Research Faculty

Dr. Ann Chen - 713.743.6345

Research Assistant Professor    Dr. Chen provides statistical support on grant applications, progress reports, and annual reports; and offers statistical support and data management on large-scale sponsored research and dissemination projects associated with the HEALTH Research Institute. Additionally, she also contributes to the generation of research papers that arises from the data being collected in the HEALTH Research Institute. She has experience in applying advanced statistical and psychometric models in health-related research, social-behavioral science, and medical field studies. She also has experience consulting and working with large group of researchers, and enjoys collaborating with researchers from interdisciplinary fields. She earned her M.S. in Economics and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Quantitative Methods) from University of Texas at Austin.


Dr. Kristin Wiborn - 713.743.1086

Program Director

Kristin Wilborn, Ph.D. is a Program Director for the HEALTH Research Institute at the University of Houston. She is experienced in the oversight of community based and academic research grants and has extensive training in advanced quantitative analyses. To date, her work has focused on addressing the bio-psycho-social determinants for health disparities in minority and underserved populations as well as evaluating interventions aimed at improving physiological consequences of chronic exposure to stress. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Furman University, her M.A. in Health Psychology from Texas State University, and her PhD in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Denise Burgan - 713.743.7643

Program Director

Denise Burgan is a Program Director for the HEALTH Research Institute at the University of Houston. Having over 18 years of experience in research administration, she assists faculty and graduate students in locating funding for their research endeavors, research reporting, proposal development, and coordinating grant writing and research related workshops. Prior to working with the Institute, she was the Research Programs and Graduate Diversity Coordinator for the Office of Research and Scholarship at the University of South Florida. Additionally, she served as the Institutional Coordinator and student advisor for the Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at Florida A&M University. The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is a prominent National Science Foundation funded program designed to increase the number of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors throughout the nation. Burgan received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida A&M University and a Master of Science in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from Florida State University.

Iman Garrett-Price - 713.743.3021

Community Education/Outreach Coordinator

Iman Garrett-Price serves as the Community Education/Outreach Coordinator for the HEALTH Research Institute. She encompasses an array of experience in creating and facilitating strategic community partnerships, programs and events with various companies, organizations and non-profits across Houston. Iman has the passion and proven ability to not only identify and assess pressing needs of underserved populations, but also leverage community support and resources to meet and alleviate these needs. Prior to joining the HEALTH Research Institute, Iman held a community partnerships role in the largest school district in the state of Texas, identifying resources and creating community partnerships to serve the district’s most underserved students. Her professional experience includes community relations, public relations, communications, marketing and non-profit management. Iman earned her B.S. in Public Relations from University of Houston, and M.S.Ed in Sport Administration from University of Miami.

Mary Romero - 713.743.6248

Sr. Graphic Designer

Mary Romero serves as the Sr. Graphic Designer for the HEALTH Research Institute. She is a creative innovator, branding strategist, and design specialist with more than 10 years of experience creating impactful visual brand solutions across numerous industry verticals. Prior to joining the HEALTH Research Institute Mary collaborated with high-profile clients and advertising agencies around the country as an Art Director and Graphic Designer. She pairs a broad range of relative leadership experience in brand strategy and development, graphic design, B2B/B2C marketing, with a deep understanding of the psychology behind design to create effective campaigns. Her professional experience includes Art Direction, Graphic Design and Photography. Mary earner her B.F.A in Graphic Design at the University of Florida, and graduated from a certificate program in Art Direction from Miami Ad School.

Dixie Sasu - 713.743.7401

Program Manager

Dixie Sasu serves as the Program Manager for the HEALTH Research Institute. She has experience consulting, developing, implementing, and evaluating research and community projects for non-profit and government organizations. Dixie has an interest in projects targeted toward disproportionately affected populations and prefers using a collective impact framework to create lasting social change. She also has experience managing a state grant that increased the quality of adolescent healthcare and quantity of adolescents receiving healthcare, and consults with public health entities to develop programs in targeted Houston communities. Dixie earned a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston and a Bachelor’s in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.