PhD student Latesha Harris selected for RWFJ Health Policy Research Scholars Program

We are proud to announce that Latesha K. Harris, BSN, RN (UNC-CH ‘25), has been selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars program. This program is designed for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds and populations underrepresented in specific disciplines. The Health Policy Research Scholars program helps students from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse network of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics.

As a member of the program’s newest cohort, Latesha will focus on examining the associations between psychosocial stressors (e.g., poverty, early life adversity, discrimination, violence in communities, trauma), structural racism, and cardiometabolic health disparities among African American women. For her dissertation, she plans to investigate police violence as a race-related stressor that can impact cardiometabolic risk (CMR) among African American women. She aims to provide a more in-depth analysis of the mechanisms through which stress and structural racism operate and contribute to health inequities.

To learn more about Health Policy Research Scholars, RWJF’s other leadership programs and to meet other participants, visit