Prospective Members

Undergraduate students

Research is a critical piece of your science education where you get to put all that stuff you learn in class to the test. Occasionally we have projects that can use an extra hand. There are some excellent opportunities for Undergraduate research here at the UA: check out: Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium (UROC).

Graduate Students

The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has a plethora of information about graduate (MPH, MS and PhD) studies. MS and PhD students should contact me directly if interested in working with my group.


The UA has a phenomenal teaching and research program sponsored by the NIH and administered by the Center for Insect Science. Please consider applying for a PERT fellowship:

Active Members




Katherine Ellingson, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Katherine Ellingson has a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from Yale University and a BS in Psychobiology from UCLA. In her postdoctoral career, she has served as an EIS officer and Senior Epidemiologist at the CDC and Oregon Health Authority before returning to academics at U of A. She mentors students in the lab, classroom and field and is grateful for the opportunity to improve public health through applied research in infectious diseases, healthcare epidemiology, and occupational health. She enjoys exploring the beautiful Sonoran Desert and the rich cultural and culinary offerings of Tucson and the US-Mexico borderlands.



Ferris Ramadan, MS

Research Specialist, Sr. 

Ferris Ramadan is a Senior Research Coordinator for the Ellingson lab. His work predominantly focuses on antimicrobial stewardship, working with the Valley Fever Center for Excellence on coccidioidomycosis research questions, and most recently supporting the Pima County Health Department's COVID-19 response in long-term care homes. Ferris' decision to work with Dr. Ellingson and build a career in public health was motivated by a passion to improve people’s lives: "The unique beauty of public health is that I regularly draw upon a variety of disciplines - including statistics, biology, and health policy - and pragmatically apply these fields to effect change and educate communities." In his spare time, Ferris enjoys bike rides and hikes, bingeing Parks and Rec, and travel. 



Sana Khan, MPH

Graduate Research Assistant 

Sana Khan is a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Recently, she has been involved in the University of Arizona's COVID-19 response as part of the SAFER and Contact Tracing team. She is currently working on COVID-19 symptom monitoring in the HCW HOSTED initiative. Sana is also a Research Assistant with The Arizona CoVHORT. Sana is interested in infectious disease epidemiology, specifically focuses on multidrug-resistant infections and how prescribing patterns and cultural factors influence antimicrobial resistance. She is also committed to the study of health disparities, women's health, and access to quality healthcare. Her previous research and clinical experience ranged from projects in neurology and cancer survivorship to health disparities.


Zoe Baccam

Graduate Research Assistant 

Zoe Baccam is an MPH student with a concentration in One Health. She currently works on the AZ HEROES project, which is a collaboration with the CDC studying incidence of COVID-19 reinfection in healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers. Her main public health interests are infectious disease and sexual health, but she "loves all disciplines and topics allow me to help communities." In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and eating lots of good food.



James Romine, PhD

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

James Romine is a post-doc in Epidemiology for the AZ-HEROES study, working to support both analytic and operational efforts of the project. James joins the AZ-HEROES team after involvement in numerous Public Health initiatives, such as the Pima County Health Department's response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, as well as the community-based development of vector-borne disease interventions in northern Mexico and Nicaragua. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua from 2010-2013, James supported community efforts to control Chagas disease and other infectious diseases. James enjoys hiking and exploring the Sonoran Desert wilderness.



Collin Catalfamo, MPH

Graduate Research Assistant 

Collin Catalfamo, MPH, is a Tucson native doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health . Having completed his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2019, he currently maintains roles as an investigator with The Arizona CoVHORT, a Teaching Assistant the College of Public Health, and is a member of the HCW HOSTED initiative. As an investigator with the CoVHORT, his research primarily focuses on the impacts of physical activity on COVID-19 severity and post-infection symptomatology. As a member of HCW HOSTED, he produces and updates educational materials about COVID-19 to provide the community, healthcare workers, and their families up-to-date information to keep themselves and their communities safe and informed about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.



Connor Kelley, MPH

Program Coordinator, Sr. 

<In progress>



Theresa LeGros, MA

Research Specialist, Sr. 

Theresa a career evaluator with a passion for learning and living. Her philosophical approach to science is rooted in some of the ideas percolating in physics: we can’t really define (or “know”) something without understanding how it interacts with all of the other somethings. Her most cherished academic experiences have been researching primate ecology and conservation in Madagascar as an undergraduate, the deep learning and discovery that came with earning an MA in Biological Anthropology, and today pursuing a PhD in Public Health with a dissertation centered around school district reopening plans in response to COVID-19.



Flavia Nakayima Miiro, BA, MCS

Graduate Research Assistant

Flavia Nakayima Miiro has a passion for health research as a gateway to disease prevention and treatment. She has either as a team leader or member of a team conducted research in HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health, adolescent health and health systems strengthening focusing on service provision and utilization looking at bottlenecks and how they can be overcome. Flavia has previously worked with The World Bank, UNICEF, CDC, UNFPA and other local and international NGOs in her home country Uganda. On the African continent, she has conducted evaluations in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Swaziland, Liberia and Zimbabwe.


Cynthia Porter

Graduate Research Assistant

<In progress>



Brooke Hawkes, BS

Graduate Research Assistant

Brooke Hawkes is an MS Epidemiology student. She is a graduate assistant for the Ellingson Lab and for the University of Arizona’s COVID-19 SAFER and Contact Tracing team. She is a part of the AHEC Scholars Program, a two-year interdisciplinary program that works with the rural and underserved populations of Arizona. Her work is centered on accessibility of mental health resources in the Yuma region and is in close collaboration with the Regional Center for Border Health. Brooke’s current research for the Ellingson Lab is on Antibiotic Use Patterns in the United States-Mexico border region. Her main research interests include infectious epidemiology, border health, antimicrobial resistance, and global health. In her free time, Brooke likes to hike and go to dog parks with her cocker spaniel puppy, Jerry.


Teresa Curry

Graduate Research Assistant

<In progress>

Rotating Members



Dilsharan Kaur

Graduate Research Assistant

<In progress>



Pete Patterson, MD, MBA

Academic-Community Research Partner

Dr. Patterson is a 3rd-generation physician-executive with extensive background in medical quality improvement, infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship. He is the community partner in an academic-community research partnership with Dr. Ellingson. The partnership administers a multi-year grant from Arizona Biological Research Commission (ABRC). The grant aims to support Arizona skilled nursing facilities in a results-oriented stewardship protocol that Dr. Patterson developed at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging, Arizona’s largest continuing-care retirement community (CCRC).


Juan Villanueva, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP

<In progress>




Gemma Parra

Undergraduate Research Assistant 

Gemma Parra is a graduate student from Nogales, AZ, pursuing her MPH in Global Epidemiology at Emory University. She received her BS in Public Health from the University of Arizona in May 2020. For her honors thesis, she worked with the Ellingson Lab in the development and translation of a survey for the Antibiotic Resistance and Use Patterns in Arizona's Border Region and in Sonora, Mexico project. Gemma is currently a research assistant at the CDC in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and previously interned at Tucson Medical Center's Infection Control and Prevention Department. She has research experience with a cardiometabolic health and sleep study in Nogales, and an HIV histology lab. Her interests include infectious disease epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance, Hispanic/Latino health disparities, and global health.