The University of Texas Health Science Center
School of Public Health
PhD Candidates

Dep. of Management, Policy and Community Health

- Health Economics/Health Services Research Concentration

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Yenan Zhu, MS

PhD Candidate in Health Services Research

(Expected Graduation: Summer 2022)

Yenan Zhu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health at UTHealth SPH. She obtained her Master's degree in Health Behavior and Health Education (2018) from UT Austin and has a deep understanding of the nuances of health behaviors of individuals. She is a skilled health services researcher trained in analyzing large databases (administrative claims, national surveys, mortality data, and patient registries) to examine health care utilization behaviors including the use of preventative care, routine care, emergency care, prescription medication use and their clinical and economic consequences. Her research is published in Lancet Public Health, JAMA Network Open, and Pediatrics. Outside of work, Yenan enjoys food, movies, and winter sports.

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Priyadarsini Dasari,
MA, MPH, MBBA

PhD Candidate in Health Economics

(Expected Graduation Summer 2022)

Priyadarsini (Priya) Dasari is a PhD student in the Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health at UTHealth School of Public Health. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Andhra Medical College, India (2005), a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Sheffield, UK (2010), and a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Houston, USA (2020). She is a Health Economist trained in economic modeling and evaluation looking for more experience in the field of Public Health, Health Policy, and Health Economics specifically related to mental health. She is a skilled health services researcher trained in analyzing large databases such as administrative claims, patient registries, national surveys, and EHR to examine health care utilization behaviors, their clinical outcomes, and economic consequences. She is also a primary care physician with 8 years of overall experience in clinical practice, statistical analysis, epidemiological surveillance, capacity building, program management, program evaluation, and policy evaluation working for the public sector in India. Priya loves to cook and enjoys reading, music, and traveling.  

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Maria T Peña, MSc

PhD Candidate in Health Economics

(Expected Graduation: Summer 2022)

Maria Peña is a PhD candidate in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health at UTHealth School of Public Health. She obtained a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and International Relations from University of California, Davis (2011), and a Master of Science degree in Economics from University College London (2014). She is a skilled health economist and health services researcher trained in economic modeling, analyzing administrative claims and household surveys to examine the impact of financing policies and innovative service delivery mechanisms on access, utilization, and costs domestically and internationally. 

Prior to joining the PhD program, Maria was based in Manila, Philippines working with the World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional office. She has worked as a financial protection expert with the WHO for the past 6 years in the field of analytical assessment of financial risk protection, econometric analysis of related data, national health expenditure tracking, and health financing strategies linked to moving closer to universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries in Asia. 

Outside of work Maria enjoys traveling, trying new food, and reading. 
 

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Houston, TX 77030

Tel. 713-500-9118