Research Associate I
Dr. Garcia-Ramirez earned a PhD in Psychology in 2016 from the University of Rhode Island. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, she is focusing her research on the impact of local policies on risky behaviors including alcohol use in adolescents, and the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on the co-use of alcohol and marijuana among adolescents.
Research Associate II
Sabrina Islam is a postdoctoral fellow in the Prevention Science Research Training Program at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in public health from the College of Public Health and Health Professions and a Graduate Certificate from the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies in 2019 from the University of Florida.
Dr. Islam’s research is informed by her advocacy work with survivors of domestic violence and particularly, how structural factors contribute to extensive physical, psychological, and economic burdens they encounter. Her doctoral research explored how sexual minority stigma shapes the level of tolerance women may have for psychological abuse within same-gender relationships. The findings of this research highlight the significance of the broader context that maintains social inequalities to understanding intimate partner violence by challenging traditional and heterosexist conceptualizations.
In her current role, Dr. Islam’s research activities include applying a social-ecological perspective in a mixed-methods study that examines the beliefs and behaviors of California adolescents regarding alcohol and drug use. She is also investigating the impact of violence on drinking and smoking outcomes among sexual minority adults.
Associate Research Scientist
Kristina Wharton joined the Prevention Research Center as a postdoctoral fellow in the Prevention Science Research Training Program in 2020. Her research interests are focused on the intersection of local, state and federal policies and environmental contexts impacting substance use, mental and physical health of special and vulnerable populations.
Prior to joining PRC, her work and research centered on issues of access to primary care and behavioral health services in safety net settings for marginalized communities including sexual and gender minorities, people experiencing homelessness, rural populations, and immigrant communities in the US, with particular interest in the wellbeing of youth and young people. She uses qualitative, mixed-methods, multi-level modeling, and policy evaluation methods including difference-in-differences models to investigate these issues.
Kristina received her PhD in Health Policy and Management from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2020, MPH in Maternal and Child Health from UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health in 2015, and MPA from North Carolina State University in 2011.