Research Faculty & Staff

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.

Kathy Le - 713.743.6882


 Social and Behavioral Research Scientist

Kathy Le serves as a Social and Behavioral Research Scientist (Staff) for the HEALTH Research Institute. She is a recent graduate from Rice University where she received her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Through her time at Rice, she worked at Ben Taub hospital to connect underserved patients with social resources in order to improve patient health outcomes post-discharge. As an alumnus of Rice’s Community Bridges Fellowship Program, she worked with Air Alliance on an anti-idling ordinance and implementation program to improve air quality in the City of Pasadena. With her analytical background and her passion for health equity, she is working with the HEATH Research Institute to improve healthcare for minority populations through an evidence-based approach. 

Sarah Childress - 713.743.7960


 Social Sciences Researcher

 Sarah is a Social Sciences Researcher (Staff)  in the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences and the HEALTH Research Institute.
She is an Alumna of the University of Houston (B.S. Health, 2015) and received her Master’s of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center. She has extensive experience in researching health disparities and social determinants and conducting research studies among minority and underserved populations. Sarah manages the research activities of the Hwemudua Addictions and Health Disparities Lab under the guidance of Dr. Ezemenari Obasi and provides support in grant writing and scientific paper development to the faculty members of the HEALTH Research Institute. 

Dixie Sasu - 713.743.7401


 Program Manager

Dixie Sasu serves as the Program Manager (Staff) 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.

Mirna Centeno - 713.743.5511


 Senior Graphics Designer

Mirna Centeno is the Senior Graphics Designer (Staff) for the HEALTH Research Institute. She specializes in translating information and data into aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand visuals for multiple audiences. She manages, conceives and designs recruitment, health education, and marketing materials for print and digital dissemination. In addition to managing the design needs of HRI projects, Mirna also serves as a liaison for outsourced communication projects and collaborates with editors, marketers, photographers, and other designers on projects to meet strategic objectives. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Studio Art.

Victoria Lara - 713.743.4698


 Community Education/Outreach Coordinator

Victoria Lara serves as the Bilingual Community Education and Outreach Coordinator (Staff) . Victoria is University of Houston alumna and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She is an active community advocate in Houston’s Hispanic and East End communities. She is an experienced bi-lingual communications professional with a demonstrated history of building long-term corporate, community and governmental relationships. Victoria is skilled in networking, strategy, public relations and community relationship building.

Imarogbe Stokes - 713.743.8698


 Community Education/Outreach Coordinator

Imarogbe Stokes serves as the Community Education/Outreach Coordinator. He has experience in behavioral health, civic engagement, community revitalization, and non-profit management, previously serving as a Program Support Coordinator at a local non-profit in Third Ward. He's earned a Master's in Public Health from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor's in Biology from Fisk University. He is passionate about public health and community building and believes he has found the perfect place to intertwine the two. By working with the HEALTH Research Institute he looks to eliminate health disparities in minority populations and inform the Houston community and beyond about leading healthy and active lifestyles.