The GRID team comprises faculty, staff, trainees, and students. We reflect a diverse group of interests, backgrounds, and identities.

Lynn Fellman |
Designer and Artist

Lynn is a science communicator and Fulbright Senior Scholar specializing in genomics and human evolution. As a designer, artist, and animator, she guides development of visual and written themes for GRID across multiple media. Lynn’s art exhibits, eBooks and animated videos about genetic ancestry, evolution of human skin color, and genomics in precision health reflect many of GRID’s key concepts. Her work is supported by funders such as the National Science Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Joseph Graves, Jr., PhD |
Adjunct Professor of Biology, Duke University

Joseph is Associate Dean for Research & Professor of Biological Sciences, Joint School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering, North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro. He received his PhD in Environmental, Evolutionary and Systematic Biology from Wayne State University, and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College. He is also an elected Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). His research concerns the evolutionary genomics of adaptation and biological concepts of race in humans. His current research involves deep genomics of parallel adaptation, specifically relevant to life history and aging, and the impact of metallic nanoparticles on bacteria.

Kinsie Huggins |
Research Scholar

Kinsie Huggins is a third-year undergraduate student-athlete at Duke University. She is preparing for a career in patient-centered medicine by studying Biology with a minor in Psychology. Kinsie is working with fellow researchers at GRID to assess the implementation of the NCAA’s sickle cell trait screening policy. Her unique perspectives provide guidance on study engagement strategies within this diverse population, with the ultimate goal of improving community health efficacy and outcomes.

Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, PhD | 919-668-4591 |
Senior Research Scholar

Jayne received a Joint PhD in Medical Anthropology from UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco, an MA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and both a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University. She was a former Reader in Anthropology at the University of East London (UK). She is a critical and global ‘mixed race’ studies pioneer, whose current qualitative research analyzes anthropological interpretations of both constructs of race as well as ‘mixed race’ and social interfaces between conceptualizations of biology and culture. Her relevant books include Scattered Belongings: Cultural Paradoxes of ‘Race’, Nation and Gender (1999, Routledge) and ‘Mixed Race’ Studies: A Reader (2004, Routledge).

Mary Anne McDonald, DrPH | 919-880-3839 |
Research Associate

Mary Anne received a DrPH in Health Behavior and Health Education (Medical Anthropology & Qualitative Methods substantive Areas), and an MA in Folklore, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has primarily been with marginalized populations in the American South. She uses qualitative methods and a community-engaged research approach to examine public health problems in context and include the voices of those affected. Her research projects include environmental justice projects, the NCAA’s sickle cell trait screening policy, and cardiologists’ perspectives on and use of BiDil.

Naraya Price |
Research Scholar

Naraya Price is a fourth-year undergraduate Robertson Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is double majoring in Public Policy and African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies and is receiving a Human Rights Certificate from Duke University’s Franklin Institute of the Humanities. Naraya is interested in the intersection of educational equity and reform to the criminal legal system. At GRID, she is working on perspectives of the US public on race, ethnicity, and ancestry. After graduation Naraya will teach elementary education in Washington D.C. and hopes to pursue a J.D.

Paul Robbins, PhD |
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Paul earned a PhD in Educational Psychology in the area of Human Development, Culture, and the Learning Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. Broadly, he conducts research on how context, culture, and identity influence health and educational outcomes. His work examines the role of communities and families in fostering resilience and exacerbating risk at various life stages. With support from the NHGRI, Paul is investigating how parental socialization affects college athletes’ knowledge, attitudes, and health decision-making regarding the NCAA’s sickle cell trait screening policy.

Charmaine DM Royal, PhD | 919-684-5639 |

Charmaine is Associate Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, and Community & Family Medicine. She earned her BA in Microbiology, MS in Genetic Counseling, and PhD in Human Genetics from Howard University. She completed postgraduate training in Bioethics and ELSI (ethical, legal, and social implications) research at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and in Epidemiology and Behavioral Medicine at Howard University Cancer Center. Her research, teaching, and scholarship focus on ethical and social issues in genetics and genomics, particularly the intersection of “race” and genetics, its policy implications and practical interventions.

Yingwei Yang, Ph.D., MSc, CPH |
Postdoctoral Associate

Yingwei gained her PhD in Public Health from University of South Florida and MSc in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health from Peking University. Her research interests focus on youth risk behaviors, sport injuries, health education and promotion, and social determinants of health. She has led a few mixed-methods theory-driven programs on community safety promotion, school violence/bullying prevention, and child immunization promotion for low-income families. She also served on multiple research teams for community violence, children’s sports injuries, Florida Violence Death Reporting System (FLVDRS), and firearm-related studies. Currently, Yingwei is working at GRID with an interdisciplinary research team to assess the implementation of the NCAA’s sickle cell trait screening policy.