Indigenous Wellness Research Institute

LUNA - Executive Committee


July 20, 2020

Biraj Karmacharya Ph.D.

Photo of Biraj Karmacharya, PhD

About Biraj completed his MPH and PhD training at UW through a Fulbright fellowship from Nepal. He also leads the Department of Community Programs at Dhulikhel Hospital-Kathmandu University Hospital, and has more than a decade of experience developing rural community health programs and forging international collaborations for academic training and research in Nepal. Education University…


August 16, 2018

Mike Spencer, PhD, MSW (Native Hawaiian)

Michael Spencer, PhD

August 15, 2017

Roberto E. Orellana, PhD

Dr. Roberto Orellana is Associate Professor of Social Work at Portland State University (PSU), where he is also affiliate faculty in the School of Community Health and the Department of Indigenous Nations Studies. Throughout his doctoral program and early scholarly activities, Dr. Orellana has gained experience in global health research, especially on the science of…


July 28, 2017

J. Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula, PhD


July 10, 2017

Maya Magarati, PhD (Indigenous Nepali)

Photo: Maya Magarati, PhD

Cynthia R. Pearson, PhD

Research Associate Professor Cynthia R. Pearson is the Associate Director of the Research Core and Director of the Methods Core at the Interdisciplinary Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI, P60MD006909), where she collaborates with Indigenous scholars in the development of research policies and directs iterative data analysis on historical and cultural determinants of physical and mental health among…


July 7, 2017

Tessa Evans-Campbell, PhD (Snohomish)

Associate Professor Tessa Evans-Campbell is the director of the School’s MSW program. She completed her BA in art history at the University of Washington and her MSW at the University of California Los Angeles. Her research interests focus on historical trauma, resistance and healing; cultural buffers of trauma; substance use and mental health; and indigenous…


April 6, 2017

Karina L. Walters, PhD (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

Photo: Karina L. Walters, PhD

Biography Karina L. Walters, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI; NIMHD P60MD006909). IWRI is one of 16 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Comprehensive Centers of…


April 5, 2017

Bonnie Duran, DrPH (Opelousas/Coushatta)

Bonnie Duran has worked in public health education, evaluation, program planning and research with Native Americans and other communities of color for 35 years. For the past 10 years, she has been studying the prevalence of mental disorders, victimization risk factors and treatment of Native American women who use Indian Health Service primary care facilities…