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  • We're on a mission...

    The Center for Health Disparities Research at the Medical University of South Carolina is focused on eliminating racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and rural/urban disparities in health.

  • We're striving for a healthier future...

    through excellence in all phases of our work and continually improving our programs and practices based on new knowledge.

  • We focus on translating research...

    to communities through development of health interventions that are effective and practical in the real world.

Research Staff

Work by the MUSC Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR) is supported by a more than a dozen dedicated staff members who are available to assist the investigators of CHDR.

Meet the members of our research staff.

CHDR Faculty

Cheryl Lynch, M.D., MPH
Dr. Cheryl Lynch joined the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in September 2008. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, and earned her medical degree from Boston University in 2001. Her graduate medical training was an internal/women's health residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Dr. Lynch also obtained a Master of Public Health in Health Education from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. She held an initial appointment as Instructor of Medicine during her fellowship training in clinical research and aging research at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Lynch has an interest in obesity-related research with interventions that target changing health behaviors. A crucial part of her work involves community-based research using qualitative research methods. Her primary research focuses on health disparities, particularly in the African American community. Dr. Lynch's clinical interests remain in women's health, obesity and related conditions, and working with aging populations.



Research Nurse Coordinators

Dawn Dericke, RN
Dawn Dericke joined MUSC as a registered nurse for the MUSC Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR) in September 2014. Dawn was born in Massachusetts and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She studied life sciences at Penn State University and went to nursing school at Horry Georgetown Technical College. Her clinical research interests include health behavior and health disparities research with special emphasis on integrative health and vulnerable populations.

Caroline Wallinger, RN
Caroline Wallinger received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from MUSC in 2012. Nursing is a second career for her after spending almost 10 years in the publishing industry. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina. She spent two years in Charleston as editor of House Calls magazine and assistant editor of Charleston magazine, followed by six years working for National Geographic magazine in Washington, DC. She enjoys working for CHDR because she believes preventive health and managing chronic disease are the keys to controlling the ever-increasing costs of health care while enabling more people to enjoy a better quality of life.



Kinfe Bishu, PhD
Kinfe G. Bishu has a background in economics and works as a Biostatistician in the MUSC Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR). He is working on national data sets, such as Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), with a focus in health care outcomes research in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. His technical skills include data management, STATA/LIMDEP, survey design programming, discrete choice models, censored regression models, multi-response models, count data and general linear models, sample selection, multivariate methods and impact evaluation methods. As part of the team, he is participating in writing manuscripts.



Program Assistants

Rachel-Nicole Knight, MPH
Rachel-Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, where she majored in Anthropology with a focus on Latin America. She went on to earn her Master of Public Health from the George Washington University in 2017. Her interest in health disparities and global health rose from her experiences living in Ecuador where she studied indigenous health and the effects of newly established biomedical clinics in rural communities where traditional medicine is practiced. Her past research experience includes working with Dr. Juan Luque of MUSC on the utilization of cervical cancer screening among Latina immigrant women living in the Lowcountry.

Contact Us

Rutledge Tower
135 Rutledge Ave., Room 280
Charleston, SC 29425-5930
Phone: 843-792-0906
Fax: 843-876-1201