Lab Members

Request Info

Portrait of Mariano Kanamori

Mariano Kanamori, Ph.D., M.A.

Associate Professor

(305) 243-0595

Dr. Mariano Kanamori is a Latino epidemiologist working on reducing HIV and Substance Use Disorder disparities faced by under-served Latino populations. Currently, Dr. Kanamori is Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in the Department of Public Health Sciences. He received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from The University of Maryland and a M.A. from Georgetown University. Dr. Kanamori incorporates translational research, social network analysis, and community-based participatory research across all of his projects. During his doctoral training funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Dr. Kanamori designed, pre-tested, successfully implemented and evaluated a social network HIV prevention program for Latina seasonal workers who use alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Currently, Dr. Kanamori is implementing the second phase of his K99/R00 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which uses multilevel approaches and dyadic, egocentric and two-mode networks to address substance use disorders and HIV risk in Latina seasonal workers. Dr. Kanamori is also currently implementing a social network study of young Latino MSM and PrEP, with funding from The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)/National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Kanamori recently received funding from NIMHD through the Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities (CLaRO) to develop a PrEP social network intervention for underserved Latinos. Dr. Kanamori has published twenty-four community health papers in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored a book chapter on Latino health. His research has been presented at over 50 national and international conferences. He has received 19 research fellowships, prizes and awards for his work in prevention science. Dr. Kanamori has worked with the Latino seasonal worker and Latino immigrant communities in South Florida and Washington, D.C.; orphaned and vulnerable children due to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa; and vulnerable and underserved populations in Peru. He currently teaches Community-Based Participatory Research and Social Network Approaches at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.


Portrait of Ana Bravo

Ana Bravo, M.P.H.

Data Scientist 1

Ana is a data analyst who joined Dr. Kanamori’s lab in 2023. In her previous work, Ana developed insightful visualizations for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to understand socio-demographic influences on participant retention rates in longitudinal studies, and The Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), employing mixed model approaches to explore the association between Hispanic stress and family environment among a South Florida community. Ana is Proficient in R, SAS, and STATA and using these programs, excels in managing complex datasets, ensuring analysis reproducibility and transparency. Currently, Ana aspires to leverage her skills, fostering a connection between data science and community research, with a commitment to advancing open-source science through sound methodology and statistical practices.

Portrait of Lacey Craker

Lacey Craker, M.P.H.

Doctoral Candidate

Lacey Craker is a PhD candidate in the Prevention Science and Community Health program. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Human Biology and Master of Public Health from Brown University. Lacey's research interests are centered on the development of culturally relevant social network- and game-based approaches to improve engagement in biomedical HIV prevention services among communities disproportionately impacted by HIV. She is also interested in applying implementation science frameworks to identify effective strategies that promote access, uptake, adherence, and sustainment of HIV prevention services among racial and ethnic minority and sexual minority men.

Portrait of Christian Hernandez

Christian Hernandez, B.S.

Clinical Research Data Specialist

Mr. Christian Hernandez, BS, obtained his BS degree in Biotechnology from Miami Dade College and is presently pursuing a MS in Data Science. He worked as a Clinical Research Data Specialist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences. He supported the compilation and management of data collection and submission, assisted with the designs and implementation of overall recruiting strategy for clinical studies focused on carcinogenic exposures, health effects and prevention in partnership with the fire services for the Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study (FFCCS).

Ending 2023, he joined Dr, Kanamori’s Lab as Sr. Project Coordinator. Currently in Dr. Kanamori’s Lab he encompasses coordinating and managing projects with assigned tasks, overseeing schedules, and addressing participants matter in questions. Likewise, he organizes and participates in meetings, prepares presentation materials, and evaluates procedures for efficiency and adherence to project requirements as well as University of Miami policies. He is focused about exploring Data Science in the areas of clinical research, biostatistics, computational biology, and genomics to utilize the potential of data to drive healthcare innovation, solve medical mysteries, and improve patients’ quality of life.

Portrait of Ariana Johnson

Ariana Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Asst. Professor

Ariana Johnson, MPH, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at University of Miami. Ariana is an epidemiologist with a passion for disease prevention. Her research focuses on how the intersection of implementation science, social networks, and machine learning impacts health disparities particularly as it relates to HIV prevention and treatment. She is dedicated to applying novel methodologies in biostatistics to HIV prevention including social network analysis and machine learning and aims to be a leader in the science of HIV/STI modelling, prevention, and intervention.

Portrait of Antonina Khalona

Antonina Khalona

Sr. Project Coordinator

(786) 893-1584

With over a decade of experience, she served as a dedicated Program Specialist and Community Researcher at the Center for Research on US Latino HIV/AIDS and drug Abuse (CRUSADA) at Florida International University, contributing to groundbreaking NIH-funded research on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS in South Florida. In her role, she led outreach efforts, chaired workshops, and managed data for various projects. As a Community Leaders Manager at Center for Community Learning and Connect Familias, she excelled in programming and community outreach. In her earlier role as a Peer Educator & HIV Counselor at Care Resource, she significantly increased testing rates and disseminated crucial information. Her background includes managing urban development projects in Nicaragua. With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineer in Nicaragua, and a Science Associate in Arts from Miami Dade College she brings multifaceted skills in research, leadership, and community service to positively impact any endeavor.

Portrait of Philip Law

Philip Law, M.P.H.

Sr. Manager

An accomplished professional with a Master's in Public Health (MPH) and certified as a Health Education Specialist (CHES), Philip Law has consistently demonstrated leadership and inventiveness throughout his career. Currently serving as the Senior Manager of Research Support, Philip has seamlessly transitioned into this pivotal role, bringing his wealth of experience in clinical research coordination and program administration. In his current capacity, Philip oversees and orchestrates successful cross-functional teams and helps to implement strategic initiatives to drive efficiency and productivity.

Prior to his roles in clinical research, Philip served as a Marketing Manager, where he successfully managed multiple client accounts across various platforms. He specialized in supervising social media channels and optimizing campaigns for increased engagement and reach. Philip Law is a dedicated professional with a proven track record of achieving results through strategic leadership, collaborative teamwork, and innovative problem-solving. His commitment to excellence and passion for driving positive outcomes make him a valuable asset.

Portrait of Edda Rodriguez

Edda Rodriguez, M.P.H.

Doctoral Candidate

Edda Rodriguez is a Latina Doctoral Candidate in Prevention Science and Community Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Preceding her doctoral training Ms. Rodriguez earned her B.S. in Psychology and a Master in Public Health from The Florida State University. Under the leadership of Dr. Mariano Kanamori, her doctoral training focuses on innovative implementation science and social network modeling. She uses these approaches to address the syndemics of HIV and mental health, which are disproportionately impacting Latinx communities in Miami-Dade, Florida. Ms. Rodriguez received a Diversity Supplement from the National Institutes of Mental Health, to support this training. Ms. Rodriguez has published 3 first author and 5 co-author scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a co-author of the chapter “HIV prevention: A focus on PrEP and social networks” in APA handbook of health psychology Vol. 3 (in-press). She has also presented her work at 21 national and international conferences and invited talks.


Portrait of Yesenia Rosas

Yesenia Rosas

Program Coordinator

(786) 283-0331

Ms. Yesenia Rosas, is a Program Coordinator and Community leader for Dr. Kanamori’s Research lab at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences, currently supporting social/individual network studies with health disparities in some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities. For more than a decade she has worked with the community focusing on Migrant (Latina Seasonal Workers), Latinx, Black and Latina transgender women, MSM, Substance Abuse and HIV positive groups for preventing of HIV. In her role, she has led outreach efforts, for various projects. She is presently involved with various studies as program coordinator and outreach coordinator in the Dept. of Public Health Sciences and at the Infectious Disease Dept. focusing on PrEP adherence to prevent HIV.

Ms. Rosas has a background in working for family non-profit community organizations. During this time, Mrs. Rosas served as a dedicated Family Program Specialist and Family Development Credential Certified provided support to four South Dade area Migrant Learning Centers in an immigrant and agriculture workers community. She excelled in coordinating with Team Core staff to review, plan, and trouble shoot for Florida City’s four area centers by monitoring, coaching and implementing program’s policies in the family engagement domain conducting child development and family workshops and trainings for parents and staff on community’s needed topics, including coordinating community events bringing with her multifaceted skills, leadership and community service skills to positively impact any endeavor.

Portrait of Kyle Self

Kyle Self, B.S.

Doctoral Candidate

Kyle Self is a doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program in the Department of Education and Psychological Studies at the University of Miami and joined Dr. Kanamori's lab in June 2021. He has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Spanish from High Point University. Since graduating in 2014, Kyle has worked in health psychology research and research administration at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the San Francisco VA Healthcare System with a focus on motivational interviewing, opioid use, and improving access and quality of care for people who are underserved by healthcare systems. Kyle's current research interests include using culturally-adapted motivational interviewing to improve participant experiences in HIV prevention research and developing community-based participatory research approaches to implementation of HIV prevention projects.

Portrait of Rebe Silvey

Rebe Silvey, B.S.

Graduate Research Asst.

Rebe Silvey is a student in the MPH in Epidemiology program in the Department of Public Health Sciences. They are a queer, non-binary Bolivian immigrant who is passionate about research as a tool for social justice and equity. They are particularly interested in further illuminating and centering the health needs of historically marginalized and underserved communities nationally and globally. Their intersectional research and work focuses on populations within the intersections of gender & sexual minorities, and racial & ethnic minorities. 

Portrait of Lilliana Vilchez

Lilliana Vilchez, M.P.H.

Doctoral Candidate

Lilliana Vilchez is a Latinx doctoral student in Prevention Science and Community Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Before beginning her doctoral training, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lynn University and then went on to receive a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Miami. During her master's capstone, Lilliana conducted a social network-based analysis to understand the impact of social support indicators and diagnosis-related advice seeking among hypertensive and diabetic patients from a small medical center in Nicaragua. She also served as a research assistant in the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine, where she assisted in the research process of the analysis of longitudinal data regarding cardiovascular health and the prevalence of minority health disparities. Lilliana's research interests are primarily focused on the prevention of chronic illnesses in the Latinx community through community-based interventions and social network analysis.