal of palliative medicine.

    5. Creed, J. H., Peeri, N. C., Anic, G. M., Thompson, R. C., Olson, J. J., LaRocca, R. V., … & Egan, K. M. (2019). Methylmercury exposure, genetic variation in metabolic enzymes, and the risk of glioma. Scientific reports, 9(1), 10861.

    Link to NCBI:

  • Zhengqi Tan Edited Headshot

    Zhengqi Tan, MPH, MBBS

    3rd Year, Doctoral Candidate

    About Zhengqi

    My name is Zhengqi Tan. I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the public health sciences program with a concentration in epidemiology at UNTHSC School of Public Health, where I am working with Dr. Eun-Young Mun on using both aggregate data and individual participant data (IPD) from existing clinical trials to perform multivariate meta-analyses or integrative data analyses to provide evidence of comparative effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions for young adults among competing interventions. I am interested in the areas of quantitative and computational epidemiology and prevention, clinical trials methodology, and alcohol intervention. Before landing in UNTHSC, I worked as an epidemiologist in Madera County in California, where I collaborated with the local government agencies to establish the first Opioid Safety Coalition in California’s Central Valley. I got my MPH from the State University of New York at Buffalo and my MBBS in preventive medicine from Fudan University.

    Academic History:

  • MBBS, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (2010)
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Buffalo, NY (2016)

    Awards and Achievements:

  • Dean’s Scholarship, UNTHSC ; 2017-2020
  • Provost Fellowship, UNTHSC; 2017–2018
  • Dean’s Travel Scholarship Awards, UNTHSC; 2018, 2019
  • Graduate Student Travel Awards, PHSGA, UNTHSC; 2018, 2019
  • Graduate Student Travel Awards, University at Buffalo, NY; 2015, 2016
  • Outstanding Staff, Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention; 2011–2012

    Peer-reviewed Publications:
    1. Tan, Z., Min, J., Xue, H., Wang, W., & Wang, Y. (2018). Parenting practices and overweight status of junior high school students in China: A nationally representative study of 19,487 students from 112 schools. Preventive Medicine, 107, 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.09.014.

    2. Wang, Z., Xu, F., Ye, Q., Tse, L. A., Xue, H., Tan, Z., . . . Wang, Y. (2018). Childhood obesity prevention through a community-based cluster randomized controlled physical activity intervention among schools in china: The health legacy project of the 2nd world summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG-Obesity study). International Journal of Obesity, 42 (4), 625–633. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.243

    3. Min, J., Tan, Z., Abadie, L., Townsend, S., Xue, H., & Wang, Y. (2018). An evaluation of the effectiveness of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mission-X child health promotion program in the United States. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32 (6), 1333–1339. doi: 10.1177/0890117117723959.

    4. Zhu, J., Tan, Z., Hollis-Hansen, K., Zhang, Y., Yu, C., & Li, Y. (2017). Epidemiological trends in colorectal cancer in China: An ecological study. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 62 (1), 235–243. doi:10.1007/s10620-016-4362-4.

    5. Xu, F., Wang, Z., Ye, Q., Tse, L. A., Xue, H., Tan, Z., & Wang, Y. (2016). Policy-oriented, school based physical activity intervention to prevent childhood obesity in China (the health legacy project of the second summer Youth Olympic Games): A cluster randomized trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 4, S9. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30364-3.

    NCBI bibliography. .