Introducing Dr. Brie Williams as our new Pepper CVP Liaison, Dr. Krista Harrison as our new VARC Co-Director

Our UCSF Pepper Center is excited to bring you two new announcements: 

Dr. Brie Williams has accepted the new role as the Pepper-Center for Vulnerable Populations Liaison and Criminal Justice and Policy Consultant. 

Dr. Williams, MD, MS, UCSF Professor of Medicine, co-directed the Vulnerable Aging Populations Research Core since its inception. She has extensive expertise in integrating a public health and human rights perspective into criminal justice reform, with a focus on ending solitary confinement; improving compassionate release policies for incarcerated patients with serious illness; and enhancing the response to disability, dementia, and serious illness in correctional settings. She currently directs Amend at UCSF and co-directs the Aging Research in Criminal Justice Health (ARCH) Network.  In July 2021, Dr. Williams took a leadership position at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) where she will help Dr. Margot Kushel build their Division’s program on policy-driven strategic science. The overarching goal of the CVP is to create actionable research to increase health equity, drive changes in policy and patient care, and partner with and improve communities through discovery, innovation, policy development, and advocacy.  Through Dr. Williams’ leadership as our Pepper-CVP Liaison and Criminal Justice and Policy Consultant, we look forward to building greater partnerships between the Division of Geriatrics and the CVP. 

Dr. Krista Harrison has accepted the new role as VARC Co-Director 

Dr. Harrison, PhD, UCSF Assistant (waiting for news of promotion) Professor of Medicine was a former UCSF T32 research fellow and a Pepper Research Education Core (REC) Scholar, with her REC project entitled “Residence & End-of-Life Care among Elders with Dementia: Medical & Social Predictors”. Since then, her leadership has continued to grow. She is also a UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies Associate Director for Training and an Associate Director for the UCSF Division of Geriatrics T32 Aging Research program. Her expertise includes qualitative and quantitative research methods, health policy ethics, implementation science, and the translation of research to policy. As our new VARC Co-Director, she will be working alongside Dr. Rebecca Sudore (VARC Co-Director) to further develop our Center’s initiatives in assisting investigators with the skills and expertise needed to design and execute studies that include older participants with medical or social vulnerability, including enrolling and retaining older adults for a range of study designs. 


For more information, please check out our Pepper Center website at