Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Our Faculty

More than 150 faculty members work within the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. They have a wide range of expertise, from monitoring and assessing health risks and opportunities in populations, to helping build health-supporting social environments through policy, advocacy, and programs. They are educators, advisors, researchers, practitioners and community leaders. They come from backgrounds in quantitative, behavioral, environmental and social sciences, policy and government, exercise and health sciences and anthropology, among many other areas. They all work in collaboration with each other and with community partners, and are especially focused on the training and education of future leaders and practitioners in the public health fields.



  • The results are being filtered by the department: Health Studies


Bienen, Leslie - MFA, DVM

Photo of Leslie Bienen MFA, DVM
Professor Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 450 Phone: (503) 951-1118

Leslie teaches primarily undergraduate courses at PSU, including Global Health and Consumer Health. She is the pilot program coordinator for PSU’s BUILD EXITO program, an undergraduate research training program that supports students on their pathway to becoming scientific researchers.

Her own research focuses on conservation medicine and on zoonotic (from nonhuman animals to humans) disease transmission. Conservation medicine strives to understand the interaction among human health, environmental changes and the health of nonhuman species. She was a co-investigator on the Bighorn Sheep Disease project, examining disease dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep. She has researched and written about several bat viruses transmissible to humans and sampled livestock in Nepal for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis, surveying farmers about their understanding of these diseases.

Leslie was a regular contributor to Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment for many years. She has published in Orion, Open Spaces, Conservation Magazine, and other places.

Education, Degrees

B.A., Princeton University
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop
D.V.M., Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

  • 2010-2015: Co-Principal Investigator on a two-year study entitled “Connectivity, Isolation, and Disease Dynamics: Trade-offs in Recovering Bighorn Sheep Populations study”; this work is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation. This funding was renewed in 2012.
  • 2008-2010: Co-Principal Investigator on two-year study entitled “Climate Change, Wildlife Corridors, and Health Consequences in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Northern Rockies”; work funded by the New York Community Trust.
  • 2006: Participated in collaborative research project, sponsored by the East-West Center and funded by a NIH Roadmap Research Teams of the Future grant, on development of transdisciplinary approaches to investigation of emerging diseases and social-ecological systems (lead author on published paper).

Borofka, Katherine - MPH

Photo of Katherine Borofka MPH
Adjunct Instructor Health Studies Phone: (503) 273-5828

Katie Borofka is an adjunct Instructor at the School of Public Health. Her academic background has evolved from the macro studies of Peace and Conflict Studies at University of California, Berkeley and her work in the M.P.H. program at PSU to more micro and clinical studies in the Master of Social Work program at PSU. The bulk of her professional and academic work has focused on issues of human sexuality, from sexuality education, to domestic and sexual violence prevention and intervention work, to providing advocacy services to queer youth to providing therapy, to students struggling with relationships and questions of sexuality and gender identity. She currently teaches Human Sexuality and Women’s Reproductive Health at the School of Public Health.

Education, Degrees

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2010
M.P.H., Portland State University, 2012

Awards and Honors

2010, Phi Beta Kappa

Brodowicz, Gary - MA, PhD

Photo of Gary Brodowicz MA, PhD
Professor Emeritus Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 450N Phone: (503) 725-5119 (Office) Phone: (503) 725-5128 (Lab)

Gary Brodowicz has been a faculty member at PSU for the past 30 years and is a Professor Emeritus in the School. He taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and also advised M.S./M.A. Health Studies graduate students undertaking thesis and project work related to exercise, fitness, physical activity and sports medicine.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Brodowicz worked for three years as an elementary school physical education teacher in Romeo, Michigan. His interest in exercise physiology took him to Wake Forest University where he earned his master’s degree, then Ohio State University, where he earned his Ph.D. Throughout his career, Brodowicz’s scholarly and teaching interests have included topics related to exercise, fitness, physical activity, and measurement. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a member of the American Physiological Association.

Education, Degrees

BS.Ed., University of Michigan, 1977
M.A., Wake Forest University, 1981
Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 1986

Awards and Honors
  • 2006, Certificate of Appreciation, American Association of University Professors
  • 2005, Certificate of Appreciation, American Association of University Professors
  • 1999, Award for Service, American Association of University Professors
  • 1991, Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine
  • 1989, The Art Broten Young Scholar Award
  • Oregon Center for Aging & Technology Pilot Grant (Crespo, Carlos J.)(2008-9) Measurement of physical activity in older adults: Comparison of heart rate and accelerometry, Role: Co-Investigator
  • Northwest Health Foundation (Ojeda, Lila )(2003) Pedometer-Derived Physical Activity Levels Among Overweight and Normal Weight Female Nurses, Role: Co-Investigator
  • PSU Faculty Support and Development Program (Brodowicz, Gary) (2000) Body CompositionAssessment,
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • PSU Faculty Development Program(Brodowicz, Gary) (1997-8) Discipline-Specific Software Development in Public Health Education, Role: Principal Investigator
  • PSU Faculty Development Program (Svoboda, Milan)(1993-94) Measurement of Daily Activity I: Validity and Reliability of Pedometers during Intentional Walking/Jogging, Role: Co-Investigator


Cohen, Carrie - MA, MS

Photo of Carrie Cohen MA, MS
Instructor Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 450 Phone: (503) 725-4401

Carrie Cohen is an instructor with both the School of Public Health and the PSU University Studies departments, where she teaches classes primarily focused on birth and breastfeeding. She also assists with administering and coordinating the lactation practicum courses for students pursuing the International Board Certification for Lactation Consultants.

Carrie has a background teaching secondary science education before transitioning into women’s health and her work with PSU.  She has worked as a  health educator and labor doula and currently works as a Lactation Consultant with a hospital system in Portland.

Education, Degrees

M.S., PSU, 2005
M.A., Pacific University, 2005
I.B.C.L.C., University of California, San Diego 2014


Eisner, Alvin - MA, PhD

Photo of Alvin Eisner MA, PhD
Adjunct Instructor Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 470M Phone: (503) 725-5237

Before joining PSU and the School of Public Health in 2015, Alvin Eisner enjoyed a long career as a human-subjects scientist conducting basic and clinical research involving vision and the eye.

As a principal Investigator, based primarily at OHSU’s Neurological Sciences Institute, Eisner developed functional tests for predicting the development of exudative age-related macular degeneration, and he helped his institution become a site for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, a major National Eye Institute clinical trial. Having observed that the visual systems of men and women did not age identically after the age of menopause, Eisner also conducted pioneering studies relating medication-induced hormonal change to changes in visual function.

Eisner teaches Health Aspects of Aging, and is serving a third term as a consultant to the Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the Food and Drug Administration.

Education, Degrees

B.S., State University of New York, Stony Brook, 1972
M.A., University of California, San Diego, 1975
M.A., University of California, San Diego, 1976
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1979

  • Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute, Pilot Project (Winters-Stone, Kerri M.),  2007-2008,  Comprehensive Fall Risk Assessment in Breast Cancer Survivors,  Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • RO1 EY014594 (Eisner, Alvin), 2003-2008, NIH/NEI, Female Hormones and Vision, Role: Principal investigator
  • Oregon Retinal Degeneration Center; Foundation Fighting Blindness (Weleber, Richard G.), 2001-2003, module: Carotenoids and Lipids in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Connor, William E.), Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • P30 CA69533-03S1 (Bagby, Grover C.), 1999-2000  NIH/NCI Innovative Cancer Control Initiative in Cancer Centers module: Visual Function Following Tamoxifen Use to Prevent or Treat Breast Cancer, Role: Principal Investigator
  • RO1 EY12737 (Eisner, Alvin), 1999-2004, NIH/NEI, Visual Adaptation Limits and Age-Related Disease, Role: Principal Investigator
  • U10 EY11154 (Johnson, Chris A.), 1995-1997, NIH/NEI, Short Wavelength Automated Perimetry and the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, Role: Co-Principal Investigator


  • Alcon Laboratories (Van Buskirk, E. Michael), 1995-1996,  Flicker Sensitivity and Early Glaucoma, Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • RO1 EY05047 (Eisner, Alvin), 1984-1996, NIH/NEI, Visual Function Studies of Normal and Aging Human Retinas, Role: Principal Investigator


Harris, Debra - PhD, MST

Photo of Debra Harris PhD, MST
Senior Instructor II Health Studies Office PSU – URBAN 470E Phone: (503) 725-5107

Debra Harris is a senior instructor II in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Her areas of specialization are health education instructional strategies and techniques, child/youth health promotion program planning, school health, school physical education, youth/obesity, death/dying, and emotional abuse in the workplace. She also is an adjunct instructor in PSU’s Graduate School of Education, supervising teacher candidates in the area school health and physical education, and teaching the health and physical education methods courses. For the past four years, Deb has served as a visiting lecturer to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she teaches Death/Dying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace.

Deb is an native Portlander and has mentored hundreds of students in both school and public health in her four-decade career.

Education, Degrees

A.A., Central Oregon Community College, 1974
B.S., Southern Oregon University, 1976
M.S.T., PSU, 1978
M.S.T., PSU, 1982
Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1998

Awards and Honors
  • 2015, Top Professors in the College of Urban and Public Affairs
  • 2002, National Health Professional of the Year (K-12) from the American Association of Health Education
  • 1998, National Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education


Kaufman, Deborah - MA

Photo of Deborah Kaufman MA
Senior Instructor Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 471A Phone: (503) 725-5479

Debbie Kaufman teaches Drug Education and Marketing Public Health in both campus and online formats, and has also developed and taught courses on other drug topics. She was a part of an Oregon Health Authority Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee in 2015-2016, and she partners regularly with various organizations and agencies, including the Multnomah County Health Department, on projects where her students have the opportunity to contribute to and learn about local public health efforts. She also participates in county prevention efforts – particularly focused on youth – for tobacco, marijuana and other drugs. In 2014, she was a Multnomah County Public Health Hero nominee.

Prior to coming to PSU and the School of Public Health, Debbie worked for 17 years in the non-profit community in Portland, including five years in statewide tobacco control advocacy efforts. She also managed the implementation of a Kellogg Foundation grant in support of school-based health care in Oregon.

Education, Degrees

B.A., University of Oregon, 1981
M.A., Portland State University, 1996


Leavitt, Alissa - MPH

Photo of Alissa Leavitt MPH
Adjunct Instructor Health Studies Phone: (971) 722-7767

Alissa Leavitt, an adjunct instructor at the School of Public Health, has been a full-time faculty member in Health Studies at Portland Community College since 2011. Her responsibilities include program planning at the Rock Creek campus.

Alissa became a certified health education specialist in 2008 and master certified health education specialist in 2014. Her interests include community-based learning, food systems, nutrition, consumer health issues, and community and public health. Alissa currently acts as chair for the Health Education and Promotion Section of the Oregon Public Health Association.

She also has done child health services research and policy projects in the Department of Pediatrics at OHSU and worked for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service where she helped plan, implement, and evaluate cancer control strategies for organizations that reach medically underserved populations.

Education, Degrees

B.S., Community Health Education, PSU, 2005
M.P.H. in Health Management and Policy, PSU, 2007


Meyer, Marshall - MST

No Photo Available
Instructor Health Studies Phone: (503) 725-4401

Marshall Meyer has over 30 years experience teaching health education.  He was a full time instructor at Portland Community College for 13 years and also taught classes at PSU and Mt. Hood Community College. Prior to teaching at PCC, Meyer was a program manager at the American Red Cross.

Education, Degrees

B.S., University of Oregon, 1976
M.S.T., Portland State University, 1983


Onnis, Doris - RN, BSN, IBCLC

Photo of Doris Onnis RN, BSN, IBCLC
Adjunct Instructor Health Studies Office PSU – URBN 450 Phone: (503) 939-5315

Doris Onnis is a clinical instructor in the School of Public Health’s Lactation Education Program.

Maternal-child health has been the focus of Onnis’ career. She has worked as a registered nurse for more than 35 years, working in neonatal intensive care, postpartum care and community health, and helped to develop an outpatient postpartum and lactation program for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland.

Education, Degrees

R.N., 1980
I.B.C.L.C., 1997
B.S.N., 2015


Zell, Adrienne - MA, PhD

Photo of Adrienne Zell MA, PhD
Assistant Professor Health Studies Office OHSU – SON 435 Phone: (503) 799-5457

Adrienne Zell is a co-director of the OHSU Evaluation Core, which collaborates with academic researchers and community organizations to evaluate the impact of their work. She is also the director of the Office of Research Impact of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, which is the evaluation team for the institute.

She has been an evaluator for more than 20 years, working across Oregon to bridge academic and community relationships and improve the rigor and effectiveness of program evaluations.

Zell is lead evaluator for BUILD-EXITO, an undergraduate research training program at PSU that supports students on their pathway to become scientific researchers working collaboratively with PSU colleagues, and lead evaluator for the Knight Cancer Center Community Partnership Program. Zell is active on an evaluation advisory board at the Oregon Community Foundation and is the chair-elect of the American Evaluation Association Topical Interest Group for Translational Research.

Education, Degrees

B.A., University of Puget Sound, 1988
M.A., California State University, 1991
Ph. D., University of Chicago, 2002

  • UL1 TR000128  (Ellison) 07/11 – 06/17  1.4 calendar NIH/NCATS $4,932,667 Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) The Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) has been accelerating research at Oregon Health & Science University since 2006.  Its many highly functional programs assist investigators and trainees by providing diverse services.  The major goal of OCTRI is to foster research to find better treatments for disease and help find ways to keep people healthy. It is also focused on training the translational research workforce of the future.  Role: Co-Investigator
  • U54MD009487 (Crespo)  09/14-08/19   2.4 calendar , NIH $2,570,264  EXITO Enhancing Cross Disciplinary Infrastructure and Training at Oregon The major goal of this project is to increase career research pathways for underrepresented students in biomedical sciences by transforming general education instruction, engaging faculty and students in research learning communities, and leveraging existing training programs. EXITO will engage students from multiple racial/ethnic backgrounds, disability status, and lifetime experiences to take part in hands-on research, senior capstone, and paid research experiences. Role: Lead Evaluator
  • 5P30CA069533-17 (Druker) 07/15-06/17, 2.4 calendar NIH/NCI, $1,000,000 OHSU Knight Cancer Institute The major goals of this project are to support the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, its programs, shared resources, and administration.  Shared resources include: Histopathology and Cancer Genotyping, Flow Cytometry, Integrated Genomics, Proteomics, Bioanalytical/Pharmacokinetics, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Clinical Research Management.  The instruments of the institute foster interdisciplinary coordination and collaboration of cancer research faculty at OHSU in basic, clinical, and population research. Role: Community Partnership Program Evaluation
  • 5K12 HL108974-05 (Newgard) 07/11 – 06/17, 1.2 calendar NIH/NHLBI, $49,4667 Oregon Multidisciplinary Training Program in Emergency Medicine Clinical Research Inter-K12 Site Program Evaluation Project The major goals are to describe common themes of Scholar, Mentors, and Program Leadership experiences with the K12 program, including successes and challenges, using qualitative research methodology.  Role: Lead Evaluator
  • SRCH (Zell/Davis) 7/1/16 – 8/31/17, 2.1 calendar Oregon Health Authority, $89,847 Sustainable Relationships for Community Health Role: Co-PI

Meet our Faculty

David Bangsberg

Founding Dean

Dr. Ryan Petteway – A People’s Social Epidemiologist

Assistant Professor
Office: PSU – URBN 470N