Member Spotlight: Rebecca Myerson, Ph.D.
February 14, 2017 01:00 PM
APPAM honors those student and professional members who are dedicated to the public policy profession and stewards of APPAM's mission. Each month, both a new student and professional member will be featured in out Member Spotlight series. Interested in being in the spotlight? Email Meghan Grenda for more information.
What policy school did you attend and what was your degree program?
I attended the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and obtained a PhD in public policy.
What is your current organization, job title, and role?
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics at the School of Pharmacy. I am also a faculty affiliate of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. My role involves teaching graduate level courses in econometrics and biostatistics, conducting research, and mentoring students.
What is your policy focus?
My main area of research is health policy and health economics, with a focus on diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. One aspect of my research agenda is inspired by the millions of people who gained access to health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act. I examine how policies that help people get health insurance can support population health, for example by increasing treatment of diabetes and hypertension.
Another branch of my research focuses on how patients react to policy changes that reduce the cost of screening for chronic conditions. I have studied whether identification of previously undiagnosed conditions inspires patients to seek health care, and how changes in the composition of diagnosed patients can shape the observed impacts of policy in unexpected ways.
I am also interested in food policy and social policy. One of my papers studies regulation on usage of trans fats in restaurants in New York, and finds subsequent declines in stroke and heart attack hospitalization rates. This is relevant for national policy that restricts the usage of industrial trans fats in the U.S. food supply starting in 2018. Finally, I have conducted research in China and have studied how changes to social policy affect migrant laborers in China and their families.
How did you first get involved with APPAM?
I first got involved with APPAM by presenting my research and by organizing a panel for the fall conference. I then joined the APPAM Student Advisory Committee.
Why do you stay active in APPAM?
Organizing a panel to my present my policy research was an important opportunity for me when I was a doctoral student hoping to launch a research career. I am excited to do what I can to help public policy students advance their careers as a new member of the APPAM Professional Development Committee.
What APPAM tools/resources do you use most often?
I like to read the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Hobbies or fun fact:
I enjoy hiking and traveling. I lived in China for a year after college, and now I am trying to learn Italian.