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Research Personnel

Aisara “JR” Chansakul, MPH

Research Specialist


Aisara “JR” Chansakul (he/him/his) is the in-house Epidemiologist on the team and assists with the Department’s various research programs and initiatives. JR is currently involved with elder abuse, global infectious disease, pediatric behavioral health, and telehealth projects as well as managing the Research Associate (RA) program at the main campus and in Lower Manhattan.

Prior to joining WCM, Aisara held research positions at Columbia University, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has worked in various fields including primary care, health care workforce, and racial and ethnic disparities in chronic diseases. Apart from his research work, Aisara is actively engaged in community volunteer activities. He teaches swimming, mentors and supports first-gen students.

Walid Farooqi, MBBS

Research Manager


Dr. Farooqi is a technology enthusiast at his core. His medical training and inherent interest in solving problems has enabled him to grow within the healthcare innovation space. His has spent years studying the culture of innovation and how it relates to academic spaces. He also brings significant project management experience to the table.

In his current role, Dr. Farooqi aspires to streamline and support departmental research through core services. He is also personally interested in developing and growing international and industry collaborations to enable cutting edge research. When not working, he can be found glued to his TV screen, controller in hand, gaming it out on his PlayStation 5.

Joanna Palasz, MD

Research Assistant

Dr. Joanna Palasz

Dr. Palasz is currently involved in research investigating the influence of increasing heat exposure and its serious consequences on human health. She aims to improve our understanding of the underlying pathways which lead to severe damage, particularly in the human brain. Dr. Palasz is passionate about improving emergency medicine on a global scale and providing sustainable care in lower to middle income countries.

Kate Wright, MPH, CD(DONA)

Research Assistant

Kate is involved in coordinating the AKU-TIRTP grant, training injury and trauma researchers in South Central Asia and East Africa. Her research interests lie in global health, gender equity, and maternal and child health.

Stephanie Peralta

Research Assistant

Stephanie Peralta

Stephanie is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying Biotechnology with a concentration in Biodefense. Her work is currently focused on CAMERA, a tool to measure mass casualty preparedness in cities around the world. She is also a laboratory assistant in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where she is focusing on identifying unique signatures of different brain diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.