Skip Navigation

Our People

Skip Side Navigation

Our People

Paul Spicer Headshot

Paul Spicer, PhD

CEIGR Leadership Team

Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and a Director at the Center for Applied Social Research

Medical anthropology, human development, bioethics

Research in substance abuse, mental health, child development, genetics, and cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native communities

Cecil Lewis Headshot

Cecil Lewis, PhD

CEIGR Leadership Team

Professor of Anthropology and Co-director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR) at the University of Oklahoma

Research includes anthropological genetics; the microbiome, ancient biomolecules, health disparities, ethics, population genetics; evolution of disease associated genetic variation.

Denise Dillard

Denise Dillard, PhD (Inupiaq Eskimo)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Director of Research, Southcentral Foundation

Research interests: Ethics of research with Alaska Native people, translational health research with Alaska Native people.                                                            

Raymond Orr

Raymond Orr, PhD (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Associate Professor, Department Chair
Native American Studies Department, University of Oklahoma 

American Indian Politics, Public Health, Comparative Indigenous Politics, Political Ideology, Racial Attitudes

Dr. Vanessa Hiratsuka.

Vanessa Y. Hiratsuka, PhD, MPH (Navajo/Winnemem Wintu)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Associate Professor/co-Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for Human Development, University of Alaska Anchorage 

Research interests include ethical, social, and legal implications of genomic research and precision medicine among Indigenous populations; evaluation of health interventions in public schools; and evaluation of health and training programs serving individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Jessica W. Blanchard, PhD

CEIGR Leadership Team, GEN Director

Researcher, University of Oklahoma's Center for Applied Social Research

Research on ethical and social implications of genomics research, cultural and medical anthropology, community partnerships in health research, cancer health disparities

Bobby Saunkeah

Bobby Saunkeah, RN, MSHCE, CIP (Kiowa)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Chickasaw Nation Department of Health Manager of Research and Public Health Division

Chair of the Chickasaw Nation IRB and Member of the Indian Health Service National IRB

Adjunct faculty for the Department of Health Promotion at the OU College of Public Health

Master’s degree in Health Care Ethics

Joseph Yracheta

Joe Yracheta, MS (Purhepecha and Raramuri)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Master’s in Pharmaceutics with an emphasis in Pharmacogenomics DrPH candidate, Environmental Health & Engineering

Research interests include the intersection of Environmental exposures & Omics on public health ; Cultural, ethical, legal, social, and intellectual property issues and education of outside researchers working with Amerindigenous tribes

Amanda Cobb-Greetham, PhD (Chickasaw Nation)

CEIGR Leadership Team

Native American Studies Department, University of Oklahoma 

Founding Director, OU Native Nations Center

Research Interests

Sovereignties and Nation Building; Indigenous Research Methods; Chickasaw History and Culture; Museums, Representation, and Cultural Production; Cultural Memory

Justin Reedy Headshot

Justin Reedy, PhD

Associate Professor in the Department of Communication

Research Associate in the Institute for Public Policy Research & Analysis

University of Oklahoma

Taiagawa Helton Headshot

Taiawagi Helton LL.M, JD

Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma

Focuses on environmental, property, and Indian law

Justin Lund Headshot

Justin Lund (Navajo), MA, PhD Candidate

GEN Co-Director

Research focuses on molecular anthropology, human health and biology, and bioethics

Julie Beans from Southcentral Foundation.

Julie Beans, MPH (Oneida and Yup’ik)


Provides support for community-based participatory research as well as translational research efforts for Alaska Native health systems

Interests include health policy, cultural implications of ELSI research, and the intersection of Federal Indian Law with ELSI Research

Dalaki Livingston Headshot

Dalaki J. Livingston, M.A. , PhD Candidate- Diné (Navajo) Nation

Full Time Lecturer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

Health communication, Deliberation, Pop Cultural Communication and Indigenous Methodologies.

Research in media depictions of culture and minorities; interpersonal

Dr. Nanibaa' Garrison

Nanibaa' Garrison, PhD (Diné)

Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Affiliations: Institute for Society and Genetics, Institute for Precision Health, and the Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research

Michael Peercy, MPH

Epidemiologist/Biostatistician for the Chickasaw Nation

Administrator for the Chickasaw Nation IRB

Master’s degree in Public Health

Bachelor’s degrees in Medical Technology and Psychology

Research interests include ethical research practices in Native communities, data ownership and sovereignty, cancer epidemiology, and data analytics

Erica Blacksher, PhD

Erika Blacksher, PhD

John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics

Research Professor, Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center

Research Interests: Bioethics, Population Health, Health Disparities, Social Justice

Susan Brown Trinidad, MA, PhD candidate

Research Scientist

Department of Bioethics and Humanities 

University of Washington

Christie Byars

Christie Byars-Chavez (Chickasaw)

Research Assistant, Chickasaw Nation Research and Public Health Division

Certified in Phlebotomy and Medical Terminology

Research interests include Public Health and Intervention

Krystal Tsosie, Native BioData Consortium.

Krystal Tsosie, PhD, MPH, MA- Diné (Navajo) Nation                         

Arizona State University, incoming Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences

Native BioData Consortium, Ethics and Policy Director


Population genetics, precision health, health AI, genetic counseling, bioethics, Indigenous data governance and sovereignty, biobanking

Scott Ketchum headshot

Scott Ketchum, PhD (Choctaw)                               

Assistant Professor, Director of Native American Studies and Chickasaw Nation Endowed Chair, East Central University 

Research in collaborative and Indigenous research methodologies, Ecological Research, Indigenous Metaphysics, Political Theories, health policy research, Indigenous Games, Cultural Resource Management, ethnographic methodologies, visual anthropology, and Choctaw History.

Guthrie Ducheneaux

Guthrie Ducheneaux (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe)

Data Manager at Missouri Breaks

Former Information Technology Technician for the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School and Cheyenne River Health Center

Founder/Owner of Quantum Cattle Company

Executive Director of Project H3LP! (

Tim Thomas

Timothy K Thomas MD

Director, Research Service Member, Alaska Area IRB

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Areas of Interest: Health disparity research primarily focused on water and sanitation, oral health, colon cancer, and tobacco use.

Katrina Claw

Katrina G. Claw, PhD (Diné)

Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Sarah Nash

Sarah Nash, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology

Co-Investigator, Iowa Cancer Registry

Full Member, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center College of Public Health

Brian Woodbury

Brian Woodbury

Southcentral Foundation, Researcher

Provides support for community-based participatory research as well as translational research efforts for Alaska Native health systems

Research interests include data sharing and data management in genomic research

Gloria Tallbull Headshot

Gloria Tallbull (Cheyenne)

Center for Applied Social Research, Research Scientist

Community engagement and public health research

Abbie Wiletto headshot

Abbie Willeto, MA (Dine')

Health Research and Specimen Coordinator Research Services
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Areas of interest: Research ethics, biospecimen repositories, mentorship and research with Indigenous communities in Circumpolar regions

Ferucci photo

Elizabeth Ferucci, MD, MPH

Rheumatologist / Medical Researcher 

Co-Chair, Alaska Area IRB

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Areas of Interest: Arthritis and autoimmune disease epidemiology, etiology, and outcomes; research ethics and protection of human participants

Cara Monroe Headshot

Cara Monroe, PhD.

Research Associate: Department of Anthropology, Center for Applied Social Science, and Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR) at the University of Oklahoma

Research Interests: Ethics of paleogenomic and forensic research, K-12 education disparities, molecular archaeology.


Ferucci photo

Kyle Wark, MA Anthropology (Tlingit)

Researcher, Southcentral Foundation

Provides support for community-based participatory research (CBPR) as well as translational research efforts for Alaska Native health systems

Research Interests: cultural & medical anthropology, Indigenous research methodologies, Alaska Native history & culture, community engagement & CBPR, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) & social determinants of health, ethnotoxicology of alcohol 

profile picture of Horvey

Horvey M. Palacios, MA, PhD Student

Graduate Student Researcher

Department of Anthropology, Human Health and Biology Track

Bioethics, Community-Engaged Molecular Anthropology, Ancient Biomolecules, Inequality, Situated Biologies