Parent Page: Training id: 27758 Active Page: Current Postdoctoral Fellowsid:29308

Training the next generation of tobacco scientists to develop and conduct innovative and meaningful research and help end the burden of tobacco-related death and disease.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Laili Boozary, PhD

Laili began her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the HPRC in February 2023. She earned her PhD in Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology from The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus in 2022, where her research targeted reward processing (AKA the basal ganglia), including dopaminergic and other monoamine involvement. Dr. Boozary’s primary research interest is to understand the intersection of tobacco-use/addiction, health disparities, and neuroscience. Her work at the HPRC will focus on understanding tobacco-related health disparities from a neural perspective in order to inform treatment strategies for populations that have a hard time quitting.



Gautham Chengizkhan, PhD

Gautham Chengizkhan embarked on his journey as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, in February 2024. Gautham earned his Ph.D. in endocrine oncology from the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Madras, India. Gautham's academic journey has been marked by a fervent dedication to understanding the intricacies of cellular mechanisms. At present, under Prof. Lurdes Queimado’s mentorship, Gautham, investigates the impacts of e-cigarette aerosols on human cells and explores the effects of cannabinoids and cannabis on inflammation, DNA damage, and stemness, employing in vitro models and samples from community volunteers to understand mechanisms influencing cancer risk and therapy outcomes. This comprehensive investigation not only seeks to unveil the underlying mechanisms but also aims to shed light on patient outcomes, underscoring Gautham’s commitment to translational research. Our research is prepared to make a significant contribution to our comprehension of the intricate interplay among environmental exposures, cellular responses, and human health.


Mayilvanan Chinnaiyan, PhD

Mayil began his role as a Research Associate in 2018, later advancing to the role of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, in January 2021. During his PhD in Biomedical Sciences-Endocrinology at the University of Madras, India, he focused on investigating the complex molecular mechanisms underlying GLUT4 translocation in type-2 diabetes, employing an animal model. Currently, under the mentorship of Dr. Lurdes Queimado, Mayil directs his research efforts towards unraveling cellular and molecular toxicology associated with the diverse use of tobacco products, encompassing combustible tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Beyond this focus, his research interests extend to exploring vape topography, assessing the impact of e-cigarette aerosols on tissue culture, and studying the effects of cannabis on oral inflammation and DNA damage. Our findings geared towards improving public health outcomes by addressing the harmful effects of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and cannabis use on both individual and population levels.


 Jeremy Langford, PhD

Jeremy began his fellowship at the HPRC in January 2024 after earning his PhD in Psychology: Behavior Analysis from West Virginia University. He is interested in developing mobile-based interventions to promote health-related behaviors (e.g., smoking cessation, drug abstinence, physical activity) by investigating the behavior-environment relations that influence sustained behavior change. His research focuses on using behavioral principles to identify the conditions in which efforts to promote health behaviors are most needed and most likely to be successful. In his work, Jeremy aims to integrate this knowledge into mobile technology platforms, leveraging the capabilities of digital tools to collect individual data and deliver tailor-made interventions.


 Bingjing Mao, PhD

Bingjing began her fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Miami. Dr. Mao’s research program involves the intersection between media psychology, digital technology, and cancer communication. Specifically, her research aims to understand the cognitive mechanisms through which interactions in a technology-mediated environment can impact health outcomes. Additionally, she is interested in the emotional processes behind health decision-making. As a research fellow at the HPRC, Dr. Mao can envision contributing to the multidisciplinary scholarship of digital health by working with her mentors Drs. Michael Businelle and Jordan Neil.


Rose Shao, PhD

Ruosi (Rose) Shao began her fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her PhD from Pennsylvania State University in the College of Communications. Dr. Shao's research focuses on leveraging communication technologies for social support and health intervention. She is passionate about mental health, emotion regulation, and the potential of artificial intelligence in fulfilling the social role of a companion for people with chronic conditions. Methodologically, she is interested in involving intensive longitudinal data and passive sensing data in mHealth to promote effective and targeted intervention.



Sarah Tonkin, PhD

Sarah started as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HPRC in August 2022. Sarah earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from The State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Tonkin's research seeks to identify psychological treatment mechanisms for smoking cessation and address treatment disparities by examining how these processes vary in populations that tend to benefit less from smoking interventions. To answer these questions, Sarah uses a translational approach that examines laboratory and “real-world” measurement of behavior, affect, and cognition. Her work at HPRC will integrate EMA, psychophysiology, and behavioral tasks to assess mechanisms and disparities.