Kimberly Jacob Arriola, PhD, MPH

Social Psychology & Epidemiology
Graduated From: 
Spelman College (BA), Northeastern University (PhD), Emory University (MPH)
Current Position: 
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Charles Howard Candler Professor of Behavioral, Social, & Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University
Current Projects: 
My current research focuses on improving access to live donor transplantation among African American ESRD patients as well as exploring the role of stress related to racial discrimination in chronic kidney disease progression. 
What made you decide to work in transplantation?: 
I was drawn to research and interventions to address racial disparities in access.  Transplantation is wildly interesting because of the complex interplay of social, psychological, economic, medical, organizational, and institutional factors that influence access to this advanced treatment.  I have always been interested in how past and current inequities shape healthcare access, and transplantation offers the perfect space to apply these intersecting interests.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?: 
As a social psychologist, there seems to be a relatively small group of scholars exploring how social factors create and perpetuate racial disparities in access to transplant (you know who you are!).  This is a tremendously valuable area of inquiry because it expands upon the existing literature that focuses heavily on medical suitability as a determinant of access.
How have you served AST?: 
I enjoyed serving as an inaugural member of the IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access to Life) task force.  It has given me an opportunity to interact with new colleagues, shape the AST's response to its statement on racism, and build a culture that normalizes and acknowledges the intersection of structural racism and transplantation.
Fun Facts: 
I enjoy working out at Orange Theory and on the Peloton that COVID forced me to buy.  I just enjoyed my 200th ride and love to connect with others who ride the bike that goes nowhere!