Research Team

The research team is responsible for searching literature related to each research project and preparing literature reviews, collecting and compiling data and preparing them for analysis, conducting analyses in support of the research project, and interpreting the results of these analyses. The team also assists in the preparation of research briefs, reports, and manuscripts for all OHWRC projects.


Margaret Langelier, MSHSA


Ms. Langelier serves as both an investigator for the research team and the deputy director for OHWRC. Ms. Langelier has also served as a program research specialist at the New York Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) for 13 years, where she has been responsible for supervising staff and coordinating of all aspects of project workflow. During her tenure, Ms. Langelier has been lead staff or the principal investigator on numerous research projects about the allied health and oral health workforce. She has completed studies examining professional scope of practice for various professions as well as comprehensive studies of multiple health workforces. In recent years, Ms. Langelier has coordinated several state level oral health studies that included extensive literature reviews. She brings strong skills of organizing and conducting face-to-face or telephone interviews, focus groups, and other fieldwork related to project work. Ms. Langelier has considerable knowledge of survey design, sampling techniques, survey administration, data compilation, and report writing.

Simona Surdu, MD, PhD


Ms. Surdu currently serves as a project director at the New York Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS). She has been involved in comprehensive studies of oral health in various states and nationwide, including the evaluation of oral health needs, delivery of oral health services, and access and utilization of oral health services. With a background as a medical doctor and 15 years of experience in environmental health sciences in the U.S. and internationally, Dr. Surdu has gained advanced knowledge and research expertise in the field of public health and research methodologies. She has contributed to the development and implementation of epidemiologic studies, as an investigator and in leadership positions, to a variety of local and regional programs supported by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other organizations. Dr. Surdu has been responsible for designing, planning and overseeing collaborative research and training activities and fostering multidisciplinary networking among researchers and health and environmental professionals from various organizations worldwide. In addition, she has successfully collaborated with other scientists on the writing of scientific documents, reports, and manuscripts, and given presentations to disseminate scientific information, methodologies, and research findings.

Elizabeth Mertz, PhD


Dr. Mertz is a member of the research faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she has worked since 1997. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences in the School of Dentistry, and in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Nursing. She is affiliated with the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health. Dr. Mertz has researched, published, and lectured on a broad range of oral health professions workforce policy and analysis issues for the past 15 years, including supply and demand for providers, health care regulation, state and federal workforce policy, access to care, and evolving professional practice models. She has served on a number of oral health advisory and planning committees for organizations such as HRSA, the California HealthCare Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Pacific Center for Special Care, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Mertz recently served on the Institute of Medicine’s Oral Health Initiative committee that examined the dental delivery system and its challenges and made recommendations to HRSA for improving the oral health care delivery system. She is currently the principal investigator on a number of oral health workforce projects.

Aubri Kottek, MPH


In her current role as a research analyst at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Healthforce Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Ms. Kottek conducts mixed methods research examining health disparities, innovations in health care delivery, and health workforce issues. Prior to joining UCSF in early 2016, she honed her quantitative and qualitative analytical skills with 7 years of experience conducting biomedical and health access disparities research. Ms. Kottek has a master’s degree in public health from The University of Texas School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in human biology and anthropology from the University of California, San Diego.