Current Scholars

Quin Denfeld, PhD, RN

Quin Denfeld

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University

Primary mentor: Beth Habecker, PhD

Mentors: Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD; Christopher Lee, PhD, RN; James Mudd, MD; Jonathan Purnell, MD

Dr. Quin Denfeld is a nurse-scientist investigating gender differences in physical frailty in heart failure. Dr. Denfeld's BIRCWH project specifically seeks to examine how gender differences factor into the association between physical frailty and both the underlying mechanisms and clinical outcomes of heart failure. Dr. Denfeld's overall research goals focus on improving quality of life in heart failure patients by using her findings to guide and improve clinical management.

Project title: Gender-Associated Differences in Physical Frailty Phenotypes in Heart Failure (GAP-FRAIL-HF)

Learn more about Quin

Zhenzhen Zhang, PhD, MPH, MMed

Headshot for Dr. Zhenzhen Zhang

Assistant Professor
Hematology & Medical Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University

Primary mentor: Jackie Shannon, PhD, MPH

Mentors: Tomi Mori, PhD, MS, MBA; Pepper Schedin, PhD; Raymond Bergan, MD; Shannon McWeeney, PhD, MS; Thomas Sharpton, PhD

Dr. Zhenzhen Zhang is a medical epidemiologist examining the effects of diet on the gut microbiome and its relationship with interval breast cancer. Dr. Zhang’s BIRCWH project aims to understand the relationship between dietary inflammatory potential and the risk of interval breast cancer. Additionally, Dr. Zhang aims to examine the differences in the gut microbiome between interval and screen-detected breast cancer and their associations with dietary inflammatory potential. Dr. Zhang’s long-term career goal is to become an independent investigator and to build and lead an independent molecular epidemiology lab.

Project title: Inflammatory Diet, Microbiome and Interval Breast Cancer

Learn more about Zhenzhen

Jae Downing, PhD

Jae Downing, PhD

Assistant Professor

OHSU - PSU School of Public Health

Primary Mentor: John McConnell, PhD

Mentors: Dennis McCarty, PhD; Paula Carder, PhD

Project title: Substance Use and Gender-Affirming Care in Oregon's Medicaid Program

Dr. Jae Downing is an Assistant Professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health studying the health of transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals. Dr. Downing's BIRCWH project centers on providing a greater understanding of potential patient-level barriers to accessing gender affirming care, and their relationship with substance use disorders among TGNC individuals in Oregon's Medicaid program. Dr. Downing's long-term goals focus on becoming an independent investigator focused on advancing the health of TGNC people. 

Learn more about Jae