Indigenous Wellness Research Institute

LUNA - Executive Committee


July 20, 2020

Biraj Karmacharya Ph.D.

Photo of Biraj Karmacharya, PhD

About Dr. Karmachaya completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery  from College of Medical Sciences at Kathmandu University, Nepal. He also received a Master of Science in  Tropical Medicine from Mahidol University, Thailand and his MPH (Global Health) and PhD in Epidemiology  from the University of Washington, School of Public Health. Dr. Karmachaya…


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

Dr. Kaholokula has a PhD in clinical psychology and is the Chair and Associate Professor of  Native Hawaiian Health and Deputy Director for the Center of Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research  (NIMHD P20) in the School of Medicine (JABSOM) at UHM. His current research is funded by the NIH to  examine biological, psychological, and…


July 10, 2017

Maya Magarati, PhD (Indigenous Nepali)

Dr. Maya Magarati is an affiliate faculty with the University of Washington (UW) department of sociology, and a research scientist with the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, and Seven Directions: A Center for Indigenous Public Health. She currently leads CDC/NNPHI-funded “Opioid Overdose Prevention in Tribes” project at Seven Directions. Maya has spent her last 10 years…


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…