Jessica Williams-Nguyen, PhD, MPH


Research Assistant Professor


Dr. Williams-Nguyen has a Masters of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in the field of epidemiology with training in study design, causal inference, and biostatistical methods. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, she studied the interaction of the microbiome and liver disease in Hispanic/Latino people in the US. She serves as lead epidemiologic methodologist and analyst on two research projects that are part of the Native-CHART research center/ The Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments Research Study (CHEERS) is a study investigating the efficacy of a multi-level dietary and physical activity intervention for improving blood pressure in American Indian people with uncontrolled hypertension. The Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of an online educational intervention to improve blood pressure and glucose control in U.S. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders at high risk of long-term negative hypertension-related outcomes. She also provides epidemiologic methods support the 4-year, $4.5 million Wabanaki Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH) funded by the National Institute on Aging. Led jointly by Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness (WPHW), a public health organization serving the four federally-recognized tribes in the US State of Maine, and IREACH’s Dr. Patrik Johansson this effort will estimate the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease and mild cognitive impairment among Wabanaki tribal citizens aged 55 and older. It will also build WPHW research capacity with the development of a year-long public health research methods course tailored to learners in the Wabanaki community. A focus of quantitative and methodologic content for the course has been customizing this foundational content to the experiences and needs of Wabanaki learners. She also serves as a biostatistical mentor on the NAD RCMAR program. Dr. Williams-Nguyen now serves as a Research Assistant Professor in the Methods Core at WSU’s Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) applying her quantitative skills to support health research in Indigenous communities across the US. She prioritizes offering high-quality methodologic support to health research led by Indigenous researchers and communities. She is also interested how the Western scientific enterprise can actively make space for Indigenous methodologies especially as related to quantitative health sciences. She grew up in southern Delaware, traditional homelands of the Pocomoke, Assateague, Nanticoke, and Lenni Lenape peoples. Her family came as settler-colonists to the US from the British Isles and has lived in the mid-Atlantic region for many generations. She is a newcomer to Washington, now residing on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. Outside of work, you’ll see her in the garden, on the hiking trails with her husband, two boys, and dog, or pestering her friends and family about what they would like her to knit for them.



  • Methods Core