Welcome to our research lab

We Investigate Social Factors Influencing Health and Well-Being

The Housing, Opportunity and Place (HOPe) Lab is a research group at the University of California, Merced investigating key social factors affecting health and health inequities in California's Central Valley, the heart of California.

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Hello, I'm Dr. Irene Yen

I'm the Principal Investigator and Director of the Lab. I'm a social epidemiologist, a public health professor at the University of California Merced and a Robert Wood Johnson Interdisciplinary Research Leadership fellow. My research is currently centered on the question of how place influences health. That is, how things like housing, opportunity, place and education affect health. 
Read more here.

Irene Yen

Our Research Projects

Fresno Housing and Health

The state of California is facing a housing affordability crisis. This mixed-methods research project aims to examine the effects of HUD's housing tax credit policies that aims to improve the dilapidated stock of public housing units in Fresno county and its effects on residents' health and wellbeing.

Education Trajectories

An NIH funded study investigating the various paths people take to complete their education, how it differs by sex, race/ethnicity, and family circumstances, and what the effect of different trajectories are on health outcomes.

Nicotine and Cannabis Policy

The NCPC is funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). Dr. Yen is working as the lead of the training core aiming to address the gaps in nicotine and cannabis control efforts.

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Email: Hopelab@ucmerced.edu
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