Lab Members

Stacy Tessler Lindau

Stacy Tessler Lindau

MD, MAPP, Catherine Lindsay Dobson Professor, Director of the Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine, Founder of Feed1st, Special Advisor to the Provost

Dr. Stacy Lindau is the Catherine Lindsay Dobson Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine-Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the University of Chicago. She is an internationally known expert in the fields of gerosexuality and social care and conducts her work in partnership with the communities she serves.

She was founding Co-PI of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (2003), a long-running longitudinal biosocial study on aging, funded by the National Institute on Aging. From this work, she created the Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM) and WomanLab.org, both devoted to preservation and recovery of sexual function in relation to cancer and other complex illness and was founding chair of the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer, 501c3, which has named its trainee award in her honor.

In the social care domain, Dr. Lindau leads a portfolio of NIH-funded clinical trials evaluating the CommunityRx intervention, an evidence- and IT-based intervention that aims to systematically connect patients and caregivers via to community-based supports for wellness, disease management and social care needs. CommunityRx, funded in part with a 2012-15 Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, was brought from “lab to life” in three years. Dr. Lindau founded NowPow, LLC and MAPSCorps, 501c3, testing a collective social impact model to sustain the idea of community e-prescribing. NowPow was the first faculty-founded company at the University of Chicago to put headquarters on Chicago’s South Side where the ideas were created. By 2021, NowPow was employing nearly 150 associates and was acquired in September 2021 by its largest competitor, Unite Us, LLC to reach nearly 20 million customers in 40+ U.S. states and D.C. As of December 2022, MAPSCorps, 501c3 has trained and employed nearly 3000 youth in Chicago, NYC, rural Eastern North Carolina and Hawaii to conduct community asset mapping, generating publicly available data on community assets (www.mapscorps.org) and information used by researchers, government organizations, community organizations, entrepreneurs and others to solve critical problems and create economic opportunity.

Early in the arc of her work on social care and around the time her son was hospitalized for an unexpected stroke, Dr. Lindau discovered the prevalent but overlooked problem of food insecurity among families with hospitalized children. Dr. Lindau and others founded Feed1st, a fully self-serve, “no questions asked” food pantry system that operates 11 sites across pediatric and adult patient ambulatory and emergency care settings at the University of Chicago Medicine. Over more than a decade, Feed1st has distributed 54 tons of food to more than 48,700 individuals. Dr. Lindau’s scholarly work, much of it funded by NIH and other federal agencies, has been published in the highest impact peer-review literature and covered widely by media. Dr. Lindau earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and secondary education at the University of Michigan Honors College and her medical degree at Brown University. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency and served as chief resident at Northwestern University and earned her master’s degree in public policy as an Irving B. Harris Fellow at the University of Chicago. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Chicago, and she serves the program’s National Advisory Committee. Dr. Lindau was awarded a 2016-18 Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship and is a member of its advisory board and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Dr. Lindau also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of RISE, 501c3, an organization dedicated to the elimination of racism through sport.

Please click here for Dr. Lindau’s Conflict of Interest Disclosures (last updated 06/23).

Emily Abramsohn

Emily Abramsohn

MPH, Director of Research

Emily Abramsohn is a passionate public health researcher, partner and (self-described) “cool mom.” She came to the Lindau Lab at the University of Chicago in 2009 for its cross-cutting research efforts in women’s health and community health improvement. As the current Director of Research, she oversees primary data collection and the security of our datasets. For WomanLab, she curates content and distills research findings into “what every woman needs to know.” Emily spent three years as a rape victim advocate and researched community organizing efforts to reduce inefficiencies among domestic violence service providers. During her time in the Lab, she has been a Patient Educator, and trained others to provide this education. Emily received her BS in psychology from the University of Iowa and her Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University.

Veera Anand

Veera Anand

Research Assistant

Veera is passionate about using innovative health care solutions to address social determinants of health and to create a more equitable health care experience for all. Having joined the Lindau Lab in the Summer of 2021, she is thrilled to expand on these interests as a research assistant. Prior to joining WomanLab, Veera worked as a research specialist in a neuroscience lab studying neural connectivity in fruit flies. She has also worked as a clinical research assistant for the Hospitalist Project and volunteered as a surgical patient liaison at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Outside of the lab, she loves to cook and eat (mostly eat) new dishes and explore different hiking trails.

Brandon Bordenkircher

Brandon Bordenkircher

MPA, Director of Operations

Brandon is a passionate researcher whose work focuses on nascent technologies and their effects on cities. He was drawn to the Lindau Lab due to its impactful research and its cutting edge technology development. He is the co-founder of a startup that developed a research app utilizing NLP technology that breaks down vast textual information, organizes it, and provides valuable insights via computational analysis, giving researchers the information they need fast. Prior to joining the lab, Brandon worked in the private sector: as a lobbyist for Mercedes Benz and Airbnb. He received a master of public administration from DePaul University, and is a policy fellow at DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute.

Fareen Dhuka

Fareen Dhuka

CIH Fellow, Intern

Alongside her advocacy of accessible healthcare and voicing minority experiences, something Fareen values most in life is forming genuine relationships with others. She is a sophomore at the University of Chicago pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience who loves to intertwine her passions for medicine and digital media. Fareen joined the lab as a 2022 Metcalf intern working on web development and content creation for the Lindau Lab sites, media outlets, and newsletters. As the token Gen Z recruit, her tech experience includes producing videos on substance cessation for Comer Children’s Hospital and developing websites for organizations such as Women Working Wonders nonprofit and the St. John’s student newspaper: Review Online. She has also served as a Leukemia Student Researcher at MD Anderson in the Texas Medical Center and adores the third graders she teaches with Aga Khan Education Board. Fareen’s dream retirement hustle is wedding planning, partly to continue creating wax seal calligraphy invitations, but also to serve her aspirations of dabbling in photographing engagements and producing wedding videos with her new beau: Adobe Premiere Pro.

Claire Fendrick

Claire Fendrick

Feed1st Program Manager

Claire believes that everyone, no matter their circumstances, should have access to healthy food. She is a public health professional that is passionate about food justice and anti-hunger work, looking to learn more about how to make healthy eating more accessible to all. She holds a B.A. in Community and Global Public Health from the University of Michigan, and an MPH in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Emory University. Since graduating, Claire has worked both behind-the-scenes and in the community tackling food justice issues – including food waste, food insecurity, and nutritional education. Outside of work, you can find her baking, thrifting, playing volleyball, or trying out new coffee shops!

Omar Fernandez

Omar Fernandez

Metcalf Intern

Omar is passionate about addressing disparities in community assets and its implications on healthcare access and mental health. Having interned at MAPSCorps, he is excited to continue learning about the social determinants of health and to aid in the search for solutions to healthcare inequities through the Lindau Lab as a Metcalf Intern. Omar is a rising 4th year student at the University of Chicago, double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology, and has aspirations to further study psychology and mental health in medical/healthcare setting. In his free time, he enjoys binge-watching TV shows, cycling, dancing, and listening to music.

Charlie Fuller

Charlie Fuller

Research Associate

Charlie creates spaces and structures that celebrate queer people, connection, and pleasure. They joined the Lindau Lab at the University of Chicago as a Research Assistant in September 2019. With a background in LGBTQ health research and sexuality education, Charlie also brings tools from their work as a teacher and artist to the Lab’s community health projects. They hold a BA with honors in Gender & Sexuality Studies and English from the University of Chicago. Outside of the Lab, Charlie cooks large meals in a small kitchen, pretends to be a good sport about losing board games, and makes participatory theater about reproductive justice as a company member of For Youth Inquiry (FYI) at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

Mellissa Grana

Mellissa Grana

Research Associate, Feed1st Operations Lead

Mellissa is a well-rounded scientist with an extensive background in basic science research and a newly founded love for public health and clinical research. She graduated from The University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2016 with a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a focus on medicine. Since graduating, she has been in several labs within the Chicagoland area but has recently settled down with the Lindau Lab in Spring of 2020. Her current aspirations are focused on getting her PhD in psychology from The University of Chicago and to eventually become a licensed psychologist and therapist. When she’s not in the lab, Mellissa enjoys an active lifestyle by weight training and by spending time outside travelling to naturally scenic places.

Sam Lee

Sam Lee

Research Assistant, PRISM Patient Educator

Sam loves to connect. She views meaningful relationships as an important way to be empowered or to empower others. Currently a fourth-year pre-med at UChicago studying Public Policy, Sam joined Lindau Lab in 2021 and is excited to explore the intersections of two of her passions—especially when used to advance women’s health or address inequality. On campus, catch Sam planning a concert with the Major Activities Board, giving a campus tour, or volunteering with Emancipate North Koreans. The rest of the time you can usually find Sam watching hockey, reading fantasy books, or having Cheetah Girls dance parties. Ask me about: naked cats, health policy, music, the school to prison pipeline, what to get at Trader Joe’s.

Su Lee

Su Lee

PhD, Health Research Data Analyst

Su is a prevention scientist with a deep appreciation for food. She explores and savors diverse cuisines from various regions and cultures, cherishing the joy of sharing meals that bring people together and create lasting memories. This passion drives her desire to contribute to addressing food insecurity. During Su’s graduate studies in Prevention Science at Washington State University, she immersed herself in the intricate dynamics of parent-child relationships and their profound impact on children’s emotional, social, mental, and behavioral health. Her research focuses on identifying risk and protective factors that can promote optimal health outcomes in immigrant and racially minoritized groups. With this foundation, her goal is to design prevention programs that reduce health disparities in these communities. In her postdoctoral work at Northwestern University with ILPQC, Su shifted her focus toward improving healthcare systems for pregnant individuals and newborns. Her research was centered on identifying the protective and risk factors that play a crucial role in shaping health outcomes in marginalized communities. Outside of her professional pursuits, as a Pacific Northwest transplant, she finds solace in long walks, whether the weather is sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy. She also enjoys camping in the summer, going on hikes, experimenting with new recipes, and continually expanding her culinary horizons.
Karen Liao

Karen Liao

Intern

Karen is a senior at the University of Chicago pursuing a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a minor in English & Creative Writing. She wants to use her science communication skills and her love for writing to make an impact on patients by making medical knowledge accessible to all. She firmly believes that every individual has the right to understand their health conditions and navigate the healthcare system with confidence. She is a strong advocate for accessible healthcare for all, especially for the vulnerable population. She volunteers at UChicago Medicine Bridgeport free clinic where she helps set up a free clinic and translates for Chinese immigrant patients in the South side of Chicago. She has done wet lab and clinical research in Taiwan Academia Sinica during her past summers where she worked in a wide range of research from using MRI to investigate glucose metabolism in brain tumors to studying the gastric surgeries of diabetes patients and their cardiovascular risks. On campus, she’s in the leadership position at UChicago UNICEF, where she plays a key role in organizing engaging events to raise awareness and support for children in need. Fun fact: She can speak English and Chinese fluently, and she is currently trying to self-learn Korean! In her free time, she finds peace and joy in playing piano and golf. She is currently exploring her new culinary hobby by trying out new healthy food recipes, and avocadoes are her secret ingredient!

Jen Makelarski

Jen Makelarski

PhD, MPH, Senior Research Data Analyst

Jen is an epidemiologist. Her most recent work focuses on assessing and addressing health-related social risks among vulnerable populations including women, minorities and friend and family caregivers. She was the lead epidemiologist on the development and evaluation of the CommunityRx intervention, a resource referral intervention that provides personalized information about health-promoting community resources to people during regular clinical care. She is especially interested in interventions to reduce food insecurity and played a lead role in the establishment of Feed1st, a hospital-based food pantry program. To best solve these social justice issues, Jen hopes to continue to emphasize the value of understanding the mechanisms by which such interventions work in order to maximize their impact, but also pair traditional epidemiologic methods with system science methodologies to better assess the impact of clinical and public health interventions.

Tania Mendoza

Tania Mendoza

Research Assistant, PRISM Patient Educator

Tania seeks to contribute to the de-stigmatization of mental health and bridging the gap between quality healthcare and marginalized communities. She joined the Lindau Lab in August 2021 as a Research Assistant after graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Prior to joining, Tania worked as a research assistant at UC Santa Barbara for projects that aimed to improve the psychosocial adjustment in children with cognitive or behavioral issues. As a PRISM patient educator, her hope is to help patients feel empowered and supported. When she grows up, she’d like to get her PhD in Clinical Psychology to continue working with women and girls as a licensed psychologist and health researcher. Outside of the lab, Tania loves to try out new fitness studios around the city, playing with her cat, thrifting home decor, and browsing sustainable fashion labels online.

Ife Ojewuyi

Ife Ojewuyi

Research Project Manager

Ife is a public health professional passionate about advocating for quality healthcare for marginalized populations by supporting community-engaged research and health intervention programs globally and domestically. She joined the Lindau Lab in 2023 and is excited to work to address justice and equity issues in health care. Before joining the lab, she was an Infection Control Lead for the Contact Tracing Program at the University of Chicago. She has a background working with diverse populations in refugee case management, sleep and circadian science research, infectious disease education, and clinic administration. She holds a B.S. in Natural Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and an MPH in Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation from George Washington University.
El Pinkerton

El Pinkerton

MPH, Senior Research Analyst

El is an aspiring know-it-all who currently knows a medium amount. She joined the Lindau Lab at the University of Chicago in January 2019, and brings obsessive curiosity, a research background devoted to the well-being of women in every aspect of their lives, and a meticulously organized GCal to her work as a research specialist and occasional project manager. El holds a B.S. in Biology from Loyola University Chicago and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. Outside of her work with the Lab, she’s passionate about hockey statistics, Vanity Fair long-form investigative reporting from the 90s, and karaoke.

Linda Rivera

Linda Rivera

Lab Coordinator

Linda graduated with a B.A. in Communications, Media and Theater from Northeastern Illinois University and also has a culinary degree from LeCordon Bleu. She has a knack for taking whatever is in the fridge and turning it into something delicious and believes baking is a great way to soothe the soul. Her weakness, French Fries. She loves creating a welcoming and inclusive environment and keeping people entertained. She encourages equality, education, creativity and art. In her free time, you can find her napping, drawing/painting, listening to movie scores/Broadway tunes or watching movies.

Delaney Romanchick

Delaney Romanchick

Metcalf Intern

Delaney has a strong interest in women’s health and is passionate about addressing inequities in healthcare. She enjoys interacting with new people and being a part of a team, so she is very excited to join Lindau Lab as a Metcalf intern. Delaney is a rising senior at the University of Chicago, pursuing a B.A. in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS), with a focus on medical ethics. She is also a member of the softball team of the University of Chicago and serves as president of the Women’s Athletic Association. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, swimming, and binge-watching reality TV with her roommates.

Eva Shiu

Eva Shiu

MPH, Senior Clinical Trials Manager

Eva is thrilled to work at the intersection of women’s health and social justice. She joined the Lindau Lab at the University of Chicago in 2019 and is excited to help launch new projects as Clinical Trials Manager. She is passionate about addressing health disparities and promoting health equity. Since 2013, she has coordinated federally-funded research projects. Eva has a BA in International Studies from the University of Illinois and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan.  Outside of the lab, she practices yoga, is a dog-mom, and likes to browse “best of” food lists, allowing those places to navigate a weekend exploring different parts of the city.

Christina Squiers

Christina Squiers

Intern

Christina is a therapy nerd interested in exploring the connections between mental health, physical wellbeing, and access to healthcare. As an MSW student at the UChicago Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, Christina joined the Lindau Lab in May 2022 as a research assistant after working as a clinician in the Behavioral Health Unit of UChicago Medicine. Before getting her MSW, Christina graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and was an attorney with experience working in public interest positions, governmental roles, and legal education. In her spare time, Christina loves watching hockey, playing with her three cats, and listening to her favorite band, The National.

Victoria Winslow

Victoria Winslow

MPH, Data Analyst

Victoria is passionate about finding data-driven solutions to health inequities. She has a special interest in using machine learning & data visualization to deliver clear, accessible insights into health.  A longtime Chicago resident, she holds a B.S. in Biology from North Central College and an MPH in Biostatistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She joined the lab as a data analyst in August 2020. During her free time, you can find her keeping the sport of rollerblading alive, checking out new vegetarian restaurants, hanging out with her cats, and working as a freelance makeup artist.

Jie Zhao

Jie Zhao

PhD, BM, Associate Director of Research Operations and Strategy, Feed1st Manager

Jie is passionate about finding solutions to bridge the gaps in health care access through collaboration, innovation and empowerment. Jie joined the lab in February 2022 as Assistant Director of Operations and Strategy and became Associate Director of Research Operations and Strategy in April, 2023. Her efforts are focused on lab operations, strategic planning and seeking funding opportunities for Feed1st, Bionic Breast and other diverse and innovative programs of the Lab. Jie also serves as the Manager of Feed1st, leading efforts on operational improvement, program expansion and fundraising for the program. Jie has extensive experience in operations, fundraising and communicating scientific message to the general public. Prior to joining the Lindau Lab, Jieworked as an executive consultant at the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group and as the director of operations at the National Foundation for Cancer Research.  She has a BM (Bachelor of Medicine) from the China Medical University and a PhD in cell and microbiology from the Catholic University of America. Jie loves singing (not necessarily good at it though), playing piano and guitar and writing ancient Chinese poems.

Recent Alumni

Alanoud Alsulaiman

Samantha Bravo

Headshot of Jyotsna Jagai

Jyotsna Jagai

Aaron Asabere

Akanashe Lema

Cristianne Frazier

Jazmin Aceves

Hannah Cohn

Headshot of Marisol De Ornelas

Marisol De Ornelas

Headshot of Gisselle Zuniga

Meryl Davis

Danielle Grubb

Headshot of Cassandra Lee Salvador

Mariam Aejaz

Headshot of Gisselle Zuniga

Gisselle Zuniga

Headshot of Cassandra Lee Salvador

Cassandra Lee Salvador

Headshot of Cassandra Lee Salvador

Julia Kaper

Headshot of Sara Zdunek

Sara Zdunek 

Headshot of Sara Zdunek

Hiba Khan