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CAPS Town Hall: New Research from Early Stage Investigators — Drs. Alison El Ayadi, Judy Tan, John Sauceda, Rachel Kaplan & Kartika Palar

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September 14, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PDT

Alison El Ayadi, ScD, MPH

Title: Post-Surgical Reintegration following Fistula Repair in Uganda: Opportunities for Optimizing Women’s Health

Dr. El Ayadi’s research interests include determinants of maternal mortality and morbidities, access to obstetric care, and the structural, social and interpersonal factors that configure maternal health disparities. Her dissertation research focused on evaluating the comparability of two maternal mortality estimation methods, and assessing the overlap between individual, household, and contextual social determinants of maternal mortality and of seeking medical treatment in the event of an obstetric complication. At the Bixby Center, her main research foci are obstetric hemorrhage and obstetric fistula.  Dr. El Ayadi has been involved as a primary analyst on the recently completed cluster randomized trial of the effectiveness of the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) on obstetric hemorrhage outcomes in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and has conducted analyses among the previous quasi-experimental trials conducted at the tertiary care facility level in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt and India. She is working to develop a research program to further the evidence base around prevention, treatment and post-surgical reintegration strategies for obstetric fistula, and is the Project Director for a mixed-methods study evaluating family and community reintegration among women who have received surgical treatment for obstetric fistula in Uganda.


Judy Tan, PhD

Title: Developing a mHealth Intervention for Enhancing HIV Care Engagement among Black Men who have Sex with Men in Couples: Updates from the N’Gage Study

Dr. Judy Y. Tan is a behavioral scientist and Assistant Professor in the Division of Prevention Science, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, at UCSF. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut, with advanced graduate certifications in Quantitative Research Methods and Health Psychology. Dr. Tan’s research and training on health disparities among disenfranchised populations focus on understanding social and psychological processes underlying disparate outcomes, with recent focus on developing behavioral and clinic-based interventions for enhancing HIV care engagement. Currently, her NIMH K01 research supports the development of a mHealth intervention for Black MSM couples that leverages relationship dynamics to enhance dyadic coordination of HIV care engagement. Her other research includes enhancing successful aging among people living with HIV. Dr. Tan attempts to integrate her research with advocacy among clinicians: Her recent perspective in the Journal of General Internal Medicine outlines ways in which the current administration compromise the health of sexual and gender minorities of color.


John Sauceda, PhD, MSc

Title: Studies on Latino/a Mental Health and HIV Treatment Outcomes

John A. Sauceda, PhD, MSc is an Assistant Professor at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies in the Division of Prevention Sciences at UCSF. He received an MA in Clinical psychology, MSc in Global Health, and PhD in Health Psychology, and completed the TAPS fellowship training prior to his current appointment. His work has focused primarily on mental health and issues of medication nonadherence among Latino/a populations. In recent years, >60% of Latino/as diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. were born outside the Continental U.S. (primarily in Mexico and Puerto Rico), which may be associated with language and cultural barriers to better HIV care engagement. His presentation will summarize a series of NIMH-funded studies on adherence, a CFAR-funded retrospective study of mental health and HIV among Latinos in the CNICS cohort, and qualitative study of HIV care engagement among English and Spanish-speaking Latino/as at Ward 86. He will discuss the planning of his newest project to develop a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) for a mobile health depression treatment intervention for Spanish-speaking Latinos living with HIV.


Rachel L. Kaplan, PhD, MPH

Title: Community Connectedness and Gender Affirmation among Transgender Women: Preliminary Results from Lebanon

Rachel L. Kaplan, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF. Trained in public health and social science with experience in sexual and mental health and HIV prevention and treatment, Dr. Kaplan’s scholarship centers on the intersections of risk, gender, sexuality, conflict, and health. Having worked on HIV research in the Middle East since 2006, she is the PI of an NIMH-funded study to determine potential strategies for addressing sexual and mental health risk and resilience among transgender women in Lebanon. Dr. Kaplan obtained her MPH at The George Washington University, PhD at UCLA, and postdoctoral training in mental health and social conflict at UCB.


Kartika Palar, PhD

Title: HIV, Non-Communicable Disease, and Social Determinants of Health: Addressing the Intersection

Dr. Kartika Palar, PhD, is a social behavioral scientist and Assistant Professor in the Division of HIV, Infectious Disease and Global Medicine at UCSF (San Francisco General Hospital). Her interdisciplinary research focuses on addressing the drivers and consequences of health inequity among people living with HIV and non-communicable disease. One area of research investigates the impact of food insecurity and other unmet subsistence needs on HIV-related health. A new direction examines the intersection of HIV, NCDs, and social determinants of health. She is PI of the US Women, HIV/AIDS and Diabetes (WAND) Study (NIDDK K01) and co-PI of the Bay Area-based Changing Health through Food Support (CHEFS) Study, an RCT testing the impact of medically appropriate food support on health outcomes for people living with HIV. A new study funded by CFAR will investigate the impact of a community-based nutrition intervention on reducing cardiovascular risk factors among people with HIV in the Dominican Republic. She received her PhD in Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School in Los Angeles, and postdoctoral training at the UCLA School of Public Health and later at UCSF in the Division of HIV, ID and Global Medicine.



September 14, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Rochelle Blanco


Center for AIDS Prevention Studies
550 16th St, 3rd Floor, Rm 3700
San Francisco, CA 94158 United States
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(415) 476-6288