My research focuses on race, racism, justice, and health equity.  Most of this work is translated through the lens of sickle cell disease (SCD).  SCD is a biologically based disease that is not race limited yet is associated with differential investment and treatment which likely reveals racism as a root cause for disparity.  I use SCD as a lens to tell a broader story about policy development and attempts to achieve equity. Much of this data has been collected in Brazil, but I’m also doing work here in the United States.  Through ethnography, oral history, and other qualitative methods, my research has led to the conceptual frameworks of biocultural citizenship and bounded justice.  These concepts, though developed via empirical research in Brazil about SCD, have implications today in the U.S. for COVID-19, healthcare policy development, and bioethical standards.  

I am also invested in the co-creation of anti-racist public health institutions — those that focus on education, research, and practice.  This research interest, while local, has state-wide and national implications that suggest that anti-racist educational instruction and public health training can and will lead to the broader health equity of populations, particularly Black and brown populations. 

Image: da Loba, Andre. Nature 515, 13 Nov 2014

Areas of Expertise

  • Sickle cell Disease

  • Health Equity

  • Race & Racism

  • Bioethics

  • Brazilian Public Health

  • Health Justice

  • Citizenship and Identity Politics