Who We Are

UCLA Staff

Anne W. Rimoin, Ph.D., M.P.H.,
UCLA-DRC Research Program Director

ucla_anne_rimoin-10-2_rt_resizeAnne W. Rimoin, Ph.D., M.P.H. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA School of Public Health. She received her training at Middlebury College (B.A. African History, 1992), UCLA School of Public Health (M.P.H, International Health and Nutrition, 1996), and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Ph.D. International Health, Division of Disease Prevention and Control, 2003).

In 2004, she founded the UCLA-DRC Research program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the vast majority of her research is based. She collaborates closely with the DRC Ministry of Health, the Institut National de Recherche Biomedicale (National Institute of Biomedical Research and DRC National Reference Laboratory) and the Kinshasa School of Public Health.

Dr. Rimoin’s main research focus is on the design and implementation of disease surveillance systems in remote rural areas to detect novel pathogens of animal origin that are crossing species into human populations in central Africa and to understand the epidemiology and ecological factors that influence transmission and spread of these diseases. Her ongoing work aims to elucidate the epidemiology of monkeypox and other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) through active disease surveillance in remote regions of central Africa with subsistence hunters and other individuals at who live and work at the human-animal interface and are at high risk for cross species disease transmission. These individuals represent an important sentinel population for monitoring viral disease emergence in a region from which numerous EIDs, including Ebola, Monkeypox, and Marburg have been known to recur.

In addition to her work on emerging infections, Dr. Rimoin also provides technical assistance to the Congolese government for general disease surveillance, polio eradication and routine immunization. She is currently conducting a study (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to assess population immunity to vaccine preventable diseases which will help the Congolese government determine where to best focus their resources to close immunity gaps.

 

Kirstin Chickering, M.P.H,

Associate Director

profile-sept-2015Kirstin Chickering, M.P.H. is the Associate Director of the UCLA Research Program.  She received her B.A. in Political Science and French from Duke University and her M.P.H. in Behavioral Science and Health Education from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.  Ms. Chickering has been employed by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health since 1996 and has extensive experience in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs in both international and domestic settings.    Ms. Chickering manages all financial, personnel, contract, and administrative issues for the UCLA-DRC Research Program.

 

Nicole A. Hoff, Ph.D., M.P.H.,

DRC Country Director, former Faucett Fellow

drc-nicole-small_

Nicole Hoff is the Kinshasa, DRC based country director and a senior administrative analyst within the UCLA-DRC Research Program at UCLA.  Nicole earned her B.A. in Biology and Sociology, followed by a MPH in Epidemiology from Tulane University.  Focusing in global health and infectious disease, She earned a PhD in Epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2014.

Nicole has been primarily based in DRC for the last 5 years where she works closely with and have established relationships with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Institute National de Recherche Biomedical (INRB), and the Kinshasa School of Public Health (KSPH).  Her past research evaluated the country’s monkeypox surveillance system, the result of which provided recommendations for improvements in reporting.  Most notably, Nicole has worked in collaboration with both the Congolese government and MOH as a supervisor for the 2013 Demographics and Health Survey (DHS), to which our research group (UCLA-DRC) contributed the first population-wide serological survey for vaccine preventable diseases for the DRC.  Our collaborations with Congolese government have since continued as she has supervised and worked on a number of the National Immunization Program activities, including supervising mass campaigns, conducting post-vaccination studies, and evaluating disease surveillance programs.  Nicole currently manage the day-to-day activities for the following projects: estimation of population immunity to vaccine preventable diseases; isolation of Ebola-reactive human antibody research; and evaluation and supervision of the National Trypanosomiasis Program.

 

Reena H. Doshi, Ph.D., M.P.H.,

Research Director, former Faucett Fellow

drc-reena_-small_Reena Doshi is the research director and former Faucett fellow for the UCLA-DRC Research Program. She earned her B.S. in psychobiology at Pepperdine University and her M.P.H in International Health from Boston University. Reena completed her Ph.D. in epidemiology at UCLA in 2014, which focused on measles epidemiology and immunization in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Prior to joining to the UCLA-DRC Research Program, Reena worked as a Microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program and research assistant for the Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group (BERG) at UCLA.

 

D’Andre Spencer 

Research Analyst unnamed

D’Andre Spencer is a recent graduate from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health where he received his MPH in Epidemiology in Spring of 2017 as a student of Dr. Anne Rimoin. He arrived at UCLA after serving a full Peace Corps tenure in South Africa working in the community health outreach program focusing on HIV and NGO development.  D’Andre also spent the summer of 2016 working with UCLA-DRC on a serosurvey to estimate the seroprevalence of polio vaccination in DRC’s Haut-Lomami province.

 

Cyrus Sinai

Project Coordinator / GIS Analyst12987072_10153573578992965_8902005734520418761_n-1
Cyrus is a recent graduate of UCLA, where he studied international development, public health, and geospatial information systems (GIS).  He has a passion for mapping diseases, and while at UCLA, he researched HIV prevalence among the Baka pygmy and neighboring Bantu communities in the logging/mining zones of southeastern Cameroon’s rainforests. Cyrus currently manages UCLA-DRC’s various mapping projects, including microcensus and health zone mapping work in former Bandundu and Kinshasa provinces, and GIS capacity building initiatives for Ministry of Health disease surveillance programs.

 

Adva Gadoth, M.P.H.,

Doctoral candidate, current Faucett Fellow

img_0799-2Adva Gadoth is a doctoral student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public health, joining both the school and the UCLA-DRC Research Program in 2014.  She earned her B.S. in Environmental Biology and her M.P.H. in Environmental Health Sciences and Toxicology from the University of Michigan.  After graduating with her master’s degree, Ms. Gadoth moved to Gujarat, India to help design and implement a nutritional intervention program aimed at improving health outcomes amongst school children, and then returned to the US where she worked as a regulatory toxicologist conducting risk assessments for the World Health Organization before joining UCLA-DRC.  Ms. Gadoth hopes to bridge her environmental health expertise with an interest in neglected tropical diseases to study the impact of land-use change on infectious disease transmission patterns in Congo.

 

Hayley Ashbaugh, M.P.H., D.V.M., Ph.D.

Former doctoral student and Faucett Fellow

hayleyHayley Ashbaugh is a PhD student in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Epidemiology Department. She earned her B.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University, and her M.P.H. and D.V.M., specializing in veterinary public health and global health, at The Ohio State University. Dr. Ashbaugh’s research interests include global health and vaccine-preventable and zoonotic disease, and she has worked in areas of public health and clinical veterinary medicine in Turkey, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.

 

Angie Ghanem, M.P.H.,

Doctoral student

Angie Ghanem is a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She earned her B.A. in Public Health for the University of California, Berkeley and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. Since graduating, Angie became certified in infection control and has worked in Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Prevention in Los Angeles where she conducts infectious disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, data analysis, and designs public health interventions in a hospital setting. Her research interests include investigating methods of surveillance for emerging infectious diseases and developing interventions for prevention and control.

 

Alvan Cheng, M.P.H.,
Doctoral student


Alvan Cheng is a doctoral student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health within the UCLA-DRC Research Program. He earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012, and after graduating, worked as an investigative toxicologist for Pfizer, focusing on oncology research. He then continued to earn his M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017. To connect his background in oncology research to his interest in emerging infectious diseases, he joined the UCLA-DRC Research program in 2016.

 

Megan Halbrook, M.P.H.,
Doctoral student


Megan Halbrook is a doctoral student in infectious disease epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She earned her BA in medical anthropology from McGill University and an MPH in infectious disease epidemiology from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Prior to UCLA, Megan worked in microfinance and at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her research interest is focused on the anthropogenic factors that drive disease transmission, specifically surrounding food culture and habits of hunting, agriculture, and marketplaces.

 

DRC Staff

Patrick K. Mukadi, MD,

Laboratory Director

patrickPatrick Mukadi is the laboratory director for UCLA-DRC Research Program based at the INRB in Kinshasa, DRC. Patrick had six years’ experience in emerging and re-emerging disease diagnostics as well as in child vaccine preventable diseases with a focus on measles and rubella. He has been actively involved in the UCLA-DRC research program since 2013, playing a central role in the design and implementation of serosurveys and other epidemiologic infectious disease studies throughout DRC.

Prior to joining the UCLA-DRC Research program, Patrick was a research fellow at the National Institute of Biomedical research (INRB) with an interest in the diagnosis of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases and virology. He has spent significant time working in clinical practice in remote rural areas with a concentration in mother and child health.

Dr Mukadi earned his medical degree from the University Of Kinshasa School Of Medicine in DRC and is currently a Research Assistant doing his Specialization in Microbiology, Immunology and virology at Kinshasa School of Medicine, University of Kinshasa.

 

Francine S. Miole

Administrative assistant

francineFrancine works within the UCLA-DRC Research program as an Administrative assistant, and is in charge of administration and finance.

Graduated in English and African culture with professional experience of more than ten years in teaching, administration and has participated actively to the elaboration of proposals.

She has worked with the Kinshasa School of Public Health in several projects financed by Centers for Diseases Control – Global Aids Program (CDC-GAP/ESP from 2005-2009 and CDC-PEPFAR-ESP project from 2009-2014.

 

Kamy K. MUSENE, MD

Research Assistant

kamyKamy MUSENE is a research assistant within UCLA-DRC Research Program. He got his Medical Degree in 2014 from the Protestant University in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Fascinated by infectious diseases, he decided to apply and got accepted for a Post Graduate Internship at the UCLA-DRC Research Program to feed his passion and to better understand Epidemiology of infectious diseases and the DRC Health system. After this internship, he became a Research Assistant for our group. Kamy is actually involved in several research activities and is working on Ebola, Human African Trypanosomiasis and vaccine preventable diseases project.

Developing skills, getting more experience, he wishes to get a Masters and PhD degrees in Public Health.

 

Daniel B. Mukadi, MD

Laboratory-Manager

danielDaniel Mukadi earned his medical degree at University of Kinshasa, School of Medicine. He is actually a Research Assistant ongoing his Specialization in Microbiology, Immunology and virology at Kinshasa School of Medicine, University of Kinshasa.

His fields of interest include Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Therapy of Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases as well as sexual Practices, Prevalence and Genetic diversity of HIV among MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) population in Democratic Republic of Congo.

To strengthen his knowledge on epidemiology of Infectious disease and operational research Daniel joined UCLA-DRC-Research Program in 2015 and works as Laboratory Manager.

Since, as all of UCLA-DRC staff, he is focused on study on Immune Response in Ebola survivors, Ebola closed-contacts, Healthcare Workers of epidemic and non-epidemic areas in DRC.

He is also involved in assessment of Vaccine preventable diseases’ immune response in infants under 5 years old in DRC.

 

Brene K. UNGU

Finance assistant

breneBrene Ungu is the finance assistant within the UCLA-DRC research Program. He earned his Bachelor in Commerce (Finance) and a specialization in Banking and insurance. He developed great skills in accounting, budget planification, banking systems and finance.

He joined the UCLA-DRC group in July 2016 to work as a finance and administration assistant. He is focused in doing appreciable job and getting more experience.

 

José K. Ngamboli

Medical Biologist

joseJosé Ngamboli earned his degree of medical biologist at Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicales (ISTM) in Kinshasa in 2000.

José Ngamboli worked for 6 years in Hematology with a large experience on blood transfusion in Paedriatics settings. He also had a large experience with Doctor without borders and University of North-Carolina in biological follow up of HIV patients.

José Ngamboli joined UCLA-DRC-Research Program in 2013 and attended at Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and performed, for the first time in DRC, Multiplex Elisa Machine for the screening of antibodies against MMRVT (Measles Mumps Rubella Varicella and Tetanus).

 

Nathalie W. Kavira

Technician-Laboratory

nathalieNathalie Kavira earned her bachelor degree in Laboratory Technology at Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicales (ISTM) in Kinshasa, since 2013.

She has been trained in blood collection, Parasitology, Hematology, Virology and Bacteriology techniques at National Institute for Biomedical Research with a particular focus on immunoenzymatic assays related to viral diseases diagnosis (Measles, Rubella, and Yellow fever, HIV, Hepatitis B).

Nathalie Kavira joined UCLA-DRC-Research Program in 2013 and attended at Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and performed, for the first time in DRC, Multiplex Elisa Machine for the screening of antibodies against MMRVT (Measles Mumps Rubella Varicella and Tetanus).

 

Rachel M. Mutombe

Laboratory Technician

rachelRachel Mutombe earned her Bachelor degree in Laboratory Technology at Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Santé/Croix Rouge (ISSS/CR) in Kinshasa, since 2014.

She has been trained in blood collection, Parasitology, Hematology, Virology and Bacteriology techniques at National Institute for Biomedical Research with a particular focus on immunoenzymatic assays related to viral diseases diagnosis (Measles, Rubella, and Yellow fever, HIV, Hepatitis B).

Rachel Mutombe joined UCLA-DRC-Research program since 2015 as a laboratory technician.

 

Elie M. Lokutumba

In Charge of Logistic and Driver

elieElie Lokutumba is charge of Logistic and driver within UCLA-DRC. He joined the team in 2011.

Background: Degree in Management of Informatics and is completing studies in Analysis and Programming of data.

 

Fabrice T. Bito

Driver

fabriceFabrice BITO is a driver within UCLA-DRC. He joined the team as a consultant in 2013 and got confirmed in 2015.

congoadminWho We Are