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Research Team

Richard Scheffler

Director and Principal Investigator
Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy, School of Public Health and the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Chair in Healthcare Markets and Consumer Welfare endowed by the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California
Director, Nicholas C. Petris Center for Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare 

  • Dr. Scheffler's research has focused on the organization and financing of mental health services, both domestically and globally.
  • Most recently, he published “The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Todays Push for Performance” (Oxford, 2014) with Stephen Hinshaw.
  • Dr. Scheffler received the Investigator Award in Health Policy Research for “ADHD Medication in America: Society, Schools, and Public Policy” from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2009.
  • In 2004, Dr. Scheffler received the Carl A. Taube Award, honoring distinguished contributions to the field of mental health services research, from the American Public Health Association’s Mental Health Section.
  • From 2001-2017, Dr. Scheffler was the PI for a NIH Fogarty International Center grant focusing on mental health in post-Soviet republics. This project provided advanced, multidisciplinary research training to outstanding pre- and post-doctoral economists, psychiatrists, sociologists, clinicians, and mental health professionals from Central and South Eastern Europe in the latest research methods and issues regarding the economic and social factors that drive the delivery of mental health care services.
Sarah Swanbeck

Program Director

  • Executive Director, Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
  • Ms. Swanbeck is a public policy analyst with expertise in California state and local governance and budget issues. She previously worked in Legislative Affairs for California Common Cause, a nonprofit that advocates for more open, honest, and accountable government. While at Common Cause, she successfully advocated for important changes to the state's campaign finance laws as well as the first ever substantive reform to California's century-old initiative process.
  • Outside the realm of California politics, Ms. Swanbeck has spent years working as a policy analyst on both state and local issues. As an analyst for the Controller in San Francisco, she worked with a range of city departments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services. She also previously worked for the Public Policy Institute of California and the California Public Utilities Commission on state energy and water policy.
  • She holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a BA in Economics from Wellesley College.
Dan Arnold

Research Director

  • Dr. Arnold is the Research Director of the Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare. He conducts research in the fields of health economics, industrial organization, and behavioral economics. 
  • His current research focuses on the impact of market concentration on hospital and physician prices, plan choice in the ACA Exchanges, and the drivers and consequences of anxiety disorder among Millennials. Dr. Arnold obtained his doctorate in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Raj Aurora

Research Assistant

  • Mr. Aurora is currently a 4th year at UC Berkeley, studying Molecular Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology. Joining the Petris Center in Fall 2017, he plans to eventually pursue a career in medicine after graduating from Berkeley, focusing on neurology or oncology, eventually with an emphasis on public health. 
  • He has previously conducted research at UCSF on metastatic breast cancer and is involved with Berkeley Rotary in its philanthropic and volunteer projects.
Grayson Dimick

Program Assistant 

  • Ms. Dimick is the Program Manager for the Nicholas C. Petris Center on Healthcare Markets and Consumer Welfare at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to this position, she worked as a research assistant with the Center for two years. 
  • She spent 7 years working for Greenacre Homes and School, a mental health nonprofit that provides residential treatment and special education to boys and young men with special needs in the foster care system. Most recently, she served as the organization's Accreditation Manager, helping them navigate changes in California legislation on mental health and foster care. 
  • Her research interests lie at the intersection of health policy and politics, particularly on issues related to mental health, access to care, women's health, and social services programs.
  • Ms. Dimick graduated magna cum laude from University of California, Berkeley in Spring 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and History, as well as a minor in Public Policy from the Goldman School

Research Analyst

  • Ms. Linde is currently a dual degree MPH/MCP student at the Berkeley School of Public Health and in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the College of Environmental Design, focusing on epidemiology and environmental planning and healthy cities. Her research interests include the epidemiology of infectious diseases in urban environments and the healthcare effects of equitable, affordable housing.
  • Prior to beginning graduate work at Berkeley, Lauren worked in tuberculosis prevention and control and in immunizations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Los Angeles County, CA and the State of Colorado, respectively. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Carleton College.
Hinnaneh Qazi

Research Analyst

  • Ms. Qazi is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, where her policy interests include advancing greater racial, economic, political, and health equity. She currently serves as a Graduate Student Researcher for the Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans (BIFYA), researching issues that impact young Americans. 
  • In the last year, she has also served as an Equity Analysis Consultant for the San Francisco Planning Department and as an Oakland Urban Leaders Fellow. Prior to the Goldman School, Ms. Qazi spent three years working at California Common Cause, one of the state’s leading good government and voting rights groups. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2013.
Niki Vora

Research Analyst

  • Ms. Vora is a dual degree MD/MS candidate at the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program and a graduate student researcher at the Nicholas C. Petris Center on Healthcare Markets and Consumer Welfare for the Anxiety Disorder in Millennials project. 
  • Her research interests include healthcare delivery systems for resource-scarce settings, access to health services and disparities in health status. She is also conducting research with the UCSF Department of Dermatology on AI technologies and teledermatology as well as with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on assessing patient quality of life to guide treatment options. 
  • Before joining the Joint Medical Program, Ms. Vora researched developing therapies for X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy in the Hacia Laboratory at the USC Keck School of Medicine and worked as a HIV Testing Counselor in Los Angeles. She has previously worked as a calculus instructor for the South Central Scholars and served as a Physics Supplemental Instructor at the University of Southern California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and disease prevention from USC.