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Dollar Store Study

To celebrate the defense of my PhD dissertation, I took a road trip across the U.S. In one area that covers hundreds of miles, I found dollar stores to be the prominent retail stores, which made me interested in exploring what the rise of dollar stores meant for food purchases and nutrition. This study received multiple funding by the USDA, Gifford Center for Population Studies, RIDGE center, and Tufts. The outcome of the research was published in the American Journal of Public Health, the leading journal in the field. The findings has also been covered by more than 75 news outlets, including the ABC, NPR, Forbes, and The Hill.

My dollar store lab has its own website! Check it out to see more about folks in my lab, our collaborators, and the latest on the research. 

Social Safety Net Programs

Social safety net programs serve as important resources to the vulnerable population. There are a lot of state-level variations in terms of what programs provide and who are eligible for those programs. By studying such differences, we can assess policy effects. Find out more about this study here.

Food and Obesity Policies

Obesity is a major focus of my research. I study the intersections of obesity and public policy.  I'm interested in the effectiveness of policies in obesity prevention and policy developments. Few examples include the bureaucratic politics of implementing the national menu labeling mandate, local health department's obesity policies, and the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on healthy eating behaviors.

Local Public Health

Local governments can serve as a good place to test out new policies. They also play an important role in implementing state and federal policies. My study focuses on the factors related with local health policy making. My recent work with the Academic Public Health Corps focuses on their impact on health equity  and the Corps' effects on the development of public health workforce.

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