Andrea Howard, MD, MS* (Program Director)
Paul Colson, PhD* (Training Coordinator)
*Steering Committee Member
js5043 [at] columbia.edu (Jorge Soler, PhD)
Dr. Soler is currently a second-year post-doctoral Fellow. He received his PhD from the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2016, and also received an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2006. His Research Mentor is Dr. Theodorus Sandfort who is Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences (in Psychiatry). Dr. Soler is interested in applying social support and social network theories to investigate issues around pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake among sexual and racial/ethnic minority young men who have sex with men YMSM. He is also interested in examining the role of parental figures as gatekeepers to HIV prevention tools for YMSM., Dr. Soler presented a first-authored abstract: “Role of mentoring relationships in the lives of young black and Latino men who have sex with men: Implications for health and well-being” at the November 2017 meeting of the American Public Health Association. He also recently published a first-authored manuscript, “Who counts as family? The relationship between family support and undermining and psychological distress among young adult gay and bisexual men” in Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and has another first-authored manuscript, “Exploring the role of mentors and mentoring relationships among young Black and Latino MSM” under review. Dr. Soler has been a guest lecturer in several courses and seminars throughout MSPH, lecturing on HIV prevention, sexual minority health, and social network analysis.
ht2453 [at] columbia.edu (Hod Tamir, PhD)
Dr. Tamir is currently a second-year post-doctoral fellow. He received his PhD in Developmental Science in 2015 and an MS in Developmental and Counseling Psychology in 2012, both from Florida International University. His Research Mentor is Dr. Mary Ann Chiasson who is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology (in Medicine) at MSPH and Vice President for Research and Evaluation at Public Health Solutions. He is working with Dr. Chiasson’s team to examine the efficacy of a social media campaign to enhance PrEP uptake among older MSM. His research interest is in the intersection of HIV and mental health, particularly reducing stigma and discrimination among PLHIV through social and support networks. He has worked with diverse populations including sexual minority youth in Miami and Indian women. Dr. Tamir’s first authored manuscript “Addressing prevention among HIV-negative women in PMTCT programs in South India” was accepted for publication by the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and he presented an abstract, ‘Social network analysis of women with HIV in South India’ at the IX International AIDS Conference.
tm2925 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Trena Mukherjee)
Ms. Mukherjee is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology. She has an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Global Health. Her past research experiences include examining the barriers and facilitators of methadone maintenance treatment uptake among opioid-dependent prison inmates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; developing and evaluating a multi-site hepatitis C education intervention among harm reduction program participants in Malaysia; and developing a health needs assessment for refugees and asylum seekers as a Fulbright Fellow in Malaysia. Prior to starting the fellowship she coordinated two NIDA-funded projects that 1) evaluated multiple TB diagnostic and treatment retention strategies among prisoners in Malaysia; and 2) evaluated a telemedicine approach to integrating specialty healthcare in primary care centers in Ukraine. Broadly, her research interests are in implementation science, cost effectiveness analysis, and program evaluation, especially as it relates to infectious diseases (HIV, TB) and reproductive health among vulnerable populations and in resource-limited settings. Her Research Mentor is Dr. Andrea Howard, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Clinical and Training Unit Director at ICAP, and Principal Investigator (PI) of the Training Program. She is working with Dr. Howard’s team on the the PROvide MIner-friendly SErvices for Integrated TB/HIV Care in Lesotho (PROMISE) Study, a mixed-methods implementation science study evaluating a miner-friendly intervention strategy to implement early ART and concurrent isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) for people living with HIV (PLHIV). She is also analyzing data from the ENRICH Study, a cluster randomized trial that evaluated a combination intervention package to improve IPT initiation, adherence and completion among PLHIV in Ethiopia.
itm2110 [at] columbia.edu (Ivy Mushamiri)
Ms. Mushamiri is a third-year student in the Epidemiology doctoral program. Her research mentor is Dr. Jessica Justman, Associate Professor of Medicine (in Epidemiology) at CUMC, Senior Technical Director of ICAP and PI of the Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA). Ms. Mushamiri has worked with Dr. Justman and in-country partners on developing data collection instruments to assess linkage to HIV care and treatment of PHIA participants in Zimbabwe (qualitatively) and Lesotho (quantitatively). She is currently reviewing literature and designing tools to assess the effectiveness of task-shifting techniques (such as the use of community health workers [CHWs]) in improving HIV outcomes and linkage to care efforts in Lesotho. She assessed the effect of health behavior campaigns on HIV risk behaviors in the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) and plans to submit this work for peer review. Ms. Mushamiri has also supported Dr. Justman on the data compilation of the MTN-014 phase I crossover topical PrEP study and is a co-author on the manuscript which is about to be submitted for peer review. She is doing a qualitative assessment of MTN-014 participant experience with directly observed dosing. She has supported data analysis and reporting for an evaluation of an integrated community-based and clinical HIV/AIDS program in Zambia (SCOPE study). Ms. Mushamiri has also been involved in the design of and data analysis for a study assessing the effect of place-based sexual networks and neighborhood characteristics on sexual behavior and HIV risk in U.S. women using participants of the HPTN 064 study. Prior to her participation in the fellowship, Ms. Mushamiri participated in the school’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program.
rat2127 [at] columbia.edu (Richard Teran)
Mr. Teran is a third-year student in the Epidemiology doctoral program. His Research Mentor is Dr. Mary Ann Chiasson, Professor of Epidemiology (in Medicine) at CUMC and Vice President for Research and Evaluation at Public Health Solutions. His research interests include HIV prevention and treatment among U.S. men who have sex with men (MSM). Specifically, he is interested in the development and implementation of online research studies and biomarker collection. Richard is currently working with Dr. Chiasson and Dr. Sabina Hirshfield at Public Health Solutions on a national online randomized controlled trial (RCT) of high-risk HIV-positive MSM. The RCT follows men for 12 months to determine the efficacy of a video-based intervention at reducing condomless anal sex encounters with serodiscordant partners and increasing HIV disclosure. He plans to evaluate participant partnership behaviors, viral suppression, and engagement in HIV care. Prior to his participation in the fellowship, Mr. Teran participated in the school’s IMSD program. During his first two years in the PhD program, his research was presented at the following conferences: IDWeek 2015 in San Diego, CA; ID Week 2016 in New Orleans, LA; APHA 2016 in Denver, CO; and the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Sciences (2017) in Paris, France.