The Liberation Lab Team

Monik C. Jiménez, SCD SM FAHA / Principal Investigator
Monik is an epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine. Her NIH-funded research focused on understanding the intersection of sex, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic factors in stroke inequities, with a focus on women of color. As a 2019 H. Richard Nesson Fellow, she has been funded to examine factors that impact the cardiovascular health of patients who have experienced incarceration, identify ways to support respectful patient-clinician communication about such experiences and inform future policy to support health care equity. In partnership with community advocacy groups, she is the PI of the INdividuals Speak: Incarcerated during the COVID-19 Epidemic (INSIDE) study to examine the lived experience of conditions of confinement experienced by those incarcerated or detained during COVID-19. Monik lives with her family on a small farm dedicated to rescuing livestock. | Email:
Nicole Cassarino, ALB
Nicole graduated from Harvard Extension School in 2017 with an ALB in Psychology. She then completed a post-baccalaureate program focused on pre-medical studies in 2018. Currently she is completing a Masters of Public Health program at Tufts University School of Medicine and plans to apply to medical school. She joined the research team to get experience in the field of epidemiology and learn more about health equity. In her free time she enjoys playing violin and guitar and spoiling her chihuahua, Daisy.
Harika Dabbara, BS
Harika recently graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Biology and has joined the Division of Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a research assistant. She is passionate about health equity, women’s health, and plans to attend medical school in the future. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, reading, and trying new foods.
Uma Grandhi
Uma is a 3rd year undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is majoring in Human Biology and plans on applying to medical school. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and practicing Indian classical dance.
Shelby Grebbin, BS
Shelby graduated from Emerson College in 2019 with a B.S. in Journalism. Through her work as a journalist, she has developed a passion for advocating for health equity and community-based alternatives to incarceration. She joined the research team to learn about epidemiology and plans to apply to graduate studies in the field of public health. She is also a painter and a lover of stuffed cabbage recipes.
Veronica Handunge, BA
Veronica Handunge is graduate student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is passionate about health equity and racial justice, and is interested in using community-engaged and qualitative methods to promote health equity and improve access to and quality of healthcare and health-related goods in underserved and historically marginalized populations. Veronica has a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University.
Carla B. Monteiro, MSW, LCSW
Carla B. Monteiro earned an Associate’s degree in Human Services and a Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate from Quincy College, her BSW from Bridgewater State University, and an MSW from the Boston College School of Social Work. She is the Founder and President of the Cape Verdean Social Workers Association and a member of the National Association of Social Workers, MA-Chapter. She has worked with incarcerated men and women at the Suffolk County House of Correction and Nashua Street Jail. Carla works at the Brigham Health Bridge Clinic.
Ankita Patil
Ankita is a sophomore at The College of New Jersey majoring in Social Psychology & Public Health with plans to attend medical school in the future. She is passionate about mental health as well as racial justice advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys reading and running, and is happiest when surrounded by family and friends.
Samantha White, AB
Samantha recently graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Neuroscience and a Secondary in the Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is passionate about prison advocacy, anti-violence work, mental health care, and social justice more broadly. She joined the research team because she believed it was the perfect opportunity to fight for health equity for incarcerated individuals. In her free time, she loves to travel, listen to music and podcasts, and spend time in nature, especially with her family and friends.
Mimi Yen Li, BS
Mimi is a 4th year student at Harvard Medical School. She is passionate about mass incarceration reform, racial justice advocacy, narrative medicine, and mental health care. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, yoga, weightlifting, photography, and learning old recipes from her family.

The Liberation Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, resides on the ancestral and unceeded lands of the Massachusett people, whose name was appropriated by this Commonwealth.

We pay respect to the Massachusett elders past, present, and emerging. We acknowledge the truth of violence perpetrated in the name of this country and make a commitment to uncovering that truth. 

Past Members
  • Evangeline (Lin) Yuan, MS