The Research Team

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Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD

Lab Director

Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein is an Associate Professor of Social Medicine at UNC – Chapel Hill. She conceptualizes the criminal legal system as a structural determinant of health that impacts people, families, and communities. She co-founded the COVID Prison Project and has used this infrastructure to launch the Third City Project--a big data project that tracks and collects publicly available health and health policy data from carceral systems. Other recent work focuses on substance use, HIV prevention, and underscoring how mass incarceration is an integral facet of structural racism.  

Sarah Morgan, MSW

Lab Manager

Sarah Morgan is the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab Manager. She graduated from UNC in 2009 with a B.A. In Psychology and English. She completed her social work training in 2012 at the UNCG/NCATSU Joint Masters of Social Work Program. Sarah has worked in clinical research for nearly 10 years.  Broadly, her research interests include the impact of early adverse childhood experiences on developmental trajectories throughout the lifespan of the individual.

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Forrest Behne, BS

Policy Analyst, CPP

Forrest Behne is a policy analyst at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. He was incarcerated for nearly two years because of a little-understood medical condition. Since being released through clemency by Ohio’s governor, he is inspired to help those affected by the criminal-legal system. He speaks at universities, for non-profits, and with lawmakers about his experiences and was a core member of the COVID Prison Project leadership. His research interests now include carceral policies, health inequities, and the collateral consequences of incarceration. 

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Angela Benson, BA

Research Assistant

Angela Benson is a Research Assistant in the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She received her B.A. in anthropology and public health from the University of Rochester in 2019. Her undergraduate research activities took her to field sites across India, including Kerala – where she led an independent project exploring casteism in Christian communities. Her current research interests include racial and caste equity, HIV prevention, and community-based health.

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Breana Castonguay, MPH

Recruitment & Retention Specialist

Breana Castonguay began her public health career as a community organizer in Fresno, California.  The experience inspired her to obtain a Master’s in Public Health at The George Washington University with a focus on Community Oriented Primary Care. In graduate school, a Health Disparities course introduced her to the crack  and cocaine sentencing disparities and mass incarceration policies.  Her research interests are inspired by these unjust policies and include working with people living with HIV in the criminal justice system and PrEP as prevention.  

Hannah Camp,  BA

Graduate Research Assistant, SPECS

Hannah Camp is currently a grad student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, getting her Master's in Public Health and Social Work. Prior to going back to school, Hannah worked in women's and reproductive health advocacy and sexual assault hotline support in Washington, DC. Her research interests and passion revolve around trauma and adverse childhood experiences and how they impact sexual and reproductive health equity.

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Alice Cates, MS

Project Coordinator, PIERS

Alice Cates is site coordinator of the JCOIN PIERS study at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She received her bachelor degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and a M.S. in epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston School of Public Health in 2008. Alice has worked in public health research for over 10 years in Texas, the District of Columbia, and North Carolina. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS and the health disparities affecting populations involved in the criminal justice system.

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Christopher Corsi, BA

Project Coordinator,SPECS

Chris Corsi is the Project Coordinator for the SPECS study and former Co-Coordinator of the COVID Prison Project. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology. His public health career began in interpersonal violence-prevention and sexual health promotion at the intersection of education, data collection, and project coordination. He has since expanded this work to better understand the interplay of systems across broad health outcomes and how data can be used to shine light on health disparities. His research interests include the social determinants of health and the impacts of trauma.

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Zaire Cullins, BA

Research Assistant

Zaire Cullins recently graduated from UNC- Chapel Hill with degrees in Psychology and Political Science. After graduation, she plans to continue doing research before pursuing a PhD in Counseling Psychology. In 2020, she worked as a field organizer on a congressional campaign where she developed an interest in the impact of race and class inequality on mental health.

Sara Grundy, BA

Graduate Research Assistant

Sara Grundy is a 2nd year MPH student in the Global Health concentration at the UNC and a 4th year medical student at Duke. She is planning on pursuing residency in Ob/Gyn and has a research interest in policies related to treatment of incarcerated patients while hospitalized and care available within the criminal justice system, specifically related to pregnancy, delivery, lactation, and family planning. 

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Jennifer Lao, BS

Research Assistant, CPP

Jennifer Lao graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BS in Biology and a BA in History.  Through her coursework and involvement with on-campus mental health organizations, Jennifer developed research interests in racial health disparities, HIV/AIDS, and mental health reform, particularly in their relation to the criminal justice system. 

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Kate LeMasters, MPH

Graduate Research Assistant

Kate LeMasters is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a predoctoral scholar in the Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Training Program. She obtained her MPH in Maternal and Child Health at UNC in 2018 and BA in Economics and Global Politics from Washington and Lee University in 2015. In her doctoral program she focuses on social epidemiology, specifically the systems and structures that exacerbate health inequities. She studies mass incarceration and is interested in how this system creates racial health inequities in mental health for those directly involved and their communities.

Morgan Maner, MSc

Project Director, RADx

Morgan Maner is a Research Assistant in the Department of Social Medicine. She most recently earned a Master’s in Medical Sciences from Brown University. Prior to her time in Rhode Island, she earned her Master of Science in Global Health and Social Justice at King’s College London, where she wrote her dissertation on the marginalization of trans people in primary care settings. Her research interests include health equity, LGBTQ health, and community-oriented medicine.

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Deeya Pathak

Student Research Assistant, 3rd City

Deeya Pathak is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill double majoring in Biostatistics and Global Studies with a concentration in Global Health and Environment in Latin America. Her past research experience includes working as an undergraduate research assistant with ITVS (Internet Tobacco Vendors Study) to analyze data from online tobacco/nicotine sales. In the future, she hopes to use her passion for public health to create more global healthcare equity by working to provide better access to medical resources in impoverished regions.

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Lilly O'Toole, BS

Graduate Research Assistant

 Lilly O’Toole is a Research Assistant in the Re-Envisioning Health & Justice Lab. She received her B.S. in Public Health from The Ohio State University in 2021 and is currently a first-year MPH student in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Public Health. Lilly’s interests are ever-evolving but lie primarily within transformative justice, prevention-based healthcare, global health, and health disparities. She hopes to use the social determinants of health to uproot our current capitalist “health” care system and lay the foundation for one based on equity, community, and the biopsychosocial model.

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Chevonne Parker, BA

Graduate Research Assistant, TCN PATHS

 Chevonne Parker is an M.D candidate at UNC School of Medicine and a graduate assistant in the Re-envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She received her B.A in sociology from Yale University in 2020. As a future physician, Chevonne is passionate about understanding the intersections between clinical medicine and the structural drivers of health. She is interested in race and class stratification in the United States, the American criminal-legal system, and the formation of disparities in chronic disease and mental health access, outcome, and management.

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Meghan Peterson, MPH

Project Director, 3rd City Project

Meghan Peterson is the Project Director for the COVID Prison Project. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science, and received her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from Brown University in 2019. Meghan is interested in using health research methods to understand and ultimately eradicate the prison-industrial complex. Her past research has focused on criminalization of substance use disorders, sex workers’ rights campaigns, and access to medications for addiction treatment.

Madelene Travis, BA

Project Coordinator, TCN PATHS

Madelene Travis is a site coordinator of the JCOIN TCN-Paths study at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She graduated from Colorado College in 2017 with a B.A. in Sociology, with a focus on the sociology of health and medicine. Broadly, her research interests include the social determinants of health, how individuals and families cope with chronic illness, and the intersection between the criminal justice system and opioid use. 

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