Meet our Team

Director/Chair

Hannah CooperHannah Cooper, ScD
Dr. Cooper is the first Rollins Chair of Substance Use Disorders at Emory. A Professor in the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health, Dr. Cooper directs Spark, and also directs the Research Core for Emory’s Injury Prevention Research Center.
Her research expertise includes studying the social determinants of health, with a particular focus on the social determinants of drug use, drug users’ health, and health disparities. She applies multilevel, geospatial, and qualitative methods to explore these topics.

Assistant Director


Umed_headshotUmedjon Ibragimov, PhD
Dr. Ibragimov studied at the National Medical School of Tajikistan and at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, US. He has a special interest in HIV prevention and harm reduction. Before joining academia he has coordinated national-level HIV-prevention programs in his home country Tajikistan and conducted community-based and rapid assessments among people who inject drugs in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Dr. Ibragimov’s research interests include structural determinants of HIV/AIDS and implementation of harm reduction services in the US and globally. He also studied the influence of stigma and violence on the health of marginalized populations in his native Tajikistan and China. In his work he applies multilevel and structural equation modelling and qualitative methods.

Staff & Students


Marielysse Cortés, MSW
Ms. Cortés has over 16 years of experience in research, including 11 years of public health experience in HIV prevention, vaccines, and dementia caregiver interventions. She received her MSW in Community Partnerships from Georgia State University and her undergraduate degree from Emory University.  Ms. Cortés joined the Rollins Program in Substance Use Disorder (Spark @ Emory) in July 2021 as an Associate Director of Programs and currently manages the organization’s administrative and operational activities.