Meet the Team


Mari-Lynn Drainoni, PhD, MEd
Dr. Drainoni serves as the Director of CIIS. She is also a Research Professor in the Section of Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine in the Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine and in the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Drainoni’s areas of expertise include the conduct of implementation research, qualitative research methods and mixed method studies with a focus on integrating research into practice. Her specific studies have focused on the content areas of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, as well as substance use, antibiotic prescribing and antibiotic stewardship, and integrating screening for social determinants of health into clinical practice. Dr. Drainoni has conducted numerous implementation studies to integrate research into practice, studies evaluating demonstration programs for at-risk populations, and mixed methods studies that include both surveys involving primary data collection and qualitative data collection and analysis. 

Co-Associate Directors

Kirsten Austad, MD
Dr. Austad is a hospitalist at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She serves as a Co-Associate Director of CIIS. She completed a fellowship in global women’s health where she focused on improving delivery of reproductive health care in rural indigenous Maya communities of Guatemala. Her research seeks to use implementation science to promote health equity and improve patient experience in low-resource settings, including for patients with limited English proficiency.

Nick Bosch, MD
Dr. Bosch serves as Co-Associate Director of CIIS. Dr. Bosch is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with methodological expertise in observational causal inference, econometrics, and comparative effectiveness research. His primary focus is on improving the delivery of routine care and outcomes in his patients with critical illness, especially those with sepsis. In addition to his research roles, he attends as a clinician in the Boston Medical Center Medical Intensive Care Unit and outpatient Pulmonary Clinic.

Assistant Director

Santana Silver, MPH
Santana serves as the Assistant Director of CIIS with a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She obtained her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where her research focused on social determinants of health that contribute to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in chronic disease outcomes across the life course. Her broad interests include the social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence health in low-income and minority populations. Specifically, she is interested in the ways in which the built and food environments affect chronic disease risk and outcomes. She aims to use implementation science and community-based participatory research to promote health equity in the clinical and community settings through creating more equitable access to healthy eating and active living opportunities.

Research Specialist

Kayla Jones, MA
Kayla serves as a Research Specialist at the CIIS as a qualitative researcher. Kayla obtained her MA in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research experience has included a variety of mixed methods projects from disasters and health to nutrition and pregnancy. Kayla is interested in improving health care delivery and community health through the lens of culture of care and social structures.


Gabriela (Gaby) Cordova Ramos, MD
Dr. Cordova Ramos is a neonatologist at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Cordova Ramos’s research investigates racial/ethnic and linguistic disparities in neonatal-perinatal delivery of care. Her focus is on adapting evidence-based interventions to diverse populations in safety-net settings to increase their uptake, scale-up, and sustainability. Her project for the CIIS Fellowship examines the adaptation and implementation of standardized social determinants of health screening and referral in a safety-net NICU setting.

Kathryn Fantasia, MD, MSc
Dr. Fantasia is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an endocrinologist in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Fantasia’s research interests are in improving access to care and health outcomes for underserved patients with diabetes. Her research focuses on the identification of racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care, particularly in the use of diabetes technologies, and interventions to increase technology adoption.

Research Fellows

Shana Burrowes, PhD, CPH
Dr. Burrowes is an epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the section for Infectious Diseases at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Dr. Burrowes is a highly trained quantitative researcher and completed post-doctoral training at Boston University where she gained qualitative and mixed methods research skills. Her research covers a breadth of topics but is centered on addressing inequitable access to and receipt of healthcare in racial and ethnic minorities with a special focus on antibiotic use and clinical outcomes in the Latin American Caribbean Immigrant community.

Mei Elansary, MD, MPhil
Mei Elansary MD, MPhil is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, and a health services researcher. Dr. Elansary’s research investigates maternal mental health and child development. She has specific interests in parenting interventions for trauma-exposed families, with a focus on the prevention of child psychopathology. She aims to use implementation science to increase the availability of evidence-based parenting training interventions in the pediatric medical home and address barriers to access, engagement, and retention in parent training interventions among highly vulnerable dyads.

Katherine Rizzolo, MD
Dr. Katherine “Katie” Rizzolo is a clinician-investigator and instructor in the Department of Nephrology at Boston Medical Center. Her research interests center on advocacy for underserved communities disproportionately by kidney disease, especially Latinx and immigrant populations. Her current research aims to utilize implementation strategies to improve access to, and uptake in, patient-centered dialysis education for Latinx populations with kidney failure.

Rebecca Rudel, DrPH, RD

Dr. Rudel is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the section for Infectious Diseases at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. She is a former clinical Registered Dietitian and is formally trained in program implementation and evaluation. Her research aims to improve access to clinical and community-based services for populations traditionally marginalized by the healthcare system.