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Current Research Group Members

  • Jennifer Tjia

    Jennifer Tjia, MD, MSCE, FAAHPM

    Principal Investigator

    Jen is a geriatric palliative care physician and PI of the research group.  She received her MD from the Boston University combined BA-MD program and completed clinical training at Boston Medical Center and UCSF/Mt Zion, and fellowship training at the UPenn. Jen was a postdoctoral fellow at UPenn with J. Sanford Schwarz, MD before joining the UMass faculty in 2006. She is a long-distance elder caregiver, hiker, and baker. She spends her spare time practicing cello, keeping up with her daughter and partner, and cooking Dutch-Indonesian food.

  • Vennesa Duodu

    Vennesa Duodu, MPH

    Research Coordinator/Community Engagement Specialist

    Vennesa is a research coordinator who joined the Tjia Research Group in  August 2019. Vennesa was born in Ghana and has lived in Massachusetts most of her life. She is an aspiring medical student with a strong personal interest and passion in the field of infant mortality and in serving immigrant populations. She enjoys working out, taking pictures/boomerangs, writing, reading and creating wonderful memories with people.

  • Alex Granillo

    Alex Granillo

    Project Manager

    E. Alex Granillo is a project manager who joined the Tjia Research Group in February 2023. He is an international medical graduate with experience in various federally funded research study protocols in the fields of public health, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and health informatics technologies. Alex is currently focusing on clinical and population health research, advancing health equity, and caregiving. In his free time, Alex enjoys hiking, working out, traveling, and spending quality time with his family.

  • Geraldine Puerto

    Geraldine Puerto, MPH

    Research Coordinator/Team Leader

    Gerry is a research coordinator who joined the Tjia research group in 2018. Her interests include health equity, community-engaged research, social determinants of health, and BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant health. Gerry was born in Colombia and has lived in Massachusetts most of her life. She enjoys making art, reading, and going on hikes with her dog.

  • Francesca Troiani

    Francesca Troiani, BS

    Clinical Research Assistant

    Francesca is an intern who joined the Tjia research group in May 2023. She is a 2023 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, graduating with honors with a BS in Biology and a certificate in Gerontology. Research interests include the older adult population and how to better address their care needs. Focusing on advocating for those with ADRD and cognitive impairment. 

  • Anna Wyndham

    Anna Wyndham

    Research Intern

    Anna Wyndham is a second-year student at New York University studying Computer Science. They were born and raised in Massachusetts. They joined the team for the summer of 2023 to help with data cleaning and other tasks. They enjoy cooking, reading, and working out in their free time. They are interested in health equity and exploring how technology can be used to study and then address discrimination and disparities in the community.

Current Students

  • Emmanuella Asiedu

    Emmanuella Asiedu, BS, MPH

    Clinical and Population Health Research (CPHR) Doctoral Student

    Emmanuella Asiedu is a doctoral student at UMass Chan Medical School who joined the Tjia Research Group in August of 2022. Emmanuella was born in Ghana and raised in both Ghana and Senegal. She is a Clinical and Population Health Research (CPHR) PhD student. Her research interests include structural racism & health of people of color, chronic diseases, children’s environment health, and health equity. In her free time Emmanuella enjoys watching documentaries, working out, exploring new places & restaurants, and talking to her family.

  • Kelly Harrison

    Kelly Harrison, BS

    Clinical Translational Research Pathway (CTRP) Medical Student

    Kelly Harrison is a medical student at UMass Chan Medical School who joined the Tjia Research Group in June 2022. Kelly was born and raised in Massachusetts. She is a member of the Population based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) pathway and the Clinical Translational Research Pathway (CTRP). Her research interests include medical education, health equity, geriatric health, and infectious diseases. In her free time Kelly enjoys reading, gardening, and exploring new restaurants