CHET Welcomes New Faculty Member, Dr. Shyanika Rose

We are pleased to welcome Shyanika W. Rose, MA, PhD as a faculty member of the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET).

Dr. Rose joins CHET from the Truth Initiative Schroeder Institute in Washington, DC, where she served as a Research Investigator/Director. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida, both in Anthropology. She worked at the Battelle Memorial Institute Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation (CPHRE) for several years before earning her PhD in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Rose has always been interested in health, but found her passion for population health after taking an anthropology course as an undergraduate. While earning her master’s in applied anthropology, which focused on medical anthropology, she began to think critically about differences between populations and how society is structured to facilitate these differences. While working at CPHRE, Dr. Rose worked on projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate how the Federal government administered public health block grants to states, and how they impacted health at the local level. She became invested in studying the U.S. public health system as a safety net, and began to ask how the system was organized to address equity, and how progress towards equity could be measured.

While working with the CDC on asthma management programs, she realized the importance of reducing asthma triggers to improve health outcomes, and the difficulties individuals faced in reducing triggers – policy solutions were needed. During her PhD program, Dr. Rose became focused on tobacco control as a means to explore policy approaches and address health equity. She recognized that the main drivers of tobacco control were related to policy, specifically focusing on point of sale marketing, advertising, distribution in neighborhoods, the amount of tobacco products used by individuals, and the challenges associated with quitting.

Dr. Rose was attracted to CHET because of its structure as a transdisciplinary hub for health equity and its emphasis on collaboration. These values enable faculty to address a variety of conditions and risk factors across the spectrum of equity. Dr. Rose notes, “Faculty [at the University of Kentucky] know each other, which creates lots of opportunity to connect and broaden skill sets.”

Dr. Rose’s research focuses on policy approaches to reducing disparities in tobacco use. Her recent work has focused on flavored tobacco and menthol products, as racial and ethnic minorities and youth have been disproportionately impacted by the marketing of these products. By focusing on this area she seeks to answer the question, “What information is required to inform policies at all levels in order to make beneficial changes and reduce tobacco use disparities?” She is currently concluding a grant examining use of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, using a behavioral economics model in which researchers use experimental auctions to examine existing demand for substitute products if preferred tobacco products are unavailable due to regulations. This approach has provided insightful data and new research questions. Dr. Rose is also exploring how current non-tobacco users are impacted by tobacco marketing to determine if exposure is correlated with later use of tobacco products.

While Dr. Rose’s area of focus is tobacco control, she looks forward to applying her skills in public policy and evaluation to other equity issues, particularly marketing strategies in the food, alcohol, and marijuana industries that negatively impact the health of marginalized groups.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Shyanika Rose to CHET and the University of Kentucky.