Nandini Mukherjee, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology. Kelsey Owsley, Ph.D., MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Ashley Clawson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behaviors and Health Education.
Clawson, Mukherjee and Owsley are all excited to be part of the college faculty.
Clawson, who is part of the college’s Center for the Study of Tobacco, uses a socio-ecological approach to identify tobacco-related inequalities. His research focuses on ways to reduce active and passive exposure to tobacco and cannabis among families in Arkansas, particularly rural families, low-income families, families of color, and families with children. having health problems.
Previously, Clawson — who earned her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis — was an assistant professor in the psychology department at Oklahoma State University. At school, she served as a core faculty member in pediatric psychology, ran a research lab, the Child and Family Health Promotion Lab, and supervised three doctoral students in clinical psychology. .
“I was born in North Little Rock and lived in Conway for most of my childhood. I am an Arkansan,” Clawson said. “I wanted to come home to work with the incredible researchers at the College of Public Health. I want the opportunity to conduct impactful research aimed at improving the health of Arkansans. It’s my way of giving back to people in my home country.
Mukherjee is originally from India and specializes in epigenetics and the study of allergic diseases. She obtained a Masters in Biotechnology from Jadavpur University, located in Kolkata, India. In 2013, Mukherjee came to the United States to pursue a doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Memphis. Once she completed the program, she did a post-doctoral fellowship in Memphis until she accepted her current position at the college.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Mukherjee said. “I like the overlap between my existing training and the unique insight I can offer. There are already professors who research epigenetic studies, and I can bring my knowledge of study designs and allergic diseases. J love that there are lots of opportunities for me to grow and collaborate on different projects.
Owsley is from Canton, Missouri, a small town about 2.5 hours north of St. Louis. She received her master’s degree in public health from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in health services research from the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus. Owsley enjoyed his time in the Rockies. But this opportunity with the college – which is his first academic appointment – was ideal.
“I’m excited to work in a place where the focus is on research,” Owsley said. “My training is in the field of public health. I love that there are many opportunities for collaboration, especially with UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Some of my research focuses on cancer populations. This is what brought me to UAMS.
Clawson, Mukherjee and Owsley were each drawn to a career in public health because of the way it prevents health problems and the many ways it helps entire populations achieve a better quality of life.
“I was unaware of the public health field until I went to college and got a degree in biology,” Owsley said. “I took a global health course focusing on systemic issues and access to health care. I fell in love with it. I knew a career in public health was something I wanted. My initial interest was in this course on global health and learning why there are disparities in access to health care. The more I learned about inequalities in care and how public health addresses issues, the more I fell in love with the field.
When Mukherjee discovered that her education could be used to create biomarkers that look for disease, she was convinced that she was a public health professional.
“Years ago, I noticed the clinical paradigm was shifting from treating disease to preventing disease,” she said. “Before symptoms appear, we can identify modifiable biomarkers and break the chain between exposures by designing targeted preventive measures. That’s why I started a career in public health.
“I realize that our work can drive real change and design therapies, or interventions, that can prevent disease and treat it. When I think about it, I’m excited.
Clawson said she was a teenager when she first became interested in public health.
“My interest in public health probably goes back to high school,” Clawson said. “I am trained as a clinical pediatric psychologist, but have incorporated my public health interests into my training, career and research.
“I am dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention at the child and family level. Therefore, the overarching goal of my research with the college is to promote health equity across the lifespan and across generations. I am a health equity advocate and my goal is to help all Arkansans have the chance to enjoy what makes this state special.
Like Clawson, Mukherjee and Owsley also have important goals related to their college work.
“I look forward to expanding my research in epigenetics and allergic disease,” Mukherjee said. “I like the fact that there are a lot of research opportunities at UAMS. I’m really excited about the many research possibilities that pave the way to improving health throughout a person’s life. I want to bring interdisciplinary skills to the department and I want to teach courses that would focus on interdisciplinary concepts. Another thing that is important to me is to become a mentor for the students I work with. I want to get in touch with my students. »
Owsley likes the idea of teaching future public health professionals and finding solutions to major issues, such as access to care for people living in rural areas.
“I appreciate the chance to teach a health care systems course as a faculty member of the Masters of Health Administration (MHA),” she said. “I will work closely with our MHA students and be a source of guidance for them. I am also excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Cancer Institute. Working on projects related to cancer and access to care, especially for rural populations, is important to me because I come from rural Missouri.