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Community Disruption & HIV/AIDS in D.C. Conference

Panel Member Biographies

jimi adams, PhD
jimi adams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at American University. A current primary project – Interdisciplinary Dynamics in Emerging Areas of Science (seed funding from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation) – examines the ways that scientific network structures shape success/failures in problem-based fields of inquiry (including HIV/AIDS). His research interests include diffusion of information, network epidemiology, mixed methods, sociology of science, HIV/AIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa, simulation modeling and religion. His teaching interests include social networks, research methods, sociological theory, sociology of religion, and sociology of science.

Michael D.M. Bader, PhD
Michael Bader is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at American University. He researches cities and ways in which people interact within the built environment. His scholarship centers on racial and economic segregation, neighborhood inequality, and health and nutrition disparities. He is also interested in social science methodology. Bader is collaborating with colleagues from Columbia University to evaluate the effectiveness of Google Street View as an alternative to costly in-person neighborhood audits. Previously, he worked as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeffrey "Bart" Bingenheimer, PhD
Jeffrey “Bart” Bingenheimer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. He received his masters and doctoral training in public health at the University of Michigan, and held postdoctoral positions at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Pennsylvania State University before moving to GWU. His research focuses primarily on the social contexts of adolescent sexual and contraceptive use behaviors. His primary current project is a longitudinal cohort study of gendered family and peer contexts of sexual risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults in Ghana. As a graduate student he worked extensively on the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.

Kim M. Blankenship, PhD
Kim M. Blankenship has been Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society at American University since 2010. Prior to joining the AU faculty she spent most of her career at Yale University including as Associate Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS from 1998-2008. She is interested in analyzing the social determinants (especially race, class and gender inequality) of health, and structural interventions to address these. Her research in this regard has focused primarily on HIV/AIDS and has been funded by CDC, NIMH, NIDA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Current research projects include a NIDA funded multi-methods, longitudinal study of criminal justice involved non-violent drug offenders in New Haven, CT that seeks to understand the impact of the incarceration/re-entry cycle (coercive mobility) on HIV related risk generally and the extent to which it can account for race disparities in risk in particular. In addition, she has funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to analyze the implementation and impact of a community mobilization intervention to address HIV risk in female sex workers in India, and is collaborating with Blair Johnson at the University of Connecticut on an NIMH funded meta analysis of structural interventions in HIV prevention.

Fernanda Trotta Bianchi, PhD
Fernanda Bianchi is a Senior Research Scientist in the Latino Health Research Center. The Center is comprised of a group of researchers housed in the Department of Psychology at the George Washington University. Dr. Bianchi holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the same university. She has served as Principal/Co-Investigator or Project Director on several federally-funded NIH research projects - both in the US and abroad. Most of her work has been in the area of health behavior and risk among immigrant and minority populations, with a special focus on HIV and Latino MSM. She is currently the Co-Investigator and Project Director of a large multi-site international R01 grant that will estimate prevalence of HIV among MSM in Bogotá, Colombia and examine the social context in which HIV occurs, including internal displacement, violence, and poverty. Dr. Bianchi also served as the Principal Investigator of an R21 grant where she investigated the ways in which individual, social, and structural conditions of immigrant Latino day laborers in Suburban Maryland affect their health and HIV risk. In addition, she has served as Project Director on another NIH-funded project that investigated the influence of context on sexual risk in a sample of Brazilian, Colombian, and Dominican immigrant MSM. Prior to these projects, she was the recipient of a Minority Supplement Award from NIHM to study the antecedents and consequences of disclosure of HIV status in a sample of HIV-positive Brazilian gay men. Dr. Bianchi has been a strong advocate in the Latino immigrant community for more than a decade. She is a member of the Latino Health Steering Committee for the Department of Health and Human Services in Montgomery County and she also serves on the Board of Directors of a local Latino non-profit organization (Identity Inc.) that provides services to Latino youth and families.  

Monica R. Biradavolu, PhD
Monica Biradavolu is Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Assistant Director of the Center on Health, Risk, and Society at American University. She has a PhD in Sociology from Duke University and prior to joining AU in 2010, held post-doctoral positions at Yale University and Duke University. Her research is broadly on the structural determinants of health with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. She has conducted ethnographic research on HIV prevention NGOs in India working with female sex workers and organizations in the District of Columbia providing HIV services to the severely mentally ill. Both studies focus on the following interrelated topics: (1) stigma and health, especially the double stigma of HIV and multiple marginalized statuses in society (sex worker, mentally ill, in addition to race, class, caste and gender inequities); (2) interventions/organizations that work with these populations.

Todd R. Clear, PhD
Todd R. Clear is Dean of the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. In 1978, he received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from The University at Albany. Clear has also held professorships at Ball State University, Rutgers University, Florida State University (where he was also Associate Dean of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (where he held the rank of Distinguished Professor). He has authored 12 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. His most recent book is Imprisoning Communities, by Oxford University Press. Clear has also written on community justice, correctional classification, prediction methods in correctional programming, community-based correctional methods, intermediate sanctions, and sentencing policy. He is currently involved in studies of the criminological implications of “place,” and the economics of justice reinvestment. Clear has served as president of The American Society of Criminology, The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and The Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice. His work has been recognized through several awards, including those of the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, The Rockefeller School of Public Policy, the American Probation and Parole Association, the American Correctional Association, and the International Community Corrections Association. He was the founding editor of the journal Criminology & Public Policy, published by the American Society of Criminology.

Andrew Deener, PhD
Andrew Deener is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on the intersection of cities, markets, and culture. His first book, Venice: A Contested Bohemia in Los Angeles, was published by the University of Chicago Press in July 2012. Based on six years of ethnographic and historical research, he examines how homelessness, immigration, and gentrification simultaneously transformed five adjacent neighborhoods in Venice since the 1970s, and why some sustained race and class diversity while others became more exclusive. He is currently writing a second book, based on historical and ethnographic research conducted while he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2012). Tentatively entitled, Feeding the City, it focuses on the transformation and decline of the food distribution infrastructure in the context of five decades of population loss in the city of Philadelphia, along with multiple political and economic approaches to overcoming the decline.  

Julia Dickson-Gomez, PhD
Julia Dickson-Gomez is a Professor at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin. She studies HIV prevention among drug users in the United States and El Salvador and is also interested in the influence of structural factors on HIV risk. Her research explores the effects of housing policy on drug users' access to housing, variations in housing status and housing options of drug users, and levels of HIV risk related to these factors. Dr. Dickson-Gomez's work also explores macro- and micro-social contexts of crack use and HIV risk in communities in El Salvador. She has used qualitative methods to evaluate network-based HIV prevention interventions for drug users and at-risk women.

Typhanye Penniman Dyer, PhD, MPH
Typhanye Penniman Dyer is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Florida in the Colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Medicine. Dr. Dyer also has a research faculty appointment in the School of Public Health at University of Maryland, College Park in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department. Her research is in HIV/AIDS health disparities, women’s health, and substance use. Her focus is on structural, as well as social, psychological, and cultural determinants of racial/ethnic and gender disparities in health behaviors and health outcomes among marginalized populations, as well as their families. Her research in HIV/AIDS examines substance use, mental health and sexual risk among Black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW), and how sex and drug risk networks of MSMW translates into risk for their female partners.

Patricia Foxen, PhD
Patricia Foxen is the Deputy Director of Research at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she leads the development and implementation of NCLR’s agenda for policy-oriented research across issue areas, oversees the research team, and develops new research, particularly around Latino children and youth, race/ethnicity and civil rights, and social integration. Her areas of expertise include migration and integration of Latino communities, psychosocial health of immigrant and refugee children, youth, and families, indigenous migrants, race, ethnicity and discrimination, cultural and medical anthropology, and applied research.

Alan E. Greenberg, MD, MPH

Alan E. Greenberg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Dr. Greenberg is Director of the NIH-funded District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research; Principal Investigator of the DC Cohort; Principal Investigator of Public Health-Academic Partnerships with the DC Department of Health and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Co-Investigator of the DC site of the CDC-funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system; Clinical Research Site Leader for the DC site of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network; Co-Director of the GW Graduate Certificate Program in HIV/AIDS Studies; a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director, CDC; and a member of the NIH IRAP Study Section.  

Eric Hershberg, PhD
Eric Hershberg is Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Government at American University. He received his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught at New York University, Southern Illinois University, Columbia, Princeton, the New School and Simon Fraser University. He served for fifteen years as a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council in New York City. He has served as a consultant to numerous development and philanthropic organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency, as well as many universities. His research focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development. Since arriving at AU in 2010, he has launched several collaborative projects addressing challenges to the social, political and economic incorporation of Latinos into the United States.  

Leslie Hinkson, PhD
Leslie Hinkson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the areas of stratification and inequality, with an emphasis on the role and meaning of race across institutional contexts and its effect on educational, employment, and health outcomes. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Fellows at the University of Michigan. There, her interests focused on racial differences in treatment, prevalence, and control of disease. Her works in process include a project on Black-White differentials in the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension; the determinants of racial differences in the prevalence of premature birth and low birth weight; the link between prisoner health, prisoner re-entry, and community disease burden; and the role of medical education in influencing doctors’ beliefs about race and ethnicity in medical practice. As a means of enhancing her academic research, she also engages in amateur sleuthing and fiction writing.

Maria Khan, PhD
Maria Khan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Florida at Gainesville. She completed her doctoral degree in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina in 2007 and her post-doctoral fellowship in the NIDA-funded Behavioral Sciences Training Program at the National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI) in 2009. She has recently joined the University of Florida after serving for two years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Khan has considerable experience researching social and behavioral determinants of STI/HIV in vulnerable populations, focusing in recent years on the nexus between incarceration and STI/HIV risk. She currently is funded to conduct a longitudinal cohort study among African American men released from prison incarceration to examine the influence of the dissolution of committed relationships that occurs during incarceration on the mental health status and HIV-related sexual risk behaviors and drug use in this group during community re-entry (1R01DA028766). She also has been funded to conduct secondary data analyses to examine longitudinal relationships among drug use in adolescence, involvement in the criminal justice system, and adult acquisition of sexually transmitted infection (STI) using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) (R03DA026735). Dr. Khan also has considerable experience conducting research on determinants of STI/HIV in international settings including Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Jamaica.

Irene Kuo, PhD, MPH
Irene Kuo is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health and Health Services at the George Washington University (GWU). She has nearly 15 years of experience conducting research on infectious diseases (particularly HIV, HCV and HBV) in substance using and other high risk populations, particularly injection drug users. Dr. Kuo is currently the co-Principal Investigator of a NIDA and NIAID-sponsored study evaluating the use of an information computerized tool (ICT) and text messaging to help link incarcerated populations into HIV care upon release. She has also been Principal Investigator for several other NIH-funded studies focusing on substance use and mental health treatment barriers among HIV-positive individuals and HIV seroincidence studies among high risk heterosexual women and black men who have sex with men (MSM). She is also currently Project Director and co-investigator for the Washington, DC site of the CDC-sponsored National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) study, which consists of serial, cross-sectional behavioral serosurveys to assess HIV risk behaviors among community-recruited MSM, injection drug users and heterosexuals at risk for HIV.

Shannon M. Monnat, PhD
Shannon M. Monnat is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She received her PhD in sociology from University at Albany, State University of New York in 2008. Her research spans several subfields within the disciplines of sociology and public health, including demography, racial and ethnic relations, health disparities, social stratification and mobility, and public policy. Broadly speaking, her research interests can be categorized into two interrelated areas: 1) the relationships between public policy and social, economic, and health outcomes, and 2) social determinants of health and well-being. Her publications and works in progress consider the role of race/ethnicity on welfare outcomes, trends in the distribution of income in the U.S., race- and place-based differences in health care utilization and health outcomes, and early-life determinants of adult health. All of her projects reflect the view that social structural inequalities have multiple implications for social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

Victoria D. Ojeda, MPH, PhD
Victoria D. Ojeda is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Her research focuses on the health of underserved and vulnerable populations, including immigrants, Latinos, and women. She has published on health services issues including access to health insurance coverage, utilization of health and mental health services, and the financing of mental health care. Prior research also includes international collaborations with investigators in Mexico and the Netherlands. Dr. Ojeda’s current research focuses on substance use, HIV/AIDS, and mental health comorbidities, with a focus on migrant populations, including deportees, injection drug users and female sex workers. She is the principal investigator (PI) of a National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) K01 Career Development award which focuses on the intersection of substance use, HIV, and migration in female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico. She also recently led a study funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) that examined the relationship between deportation and substance use and HIV risk behaviors in a cohort of Mexican male injection drug users who were deported from the U.S. Lastly, Dr. Ojeda is the PI of a qualitative study investigating the life and substance use histories of males and females who were deported from the U.S. and potential factors that may elevate participants’ risk for HIV.  

Gregory Pappas, MD, PhD
Gregory Pappas serves as Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration for the District of Columbia, Department of Public Health. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Case Western Reserve. For the US Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Pappas directed the Office of International Health and served as Senior Policy Advisor to Surgeon General David Satcher, helping launch The National Coalitions to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. Dr. Pappas was a major author on the Five Year Strategy for PEPFAR: a Report to Congress. He has twenty-five years of experience in global health and has worked in over 30 countries. Working with AIDSRelief he helped roll out antiretrovirals in seven countries in Africa and the Caribbean. He served as Chairman of the Department of Community Health Science in the School of Medicine at the Aga Khan University in Karachi. Before joining District Government he was Medical Advisor to the National Association of People Living with AIDS and on the Board of the National Medical Holding of Kazakhstan. Dr. Pappas is author to numerous scientific articles and books including the recently “Megacities and Global Health” with the American Public Health Association Press. He has served for many years as a voluntary physician in clinics for the underserved in the District of Columbia.

Jayesh Rathod, JD
Jayesh Rathod is an Assistant Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. His areas of expertise and scholarly interests include immigrants’ rights, labor and employment, occupational safety and health, and the intersection of law and organizing. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a Staff Attorney at CASA of Maryland, representing low-wage immigrant workers on employment law and immigration matters, and participating in worker education, organizing, and advocacy efforts. He also practiced in the litigation section at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering LLP, and was law clerk to the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Over the course of his career, he has worked with numerous non-governmental organizations to advance the civil and human rights of communities in the United States and abroad.

Laura Tach, PhD
Laura Tach is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Before arriving at Cornell, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Laura is a sociologist who studies the consequences of neighborhood inequality and housing policy for individual and collective well-being. She received her M.A. in sociology and her Ph.D. in social policy from Harvard University. Laura’s dissertation examined the social consequences of housing policies that deconcentrate poverty by replacing public housing projects with mixed-income developments. Her current projects use a variety of methods – quantitative and spatial analyses of secondary datasets, archival research on neighborhoods, and in-depth interviews with residents – to examine the social and health dynamics of economic inequality within and between neighborhoods. She has also studied the causes and consequences of complex family structures.

James C. Thomas, MPH, PhD
James C. Thomas is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also Deputy Director of the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation Project, which is part of the Carolina Population Center. His principal area of research is the social epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Before beginning work at MEASURE, Dr. Thomas researched the unintended consequences of high rates of incarceration. As Deputy Director of MEASURE Evaluation he oversees the Project’s global efforts to enable countries to implement evidence-based programs and policies addressing the HIV epidemic. His current research is on inter-organizational disease control networks in Ethiopia and the relation between women’s property rights and their risk of HIV infection in East Africa.

Christopher Wildeman, PhD
Christopher Wildeman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a resident fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from Princeton University in 2008. As a graduate student, his research received the Dorothy S. Thomas Award from the Population Association of America and graduate student paper awards from three sections of the American Sociological Association. From 2008-2010, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar and postdoctoral affiliate in the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children. He is also interested in child welfare more broadly, especially as relates to child abuse and the foster care system. Some of his current research considers the effects of parental incarceration on child homelessness, the consequences of mass imprisonment for population health and health inequities, the implications of mass imprisonment for inequality among children, and changes in the cumulative risk of foster care placement for children. These projects have been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Center for Marriage and Family Research at Bowling Green State University, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.

Luis H. Zayas, PhD
Luis H. Zayas is the Dean of the School of Social Work and Centennial Professor in Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he was the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor of Social Work, Professor of Psychiatry, and founding director of the Center for Latino Family Research at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Zayas holds a master’s in social work degree and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Columbia University. His clinical and research experiences have focused on Hispanic and other minority families and their children, and the cultural basis of parenting and improving parenting practices. His book, Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families, and Daughters Collide (Oxford, 2011), presents original findings from his research. Presently, Dr. Zayas is conducting a study, funded by NICHD, on the mental health of U.S. citizen-children whose parents are deported to Mexico. He is involved in advocacy for citizen-children and has testified extensively in immigration court. Dr. Zayas is the recipient of the Economic and Cultural Diversity Award from the American Family Therapy Academy (1993) and the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Washington University (2004-2005).

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