Kristen Choi, assistant professor of nursing at UCLA, has been named a 2021 fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, one of only 13 Californians and 225 globally. Choi was recognized for her wide range of work, in particular her work during the pandemic, in which she described her experience as a participant in the Pfizer clinical vaccine trial. Choi will be formally inducted into the academy in October.

Choi, who also teaches in the department of health policy and management at the Fielding School of Public Health, also maintains a clinical practice as a registered nurse at a psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles. She also has worked in public health vaccination campaigns during the pandemic and volunteered as a test subject for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials in 2020, for which she drew international attention to the value of nursing experience during a public health crisis.

She studies health services and policy approaches to mental health, trauma and violence among children, adolescents and other vulnerable populations. Her current research projects include studies on autism spectrum disorder, adverse childhood experiences, the impact of trauma and violence on nurses, and health system factors associated with firearm violence. Choi received her master of science degree from Fielding School in 2018.