Investigator Development Team

Administers our Pilot Project and Mentorship Program that supports junior investigators at SDSU with funding and mentorship on developing their programs of research at SDSU. This team also directs career enhancement activities including seminars and workshops that are open to the public.

Heather Corliss, MPH, PhD

Co-Leader, Investigator Development Team

Dr. Heather Corliss is a professor in the School of Public Health at SDSU. She is a social and behavioral epidemiologist with expertise in population health disparities including substance use, mental health, chronic disease, sexual and reproductive health, and adolescent health and development. She has methodological expertise in design and analysis of observational (e.g., longitudinal cohort) and mixed methods studies. Her research focuses on health disparities of sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. Current projects include identifying supportive and protective factors associated with positive health among adolescents, substance disorders and treatment experiences among youth, HPV vaccination among young adults, and a physical activity program for women.

See Dr. Corliss’ profile for details on publications and projects.

Photo of Dr. Scott Kelley

Scott Kelley, PhD

Leader, Biomedical Methods Group

Dr. Scott Kelley is a Professor in the Department of Biology at SDSU. His research focuses on the study of environmental microbiology. He has extensive experience analyzing microbial and viral diversity, including that of humans as part of the Human Microbiome Project, a research initiative to improve understanding of the microbial flora involved in human health and disease. Among other subjects, Dr. Kelley has investigated the role of the gut microbiome in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the relationship between heart disease and periodontal disease and whether saliva bacterial profiles may be useful as biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. For the SDSU HealthLINK Center, Dr. Kelley leads biomedical research methods, bioinformatics data analysis, and provides direction to the Center’s biomedical laboratory.

See Dr. Kelley’s profile for details on publications and projects.

Elena Kaltsas

Elena Kaltsas, MA

Coordinator, Investigator Development Team

In July of 2018, Ms. Elena Kaltsas relocated from Ann Arbor, Michigan to accept a position with the UC San Diego School of Medicine, where she served two and a half years in the role of Academic Program Management Officer for the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research. While there, she led oversight and management of center operations while providing leadership and support to research staff across six clinical trial projects focused on eating disorder and obesity studies. Before relocating to San Diego, Ms. Kaltsas served in various leadership roles at the University of Michigan’s (UM) School of Public Health. Her contributions centered the development, implementation, and management of culturally tailored, community based clinical trial projects, addressing cardiac disease, asthma, chronic pain, and obesity.

Ms. Kaltsas is highly committed to redress and mitigation of structural inequities lending to chronic disease disparities through multi-disciplinary approaches focused on collective impact. Also interested in implementation and evaluation science, Ms. Kaltsas led translational research efforts for the Accelerating Impact Project (AIP), a study evaluating key accelerators and decelerators of EBI uptake within education, business, government, and healthcare settings throughout the U.S. during while at UM. Ms. Kaltsas possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University and a Master of Arts from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is excited to join the SDSU HealthLINK Center as the Coordinator of the Investigator Development Team, where she manages day-to-day operations related to pilot project program management and works closely with other team Co-Leaders and Coordinators to coordinate pilot project and career enhancement activities within the context of the Center.


See Ms. Kaltsas’s profile for details on publications and projects.