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Denise Payan

Assistant Professor of Public Health

Dr. Denise D. Payán, PhD, MPP, is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Merced (UC Merced). She is the principal investigator of the Community Health & Innovative Policy (CHIP) Lab at UC Merced and is Deputy Director of the state-wide research translation center known as the California Initiative for Health Equity & Action (Cal-IHEA). Dr. Payán is a health policy researcher whose interests include examining the health policymaking process; evaluating interventions to address obesity and nutrition-related health disparities; and understanding how policy impacts health behavior. She obtained a PhD in Public Policy and Management from USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy and MPP from Harvard Kennedy School. She received a B.A. in History and Science, Certificate in Health Policy, and Citation in Spanish from Harvard College.​ She also trained as a Health Services Research Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the RAND Corporation.