The Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab team is composed of faculty, fellows and staff with diverse backgrounds in fields including medicine, law, computer science, demography, geographic information systems, biostatistics, health policy, communications, marketing, design, behavioral health, and operations management. Our team members also have expertise in non-traditional fields such as crowdsourcing, app development, social network analysis and gaming. To learn more please click on the bios below.
Collaborators and Alumni
Salvatore Giorgi was a senior research programmer working on the World Well-Being Project and in collaboration with the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. He has a background in electrical engineering and mathematics. Prior to joining the team, Salvatore worked in the Control, Sensor, Network, and Perception Laboratory at Temple University where he developed statistical and neural control methods.
Christy DiSilvestro was a research coordinator at the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. Christy received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University, where she was the Class Day Speaker at graduation. She is interested in patient centered research at the intersection of psychology and medicine and is currently working on projects relating social media use to patient outcomes and linking Twitter language to cardiovascular health.
Danielle Kovalsky was a clinical research assistant at the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. Danielle graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with her bachelor's of science in biobehavioral health. Prior to her time at the Social Media Lab, she worked as a clinical research assistant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention and at Penn's Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research. Danielle plans to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.
Karl Dailey is a masters candidate in computer science at Penn. He worked as a data analyst at the Social Media and Health Innovation Lab and teaches Web GIS in the School of Design. In his free time during clear nights, Karl can be found looking through his telescope, observing the night sky in high detail.
Charlene Wong is a pediatrician interested in examining social media and children's health. She is a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at University of Pennsylvania and conducts clinical work at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Charlene's research focuses on the adolescent and young adult population and their access to health care and high quality health information.
Chileshe Nkonde-Price is the director of the Penn Women’s Cardiovascular Health Practice, a clinical innovation manager at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Chileshe’s research explores the use of mobile technology and social media to measure and promote heart healthy behaviors in individuals and communities. She was the director of the ChangeMySteps project- a social media and smartphone-based project that combines gamification and social media to promote physical activity.Chileshe received her undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge and her medical degree from University College London. She also completed her master’s in health policy research as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Chileshe was a resident in internal medicine at University College London Medical School and fellow in cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and the Royal College of Physicians of England (MRCP).
Austin Kilaru is a resident physician at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. Previously, he served as a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research. As an emergency physician, he is interested in potential roles for social media to connect hospitals and their communities. His ongoing research examines the use of online platforms for improving quality and efficiency in the healthcare system. His research has also explored the use of narratives to improve communication between physicians, patients, and the general public.
Robin Stevens is a health communication scholar focused on achieving health equity. Robin is an assistant professor in childhood studies at Rutgers University- Camden. She received her AB from Harvard College, her master’s in public health from the University of Michigan, and her doctorate from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Robin’s program of research utilizes theory to understand and shape beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that lead to improved health, using media and communication. Her work is typified by two lines of inquiry; the quantification of social and traditional media effects on adolescent health behavior (e.g. sexual risk, violence and alcohol use) and the development of media-informed interventions.
Shawndra Hill is an assistant professor in the operations and information management department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Social TV Lab. Shawndra's research focuses on data mining, machine learning, and statistical relational learning in alignment with businesses. Specifically, she is working to quantify how data that shows how consumers interact might prove valuable to companies -- for targeted marketing, advertising, and fraud detection. Her current research focuses on the interactions between television content and social media.
Kevin Padrez graduated from Stanford University with a degree in human biology. Afterwards he worked for several years doing clinical research at Stanford Hospital as well as public health work with an NGO in rural Guatemala. He is currently in his final year of medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. Kevin’s research interests lie at the intersection of health, technology, and patient engagement.
Marion Leary is the assistant director of clinical research for the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a consultant to the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. Marion focuses her research, education and clinical care on cardiac arrest, CPR quality and therapeutic hypothermia. Marion received her master’s degree in nursing through the University of Pennsylvania’s Health Leadership Program and is in the process of completing her master’s degree in public health.
Yoonhee Ha was previously a research assistant at the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. She is currently continuing her training as a MD/PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Tadas Antanavicius is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in engineering entrepreneurship. As an intern for the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, Tadas has participated in research projects focused on data mining, natural language processing, and statistical analyses.
Naomi Saint Jean served as a junior fellow at the Social Media Lab in 2014-15 working on the Durable Medical Equipment study. Naomi received her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lauren Houdek served as a junior fellow at the Social Media Lab in 2014-15. Lauren is a joint degree MD/Master of Public Health student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on internet and social media use among homeless youth, and she plans to pursue a career in pediatrics.
Based out of the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center, the World Well-Being Project (WWBP) is pioneering techniques for measuring psychological and medical well-being based on language in social media. Click here to learn more.
The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is Penn's center for research, policy analysis, and education in health systems. Its 200 Senior Fellows analyze the medical, economic, and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered across the U.S.
We are passionate about pursuing impactful research and eager to explore opportunities that will enable a culture of social media and health innovation at Penn, Penn Medicine, and beyond. Have an idea for a project? Interested in collaboration? Click here to learn more about how to contact us.