SPHHS welcomes new faculty for spring 2018

Raphael Arku (left) and Jennifer Mack (right)

January 29, 2018

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences welcomes two new full-time tenure track faculty members for the 2018 spring semester. Raphael Arku and Jennifer Mack join the faculty as assistant professors.

Raphael Arku joins the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He earned his ScD from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on some of the major themes that characterize the relationship between the environment and population health in the developing world today, including poverty, unsafe water and sanitation, lack of access to clean cooking fuel, and high levels of air pollution in cities. His interests integrate these themes in the context of urbanization, epidemiological transition, and climate change. Specifically, his research focuses on how these features of the social and physical environment influence environmental exposures and health in resource-poor settings.

Jennifer Mack joins the Department of Communication Disorders. She completed her PhD at Yale University. Her research focuses on the cognitive and neural basis of adult language impairments caused by stroke and neurodegenerative disease (e.g., primary progressive aphasia). She is particularly interested in how sentences are comprehended and produced in typical adult language and in adults with language disorders. When listening to sentences, people must combine individual words into sentence structures that reflect the speaker’s intended meaning. When speaking, people must plan and produce a sequence of words that reflects what they want to say. Understanding these processes provides the basis for developing and testing approaches to language treatment for aphasia. She and her colleagues use eye-tracking to examine how language treatment changes the processes supporting language production and comprehension. In addition, her current research uses simultaneous eye-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to relate real-time language processing to its neural substrates.