Lei Chen

As a trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural researcher, Lei’s research interest focuses on social policy, long-term services and supports, immigrants’ access to health care, aging and technology, and cross-cultural studies. Her dissertation uses a population-level survey to examine the relationships among disability status, financial strain, and health and well-being among people with needs for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in California, which also explores disparities among these relationships under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lei’s research applies both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She has worked on several grant-funded research projects at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and projects sponsored by the state of California. She is collaborating with researchers at UCLA Human-Centered Computing and Intelligent Sensing Lab (HiLab) with the aim to make technology more inclusive for older adults. Her papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Qualitative Methods and Research on Social Work Practice. She has also presented her research at multiple national conferences, including the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Population Association of America (PAA), and American Public Health Association (APHA). She has served as a manuscript reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals.

Apart from being an academic, Lei actively engages in policy-related work at state and national levels. She served as the inaugural Kathy Hyer Summer Policy Intern at the Gerontological Society of America. She assisted the policy-making process of the Master Planning on Aging (MPA) in California and is leading the workstream of selecting LTSS indicators for the MPA Data Dashboard.

Before joining the Ph.D. program at UCLA, she worked as a research assistant for several companies, international organizations, and universities, including McKinsey & Company, Fudan University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Washington University, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Ayako Miyashita Ochoa

Ayako Miyashita Ochoa is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare.  She serves as Associate Director of the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center which brings the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on California’s efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people living with or at risk for HIV.  Professor Miyashita’s interests focus on HIV-related health disparities at the intersection of race/ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, and migrant status.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Miyashita directed the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project, a legal services collaborative dedicated to addressing the unmet legal needs of primarily low-income people living with HIV (“PLWH”) in Los Angeles County.  As a Director in the Clinical and Experiential Learning Department at UCLA School of Law, Professor Miyashita taught courses on the attorney-client relationship, client interviewing and counseling, and HIV law and policy.

Currently, Professor Miyashita serves as Co-Principal Investigator on a study to develop a mobile application to improve treatment adherence among HIV-positive African American young men who have sex with men.  During her time at the Williams Institute, her research included research on the unmet legal needs of low-income people living with HIV and impact on health in addition to HIV criminalization and issues related to privacy and confidentiality for people living with HIV.

In her legal practice, Professor Miyashita focused on providing direct legal services to low-income clients living with HIV in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.  This included assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently.  Her legal expertise runs a broad spectrum of public benefits including income support, health coverage, and other support services necessary for individuals living with disabilities.  Professor Miyashita regularly provides training and education to clients, attorneys, advocates, HIV/AIDS service organizations, and legislative and policymaking bodies throughout the state of California.

Professor Miyashita earned her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2009.