Neal D. Goldstein, PhD, MBI

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The Goldstein Lab

The Goldstein Lab trains students in epidemiological methods to reveal etiologic pathways of infectious disease transmission for purposes of treatment and prevention. We are especially interested in the use of electronic health records and surveillance data for secondary analysis.

Examples projects include geospatial aspects of HIV transmission, improved exposure assessment of healthcare associated infections, diagnosis and management of sepsis, availability and accessibility of healthcare services, and COVID-19's impact on HIV prevention and retainment in care.

For students interested in a wet lab experience, the Goldstein Lab includes a BSL2 facility in the Dornsife School of Public Health with access to all necessary equipment for various assays and culturing, along with frozen plasma and tissue specimens.

Current Students

Jessica Webster, MPH. Prior to starting the program at Drexel, Jessica received her Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and worked as an Epidemiology Fellow at the CDC in Immigrant and Refugee Health. Her research interests include infectious diseases, global health, and epidemiologic methods, and her dissertation is focused on transmission dynamics and risk factors for hospital-associated Clostridioides difficile infection.

Justin Jones, MPH. Justin received his BS in International (Public) Health & African-American Studies from Georgetown University in 2013 and his Masters of Public Health in epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in 2019. Following his master's, Justin worked at Texas Christian University contributing to two National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded studies focused on opioids in the criminal justice population and HIV prevention. Justin started the epidemiology PhD program in 2021 and has research interests in infectious diseases, health disparities, and the optimization of public health research and practice.

Nicole Rafalko, MPH. Nicole started the epidemiology program as a doctoral student in 2022. Prior to this, she received her Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. After receiving her MPH, she worked at the Montgomery County Office of Public Health as an Epidemiology Research Associate. Nicole is interested in infectious disease epidemiology, hospital epidemiology, and healthcare-associated infections.


Nguyen Tran, PhD, MPH (he/him). Dr. Tran is a postdoctoral scholar with The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet ( at Stanford University School of Medicine. In his current role, he applies his training epidemiology, data science, and causal inference to conduct and support community-engaged research that addresses the health priorities of queer and transgender communities, with the goal of advancing health equity for these populations. Prior to joining The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet, he completed his PhD and MPH at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. His dissertation was titled, "Elevated Bacterial STI Incidence in Canada: Reframing Clinical Decision Making for HIV PrEP Beyond Risk Compensation," which applied methods in causal inference to address the paradoxical association between PrEP use, sexual behaviors, and bacterial STI incidence.

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