Department of Emergency Medicine
Migration and Health Research Center



Marc Schenker MD., MPH
Co-Director of MAHRC; Professor and Director of UC Davis Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Marc Schenker is a professor, the director of UC Davis’ Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and the co-Director of the UC Global Health Institute Center of Expertise on Migration and Health. Dr. Schenker’s research focuses on the interaction of immigration, acculturation, and occupation on the health of immigrants, with specific attention to Latino farmworker families. His interests include international issues in occupational and environmental health as well as high obesity and diabetes rates among migrant farmworkers. Dr. Schenker is also the director of the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and an Associate Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement.


Xóchitl Castañeda
Co-Director of MAHRC; Director of the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA). UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Xóchitl Castañeda is the director of the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA) and a co-director of MAHRC. For nearly seven years she was a professor and researcher at Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, where she also directed the Department of Reproductive Health. As director of the Health Initiative of the Americas, Ms. Castañeda has coordinated the Binational Health Week for 12 consecutive years. This program is one of the largest efforts in the Americas to improve the well-being of Latin American immigrants. In 1999 she received the National Research Award on Social Science and Medicine. In 2010, the California Latino Legislative Caucus awarded her with the National Sprit Award for her leadership in initiatives to improve the quality of life of Latino immigrants in the U.S.

Affiliated Faculty


Cathy Zimmerman, MA, MSc, PhD
Affiliated faculty member of MAHRC; founding staff member of the Gender Violence & Health Centre at LSHTM

Cathy Zimmerman is a founding staff member of the Gender Violence & Health Centre at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She conducts action-oriented research and lectures on migration and health, specifically human trafficking and other vulnerable migrant groups, gender-based violence, and public health policy. She has carried out multi-country research on the health of trafficked women and adolescents in Europe, which generated the first-ever survey data on the health risks and outcomes associated with trafficking. Working in close collaboration with local and international organizations, Dr. Zimmerman is currently leading studies on human trafficking in Southeast Asia, South America, Central Asia, the United Kingdom, and intervention evaluation research on a trafficking prevention program in South Asia.



Patrick Marius Koga, MD, MPH
Affiliated faculty member of MAHRC; CEO & President of Veteran, Immigrant and Refugee Trauma Institute of Sacramento

A Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, London, and currently Director of Refugee Health Research at UC Davis School of Medicine, Dr. Koga received his education at University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania, and Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. His firsthand experience of oppression and political imprisonment in his home country of Romania, his training in psychiatry and public health, and his research interest in the determinants of mental resilience and posttraumatic growth, led to the founding of Veteran, Immigrant and Refugee Trauma Institute of Sacramento (VIRTIS), a center of expertise in global trauma. Dr. Koga’s work in the US and abroad has served veterans, law enforcement, Eastern Europeans, Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks. For the past twenty five years Dr. Koga has held executive and faculty positions at Cambridge, Tulane, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and UCD teaching psychiatry, psychology, and international health.



Alison Reid, PhD
Affiliated faculty member of MAHRC; Associate Professor, Curtin University School of Public Health

Alison Reid has a research background in medical demography, health inequalities and occupational epidemiology. Her current research interests include the health and safety of migrant workers in Australia and asbestos-related diseases. Specifically she has examined work-related fatal accidents and injuries and hospitalizations among foreign and Australian-born workers and exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. Alison has mostly conducted quantitative research, statistically analyzing national data sets from England and Wales and Australia with regards to migrants and migrant workers; including Censuses, national deaths and hospital admission records and population surveys. But more recently she has become involved in mixed-methods research and has conducted focus groups and in-depth interviews among migrant workers in Australia. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at Curtin University in Western Australia.



Elena Ronda, PhD
Affiliated faculty member of MAHRC; Senior Lecturer in Public Health, University of Alicante and researcher at CISAL (Research Center in Occupational Health)

Elena Ronda is the co-coordinator of the Immigration and Health Program of the Biomedical Research Networking Centres (CIBER) in Spain. She has been involved in the start of several projects related to the health of migrants and the link between socioeconomic determinants in both Spain and Europe. She is currently the leader of the ITSAL (Immigration, work and health) project. ITSAL is an on-going project launched in Spain involving several occupational health research groups. Its objective is to analyse employment and working conditions among immigrant workers and the relationship of these to health using different methodologies.



MARHC would like to invite investigators, educators, government workers, community activists and other interested members of the community to join our organization as an associate member.

Please send Application for Associate Membership  to Healther Riden,