Department of Family and Community Medicine

Primary Care Research Fellowship Alumni


Marissa Valentine-King, Ph.D., MPH, BSN

Item Definition

"The fellowship afforded me the opportunity to build out my quantitative and qualitative skills sets and apply these to study an important infection (urinary tract infections) that causes high morbidity and is commonly encountered and treated in the primary care setting."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: August 2023

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Antibiotic stewardship and resistance in the context of urinary tract infection in the primary care setting

Appointment as of 2023: Staff Scientist, BCM Center for Precision Environmental Health

Work/Research as of 2023: Planning to continue to conduct research in antibiotic stewardship and investigate the impact of the urobiome and inflammation on recurrent urinary tract infections


Item Term
Namrata Walia M.D., MHA, MPH

Item Definition

"The fellowship gave me an opportunity to learn the research methods and skills through their didactics and by enrolling in a master's degree in public health (epidemiology-focused). I gained and honed my communication skills by presenting my work at various national and international conferences. The mentorship provided timely feedback which helped me focus and achieve my goals."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: June 2022

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Substance use disorder

Appointment as of 2022: Psychiatry Resident, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UTHealth Science Center – McGovern Medical School

Work/Research as of 2022: Psychiatry physician training combined with research in psychiatry-related topics of interest 

Michael Hansen, M.D., MPH, M.S.

Item Definition

"I entered the fellowship to become a self-sufficient researcher, focusing on becoming a proficient data manager and analyst. I felt these skill sets were imperative to establish myself in any field of research and lay the foundation to continue exploring new techniques and applications of technology in healthcare. The expertise in the department and opportunities/relationships in the Texas Medical Center were instrumental in helping me achieve these goals. Upon completion of the fellowship, I have remained as faculty with Baylor College of Medicine and continue to work on a variety of projects across different disciplines and institutions."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: December 2020

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Healthcare informatics and the interaction between patient-provider communication through electronic messaging

Appointment as of 2022: Assistant Professor (tenure track), BCM Department of Family and Community Medicine

Work/Research as of 2022: Electronic communication and digital healthcare, quality improvement, encephalitis/meningitis epidemiology, antibiotic resistance in outpatient medical settings


Item Term
Denny Fe G. Agana-Norman, Ph.D., MPH, CPH

Item Definition

"I originally joined the T-32 Fellowship because of its focus on primary care, particularly, Family Medicine. My dissertation was focused on readmissions in the Family Medicine population and most of my Ph.D. research was focused on other related topics in Family Medicine (e.g., education, physician burnout, community health workers in clinics), so, naturally this T-32 was a great fit. Not only was I able to further my research in Family Medicine, but the T-32 also afforded me opportunities to obtain a graduate certificate in Healthcare Administration at UT School of Public Health–Houston; attend trainings and conferences locally and internationally; join Texas Medical Center organizations to partake in leadership roles; and, most importantly, gain lifelong mentors/collaborators/friends at the BCM Department of Family and Community Medicine. I truly believe these opportunities and the flexibility of the fellowship set me up to obtain my academic career goals, and ultimately my current faculty position." 

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: May 2020

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Ambulatory care sensitive readmissions, health care service utilization among the primary care patient population, early career decision making, implementation of social determinants of health in medical education 

Appointment as of 2022: Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Director of the Master of Public Health Program, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, UTMB School of Public and Population Health

Work/Research as of 2022: Focus on academic leadership and administration roles while teaching and mentoring Master of Public Health and MD/MPH students, with research interests in HPV vaccination trends and programs (quantitative and qualitative), Master of Public Health education, and implementation of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in education 


Item Term
George Germanos, M.D., MPH

Item Definition

"The fellowship was an opportunity for me to explore and develop my interests with mentors who have forever impacted my practice of medicine."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: January 2020

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Antibiotic stewardship

Appointment as of 2022: PGY-3 Internal Medicine Resident, Texas A&M Baylor Scott & White Health, Round Rock

Work/Research as of 2022: Hospitalist Medicine


Item Term
Syed Ahsan Raza, MBBS, Ph.D., DTM&H, MSc

Item Definition

"T-32 Fellowship prepared me for analyzing large and complex health related datasets and making inferences to further understand major public health issues at national and international levels."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: October 2019

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Cancer epidemiology, global health, maternal and child health, sex differences in cancer incidence, big data analysis

Appointment as of 2022: Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Postdoctoral Fellow in Systems Epidemiology

Work/Research as of 2022: Trends in cancer incidences such as gallbladder cancers and cholangiocarcinoma among Hispanics and non-Hispanic African American populations in the United States using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, HPV associated cancer, COVID-19 related research


Item Term
Charles Chima, M.D., DrPH, M.S.

Item Definition

"The fellowship provided a high-quality training in primary care research to me and other fellows in my cohort. I particularly enjoyed the hands-on and team-oriented approach. Access and integration with the family medicine clinic offered me opportunities to work on chronic disease population health and quality improvement initiatives."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: February 2018

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Chronic disease prevention research, population health, healthcare quality, health informatics

Appointment as of 2022: Public Health Director, City of Sioux Falls

Work/Research as of 2022: Public health and primary care executive advancing population health by ensuring effective disease surveillance, overseeing disease prevention and primary care services, building partnerships to assess and improve community health, and being a trusted voice and advocate for public health

Kiara Spooner, DrPH, MPH, CHES

Item Definition

"The fellowship offered great opportunities to engage in primary care and health services research. As a fellow, most appreciated was the flexibility to design/pursue my own research agenda, as well as sharpen my statistical programming and analytical skills. Not only did the fellowship play an integral role in achieving my career goals, it opened doors for me to contribute to efforts which embrace the collaborative power of public health and primary care."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: September 2017

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Patient-provider communication, health disparities, integration of public health into primary care, maternal/child health

Appointment as of 2023: Associate Professor, BCM Department of Family and Community Medicine

Work/Research as of 2022: Patient-provider communication, health disparities, integration of public health into primary care, maternal/child health


Item Term
Cassandra S. Diep, Ph.D.

Item Definition

"This fellowship enhanced my background in public health with training in primary care. I gained research experiences through the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, networked with health professionals, and participated in various career development opportunities. This fellowship fueled my passion for moving upstream (i.e., public health and primary care) to tackle downstream issues in healthcare."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: May 2015

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Acculturation and health, health inequities, childhood obesity prevention and intervention, Asian American health

Appointment as of 2023: Assistant Teaching Professor of Health Sciences, Kinesiology Department, Rice University

Work/Research as of 2023: Health inequities, public health nutrition, Asian American health

Derek W. Meeks, M.D.

Item Definition

"A great opportunity to develop research and clinical interests with national leaders, both at Baylor and other Texas Medical Center institutions."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: July 2014

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Health informatics, system complexity, diagnostic uncertainty

Appointment as of 2022: Assistant Professor, BCM Department of Internal Medicine

Work/Research as of 2022: General Internist and Physician Informaticist at Baylor Medicine

Kyler M. Godwin, Ph.D., MPH

Item Definition

"The fellowship helped to jump-start my career. I gained knowledge and skills in implementation science and health services research as well as life-long colleagues and friends."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: July 2013

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Dyadic caregiving, health services research, implementation science 

Appointment as of 2022: Vice Chair for Quality Improvement and Innovation and Associate Professor, BCM Department of Medicine, Section of Health Services Research

Work/Research as of 2022: Implementation scientist and healthcare improvement educator, with the ultimate goal to improve healthcare through clinical impact within a learning healthcare system 

Daniel R. Murphy, M.D., MBA

Item Definition

"This fellowship offered an opportunity to develop foundations in research methods and build expertise in health informatics and diagnostic safety, which facilitated a successful research career and provided the experience needed to conduct quality improvement on the frontlines of health care."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: August 2011

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Clinical informatics, patient safety, diagnostic safety, health information technology-related information overload

Appointment as of 2022: Associate Professor, BCM Department of Medicine 

Work/Research as of 2022: Internal Medicine Physician, Baylor Medicine GIM Medical Director, and Baylor Medicine Chief Quality Officer

Luis Rustveld, Ph.D., RD, LD

Item Definition

"The fellowship provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with exceptional mentors and fellow researchers, allowing me to contribute to innovative projects that have a direct impact on patient care and community health. The knowledge and skills I gained during this fellowship have been instrumental in shaping my academic journey, and they continue to fuel my dedication to advancing evidence-based solutions in primary care, ultimately working towards the betterment of our patients and communities."

Fellowship Graduation Month/Year: May 2009

Topics/Interests During Fellowship: Design and implementation of an interactive, culturally tailored, computer-based diabetes education program; Self-efficacy and adherence to self-care behaviors in English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanic men and women; Biomarkers of cognitive impairment in patients with type 2 diabetes; Association between serum C-peptide levels and cardiovascular disease in non-diabetic individuals

Appointment as of 2023: Assistant Professor, BCM Department of Family and Community Medicine

Work/Research as of 2023: Provider of various medical nutrition therapy services at the Baylor Medicine Family Medicine clinic, including weight management, diabetes management, cancer, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and GI-related conditions; Research in colorectal cancer with a project currently funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and prostate cancer in collaboration with the BCM Department of Molecular Biology