Researchers + Staff

Program Director

Chloe E. Bird, PhDChloe E. Bird, PhD, FAAS, FAAHB

Chloe E. Bird, PhD, FAAAS, FAAHB, is Director of the Center for Health Equity Research at Tufts Medical Center and Sara Murray Jordan Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is a medical sociologist and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Health Behavior. She rejoined Tufts in 2022, having begun her career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Health Institute. She is a national expert in women’s health and health disparities, determinants of sex and gender differences in health and health care, and the social and economic impact of increasing investments in research on the health of women. She has an active research program with over 85 refereed articles, 3 books, and over 55 other publications. She is recognized for her work as an applied sociologist and on advancing the science on women’s health and health care. She is also a senior sociologist at RAND.  




Dr. Alysse Wurcel is an infectious disease specialist in Boston at Tufts Medical Center.Alysse Wurcel, MD, MS
Associate Professor and Attending Physician, Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease, Tufts Medical Center

Alysse Wurcel, MD is an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, she completed her Internal Medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Infectious Disease fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, and received a Masters in Clinical Research from the School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Wurcel provides HIV and HCV care at Tufts Medical Center as well as five local county jails. She is the Infectious Diseases consultant to the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association for COVID19 prevention and mitigation strategies. She is actively engaged in research to improve healthcare in jails and prisons. She is currently funded through an AHRQ R01 to improve equitable implementation of penicillin allergy de-labeling services.


Amy LeClair, PhD, MPhilAmy LeClair, PhD, MPhil

Amy LeClair, PhD, MPhil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. Trained as a medical sociologist, Dr. LeClair’s work focuses on using qualitative and mixed methods to advance health services research with minoritized populations. She joined Tufts Medical Center in 2015 after earning her PhD in Sociology from New York University and completing a NIMHD post-doctoral training fellowship in mental health services research at Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Healthcare Policy and Aging Research. Dr. LeClair is the course director for Health Services Research in the Clinical and Translation Sciences graduate program. She collaborates with clinical researchers across a range of disciplines, including primary care, oncology, rheumatology, pediatrics and infectious disease, all with a focus on health equity. Dr. LeClair is currently conducting an implementation study to increase the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data in health care settings to optimize patient-centered care. She is a member of the Tufts Medicine Pride Alliance, Women in Medicine and Science (WiMS), and the Tufts Medicine Health Equity Committee.

Complete List of Dr. LeClair's Published Works:

Dr. Jana LearyJana Leary, MD, MS

Dr. Leary is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and a Pediatric Hospitalist at Tufts Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She completed her medical training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric hospital medicine. In 2016, she was awarded a TL1 research fellowship with the Tufts CTSI, during which she obtained her Masters degree in clinical and translational science. Her primary research aims to improve hospital experiences and health outcomes for vulnerable pediatric populations such as the medically and socially complex. In 2020, Dr. Leary was awarded a KL2 career development grant, through which she gathered stakeholder perspectives on screening for social determinants of health during pediatric hospitalizations, informing the development of an inpatient social needs screening and referral program. Dr. Leary subsequently implemented this program within both tertiary and community hospital workflows, and is currently evaluating its impact while gathering stakeholder perspectives on feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness. Dr. Leary’s long-term research goal is to implement social care interventions across various pediatric inpatient settings to reduce healthcare disparities and hospital utilization. Her full list of publications can be found at



Hannah Bagley, BSHannah Bagley, BS
Research Assistant II

Hannah received her BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2020. Her current work with Dr. Leary addresses social determinants of health in pediatric populations through inpatient screening. Hannah’s research interests are focused on improving healthcare for people who have been systematically excluded or marginalized. In the future, Hannah plans to pursue an MPH to address health disparities in vulnerable populations with a focus on combating HIV/AIDS in resource-poor settings. In her free time, Hannah enjoys exploring new restaurants, reading, dancing, and hanging out with her cat.



Michelle Barron, BSMichelle Barron, BS
Research Assistant I

Michelle received her BS in Health Sciences in 2021 from Bridgewater State University and is currently working towards her MPH at Northeastern University, with an expected graduation in 2024. Prior to that, she worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Her work in direct patient care showed her the complexities of the healthcare system, and the importance of access to adequate care, sparking a passion for health equity and research. In her free time, she loves reading, going for walks, and trying new workout classes.



Former Staff

Dolma Tsering, BSDolma Tsering, BS 
Research Assistant 

Dolma received her BS in Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience and a minor in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interests include addressing and reducing health disparities within vulnerable populations through community-partnered research and improving health care services. In the future Dolma hopes to pursue an MPH as a means to improve health outcomes and efficiency in health systems that address disparities in health and healthcare. Outside of work she loves reading, baking, hiking and camping. 




Marisa MizzoniMarisa Rizzoni, BA
Research Assistant

Marisa received her BA in Psychology and English Language & Literature from Smith College in 2021. During her time at CHER, Marisa provided support to the CTSI Career Development Grants and TRIP. Her interests include reading, museums, spending time with her cat, and bat conservation. Marisa is pursuing her MS in Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.




Leena Rijhwani, BSLeena Rijhwani, BS
Research Assistant

Leena graduated from Boston College in 2020 with a BS in Biology and International Studies, with a concentration in Ethics & Social Justice. She is passionate about cultural competence in healthcare delivery and reducing barriers to care for vulnerable populations. Currently, Leena’s research with Dr. Leary focuses on screening for social determinants of health during pediatric hospitalizations. In the future, Leena hopes to attend medical school, and studying social determinants and broader health disparities will provide the foundation for the equitable, patient-centered approach to medicine she hopes to practice. Outside of work, Leena enjoys singing, dancing, and exploring Boston.


Julia Zubiago, MPHJulia Zubiago, MPH
Research Assistant

Julia received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Services, Management, and Policy. Her research interests include addressing and reducing health disparities in vulnerable populations, particularly people with substance use disorder and/or history of incarceration. She is interested in identifying opportunities for systematic change towards health equity. Outside of work, Julia loves to read, run, hike, and listen to musicals.  




Danielle K.Danielle Krzyszczyk, BS
Research Assistant 

Danielle Krzyszczyk joined the research team in August 2018 after graduating from Harvard University with a BS in psychology. Her interests include retail therapy, memes, and Canadian candy. Danielle is currently pursuing her PsyD in clinical psychology at William James College with a focus in Forensic Psychology.





Carolyn Luk, BA, MPHCarolyn Luk, BA, MPH
Research Assistant

After leaving Tufts MC, Carolyn Luk went to pursue her MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. At Columbia, she was an Epi Scholar at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and wrote her master's thesis on social determinants of childhood asthma outcomes. After receiving her MPH in 2018, she was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow based in Washington DC, where she conducted research and evaluation studies on federal nutrition assistance programs at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and implemented healthcare service delivery models at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Since finishing the PMF program, Carolyn works on developing healthcare payment policy at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.    


Rubeen GuardadoRubeen Guardado, MPH 
Research Assistant 

Rubeen has an MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Tufts University, and BA in Global Health form University of California San Diego. Previously Rubeen has worked abroad conducting small research projects investigating PrEP interest among MSM in Mexico and Anthropometric outcomes among indigenous communities in Guatemala. His current research interest include addressing gaps in healthcare access and other health disparities among marginalized populations, particularly people with substance use disorder and/or history of incarceration. In the future Rubeen hopes to continue doing research and applying what he’s learned into clinical practice as a clinical health provider. Outside of work, Rubeen enjoys singing, dancing, watching movies, and learning how to cook.