Current Scientists 2024-2025

Ashraf Abugroun, MBBS, MPH

Pilot Study Title: Examining the Association Between Social Frailty and Accelerated Aging
Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Career goal: My career goal is to develop an individualized approach to medicine for older adults, tailored to their unique needs and the complex factors influencing their health.
Background: As a board-certified clinician-investigator in internal medicine and geriatrics, I leverage my expertise in translational epidemiology to develop personalized healthcare approaches for older adults. My research focuses on elucidating the complex relationships between aging, social determinants of health, and health outcomes.
Why this study: This research can help understand how social factors may impact the aging process in diverse populations, potentially leading to personalized strategies and targeted interventions to promote healthier aging and improve health outcomes.

Jasmine Santoyo-Olsson, DrPH, MS

Pilot Study Title: Meeting the advance care planning needs of rural, historically marginalized racial and ethnic caregivers of persons living with dementia
Position: T32 Aging Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Geriatrics, University of California San Francisco
Career goal: To collaborate with community-based organizations to develop and test behavioral interventions aimed at improving support services for historically marginalized populations living with chronic conditions and their caregivers.
Background: As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I have witnessed firsthand the unique challenges faced by older adults in under-resourced areas. My research has primarily focused on health equity, emphasizing community engagement throughout the research process. In my professional experience, I have managed, adapted, evaluated, and disseminated community-based interventions aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of historically marginalized adult populations. I recognize the significant influence of local and social environments on individual health, underscoring the importance of impacting community infrastructure. By identifying and leveraging community strengths, resources, and relationships, I aim to sustain interventions and address communal health concerns effectively.
Why this study: Research on advance care planning among rural caregivers of persons with dementia from historically marginalized populations remains under explored. This research is vital as it addresses the needs of a vulnerable population facing significant challenges and limited access to resources. It aims to gather insights from rural caregivers of persons with dementia and dementia advocates (e.g., social works, dementia care specialists, etc.) to identify effective strategies for enhancing advance care planning in rural community settings.

Sophia Zamudio-Haas, DrPH, MSc

Pilot Study Title: Understanding the sociocultural context of HIV outcomes for transgender women of color age 50+: A Secondary analysis of the Transgender Women of Color Initiative Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (TETAC)
Position: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Prevention Science, UCSF
Career goal: To partner with community leaders and organizations to conduct research to further social justice, increase health equity, and improve access to health services for transgender populations.
Background: I am a Mexican American queer woman, and my lived experience informs my deep commitment to advancing health equity for gender and sexual minoritized groups from communities of color. I am a qualitative researcher and social scientist, who specializes in community engaged research methods.
Why this study: This study will conduct a secondary analysis of a unique, multi-method data set from a nine-site initiative in different cities across the US that aimed to develop and test HIV treatment programs for trans women of color. This study provides an important opportunity to explore factors that shape engagement in care for trans women living with HIV, who are 55 and older. Findings will have powerful implications for community-based programming for this growing group of people who deserve excellent care, delivered with dignity.