William Brown


My expertise is in both biomedical informatics and HIV clinical and behavioral research. I implement innovative biomedical informatics methods, create research tools, and follow the principals of community-based participatory research. My research aims to address health disparities among underserved communities (e.g., African American, LGBT, youth) and to create a Learning Health System that is responsive to vulnerable populations, particularly those at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.

My informatics research includes knowledge engineering, health informatics, comparative-effectiveness research, semantic harmonization, integrating and analyzing survey, geographic, and electronic health record (EHR) data, as well as developing infographics and data visualizations for patient-centered health information tools. I provide expertise in HIV, New Media, and mHealth and apply innovative informatics methods for the integration of diverse longitudinal data sets and discovery of health markers. My main research activities focus on semantic harmonization, concept/knowledge representation, characterization of semantic heterogeneity, identification of common data elements, the development of an HIV-associated Entities in Research Ontology (HERO), and integration of diverse datasets.

As an HIV researcher, I specialize in systems design, implementation science, community-based participatory research, mHealth, and the use of New Media. I've developed, applied, and evaluated an mHealth system, and conducted a pilot study researching the feasibility and acceptability of using mHealth technology to support treatment adherence and to collect behavioral data in biomedical studies of HIV (e.g., Home HIV tests, PrEP, and rectal microbicides). I specifically work with African-American and Latino populations, MSM, and ethnic and/or sexual minority youth to develop New Media-based technology -particularly mHealth and social media- for HIV prevention, education, intervention, health promotion, treatment adherence, health management and public health practice.
10/2019 - Lean Process Improvement Champion Training, University of California, San Francisco
08/2019 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California, San Francisco
Ph.D., 05/2016 - Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University
Postdoc, 05/2012 - HIV Clinical & Behavioral Research, Columbia University
Dr.P.H, 12/2010 - Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., 05/2006 - Human Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University
B.A., 06/2004 - African American Studies, University of California, Davis
B.A., 06/2004 - Sociology, University of California, Davis
Honors and Awards
  • AMIA Annual Symposium Paper Competition (2nd Pl), American Medical Informatics Association, 2016
  • NIMH LRP Award Renewal, National Institutes of Health, 2015
  • NIMH LRP Award, National Institutes of Health, 2012
  • Academic Grant Award, Russell M. Grossman Endowment, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • Kaiser Foundation Academic Grant Award, Kaiser Foundation, Kaiser Foundation, 2009
  1. Liu AW, Pierce L, Ganeshan S, Brown W, Judson T, Divakaran D, Bini S, Odisho AY, Mourad M. Impact of an automated peri-procedural digital health intervention on rates of emergency department visits and readmissions. American journal of surgery 2023. PMID: 37604749

  2. Mehta S, Brown W, Ferguson E, Najera J, Pantell MS. The association between prescription drug monitoring programs and controlled substance prescribing: a cross-sectional study using data from 2019 National Electronic Health Records Survey. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2023. PMID: 37011637

  3. Ganeshan S, Pierce L, Mourad M, Judson TJ, Kohli MD, Odisho AY, Brown W. Impact of patient portal-based self-scheduling of diagnostic imaging studies on health disparities. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2022. PMID: 36063414

  4. Liu AW, Odisho AY, Brown Iii W, Gonzales R, Neinstein AB, Judson TJ. Patient Experience and Feedback After Using an Electronic Health Record-Integrated COVID-19 Symptom Checker: Survey Study. JMIR human factors 2022. PMID: 35960593

  5. Kim Hanh Nguyen, Anupama G Cemballi, Jessica D Fields, William Brown, 3rd, Matthew S Pantell, Courtney Rees Lyles. Applying a socioecological framework to chronic disease management: implications for social informatics interventions in safety-net healthcare settings "HIV within the House Ball Community and the Promise of Community-based Social Structures for Intervention and Support" 2022. PMID:

  6. Bongiovanni T, Shamasunder S, Brown W, Rivera Carpenter C, Pantell M, Ghali B, Harrison JD. Lessons learned from academic medical centers' response to the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with the Navajo Nation. "HIV within the House Ball Community and the Promise of Community-based Social Structures for Intervention and Support" 2022. PMID: 35381019

  7. Balyan, Renu., McNamara, Danielle. S., Crossley, Scott. A., Brown, William., Karter, Andrew. J., & Schillinger, Dean.. Natural Language Processing in Healthcare: A Special Focus on Low Resource Languages Employing Computational Linguistics to Improve Patient-Provider Secure Email exchange: The ECLIPPSE Study. 2021. PMID:

  8. Nguyen KH, Fields JD, Cemballi AG, Desai R, Gopalan A, Cruz T, Shah A, Akom A, Brown W, Sarkar U, Lyles CR. The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Improving Chronic Care for Safety-Net Populations. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM 2021. PMID: 34312263

  9. Cemballi AG, Karter AJ, Schillinger D, Liu JY, McNamara DS, Brown W, Crossley S, Semere W, Reed M, Allen J, Lyles CR. Descriptive examination of secure messaging in a longitudinal cohort of diabetes patients in the ECLIPPSE study. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2020. PMID: 33236117

  10. Brown W, Balyan R, Karter AJ, Crossley S, Semere W, Duran ND, Lyles C, Liu J, Moffet HH, Daniels R, McNamara DS, Schillinger D. Challenges and Solutions to Employing Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to Measure Patients' Health Literacy and Physician Writing Complexity: The ECLIPPSE Study. Journal of biomedical informatics 2020. PMID: 33316421

  11. Lentz C, Iribarren S, Giguere R, Conserve DF, Dolezal C, Lopez-Rios J, Balán IC, Sheinfil AZ, Rael CT, Brown W, Torres CC, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Broaching the Topic of HIV Self-testing with Potential Sexual Partners Among Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men in New York and Puerto Rico. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32239360

  12. Iribarren S, Lentz C, Sheinfil AZ, Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Balán IC, Tagliaferri Rael C, Brown W, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Using an HIV Self-test Kit to Test a Partner: Attitudes and Preferences Among High-Risk Populations. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32385676

  13. Sheinfil AZ, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Lopez-Rios J, Iribarren S, Brown W, Rael C, Lentz C, Balán I, Frasca T, Torres CC, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Information and Motivation Predict HIV-Serostatus Among a Population of High-Risk Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32200447

  14. Balán IC, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Lentz C, Dolezal C, Cruz Torres C, Brown W, Crespo R, Sheinfil A, Tagliaferri Rael C, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Then We Looked at His Results: Men Who Have Sex With Men from New York City and Puerto Rico Report Their Sexual Partner's Reactions to Receiving Reactive HIV Self-Test Results. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32078078

  15. Rael CT, Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Lentz C, Balán IC, Sheinfil A, Dolezal C, Brown W, Frasca T, Torres CC, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Leu CS, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Transgender Women's Experiences Using a Home HIV-Testing Kit for Partner-Testing. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32193729

  16. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Brown W, Lopez-Rios J, Sheinfil A, Frasca T, Rael C, Lentz C, Crespo R, Cruz Torres C, Leu CS, Febo I. Few Aggressive or Violent Incidents are Associated with the Use of HIV Self-tests to Screen Sexual Partners Among Key Populations. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 32030526

  17. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Balán IC, Brown W, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Lopez Rios J, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Rael CT, Lentz C, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Cruz Torres C, Febo I. Use of Rapid HIV Self-Test to Screen Potential Sexual Partners: Results of the ISUM Study. AIDS and behavior 2019. PMID: 31853772

  18. Brown W, Lopez Rios J, Sheinfil A, Frasca T, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Dolezal C, Giguere R, Lentz C, Balán IC, Rael CT, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Text Messaging and Disaster Preparedness Aids Engagement, Re-Engagement, Retention, and Communication Among Puerto Rican Participants in a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Self-Testing Study After Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness 2020. PMID: 32264992

  19. Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Rael CT, Brown W, Sheinfil AZ, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Use of HIV Self-Testing Kits to Screen Clients Among Transgender Female Sex Workers in New York and Puerto Rico. AIDS and behavior 2020. PMID: 31865516

  20. Semere W, Crossley S, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Brown W, Reed M, McNamara DS, Liu JY, Schillinger D. Secure Messaging with Physicians by Proxies for Patients with Diabetes: Findings from the ECLIPPSE Study. Journal of general internal medicine 2019. PMID: 31428986

  21. Brown W, Sheinfil A, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Rael C, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Methods, system errors, and demographic differences in participant errors using daily text message-based short message service computer-assisted self-interview (SMS-CASI) to measure sexual risk behavior in a RCT of HIV self-test use. mHealth 2019. PMID: 31380409

  22. Balyan R, Crossley SA, Brown W, Karter AJ, McNamara DS, Liu JY, Lyles CR, Schillinger D. Using natural language processing and machine learning to classify health literacy from secure messages: The ECLIPPSE study. PloS one 2019. PMID: 30794616

  23. Leu CS, Giguere R, Bauermeister JA, Dolezal C, Brown W, Balán IC, Richardson BA, Piper JM, Lama JR, Cranston RD, Carballo-Diéguez A. Trajectory of use over time of an oral tablet and a rectal gel for HIV prevention among transgender women and men who have sex with men. AIDS care 2018. PMID: 30318905

  24. Giguere R, Brown Iii W, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Ho T, Sheinfil A, Ibitoye M, Lama JR, McGowan I, Cranston RD, Carballo-Diéguez A. Are participants concerned about privacy and security when using short message service to report product adherence in a rectal microbicide trial? Volume 25 of Issue 4. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2018. PMID: 29025127

  25. Brown W, Giguere R, Sheinfil A, Ibitoye M, Balan I, Ho T, Brown B, Quispe L, Sukwicha W, Lama JR, Carballo-Diéguez A, Cranston RD. Challenges and solutions implementing an SMS text message-based survey CASI and adherence reminders in an international biomedical HIV PrEP study (MTN 017). Volume 80. Journal of biomedical informatics 2018. PMID: 29501908

  26. Balán IC, Giguere R, Brown W, Carballo-Diéguez A, Horn S, Hendrix CW, Marzinke MA, Ayudhya RPKN, Patterson K, Piper JM, McGowan I, Lama JR, Cranston RD. Brief Participant-Centered Convergence Interviews Integrate Self-Reports, Product Returns, and Pharmacokinetic Results to Improve Adherence Measurement in MTN-017. Volume 22 of Issue 3. AIDS and behavior 2018. PMID: 29076032

  27. Giguere R, Rael CT, Sheinfil A, Balán IC, Brown W, Ho T, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Liu A, Mayer KH, Lama JR, McGowan I, Carballo-Diéguez A, Cranston RD. Factors Supporting and Hindering Adherence to Rectal Microbicide Gel Use with Receptive Anal Intercourse in a Phase 2 Trial. Volume 22 of Issue 2. AIDS and behavior 2018. PMID: 28825142

  28. Iribarren SJ, Ghazzawi A, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Brown W, Lopez-Rios J, Rael CT, Balán IC, Crespo R, Dolezal C, Giguere R, Carballo-Diéguez A. Mixed-Method Evaluation of Social Media-Based Tools and Traditional Strategies to Recruit High-Risk and Hard-to-Reach Populations into an HIV Prevention Intervention Study. Volume 22 of Issue 1. AIDS and behavior 2018. PMID: 29124420

  29. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Balán IC, Brown W, Rael C, Richardson BA, Piper JM, Bekker LG, Chariyalertsak S, Chitwarakorn A, Gonzales P, Holtz TH, Liu A, Mayer KH, Zorrilla CD, Lama JR, McGowan I, Cranston RD. Preference of Oral Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate/Emtricitabine Versus Rectal Tenofovir Reduced-Glycerin 1% Gel Regimens for HIV Prevention Among Cisgender Men and Transgender Women Who Engage in Receptive Anal Intercourse with Men. Volume 21 of Issue 12. AIDS and behavior 2017. PMID: 29119473

  30. Carballo-Diéguez A, Balán IC, Brown W, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Marzinke MA, Hendrix CW, Piper JM, Richardson BA, Grossman C, Johnson S, Gomez K, Horn S, Kunjara Na Ayudhya RP, Patterson K, Jacobson C, Bekker LG, Chariyalertsak S, Chitwarakorn A, Gonzales P, Holtz TH, Liu A, Mayer KH, Zorrilla C, Lama J, McGowan I, Cranston RD. High levels of adherence to a rectal microbicide gel and to oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) achieved in MTN-017 among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. Volume 12 of Issue 7. PloS one 2017. PMID: 28750059

  31. Brown W, Weng C, Vawdrey DK, Carballo-Diéguez A, Bakken S. SMASH: A Data-driven Informatics Method to Assist Experts in Characterizing Semantic Heterogeneity among Data Elements. Volume 2016. 2017. PMID: 28269930

  32. Rael CT, Sheinfil A, Hampanda K, Carballo-Diéguez A, Pala AN, Brown W. Examining the unique characteristics of a non-probability sample of undocumented female sex workers with dependent children: The case of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Volume 21 of Issue 3. 2017. PMID: 28959120

  33. Iribarren SJ, Brown W, Giguere R, Stone P, Schnall R, Staggers N, Carballo-Diéguez A. Scoping review and evaluation of SMS/text messaging platforms for mHealth projects or clinical interventions. Volume 101. 2017. PMID: 28347445

  34. Brown W., Giguere, R., Sheinfil, A., Balán, I., Ibitoye, M., Ho, T., Lama, J., McGowan, I., Cranston, R., Carballo-Diéguez, A.. Feasibility and Acceptability of an International SMS Text Message-Based Adherence and Survey System in a Biomedical HIV Prevention Study (MTN-017) AIDS research and human retroviruses 2016. PMID:

  35. Brown W, Carballo-Diéguez A, John RM, Schnall R. Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills of High-Risk Young Adults to Use the HIV Self-Test. Volume 20 of Issue 9. AIDS and behavior 2016. PMID: 26885813

  36. Schnall R, Rojas M, Bakken S, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Carry M, Gelaude D, Mosley JP, Travers J. A user-centered model for designing consumer mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps). Volume 60. Journal of biomedical informatics 2016. PMID: 26903153

  37. Schnall R, Bakken S, Brown Iii W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Iribarren S. Usabilty Evaluation of a Prototype Mobile App for Health Management for Persons Living with HIV. Volume 225. 2016. PMID: 27332247

  38. Aliabadi N, Carballo-Dieguez A, Bakken S, Rojas M, Brown W, Carry M, Mosley JP, Gelaude D, Schnall R. Using the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model to Guide the Development of an HIV Prevention Smartphone Application for High-Risk MSM. Volume 27 of Issue 6. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education 2015. PMID: 26595265

  39. Schnall R, Mosley JP, Iribarren SJ, Bakken S, Carballo-Diéguez A, Brown Iii W. Comparison of a User-Centered Design, Self-Management App to Existing mHealth Apps for Persons Living With HIV. Volume 3 of Issue 3. 2015. PMID: 26385783

  40. Brown Iii W, Ibitoye M, Bakken S, Schnall R, Balán I, Frasca T, Carballo-Diéguez A. Cartographic Analysis of Antennas and Towers: A Novel Approach to Improving the Implementation and Data Transmission of mHealth Tools on Mobile Networks. Volume 3 of Issue 2. 2015. PMID: 26043766

  41. Schnall R, Higgins T, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Bakken S. Trust, Perceived Risk, Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness as Factors Related to mHealth Technology Use. Volume 216. 2015. PMID: 26262094

  42. Martinez O, Carballo-Diéguez A, Ibitoye M, Frasca T, Brown W, Balan I. Anticipated and actual reactions to receiving HIV positive results through self-testing among gay and bisexual men. Volume 18 of Issue 12. AIDS and behavior 2014. PMID: 24858480

  43. Schnall R, Rojas M, Travers J, Brown W, Bakken S. Use of Design Science for Informing the Development of a Mobile App for Persons Living with HIV. Volume 2014. 2014. PMID: 25954413

  44. Arcia A, Bales ME, Brown W, Co MC, Gilmore M, Lee YJ, Park CS, Prey J, Velez M, Woollen J, Yoon S, Kukafka R, Merrill JA, Bakken S. Method for the development of data visualizations for community members with varying levels of health literacy. Volume 2013. 2013. PMID: 24551322

  45. Brown W, Yen PY, Rojas M, Schnall R. Assessment of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model (Health-ITUEM) for evaluating mobile health (mHealth) technology. Volume 46 of Issue 6. Journal of biomedical informatics 2013. PMID: 23973872

  46. Sands T, Tocchio C. Multiple dentigerous cysts in a child. Oral health 1998. PMID: 9667186