Cherisse Watts is a doctoral student (PhD) in the School of Nursing at University of California Los Angeles, and a graduate of Wellesley College and Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. Her research efforts are concentrated on advocating for medically underserved and low-income families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and ensuring that they have access to resources needed to achieve optimal health.

Cherisse participates in IDD research with her advisor, Dr. Lauren Clark, Professor and Shapiro Endowed Chair for Developmental Disability Studies at UCLA. Projects and publication efforts include - reviewing the history of discrimination of people with disabilities and special health care needs; analysis of the awareness and quality of care individuals with disabilities receive from dentists; mandated reporting of child maltreatment for nurses and other healthcare professionals, specifically looking at the complexities involved when parents with disabilities are the subjects; and healthcare transition period for youth with special healthcare needs related to vaccination decision-making.

Research Interest: 

Investigating health disparities and improving quality of care among Black and Latinx children with developmental delay or intellectual/developmental disabilities