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CEHI Team

Marie Lynn Miranda PhD, Director and Professor of Statistics

Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and wellbeing among children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics. She is Professor of Statistics at Rice University, and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University and Baylor College of Medicine.

Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of scientific issues. She maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the USEPA, NIH, CDC, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the USDA, the State of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award.

Dr. Miranda served on the faculty at Duke University for 21 years, where she was an award-winning teacher and scholar. She served as Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the University of Michigan from 2011-2015 and then as provost at Rice University from 2015-2019. Her responsibilities as provost included promoting and supporting excellence in all dimensions of the University's academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs and activities.

Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Mercedes Bravo, Research Scientist

Mercedes Bravo serves as a Research Scientist at CEHI and as an Environmental Epidemiologist at RTI International. Her research focuses on identifying and characterizing relationships between social and environmental exposures and disparities in health and developmental outcomes. Mercedes received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science (2014) from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science (Chemistry minor) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jana Callan, Executive Director

Jana Callan serves as the executive director of CEHI. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Educational Curriculum, Development, and Instruction. In this role, Jana works closely with and supports the director in managing program priorities, initiatives, and activities.

(713) 348-2442

Rice University - BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Rashida Callender, Associate in Research

Rashida Callender serves as an Associate in Research at CEHI. Her responsibilities include project coordination for the Hurricane Harvey Registry and providing statistical and administrative support for CEHI projects. Rashida received her Master of Public Health in Biostatistics from UTHealth School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from MIT. She is excited to engage her passion for environmental justice in this role.

(713) 348-2379

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Joally M. Canales, Community Outreach Coordinator

Joally Canales serves as a Community Outreach Coordinator for CEHI. Her outreach and organizing efforts are focused on the Texas Flood Registry, an initiative aimed at measuring the long-term health and housing impacts of major storms. She builds relationships with stakeholders to advance these goals and ensure that every voice is represented. Joally received her Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film with a concentration in Environment and Sustainability from The University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about analyzing and applying communication strategies that educate various audiences on environmental health.

(713) 348-5625

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Brandi Gih, GIS Technician

Brandi Gih serves as a GIS Technician. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and American Studies as well as a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa. Her work at CEHI includes data management and technical support for GIS research projects. Her research interests concern the application of GIS data and techniques for environmental health analysis.

Max Grossman, Research Scientist

Max Grossman is a CEHI research scientist focused on designing and developing IT infrastructure and computational/analytical techniques for current and future CEHI projects. With joint positions in CEHI and the Department of Computer Science, Max's research focuses on scalable approaches to problems in big data and big compute, particularly for novel large scale scientific, engineering, or statistical workloads. Max completed a PhD in Computer Science at Rice University in 2017.

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Jocelyn Johnston, GIS Technician

Jocelyn Hwang serves as a GIS Technician at CEHI. Her responsibilities include supporting training efforts and providing technical support for GIS projects. She is interested in using spatial analysis to understand and improve environmental health, especially in cases of health inequity. Jocelyn received her Masters of Health Science as well as Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

(713) 348-8143

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Hien Le, Business Systems Analyst

Hien Le is a Business Systems Analyst who works on projects from the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative and the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. He liaises with Rice Office of Information Technology on items concerning the usage, maintenance, and development of the Virtual Research Data Environment (VRDE). He also assists in the acquisition, curation, and management of datasets. Hien received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University.

(713) 348-8241

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Man Chong (Henry) Leong, Statistician

Henry Leong serves as statistician at CEHI. He received his Master in Statistics from Rice University in 2017 and holds a Bachelor degree in Statistics from Renmin University of China. His research focuses on environmental statistical analysis and statistical modelling. He is interested in data science, large scale statistical machine learning and deep learning.

(713) 348-8263

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Ruiyang Li, GIS Technical Team Leader

Ruiyang Li is a GIS analyst at CEHI, a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP). He graduated as a Master student from School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan in 2014. He is interested in the application of spatial analysis in public health at CEHI. He is excited to be a part of CEHI team; and wants to contribute in improving the health quality of various communities.

(713) 348-8143

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005

Aaron Lilienfeld, Research Analyst

Aaron Lilienfeld is a research analyst active in a wide range of CEHI projects. His goal is to support the CEHI research team and projects dedicated to finding the causal links between environmental factors and people’s health. Aaron graduated from the University of Houston with a double major in Economics and Political Science and magna cum laude honors.

(713) 348-8241
Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005
Risa Myers, Data Scientist

Risa Myers servers as a data scientist at CEHI and a full-time lecturer at Rice University, where she teaches databases and data science. Her research interest is predicting outcomes from healthcare data. Risa received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University, her Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University and her Bachelor's degree from MIT in Computer Science and Engineering.

Rice University
Computer Science, MS 132
Duncan Hall, Room 132
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005
Claire Osgood, Data Manager

Claire Osgood is CEHI's Data Manager. She graduated from Duke University with a double major in Computer Science and Economics. She is involved in the acquisition, processing, and maintenance of data used by CEHI, with an emphasis on SAS programming. Her goals are to use data and her programming skills to help affect positive change in our community.

(919) 668-9314
310 Trent Drive
Room 208 Trent Hall
Durham, North Carolina, 27710
Joshua Tootoo, Director of Training and Geospatial Sciences

Joshua Tootoo, serves as CEHI's Director of Training and Geospatial Sciences. His work and responsibilities involve the coordination of CEHI's GIS capacity building efforts and the management of the group's geospatial projects. A certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), he completed his Masters in Environmental Planning from the University of Rhode Island and also holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Botany and Forest Ecology from North Carolina State University.

(713)348-8244

Rice University – BRC
Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), MS-460
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005