Affiliated Tufts Faculty

Vanessa Nicholson

Vanessa Nicholson DrPH, MPH

Dr. Vanessa Nicholson is a community health practitioner with over 10 years of experience in the field of public health. Her formal training in the field began during her undergraduate years at Mississippi State University's Longest Student health Center where she trained as a peer health educator. Shortly after, she began working at the Department of health while completing her Master's in Public Health degree at Jackson State University. During this time. she led a team whose work resulted in a statewide plan for addressing the needs of HIV positive Mississippians. Once she received acceptance to the University of Texas Health Science Center, she acquired several roles in research development and grant writing, while also developing partnership with the community via outreach initiatives. Dr. Nicholson completed her doctoral program in 2017 and is currently as Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Linda Hudson

Linda Hudson, ScD, MSPH, ScM

The strength of my contribution has been in community-based practice, implementation, management and evaluation of programs designed to facilitate health-related behavior change by addressing individual and community level determinants of health. My early doctoral work, although not published, was designed to examine chronic disease prevention behaviors among women specific to protective behaviors associated with Lupus (secondary data analysis from a national study), and prevention behaviors associated with Obesity (e.g. physical activity and nutrition) among women in an urban environment. My most recent work has been in the community-based formative research designed to adapt a nationally tested curriculum addressing CVD prevention, for the express use of African-American Women. (Manuscript in process) Another area of interest is the utilization of principles of civic engagement and stakeholder engagement as facilitators for change in individual level behaviors as well as improved collective efficacy in the ability to influence environmental determinants of health (Tufts University, Tisch College Faculty Fellow).

Shayesteh Janfar

Shayesteh Janfar, PhD

Dr. Jahanfar has been teaching for more than 25 years. She has taught a broad range of courses including epidemiology, biostatistics, maternal-child health, systematic reviews, research methodology, Doctor-Patient, and Society Module at the graduate and undergraduate level. She has also delivered a series of workshops/webinars to support faculty development teaching software (SPSS, R, SAS, STATA, CMA), regression modeling, and survival analysis. Dr. Jahanfar is an international Cochrane trainer and has conducted over 30 Cochrane workshops/webinar series in the USA, Canada, Malaysia, Middle East on standard author training and trained over 600 clinicians and scientists.

Laura Corlin

Laura Corlin, PhD

Dr. Laura Corlin is an Assistant Professor in Public Health and Community Medicine. She earned her MS and PhD in Environmental Health through the Tufts School of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on developing and applying new methods to assess the health effects of environmental mixtures in observational studies. Through her exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology research, Dr. Corlin seeks to mitigate environmental health disparities. Dr. Corlin also enjoys working with students in and out of the classroom.

Karen Freund

Karen Freund, MD, MPH

Karen M. Freund, MD, MPH is Physician-in-Chief for the Department of Medicine and the Sheldon M. Wolff Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is Associate Director for Research Collaborations within the Tufts Clinical and Translation Science Institute (CTSI), and teaches in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Freund received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and her MPH for Boston University School of Public Health. She is double boarded in Internal Medicine (residency at Cambridge Health Alliance) and Preventive Medicine (residency at Boston Medical Center) and completed a general medicine fellowship at Boston University.

Dr. Freund joined the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center in 2012. Prior to this, she was Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Research Center, and Chief of the Women’s Health Unit at Boston Medical Center. She served as PI of the Boston University BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health) to mentor the next generation of clinical investigators in women’s health research.

Dr. Freund’s research has focused on addressing the social determinants of health which influence the receipt of health care services, which in turn lead to disparities in mortality. She has addressed a broad number of issues in the screening, diagnosis and treatment phases of health care. This has included looking at the role of patient beliefs and behaviors, physician attitudes and decision making, and the role of systems barriers, especially navigating the increasing complex health care system. Breast cancer has been a major focus, but the research has also addressed cervical and colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, exercise, depression, eating disorders and domestic violence.

Shikhar Shrestha

Shikhar Shrestha, PhD

Dr. Shrestha is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the study of the opioid crisis with an emphasis on prenatal opioid exposure and associated health outcomes, opioid overdose events, and harm reduction. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2019 - his dissertation research examined post-discharge healthcare utilization in infants with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Dr. Shrestha's current research primarily focuses on the nexus of accessibility and acceptability of substance use treatment using Geographics Information Systems.

Thomas Stopka

Thomas Stopka, PhD, MHS

Dr. Stopka is an Associate Professor with the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the Tufts University School of Medicine. His major research interests are in the area of opioid overdose and infectious disease epidemiology and prevention, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial epidemiology, health disparities, and global health. Through his research, Dr. Stopka explores the interconnectedness of substance use and misuse, social and behavioral risk factors, and overdose and infectious disease outcomes among high-risk, and often hidden populations through community-engaged, interdisciplinary, multi-methods, applied epidemiological research studies. Dr. Stopka has contributed to and led a number of multisite studies in which he has employed qualitative, quantitative, spatial epidemiological and statistical modeling approaches to better understand and curb the overlapping opioid overdose, HIV, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics. He is currently MPI on a NIDA, SAMHSA, and CDC-funded clinical trial (4UG3-UH3 DA044830-03) to assess the effectiveness of a mobile HCV telemedicine-based treatment intervention among rural opioid users in New England. He is a Co-I on the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities trial (UM1DA04912) to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in Massachusetts, and the site PI for the NIH and SAMHSA-funded Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network study (UG1DA050067), evaluating administration of medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) in seven houses of correction. Finally, Dr. Stopka is the PI of a CDC-funded (1NU1ROT000018-01-00) opioid vulnerability study in 11 states, in which his team is modeling regional vulnerabilities related to opioid overdose, HIV, and HCV.

Dallas Reed

Dallas Reed, MD

Medical Doctor with unique expertise in Medical Genetics and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Works as an expert witness for Genetics & OB/GYN cases. Skilled in Gynecology, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, Prenatal Genetics, Cancer Genetics, Adult Genetics, and Pediatric Genetics. A leader in developing and utilizing Telemedicine programs. Committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity in medical education, the health care industry, and for patients. Strong healthcare services professional graduated from Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Nina Ashford

Nina Ashford, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

Dr. Ashford is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She is committed to health equity through innovative person-centered policy, public health programming, and evaluation. She has over 16 years of experience working across multiple sectors including government, academia, and community-based non-profits. Dr. Ashford’s dissertation examined the role of Patient Activation on clinical preventive service utilization among Medicare beneficiaries. She is currently the Deputy Director for the Program Alignment Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office. She also spent 7 years leading the State and Population Health portfolio at the CMS Innovation Center.