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Institute for Global Tobacco Control

Staff

Kareem Adams, BA
Research Assistant

Kareem Adams is an assistant on the TPackSS project, coding tobacco packs for compliance in accordance with health warning requirements, pack features and marketing appeals. He previously worked in a behavioral health lab at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health where he tracked prostate cancer screening behavior in the African-American community. Mr. Adams earned a bachelor of arts in political science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a concentration in international public policy.

Ayodeji Awopegba, DMD, MPH
Research Program Manager

Dr. Ayodeji Awopegba manages a variety of projects at IGTC, including the Global E-cigarette Policy Scan that explores different approaches employed by countries to regulate e-cigarettes. He provides support for IGTC’s online tobacco control training programs. Dr. Awopegba also assists with other research, evaluation, and capacity building projects at IGTC. As a research assistant at the Institute during his master of public health studies, he contributed to the development of the TPackSS project. He previously worked as a dental officer for federal and state hospitals in Nigeria. Dr. Awopegba received his dental degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and his master of public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Christopher K. Doyle, MFA
Instructional Designer

Christopher K. Doyle is redesigning the IGTC online course, Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts. Prior to IGTC, he was an accessibility specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education. Before that he worked in the education publishing field from 2008 to 2015 as an editor, writer, and accessibility specialist. Mr. Doyle holds a master of fine arts in creative writing and publishing arts from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor of arts in creative writing and philosophy from Loyola University Maryland.

Ashley Grant, MPH
Research Program Manager

Ashley Grant works on a variety of projects at IGTC that focus on the marketing of tobacco products online and at the point-of-sale. In 2016 Ms. Grant designed and coordinated an assessment of tobacco marketing near schools in 14 countries, and currently manages a study that seeks to characterize the marketing of flavored cigarettes in five countries in Latin America. She also contributed to a study to assess e-cigarette marketing online and at the point-of-sale in Russia, and has provided technical assistance for air quality monitoring projects in several countries. Ms. Grant received her master of public health degree in global health from Tufts University and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in environmental health at Tulane University.

Jeffrey Hardesty, MPH
Research Program Manager

Jeffrey Hardesty currently works on several projects at IGTC, including an experimental study of cigarette health warning labels in China, sustainability of philanthropic initiatives, and approaches to use social media and online communities to encourage higher levels of public engagement in smoke-free issues. He previously conducted clinical research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health aiming to increase patient participation in non-small cell lung cancer clinical trials in an ethical manner. Mr. Hardesty received his master of public health from Johns Hopkins with a concentration in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Michael Iacobelli, MPH
Research Program Manager

Michael Iacobelli leads the monitoring of field data collection for the TPackSS project, and manages the intake and coding process of packs from 14 countries around the world. He leads contract activities with in-country data collection agencies and supports in-field training. Mr. Iacobelli holds a master of public health from George Washington University School of Public Health and previously worked as a research associate at Evidera.

Nasozi Kakembo, MS
Communications Associate

Nasozi Kakembo designs and implements global communication strategies to maximize the impact of IGTC’s work in collaboration with its partners. She also develops and maintains internal communications platforms. Ms. Kakembo holds a master of science in urban planning from Columbia University, and a bachelor of arts in art history from University of Maryland, College Park. She previously ran a New York- and Kampala-based social enterprise, and worked at the Open Society Foundations where she reviewed program budgets, strategies, and grant proposals. She speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Bekir Kaplan, MD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Bekir Kaplan is currently a post-doctoral fellow at IGTC. His research at the Institute focuses on cigarette health warning labels, compliance with smoke-free legislation in Turkey and the effects of toxins from waterpipe (hookah) smoke in real-world setting. Dr. Kaplan received his medical doctorate in 2007 and a public health specialist degree from Hacettepe University in 2011. He previously worked at the Turkish Ministry of Health in Ankara between 2012 and 2015 where he was in charge of conducting several national surveys on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

Asim Khan, MA
Communications Associate

Asim Khan is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to effectively disseminate the work of the Institute through multiple channels, including the web and electronic media. He is also involved in creating multimedia content and design projects for IGTC. Mr. Khan holds a master of arts in media design/publications design from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor of arts in sociology from McDaniel College.

Naseeb Kibria, MSE
Research Program Manager

Naseeb Kibria supports a number of capacity building initiatives at the Institute including the Regional Tobacco Control Leadership Programs and the tobacco control research networks in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Previously she was involved with a multi-country study to measure levels of secondhand smoke exposure in public places. She also managed a multi-year project in Vietnam aimed at building the tobacco control capacity of the Ministry of Health. Ms. Kibria previously worked as a program manager on asthma and environmental health issues at the national headquarters of the American Lung Association in Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor of dental surgery degree from Dhaka Dental College, Bangladesh, and a master of science and education in public health from the University of Toledo, Ohio.

Marela Kay Minosa, MSPH
Senior Research Data Analyst

Marela Kay Minosa works on a variety of projects at IGTC, ranging from managing an assessment of tobacco advertising’s impact on youth smoking in Southeast Asia to conducting statistical analysis for a study on the availability of e-cigarettes in Russia. Ms. Minosa holds a bachelor of science in statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master of science in public health concentrating in global disease epidemiology and control from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As a graduate student, Ms. Minosa worked with the Baltimore City Health Department’s Tobacco Program and contributed to a study examining environmental risk factors for asthma among peri-urban community residents of Lima, Peru.

Kara Robinson, BS
Research Assistant

Kara Robinson is an assistant on the TPackSS project, coding cigarette packs for compliance with health warning requirements and for pack design features and marketing appeals, as well as cleaning data and preparing for project field work. She previously worked as an infection control assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and graduated with a bachelor of science in community health science from Towson University. Ms. Robinson is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore where she is pursuing her master of public health degree.

Sejal Saraf, BDS, MPH
Senior Research Program Coordinator

Sejal Saraf manages the smokeless tobacco/bidi component of the TPackSS project, in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As a research assistant at the Institute during her master of public health studies, she helped with development of a TPackSS codebook, coding of tobacco packs for health warning label, and preparing factsheets. Dr. Saraf previously worked as a senior dentist for various nonprofit organizations and private clinics in India. She received her dental degree from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, and her master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mark Spires, MPH
Research Program Manager

Mark Spires is responsible for managing various research projects at IGTC, including the investigation of ways to utilize social media and online communities to encourage higher levels of public engagement in smoke-free issues, and projects evaluating levels of tobacco control policy compliance and implementation fidelity. Prior to joining IGTC, Mr. Spires worked on evaluating the sustainability of hygiene promotion education in South Africa and interned with the World Health Organization. Mr. Spires received a bachelor of arts in international cultural studies and holds a master of public health in global health from Brigham Young University. He has also earned a graduate-level certificate in health and human rights from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Mr. Spires is currently pursuing a PhD in public health at the University if the Western Cape, South Africa.

Deana Trimble, BS
Research Assistant

Deana Trimble is an assistant on the TPackSS project, coding tobacco packs for compliance with health warning requirements, pack features and marketing appeals. Ms. Trimble previously interned at the National Cancer Institute assisting on various projects that supported behavioral health and team science research. She was also a research assistant at the University of Maryland Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. Ms. Trimble graduated with a bachelor of science in behavioral and community health from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ashley Waith, MBA
Administrative Coordinator

Ashley Waith is the first point of contact at IGTC and is responsible for administrative tasks that support the Institute’s staff. She is a 2012 master of business administration graduate from the University of Baltimore, and received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Stevenson University.

Carmen Washington, MPH, MSW
Research Program Manager

Carmen Washington manages the Institute’s TPackSS project, a surveillance system for tobacco product packaging in 14 countries. In this capacity she is responsible for the development, implementation and management of all data collection, and collaborative communication with country partners. Prior to IGTC she worked as an Evaluation Specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for the CDC’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant and evaluating the city of Chicago’s tobacco policies. She also has worked in Rwanda and South Africa conducting community-based evaluation and research. Ms. Washington holds both a master of public health and a master of social work from the University of Washington.

Kevin Welding, PhD
Senior Biostatistician

Kevin Welding leads analysis for the TPackSS project, and provides statistical support on a variety of other projects at IGTC. During his doctoral studies, he studied the effectiveness of state-level cigarette excise taxes on older smokers in the U.S. His work in the domestic fiscal policy area highlighted the significance of the global market and of tobacco control policies that complement cigarette taxation. Dr. Welding received his doctoral degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his masters in applied economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.