Sponsored Presentations
2021-2022 event Series
CDUHR STI Virtual Symposium – June 23, 2022
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Nina Harawa, Umedjon Ibragimov, Preeti Pathela, Caitlyn Murphy, Sarah Murray, Dawn Fukuda
Presentation title: Drug Use and STIs: Integrating Surveillance, Research, and Care

Agenda (Download PDF)

Morning Session

10:00-10:05 am: Welcome
Holly Hagan, PhD – CDUHR Director & Professor, NYU School of Global Public Health

10:05-10:30 am: Overview
• Brief Epidemiology of STI in People who Use Drugs (PWUD) in the U.S.
Joy D. Scheidell, PhD, MPH – Assistant Professor, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
• STI Testing, Models of Care for STI and PWUD
David Perlman, MD – CDUHR Director, Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Social-Behavioral Theory Core & Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

10:30-11:30 am: Plenary 1: The Intersection of Incarceration and Sexual Transmitted Infections
Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH – Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

11:30-12:15 pm: Plenary 2: Population-level Research on Structural Determinants of STIs
Umedjon Ibragimov, MD, MPH, PhD – Research Assistant Professor, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

12:15-2:00 pm: Break

Afternoon Session

2:00-3:30 pm: Panel: Breaking Down Silos the Prevent Integration of STI/HIV and Drug Use Surveillance, Clinical Care, and Research Efforts

  • Preeti Pathela, DrPH, MPH – Acting Executive Director – STI Program, Bureau of Hepatitis, HIV, and Sexually Transmitted Infections & Caitlin Murphy, LCSW – Director, Behavioral Health, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Sarah Murray, RN – Community Engagement Nurse Manager, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart
  • H. Dawn Fukuda, ScM – Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Discussants: Ethan Cowan, MD, MS & Sam Friedman, PhD – CDUHR Associate Directors, Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Social-Behavioral Theory Core
  • Moderators: Maria Khan, PhD, MPH & David Perlman, MD


3:30-3:45 pm: Tools Needed to Conduct Research on STI in People Who Use Drugs: Theory, Frameworks, and Functionally Diverse Teams
Maria Khan, PhD, MPH – CDUHR Associate Director, Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Social-Behavioral Theory Core & Associate Professor, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

3:45-4:00 pm: Closing
Holly Hagan, PhD – CDUHR Director & Professor, NYU School of Global Public Health

Constructing and Securing an NIH K Award – Panel Presentation – June 7, 2022 (Video)
Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 9:00 am-10:30 am
Location: Zoom presentation
Presented by: Rich Jenkins, PhD; Teri Senn, PhD; Devin English; Neal Goldstein, PhD, MBI; Joseph Palamar, PhD; Suzan Walters, PhD; Charles Cleland, PhD; Dustin Duncan, ScD; Danielle Ompad, PhD
Presentation title: Constructing and Securing an NIH K Award

Link to Video (registration required).

K Panelists

CDUHR Pilot Projects & Mentoring Core Presentations – May 19, 2022
Thursday, May 19, 2022, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Location: Zoom
Presented by: David Frank, PhD; Jessica Jaiswal, PhD; Suzan Walters, PhD
Presentation title: CDUHR Pilot Projects & Mentoring Core Presentations

David FrankStakeholders’ Perceptions of Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: Factors Influencing Patient Uptake and Retention
David Frank, PhD
Research Scientist, NYU School of Global Public Health
Mentors: Honoria Guarino, Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, and David Perlman


Jessica JaiswalContextual Factors Related to PrEP Implementation in Methadone Clinic Settings
Jessica Jaiswal, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Mentors: David Perlman, Alex Bennett, and Ellen Benoit



Suzan WaltersFeasibility of PrEP for Persons Who Inject Drugs
Suzan Walters, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, NYU School of Global Public Health
Mentors: Sam Friedman and Danielle Ompad

CDUHR Seminar – Matthew Golden – May 10, 2022 (Video)
Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Matthew Golden, MD, MPH
Presentation title: Starving in the Midst of Plenty: Lessons Learned from an Outbreak of HIV in Persons Who Inject Drugs in Seattle, WA

Golden Presentation



Link to Video.



King County, WA was one of the first areas of the UW to establish a syringe service program and has among the highest levels of syringe exchange in the US.  It was the first urban area of the US to achieve the World Health Organization 90-90-90 HIV objective, and the rate of new HIV diagnoses declined over 60% between 2002 and 2017.  Then, in 2018, the number of new HIV diagnoses among persons who inject drugs jumped over 200%.  What went wrong?  This talk will describe King County’s 2018 outbreak, the public health response to the outbreak, and how that experience has shaped King County’s Ending the Epidemic strategy.

Matthew GoldenMatthew Golden is the Director of the Public Health – Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program, a professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, and the Director of the UW Center for AIDS and STD (CFAS). He received his BA in history from Grinnell College, his MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins University, and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Washington. Dr. Golden’s research seeks to integrate public health practice with clinical and implementation science research in the area of HIV/STD prevention. Much of his work has focused on field outreach, partner services, and health-care system change to improve the HIV care continuum.

CDUHR & NYU Silver Talks – Lisa Bowleg – May 5, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022, 12:00 pm-1:30 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Lisa Bowleg, PhD, MA
Presentation title: Becoming Intersectionally Structurally Competent: The Case for Intersectionality and Structural Approaches as Indispensable Frameworks for Health Equity

Traditional biomedical and psychosocial approaches typically conceptualize health primarily as a property of individuals: their exposure to various viruses, bacteria, or genetic and environmental factors; and their cognitions and behaviors. Pervasive and disproportionate health inequities among individuals and groups historically marginalized and minoritized by intersecting structural power relations (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, classism, and ableism), demand a more critical, complex, and social justice approach to health. Building on the foundation of Metzl and Hansen’s (2014) structural competency paradigm, a framework that prompts medical trainees to engage more deeply with the role of structure and structural inequality on health, this presentation will make the case that intersectionality and structural approaches are indispensable frameworks for advancing health equity in research, training, and clinical practice.

Lisa BowlegLisa Bowleg is Professor of Applied Social Psychology, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, George Washington University; Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core, DC Center for AIDS Research; Founder and President, Intersectionality Training Institute.

CDUHR Grant Development Presentation – Marya Gwadz & Lloyd Goldsamt – May 4, 2022
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Marya Gwadz, PhD & Lloyd Goldsamt, PhD
Presentation title: CDUHR Grant Development Workshop: The NIH Peer Review Process and Grantspersonship

This presentation will cover the NIH peer review process and provide tips on best practices for putting together a grant application.

Marya GwadzMarya Gwadz is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Dean for Research and Professor at the New York University Silver School of Social Work. Dr. Gwadz is an Associate Director of the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, in which she has played a leadership role since 2005. The main focus of Dr. Gwadz’s research is the development and evaluation of potent, innovative, multi-level culturally salient interventions to address racial/ethnic and socio-economic disparities in HIV. Her work with populations in high-risk contexts spans over two decades and has focused on sub-groups such as runaway/homeless youth, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), heterosexuals at high risk for HIV, substance-using populations, low socioeconomic status populations, and persons of color living with HIV/AIDS.

Lloyd GoldsamtLloyd Goldsamt is a Senior Research Scientist at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and an adjunct professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. He has conducted NIH-funded research and community-based evaluations for the past 20 years. His primary research area is HIV and STI prevention among high-risk youth populations, including men who have sex with men, male sex workers and injection drug users. Dr. Goldsamt has conducted training and program evaluations locally and nationally, focusing on drug courts and community-based organizations working to prevent HIV and drug abuse. He is currently the Evaluator for the Brooklyn Treatment Court and an evaluator on an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention project developing nationwide Juvenile Drug Court Learning Collaboratives. Dr. Goldsamt is also on the faculty of the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute and a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State.

CDUHR PPM Presentation – Andrew G. Holmes – April 27, 2022 (Video)
Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Andrew G. Holmes, EdD
Presentation title: Positionality and Reflexivity



Link to Video.




‘Researcher positionality’ is the concept that the individual researcher’s unique personal self-identity, beliefs, values and life-history shapes their understandings and interpretations or ‘view’ of the world. This in turn impacts their research in terms of how a research project is designed, conducted, how data may be analysed and how results are interpreted.

‘Reflexivity’ is the concept that qualitative researchers should take account of their positionality through being critically reflective and examining their own beliefs, judgements and accepting they are a part of the research process and their unique positionality affects many, perhaps all, aspects of their research. Reflexivity allows researchers to recognise potential bias in their work and to acknowledge and even embrace it. Through the process of self-reflexivity, the researcher can acknowledge her/himself in the research and articulate, and clarify their positionality.

The presentation will explore researcher positionality, reflexivity and the researcher as ‘insider or outsider’ debate to the research locus. There will be a blend of theoretical input and discussion points, hopefully leaving one with some interesting questions to consider and discuss with colleagues and help in identifying and articulating one’s own positionality.

Andrew HolmesAndrew G. Holmes is a lecturer in Education at the University of Hull in England. He is programme director for the School of Education’s BA Education Studies programme and teaches at levels from foundation year to postgraduate, including modules on ethics, contemporary and critical perspectives on Education, and research practices. He has extensive experience of new course development, including working with the private sector to develop work-based learning programmes. He is a director and trustee of the charity Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University which works to provide extra-curricular learning experiences for children in disadvantaged areas in the city of Hull and its region. He is a qualitative researcher with research interests in the field of Education which include learner autonomy, pedagogy, students’ approaches to learning and higher education assessment.

CDUHR Grant Development Presentation – Danielle Ompad & Dustin Duncan – April 19, 2022
Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 11:00 am-1:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Danielle Ompad, PhD & Dustin Duncan, ScD
Presentation title: Human Subjects Protocol & Finalizing Application

In this presentation, Drs. Ompad and Duncan will discuss the study record form including protection of human subjects, inclusion of women and minorities, inclusion of children, inclusion of individuals across the lifespan, planned enrollment, and additional requirements for clinical trials and interventions for an NIH grant proposal.

They will also present on how to finalize the application including the abstract, project narrative (PHRS), budget and budget justification, facilities and resources, biosketches, multiple PI leadership plan, etc.

Danielle OmpadDanielle Ompad is the Deputy Director for CDUHR and Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Education at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. Dr. Ompad is an infectious disease epidemiologist with extensive experience in design, conduct, and analysis of community-based cross-sectional and prospective studies. Her research interests include illicit substance use, sexual risk behaviors, infectious diseases (e.g., HIV, HBV, HCV, HSV, and HPV), adult access to vaccines, and urban health. She has studied HIV risk, and social determinants of that risk, among drug using populations in the US (Baltimore and New York, in particular), Ukraine, and Russia. Dr. Ompad was a member of the Synergy Circle of the Knowledge Network on Urban Settings, a network created by WHO’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health to consider the role of urbanization in health outcomes. She has also been a consultant to the WHO and PAHO on urban health issues. She was a member of the Rockefeller Foundation-funded Roundtable for Urban Living Environment Research (RULER) group. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Urban Health and former secretary for the International Society for Urban Health.

Dustin DuncanDustin Duncan is Director of the Pilot Projects and Mentoring Core in CDUHR. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he directs the Columbia Spatial Epidemiology Lab and co-directs the department’s Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Duncan is a Social and Spatial Epidemiologist, studying how specific neighborhood characteristics influence population health and health disparities. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD, and NHLBI), the CDC, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation and the Aetna Foundation. In 2020, he received the Mentor of the Year Award from Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

CDUHR Seminar – NYC DOHMH (Beharie/Izar/Jordan/Rodriguez) – April 12, 2022
Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Nisha Beharie, DrPH, MPH; Rwaida Izar, MPH; Ashley E. Jordan, PhD, MPH; Alicia Rodriguez
Presentation title: Factors Impacting Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines, and Perceptions of and Willingness to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination, among People Who Use Drugs in NYC

People who use drugs (PWUD) are at high risk of Covid-19 infection, hospitalization and death. Covid-19 morbidity and mortality are preventable by vaccination. This presentation will cover findings from a qualitative study and a quantitative survey conducted by members of the Bureau of Alcohol Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment (BADUPCT) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The aim of this work was to explore the perceptions of and willingness to receive Covid-19 vaccination, including to explore factors related to Covid-19 vaccination confidence in-depth, among PWUD in NYC in Spring of 2021. Findings could be used inform strategies and interventions in public health practice and research to increase PWUD Covid-19 vaccination rates and to improve the delivery of Covid-19 information to communities of PWUD. 

Nisha BeharieNisha Beharie is a Senior Research Associate within the BADUPCT at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she conducts qualitative and mixed-methods research to inform policy and programing for people who use drugs in New York City. Dr. Beharie has both research and program experience in the areas of health policy, substance use, homelessness, and mental health which has included directing federally funded projects by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She is also a former affiliated investigator at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) and was previously a predoctoral and postdoctoral fellow in the NIDA funded Behavioral Science Training (BST) Program at NYU.

Rwaida IzarRwaida Izar is the Project Coordinator of the CDC Assessing Women’s Services at Syringe Services Programs (SSP) grant-funded initiative in the BADUPCT at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ms. Izar coordinates project logistics for the conduct of needs assessments and the implementation of womxn-focused harm reduction services and programs. Additionally, she is a Field Responder for the Rapid Assessment and Response (RAR) team conducting field-based activities of data-driven rapid responses to emerging drug issues and delivering naloxone and harm reduction training to people who use drugs, community-based organizations, drug treatment providers and other relevant professionals. Ms. Izar completed an MPH with a focus in Health Policy & Management at New York University in 2018.

Ashly JordanAshly E. Jordan is Senior Epidemiologist in the BADUPCT at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Jordan has worked in both academic research and in applied public health including on NIDA- and CDC-funded research, surveillance, evaluation, and intervention grants and on collaborative international teams including work with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. She began her formal career in 2007 with the AmeriCorps/National AIDS Fund as a harm reduction specialist and HIV/HCV test-counselor leading programming and outreach on a mobile syringe service unit. She is committed to using multi-disciplinary, multi-level approaches incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data to improve the understanding of, and responses to, the needs of people who have been made to be vulnerable by social structures and policies. Dr. Jordan has extensive experience at the intersection of substance use and ‘misuse’, structural inequities, and harms related to substance use including hepatitis C virus, HIV, SSTIs, TB, and overdose. She is a CDUHR Affiliated Investigator and serves on the Early- and Mid-Career Research Committee of The International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU).

Alicia RodriguezAlicia Rodriguez is a Field Responder for the Rapid Assessment and Response (RAR) team in the Research and Surveillance Unit of the BADUPCT at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ms. Rodriguez contributes to the conduct of data-driven rapid responses to emerging drug-related issues across the five NYC boroughs. With a background in harm reduction, Ms. Rodriguez’ work focuses on improving the health and well-being of people who use drugs through applied and grassroots public health practice. She has co-authored several publications including “Injection risk norms and practices among migrant Puerto Rican people who inject drugs in New York City: The limits of acculturation theory” and “Toward Community Empowerment: The Puerto Rican Ganchero”

CDUHR PPM Presentation – Paul Hibbert – March 30, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Paul Hibbert, MBA, PhD, FHEA, FCMI, FBAM
Presentation title: Positionality, Reflexivity and Reflexive Practice

This seminar provides an overview of reflexivity as a personal as well as an academic project, that can offer two ways of recognising and accounting for our positionality in our research:

  • Maximising the generalisability of the understandings generated in research projects, by eliminating the influence of our situated interpretive stance.
  • Maximising the authenticity and resonance of the understandings generated in research projects, through drawing attention to and building on the richness of our situated interpretive stance.

Dr. Hibbert will discuss how both approaches rely on the researcher’s development of reflexive practice that incorporates awareness on bodily, emotional, rational and relational levels, and a cycle that moves between past-oriented and future-oriented perspectives.

Paul HibbertPaul Hibbert is Dean of Arts & Divinity and a Professor of Management at the University of St Andrews. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Auckland. Paul’s research is principally focused on reflexive, relational and collaborative processes of organizing and learning. His work is published in leading international journals including and his book How to be a Reflexive Researcher was published in 2021. Dr. Hibbert is widely involved in leadership and service to journals and learned societies. His current editorial roles include: Editor-in-Chief of Academy of Management Learning & Education, and editorial board member of Organizational Research Methods.

CDUHR Grant Development Presentation – Noelle Leonard & Donna Shelley – March 29, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Noelle Leonard, PhD & Donna Shelley, MD, MPH
Presentation title: CDUHR Grant Development Presentation: Integrating Conceptual Models and Theories

Theory serves as the structure and support for all aspects of your grant proposal and a clearly articulated theoretical framework significantly strengthens your application. Using examples of individual, interpersonal, and social level theories, and a case study of implementation science theory, this presentation will focus the ways in which theory serves as a guide for the design of your study as well as tips for integrating your theoretical model into the components of an NIH application.

Noelle LeonardNoelle Leonard is an Associate Research Scientist at the NYU School of Global Public Health and an Associate Director in the Transdisciplinary Research Methods (TRM) Core in CDUHR. Her expertise is in designing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating behavioral interventions for highly vulnerable adults, adolescents, and families including those who are infected with, or at-risk for, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as those at risk for or dealing with issues related to substance use, and other mental health and behavioral problems. She has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on NIH-funded research studies using a variety of intervention strategies including mobile health, ambulatory assessment of physiological states, and mindfulness meditation. These studies have involved incarcerated youth, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), runaway/homeless youth, high-risk and HIV-infected adults, and at-risk adolescent mothers. In her role on the TRM core, she assists CDUHR affiliated investigators who are planning or conducting intervention studies and participates in several activities of the Pilot Projects and Mentoring core including serving as a mentor for junior investigators who are developing and conducting CDUHR-funded pilot projects. She developed the CDUHR assessment measures database and is the point person for investigators who are searching for appropriate measures for developing grant proposals and conducting funded projects.

Donna ShelleyDonna Shelley is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management and founding Director of the Global Center for Implementation Science in the NYU School of Global Public Health. Her research, cited in the 2008 PHS Guideline on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, has been funded by AHRQ, NIH, and CDC among others and is focused in the areas of tobacco control policy research, implementation science with a specific focus on studying health care system change to improve the quality of tobacco use treatment across a wide range of health care settings and developing efficacious cessation treatments for underserved populations, including smokers with comorbid conditions.

CDUHR Seminar – Magdalena Cerdá – March 8, 2022
Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, MPH
Presentation title: Understanding and Reversing the Tide of the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Opioid overdoses now claim more lives per year than HIV/AIDS did at the height of the epidemic. An unknown but large number of people suffer from opioid use disorder and nonfatal overdose, which have devastating individual and societal consequences. Millions of dollars have been invested at the federal and state level to address this problem. Dr. Cerdá will discuss how the overdose epidemic has evolved, where it is concentrated, what is known about its potential causes, and current evidence on the most effective approaches to address it.

Magdalena CerdaMagdalena Cerdá is a Professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine, and the Director of the NYU Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy. Her research focuses on the effects that local, state and national drug and health policies have on substance use trends, and on the ways the urban context shapes firearm violence. Current NIH- and CDC-funded research focuses on the impact that state and local drug policies, including prescription opioid policies, cannabis legalization, and drug use decriminalization, have on substance use, overdose, and associated health problems in the United States. Dr. Cerdá also uses innovative computational approaches, including machine learning and agent-based modeling, to forecast emerging epidemiologic trends in overdose, and to project the potential impact of harm reduction and substance use disorder treatment approaches in reducing overdose rates in the United States. Dr. Cerdá chairs an Expert Review Group for the National Academy of Medicine Opioid Collaborative, on integrating a social determinants of health perspective into approaches to address the opioids crisis. She also serves as a Senior Editor of the International Journal of Drug Policy, and has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and five book chapters.

CDUHR Grant Development Presentation – Dustin Duncan & Ellen Benoit – February 22, 2022
Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Location: Zoom Presentation
Presented by: Dustin Duncan, ScD & Ellen Benoit, PhD
Presentation title: CDUHR Grant Development Presentation 1: Specific Aims, Significance, Innovation

This series is intended to support investigators with the submission of their first NIH grant proposal. Drs. Dustin Duncan and Ellen Benoit will focus on developing specific aims, significance and innovation for an NIH application.

Dustin DuncanDustin Duncan is Director of the Pilot Projects and Mentoring Core in CDUHR. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he directs the Columbia Spatial Epidemiology Lab and co-directs the department’s Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Duncan is a Social and Spatial Epidemiologist, studying how specific neighborhood characteristics influence population health and health disparities. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD, and NHLBI), the CDC, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation and the Aetna Foundation. In 2020, he received the Mentor of the Year Award from Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Ellen BenoitEllen Benoit is an Associate Director of the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core in CDUHR. Dr. Benoit is a sociologist at North Jersey Community Research Initiative in Newark, NJ. She conducts qualitative and mixed-methods research on health inequality, particularly as it relates to HIV risk and substance use among marginalized groups. With Dr. Liliane Windsor at the University of Illinois, she is a Principal Investigator on a study in Newark using community based participatory research methods and multiphase optimization strategy to test interventions for adults at high risk of catching COVID-19, to increase rates of testing and adherence to recommendations for preventing transmission.

CDUHR Seminar – Typhanye Dyer – February 8, 2022 (Video)
Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom Webinar
Presented by: Typhanye V. Dyer, PhD, MPH
Presentation title: Utilizing Syndemics and Intersectional Frameworks in Substance Abuse Research for Marginalized, Priority Populations




Link to Video



This presentation will be on the history and use of syndemics in HIV research. Dr. Dyer will also cover the field of intersectionality research and how the two complement one another to provide context into the lived experiences of marginalized, high-risk, priority populations. Some foci will be on concepts and frameworks of both syndemics and intersectionality and slightly on measurement of syndemics via latent class analysis.

Typhane DyerTyphanye V. Dyer is an associate professor in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at The University of Maryland School of Public Health, in College Park, MD. She received her doctorate from The UCLA Jonathan and Karen Fielding School of Public Health and completed her post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University. Her educational training is in infectious disease and social epidemiology, as well as community health, particularly focused on community-engaged research. Integrating theories and innovative methodologies from both disciplines, she strives to understand the broader social and structural processes that impact the health of the community.

Dr. Dyer is an epidemiologist and health disparities scholar whose research examines the influence of social, psychological, and behavioral factors on HIV/STI-risk in Black populations. She has over 20 years of experience conducting research exploring HIV and HIV-related outcomes among sexual minority men, as well as women. The majority of her research applies the concept of syndemics (complex, intersecting, synergistic psychosocial and structural barriers) to the lived experiences of Black sexual minority men (Black SMM), including exploring the intersections of trauma, poor mental health, criminal justice involvement and HIV/STI risk and acquisition for Black SMM. Regarding Black women, she uses a similar framework to develop an understanding of the impact of intersectional stigma on engagement in the HIV continuum of care for older cisgender Black women living with of at risk for HIV.

NYC DOH/DPA/CDUHR Quarterly Briefing – January 19, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar
Presented by: Alex Harocopos, PhD, MSc & Michelle Nolan, MPH, MPhil
Presentation title: New York City 2020 Overdose Mortality Data

Recent data released by the CDC and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene demonstrates that the overdose epidemic is worsening in NYC and nationwide, with increases in overdose deaths driven by the increased presence of fentanyl. The NYC DOHMH will share this most recent data and highlight responses implemented by the Health Department to help inform efforts led by people who use drugs, providers, and community partners to reduce overdose deaths.

CDUHR Seminar – Georgios Nikolopoulos – January 11, 2022 (Video)
Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Georgios Nikolopoulos, DDS, MSc, PhD, FACE, CPH
Presentation title: HIV Outbreak Among People Who Inject Drugs in Athens, Greece During an Era of Economic Hardship




Link to Video



Greece experienced an unprecedented fiscal crisis and economic downturn after 2009 that was soon followed by instability, political turbulence, and social struggles. Between 2011 and 2013, HIV spread quickly among people who inject drugs (PWID) in downtown Athens. The public health response included efforts by national public health authorities and drug use agencies but a major intervention was ARISTOTLE, a seek-test-treat-retain approach that consisted of multiple waves of respondent-driven sampling. In the same context, a US NIDA-funded project based on identifying risk networks of PWID recently infected with HIV was implemented (Transmission Reduction Intervention Project – TRIP; Sam Friedman, PI). This talk will summarize key aspects of the HIV outbreak among PWID in Athens, present the findings of ARISTOTLE and TRIP, and discuss future challenges for this population in Greece and beyond.

Geogios NikolopoulosGeorgios Nikolopoulos is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus. He is a graduate of Dentistry from the Dental School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece and holds a MSc in Biostatistics, and a PhD in Epidemiology (HIV and Hepatitis B virus coinfection) from the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics of the Medical School of the same university. His 18-month post-doctoral fellowship was funded, following international competition, by the International AIDS Society and the United States (US) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr Nikolopoulos is fellow member of the American College of Epidemiology (FACE) and certified in Public Health by the US National Board of Public Health Examiners (CPH). He worked as an expert in epidemiology at the Greek Center for Disease Control and Prevention for nearly 14 years with involvement in the epidemiology and prevention of HIV, and in public health responses against SARS, West Nile Virus infection, and pandemic A (H1N1) influenza. He was site principal investigator (Athens) of a US-NIDA study on HIV prevention (TRIP) and is currently leading a study in Cyprus on environmental epidemiology that is funded by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation. He also has expertise and long-term experience in synthesis of evidence (systematic reviews, meta-analysis, network meta-analysis). Dr Nikolopoulos has published around 180 peer-reviewed articles and serves as member of the editorial board, academic editor or topic editor of scientific journals including Pathogens, PLoS ONE, and Journal of Clinical Medicine. He served as member of the National Committees in Cyprus for HIV and HCV, and is currently serving as member of the Scientific Committee advising the Minister of Health in the Republic of Cyprus on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDUHR Seminar – Maia Szalavitz – December 14, 2021 (Video)
Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Maia Szalavitz
Presentation title: What is the History of Harm Reduction? Who Developed the Idea and How Did it Become an International Movement?



Link to Video




From its roots in the U.K. and the Netherlands to the spread of harm reduction throughout the United States, this talk will explore how the HIV pandemic led to a new way of thinking about drugs that is the first real threat to the war on drugs.

maia-szalavitz-2021Maia Szalavitz is the author of Undoing Drugs:  The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction (Hachette Go, 2021), the first history of the harm reduction movement and its success in moving America towards more compassionate and effective approaches to addiction.

Her previous book, Unbroken Brain:  A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, first published in 2016, was a New York Times bestseller and received the 2018 media award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Her earlier book, Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids, was the first to expose the damage caused by the “tough love” business that dominates youth treatment and helped spur Congressional hearings on the matter.

She has also authored or co-authored six other books, including the classic on child trauma, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, with Bruce. D. Perry, MD, PhD. In addition, she has written essays and features for numerous publications from High Times to the New York Times.

CDUHR Seminar – Jules Netherland & Alex Kral – November 9, 2021 (Video)
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Jules Netherland, PhD & Alex Kral, PhD
Presentation title: Principles and Metrics for Evaluating Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Measure: Centering the Voices of People who Use Drugs

netherland-kral-2021-11-09Link to Video




In November 2020, Oregon voters passed an historic measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs and invest substantially in healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, harm reduction, and social services for people who use drugs. Already, there is broad interest in evaluating the measure, and evaluations of the policy will be critical to the many jurisdictions that are seeking to replicate it. In an effort to improve evaluations of the measure and avoid some of the pitfalls of drug policy research, we convened a working group of experts and consulted with people who use drugs in Oregon to develop principles for an effective evaluation as well as metrics to measure the success of policy. This presentation will describe both the process we used as well as the principles and metrics derived from interviews with people who use drugs in Oregon.

Jules NetherlandJules Netherland, PhD, is the Managing Director of the Department of Research and Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance. In that role, she advances drug policy reform by supporting scholars in doing advocacy, convening experts from a range of disciplines to inform the field, and strengthening DPA’s use of research and scholarship in developing and advancing its policy positions.

Prior to DPA, she worked at the New York Academy of Medicine on a range of public health research and policy projects. Dr. Netherland is the editor of Critical Perspectives on Addiction (Emerald Press, 2012). Her work with Helena Hansen, MD, PhD on the racialization of the opioid epidemic has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Biosocieties, and Culture, Psychiatry and Medicine. She holds a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center, a Masters in Social Work from Boston University, and BA from Bryn Mawr College.

Alex KralAlex Kral, PhD, is Distinguished Fellow at the nonprofit research institute RTI International. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist with expertise in policy-relevant, community-based research with urban poor populations. Dr. Kral is the principal investigator or co-investigator on several National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded and Laura and John Arnold Foundation-supported studies of the relationship between infectious diseases, criminal justice involvement, substance use, and poverty. He has authored or coauthored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, and Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He holds a doctoral degree in epidemiology from University of California Berkeley, a master’s degree in epidemiology from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

CDUHR Methods Presentation – David Vanness – October 21, 2021 (Video)
Thursday, October 21, 2021, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: David Vanness, PhD
Presentation title: An Introduction to Bayesian Statistics for Evaluation and Decision-Making


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Uncertainty is the reason why we do evaluation research… and the reason why our research often fails to lead to change. When we use Bayesian principles to quantify uncertainty, we can help decision-makers to better understand the consequences of making decisions based on current knowledge and the potential benefits and costs of engaging in further research. In this talk, we will introduce the fundamental principles of Bayesian statistical inference and briefly talk about commonly-used statistical packages, including WinBUGS, JAGS and STAN. We will then briefly discuss applications of Bayesian inference to multi-level modeling, meta-analysis and clinical trial design. We will conclude with a preview of how Bayesian principles are being incorporated into the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) to provide a new platform for optimizing and evaluating multi-component behavioral and biobehavioral interventions.

David VannessDavid J. Vanness, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University (University Park, Pennsylvania). He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has served on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Professor Vanness has taught short courses in Bayesian statistics for the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) for over 15 years and was the founding Chair of ISPOR’s Statistical Methods in Health Economics and Outcomes Research Special Interest Group. He currently serves as methodological Associate Editor for the journal Value in Health.

Dr. Vanness’ research uses computational methods to translate statistical evidence into improved decision-making in the areas of health technology assessment, health care policy evaluation and intervention optimization. He is currently working with Professor Linda Collins to incorporate Bayesian statistical decision-making principles into the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) and serves as a methodological consultant to the Heart-to-Heart 2 project (Professors Gwadz and Collins).

CDUHR Seminar – Yusuf Ransome – October 12, 2021 (Video)
Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Yusuf Ransome, DrPH
Presentation title: Social Cohesion and Social Capital: Their Role in HIV Prevention in the United States




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In this presentation, Dr. Ransome will discuss social capital and social cohesion as a determinant of HIV infection risk for individuals, and HIV incidence at the population level, by providing a theoretical overview and empirical results from his work and others, as well as results from randomized controlled studies. He will conclude with paths forward and how researchers can integrate social cohesion and social capital into their current work and build modules to add to their existing behavioral or biomedical interventions.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to describe the differences between structural and cognitive forms of social capital, explain some of the limitations of current metrics to assess social capital in public health, and explain why alternate measures are being proposed and the reasons why social capital development is being recommended. They will be able to list some mechanisms through which social capital influences several HIV care continuum outcomes (e.g., diagnosis and ART adherence), and evaluate published studies on social capital and HIV with respect to theory and measurement, and the quality of the articles conclusion.


Yusuf RansomeYusuf Ransome, DrPH, completed a Bachelor of Science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, an MPH from the University of Michigan, a DrPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a postdoc at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Yale School of Public Health.

Dr. Ransome investigates how social and cultural determinants (specifically, social capital & social cohesion, religion & spirituality) influence health and socioeconomic mobility, and can be leveraged to reduce disparities in HIV infection and alcohol use disorders. Dr. Ransome currently has a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the direct association and underlying mechanisms between social capital and late HIV diagnosis in the United States.

CDUHR Methods Presentation – John W. Jackson – September 29, 2021 (Video)
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: John W. Jackson, ScD
Presentation title: An Introduction to Causal Decomposition Analysis for Studying Disparities in Health



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Brief Description: Two of the most popular tools to describe how factors contribute to disparities are mediation analysis (from epidemiology) and the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition (from economics). In this talk, Dr. Jackson will review their different inferential goals and introduce a unifying perspective under the potential outcomes framework. He will also show how this unifying perspective builds upon both approaches by allowing us to separately consider how covariates are used to define disparities and adjust for confounding of explanatory factors.

John JacksonJohn W. Jackson is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Jackson earned his ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2013 with a concentration in psychiatric epidemiology. From 2011 to 2014, he trained in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a predoctoral trainee and postdoctoral research fellow, where his work focused on the safety and utilization of antipsychotic medications, as well as methods for comparative effectiveness research. Dr. Jackson’s current research focuses on understanding and reducing the excess morbidity and mortality in patients with mental illness, and uses state-of-the-art methods to provide insight about the effectiveness of potential interventions.


CDUHR Pilot Projects and Mentoring (PPM) Core Presentation – Dustin Duncan – September 21, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom webinar
Presented by: Dustin T. Duncan, ScD
Presentation title: Meet Dustin Duncan, CDUHR's New PPM Core Director

Dr. Dustin Duncan is the new CDUHR Pilot Project and Mentoring (PPM) Core Director. In this session, he will discuss his current research interests, and his mentoring experiences as a mentor and mentee. He will review the services offered by the Core and CDUHR pilot project funding opportunities.

New and early stage investigators are encouraged to attend to ask questions and to make suggestions about services and workshops offered by the Core.

Dustin DuncanDustin T. Duncan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he directs the Columbia Spatial Epidemiology Lab and co-directs the department’s Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit. He received CDUHR pilot project funding in 2014 and 2015, which led to subsequent funding by NIDA, NIMH, NICHD, NIAID and the CDC. In 2020, he was the inaugural CDUHR Visiting Scholar.

Dr. Duncan is a Social and Spatial Epidemiologist, studying how neighborhood characteristics and mobility across geographic contexts influence population health and health disparities. His research has a strong domestic focus — including in New York City, Chicago and the Deep South (e.g., New Orleans) — and his recent work is beginning to span across the globe such as in West Africa, especially with Columbia’s International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP). Methodologically, his research utilizes an ecologically-intense and a geospatial lens to apply geographic information systems, web-based real-time geospatial technologies, and geospatial modeling techniques. Working in collaborations with scholars across the world, he has nearly 200 high-impact scientific articles, book chapters and books; his research has appeared in major media outlets including US News and World Report, Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN. Dr. Duncan’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, and the Aetna Foundation. He currently leads three NIH-funded R01 studies, as well as studies funded by other sources, and mentors K and other awards of junior scientists.

He has received several early career and distinguished scientific contribution, mentoring and leadership awards including from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS). In 2020, he received the Mentor of the Year Award from Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Duncan has mentored numerous early-stage scientists, doctoral students, and post-docs who have gone on to attain positions at academic institutions and successfully compete for research funding, including NIH R01-level funding. He thus has a strong perspective on how to ensure junior researchers launch successful research careers.

CDUHR Seminar – Manuel Cano & Camila Gelpi-Acosta – September 14, 2021 (Video)
Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: Zoom Webinar
Presented by: Manuel Cano, PhD & Camila Gelpi-Acosta, PhD
Presentation title: Drug Overdose Mortality in Different Hispanic Heritage Groups


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Although Hispanics as an overall group experience lower rates of drug overdose mortality than their Non-Hispanic White or Black peers, the overall Hispanic category masks wide variation in risk of overdose mortality. In this presentation, we will compare recent US rates of drug overdose mortality between different Hispanic heritage groups, also examining variation by age, sex, nativity, and specific drugs involved in overdose. In addition to highlighting mortality data, the presentation will also discuss possible explanations and implications for the alarmingly high rates of drug overdose deaths in Hispanics of Puerto Rican heritage living stateside.

manuel-canoManuel Cano is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Texas at San Antonio studying racial/ethnic differences in outcomes related to alcohol and drug use, with emphasis on drug overdose mortality.




gelpi-acosta-276x303Camila Gelpí-Acosta is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at LaGuardia Community College. She co-founded and sits on the Board of a syringe services program in Puerto Rico (El Punto en la Montaña) and is also the Advisory Board Chair of Bronx Móvil, a mobile syringe services program in the Bronx. Her research focuses on the disease and overdose vulnerabilities of Puerto Rican PWID residing in Puerto Rico and NYC.