My main research interest lies in the intersection of health and social structures. I am especially keen on understanding how various systems or environments (healthcare provision, education, etc.) can be altered to achieve equitable health outcomes. My research interests have been shaped by my interdisciplinary education in public health and anthropology. My international experiences (interning for the Czech Centre for Injury Prevention, studying in the United States, South Africa and Sweden) opened my eyes to social stratification and health inequalities in various forms which heightened my focus on understanding the role of structural factors for population health.
At present, I am a PhD student at the Karolinska Institute. In 2014, I completed a Master of Science program at the interdisciplinary research Centre for Health Care Equity (CHESS at Stockholm University/Karolinska Institute). I also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College (USA) with Anthropology as a main area of study and interdisciplinary concentration in Community and Global Health. My education provided me with training in both quantitative (epidemiological research methods, statistical analysis) and qualitative research methods (ethnographic interviewing).
Currently, I am working at ARC as a part of Martin Lovdén’s team examining brain plasticity. My PhD project focuses on examining possible causal relationship between education and dementia using two Swedish educational reforms during the 20th century. Gradual implementation of the Swedish educational reforms allows for unique examination of this possible causal association. Previous studies, predominantly observational, suggested that education might lead to creation of a so-called cognitive reserve that acts as a buffer against age-related changes and brain pathology. Subsequently, education may act as a protective factor against dementia.
The PhD project I am currently working on is a co-operation between the Aging Research Center (ARC), KI/Stockholm University on the one hand and the Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS), KI, and the Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine (CES), Stockholm County Council, on the other. I have also been working at the CES from summer 2013 and occasionally assist with research projects at the Emergency Medical Service of Central Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic.