Team

Director

Staff

Lara Balian, MPH
Lara joined the lab in 2020 as a Research Associate and coordinates research across all lab projects. She earned her Masters in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked as a researcher and project manager in a variety of areas including cancer prevention, nutrition, and aging. Lara specializes in integrating evidence-based strategies in behavior change, design, technology, and communications to tailor public health interventions to community and individual needs.

Raquel Castro, RN, BSN, CHW
Raquel is by profession a Registered Nurse who joined Purdue in March of 2021. She has overseen and trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) for many years. She is a strong advocate of CHWs and joined our team to serve in that role and to promote and leverage CHWs. She serves on the project, Enabling Community-Based Cervical Cancer Screening, addressing multilevel barriers to cervical cancer screening among the Hispanic community in Lake County. Raquel also serves to promote Purdue’s Community Health Workforce Development Institute and as part of the Indiana Community Health Worker Association (INCHWA).

Nicholas Nagel
Nicholas is a 2009 graduate from St. Joseph’s College with a B.A. in History. Nicholas has been part of the lab since 2020 and is currently based at LTHC Homeless Services as a Community Health Worker where he assists the homeless population with various healthcare needs. Nicholas also conducts COVID-19 rapid testing on site as well as COVID-19 education. He will soon be conducting self-testing for HIV/AIDS education. Nicholas has a passion for helping others and plans to continue to assist the vulnerable population. 

Students

Luke Patrick Brennan
Luke is a PhD student at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University as a part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at IU School of Medicine. Luke joined the lab in 2020 to design a more accessible way to screen for cervical cancer in the United States by amplifying HPV DNA that might be present in patient samples and showing this result in a small handheld device. Luke has conducted interviews with physicians about what they would want in such a device, written and analyzed a survey, and is currently working on creating the device in the Linnes lab. After the program he hopes to use engineering principles and technology to address problems in global public health.

Rebecca Martinez
Rebecca is a second-year Anthropology graduate student interested in the application of social theory and methods to understand health as it is situated in culture, society, and people’s lived experiences. As an applied cultural/medical anthropologist, Rebecca joined the lab in August 2020, working on the COVID-19 and Homelessness project. She is currently working on this project and a project for her MS thesis looking at the menstrual health experiences of people experiencing homelessness. After she graduates, she hopes to continue working across disciplines on reproductive health policies, organizational needs, and design and innovation applications.

Mallili Morvans
Mallili is a second-year Master of Public Health graduate student concentrating in family and community health. She joined the Lab in October 2021 and currently works on the COVID-19 and Homeless project. With a commitment to serving others and delivering meaningful impact in public health, her career goals are rooted in working with diverse communities and individuals to improve and address health disparities.

Francesca Kimera
Francesca is a second year student pharmacist. She joined the lab in January 2021 and currently works on the Community Health Workforce Development project. After graduation she hopes to work within medically underserved populations and carry on the fight against health inequity.

Cealia Tolliver
Cealia is a 2nd year professional student in the Purdue College of Pharmacy. She joined the lab this past spring, April 2021, and is currently working on the COVID-19 Homelessness project. Upon graduation, Cealia intends to pursue an ambulatory care residency in hopes of becoming a Women’s Health Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, practicing in an outpatient setting. The COVID-19 Homelessness Project fosters her passion for health equity through the analysis of current inequitable structures and the development of targeted approaches in order to better serve the homeless community.

Alumni

  • Anders Hovstadius (2021)
  • Lexi Lahey (2020-21)
  • Justin MacNeill (2020-21)
  • Jordan Mick (2021)
  • Nina Elizabeth Teo (2020-21)
  • Andres Torres (2020-21)
  • Hope Young (2021)

Contact Us

Matthews Hall, 218
812 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
natalia@purdue.edu
(765) 494-8287