Kathy Trang

Cohort: 2014


  • BA, Psychology, BS, Biology, California State University, Los Angeles


I began my undergraduate studies at 14 years old through the Early Entrance Program at CSULA as a psychology/biology dual major.  Initially interested in understanding the biological factors constraining the course of psychosexual development, I delved into epigenetics behavioral neuroendocrinology and studied the genetic underpinnings of sex differences in the rodent brain. However, cognizant of advances made in cultural neuroscience and in neuroanthropology, I became enthralled by projects examining the ways in which cultural difference became bodily difference. This interest led to my research assistantship at the Foundation for Psychocultural Research (http://thefpr.org/), which solidified my commitment to interdisciplinarity while redirecting my attention towards the vision of global mental health. Through ongoing collaborations with the Center for Research and Training on AIDS (CREATA) at Hanoi Medical University, my doctoral research examines the multi-level determinants of life-course and health trajectories for young migrant men (and specifically, young migrant men who have sex with men) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Moving forward, I envision this doctoral work as constituting the foundation of a life-long project devoted towards forging sustained international collaborations and integrating in-depth ethnographic work with human biology in illuminating and alleviating the conditions forestalling wellbeing.

Advisor: Dr. Worthman