MUMD Program Director
C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health
Dr. Neighbors is the Program Director of MUMD and also serves as a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He holds a BA in Psychology from Haverford College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. For the past 30 years, he has been a professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where he has dedicated his career to the investigation of racial disparities in mental health with an emphasis on stress and coping among Black Americans. His work promotes a personal empowerment perspective on coping with stress that emphasizes the ability to draw upon psychological strengths and social assets to overcome personal and community barriers to seeking mental health care.
Senior Associate Program Director
Dr. McCullough is an extensively trained and experienced researcher, administrator, teacher, and mentor. As a researcher in industry for 26 years, he directed the collation and reporting of upwards of $400 million of research, utilizing a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques. He has focused research attention on diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans, such as nephrotic syndrome. More recently, he conducted qualitative research to understand everyday discrimination experiences among African American men. He is the co-founder of the University of Michigan Society 2030 Consortium where he directed quarterly meetings that engaged a range of corporations and academics from across the University of Michigan campus to address the societal needs related to aging and changing demographics.
Jessica Mims is the Program Manager at MUMD, where she plays a lead role in the strategic planning and implementation of community-based interventions research and outreach activities. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Community Action and Social Change in 2016 from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Jessica's research interests are in health literacy and health promotion for children with obesity, and she plans on pursuing a Master’s in Public Health and Social Work.
Program Assistant, Health Data
Sho Nakashima is a Research Assistant at MUMD, where he provides crucial support for all research, education, and outreach activities. He graduated from Michigan State University with a dual BA/BS in Social Relations and Policy and Neuroscience with a minor in Global Public Health and Epidemiology. Prior to joining MUMD, Sho was involved in research work at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy based at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Center in Toronto, ON that addressed international drug policy reform, decriminalization, evidence-based practices, and harmful drug practices that target vulnerable populations. His research interests include social and health policy reform, science education, research methodologies, and health disparities among people of color, particularly queer and trans youth.
BAS, MSHE Candidate
Health Communications Officer
Bianca Donald is a Flint native and a Research Assistant at MUMD. She is responsible for health communication and community outreach efforts at MUMD. She currently holds a BAS from UM-Flint with a minor in healthcare administration, and is currently working towards a Master of Science Health Education (MSHE) at UM-Flint. Bianca is heavily involved with the Flint community and has been awarded 1st place for a health promotion video that she scripted and created for the Genesys Heart Institute distributed across the Genesys Health System. Her research interests are in community-based participatory research in relation to health education and promotion, as well as theater.
Janay Johnson is a Research Assistant at MUMD where she provides support for community outreach and engagement activities. She recently graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Psychology and Religion. During her undergraduate career, she was awarded the Xarifa Greenquist Memorial Psychology Department Award and Fred & Sarah Greer Endowed Scholarship from the Lorinda K. Sanford Memorial Fund. Before joining MUMD, she was a Research Assistant in the Romantic Relationships: Intimacy, Sexuality, and Substance Use (RRISS) Lab under Dr. Kyla Day Fletcher at Kalamazoo College, as well as a Teaching Assistant for psychology professor Dr. Karyn Boatwright. Her research interests are in health disparities in marginalized populations, and optimizing implementation to increase awareness, prevention and programs for those affected by substance use and eating disorders.
Naledi Makhene is a Research Assistant at MUMD where she provides support for research and community engagement activities. She graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Social Relations and Policy. Prior to MUMD, she interned at the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as Sarah Fox Children's Hospital. Her main interests in research are in bridging gaps in health disparities for communities of color and increasing access to health care and health information.
Robert La Bril
Clinical Research Associate
Dr. La Bril is a Bronx native and currently a resident at Harlem Hospital-Columbia University psychiatry program. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Yale-New Haven Hospital chaplaincy summer program, and MSU CHM. While a medical student, he was the recipient of the Wright Family Endowed Scholarship, numerous American Psychiatric Association travel awards, poster presentation awards, and the Eli Lilly Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Grant to organize the “Healing From a Broken Place: Supporting Trauma Survivors through Collaboration of Ministry and Mental Health Providers” conference. His clinical and research interests include traumatology, community and cultural psychiatry, health disparities among people of color, spirituality and health, history of medicine, Latino/a philosophy and theology, Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, hip-hop culture, and urbanism.
Elizabeth Copulsky is a Research Assistant at MUMD, where she primarily provides assistance with MUMD’s research efforts designated to ethnic and cultural influences on diagnosis and case-finding of mental disorder amongst African Americans. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Sociology and University of Michigan School with a MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education. Elizabeth has previously been involved in MUMD during its time at UM and has continued her commitment to MUMD during its transition to MSUCHM. Her research interests include health disparities, psychiatric assessment and epidemiology, and cultural sociology.