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Biobehavioral Health
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Lindsay Fernández-Rhodes, PhD

Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Mailing Address: 108 Biobehavioral Health Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 1 (814) 863-0185


Education & Training:
  • 2022 Social Science Research Institute Faculty Fellow, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2019-present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2016-2018 Post-doctoral Scholar, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2009-2016 PhD in Epidemiology and Global Health Graduate Certificate, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2009-2011 MSPH in Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2007-2009 Post-baccalaureate Fellow, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  • 2003-2007 BS in Biology, College of Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Courses Taught:


portrait of faizah alshehri

Faizah A. Alshehri

Faizah ( has developed a passion for Epigenetics in population research and Bioethics. She is the Co-Founder and a board member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at her previous institution. Faizah is passionate about academia, education, volunteerism, and scientific research.

Photo of Brooke Mattern

Brooke Mattern

Brooke ( is a graduate student in BBH. Within the Epi-GaPS lab, Brooke is interested in the study of psychosocial stressors, obesity and maternal-child health.

portrait of ellyzabeth morales-ledesma

Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma

Ellyzabeth ( is a PhD student in the Biobehavioral Health Program. She received her B.A. in History and B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience at St. Edward’s University, TX in May 2024. During her undergraduate career, Ellyzabeth participated in the McNair Scholars program and was also a proud College Assistant Migrant Program scholar. With her interdisciplinary background, Ellyzabeth is interested in exploring how social determinants, specifically occupation and immigration impact Hispanic/Latino Health.

Person standing in front of a brick wall.

Hridya Rao

Hridya ( is an international student at PSU who did her engineering in Biotechnology from VIT, India and completed her masters in Bioethics at Wake Forest University, NC. As a dual-title Biobehavioral and Clinical and Translational Science doctoral candidate, she is combining her knowledge of genetics and epidemiology to study reproductive diseases (e.g. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and to advance precision medicine initiatives. During academic year 2021-2022, she was a Translational Research (TL1) scholar with the PSU Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She is currently an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow (2024-present).

Portrait of Yao Tu

Yao Tu

Yao ( is a PhD student in the MCIBS program. She got her bachelor's degree in Biotechnology at SUSTech, China. With a background in Biology, she is now studying the genetic loci of CVD diseases in Hispanic/Latino populations

Research Assistants

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Everlyn Santana Aponte

Everlyn ( is a research assistant at the Epi-GaPS Lab, who acquired her Biology degree and Masters in Public Health from the University of Puerto Rico. She completed her medical studies in 2023 from the University of Medical and Health Sciences. With her combination in clinical experience and passion for health disparities, she is eager to help with the further development of studies to benefit the Latinx communities.  Her favorite topics are psychology, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, microbiology, epidemiology, health literacy, and emergency preparedness.