Sponsored Presentations
2018-2019 event Series
CDUHR AIDS Seminar – Hillary Kunins – November 13, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Hillary Kunins, MD MPH
Presentation title: The Opioid Overdose Epidemic in NYC and Public Health Responses

Dr. Hillary Kunins will discuss the opioid overdose epidemic in NYC,  NYC responses, and challenges and opportunities for researchers.

Hillary KuninsHillary Kunins is the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and a general internist and addiction medicine physician. Since 2012, when Dr. Kunins joined DOHMH, she has led the Department’s efforts to promote public health approaches to reducing the health and social consequences of drug and alcohol use in NYC, including prevention of opioid overdose and prescription opioid misuse, binge and excessive alcohol use, best practices in integrating substance use care into health care systems, and strengthening the continuum of services to address the needs of New Yorkers with substance use disorders. Dr. Kunins serves as the DOHMH lead for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 60 million dollar citywide opioid initiative, HealingNYC.

Before joining DOHMH, Dr. Kunins worked in the Bronx for 16 years providing primary and addiction-related care to patients in both community health centers and in substance use disorder treatment programs. Dr. Kunins served as Medical Director of the Hub 2 Methadone Maintenance Program, in the Division of Substance Abuse at Einstein (2000-2003); Founder and Director of Project GROW – HIV prevention for women with substance use disorders (2003-2012) and Director of the Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2007-2012). She has been a Principal or Co-Investigator of foundation and federal grants related to buprenorphine treatment in primary care, disparities in substance use service utilization, and medical education/training to promote quality care for vulnerable populations. Dr. Kunins received her MD and MPH from Columbia University and her MS in Clinical Research from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Kunins is a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Family & Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Fellow of American College of Physicians, and Fellow of American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Grant Development Workshop 2: Specific Aims, Significance, Innovation – November 19, 2018
Monday, November 19, 2018, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Sherry Deren, PhD & Ellen Benoit, PhD
Presentation title: Grant Development Workshop 2: Specific Aims, Significance, Innovation

This workshop series is intended to support investigators with the submission of their first NIH grant proposal. The workshops are open to all interested individuals at the four affiliated institutions. The six workshops are sequential in regard to topics covered and the development of an NIH application. Attendance at the complete series is recommended for optimal learning and application of the workshop content. However, for individuals unable to commit to the full series, each workshop will be offered as a freestanding session.

In the second workshop, Drs. Sherry Deren and Ellen Benoit will focus on developing specific aims, significance and innovation for an NIH application.

Sherry DerenSherry Deren, PhD, is the co-director of the NIDA-funded P30 Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR). Dr. Deren is a social psychologist, and has been Principal Investigator for many NIDA-funded research projects related to drug use and HIV. Her recent research interests have included multi-disciplinary studies on the impact of drug injection on immune activation, and multi-level influences on HIV risk behaviors among Puerto Rican drug users in Puerto Rico and NYC. Dr. Deren is a co-founder and steering committee member of the New York HIV Research Centers Consortium, comprised of over 25 HIV Research Centers in the New York tri-State area, and serves on the scientific advisory boards of several HIV-related research centers. She has served on numerous NIH research review committees, and is an author of over 150 articles related to HIV/AIDS among high-risk substance users.

Ellen BenoitEllen Benoit, PhD, is a Principal Investigator and Director of the Center for Community and Health Disparities Research at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. She is currently Principal Investigator with Dr. Liliane C. Windsor of the University of Illinois on a study funded by NIMHD that employs community-based participatory research methods to test an intervention aimed at reducing substance use among men returning to Newark, NJ communities after incarceration. With Dr. Martin J. Downing, Jr., of Public Health Solutions, Dr. Benoit is a PI on an NICHD-funded study investigating the impact of childhood abuse on risk behavior among Black and Latino gay and bisexual men. Dr. Benoit is also a PI with Dr. Eric Schrimshaw of Columbia University on an NIMHD-funded examination of sexual scripts and socialization in a diverse sample of young gay and bisexual men. Dr. Benoit’s previous independent work focused on HIV risk among substance-using Black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) but do not identify as gay or homosexual and do not disclose their same-sex activity to their female partners. Before joining NDRI, Dr. Benoit taught sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research at PHS/NDRI from 2001 to 2003.

CDUHR AIDS Seminar – Allan Clear – December 11, 2018
Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Allan Clear
Presentation title: TBA
CDUHR AIDS Seminar – Oni Blackstock – January 8, 2019
Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Oni Blackstock, MD, MHS
Presentation title: HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for Women: Awareness, Uptake & Implementation

Oni BlackstockOni Blackstock, MD, MHS, is Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control for the NYC Health Department. As Assistant Commissioner, she oversees and supervises all programmatic and administrative activities for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS. She is also a primary care physician, HIV specialist and researcher.

Dr. Blackstock’s prior research has included developing and testing interventions to improve engagement in HIV treatment and prevention services. She has an interest in community-engaged research and advocacy and has been funded by the NIH, NYS Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.

Dr. Blackstock received her undergraduate and her medical degrees from Harvard. She completed her primary care Internal Medicine residency and ambulatory chief residency here at Montefiore/Einstein, as well as an HIV clinical fellowship at Harlem Hospital. She received a Masters of Health Sciences Research from Yale School of Medicine’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program.

CDUHR AIDS Seminar – John Rotrosen & Susan Tross – September 11, 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: John Rotrosen, MD and Susan Tross, PhD
Presentation title: NIDA's Clinical Trials Network and New Initiatives and Opportunities to Address the Opioid Crisis

The NIDA-funded National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network has been funded since 1999, it has conducted close to 80 studies addressing opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis and tobacco, as well as addiction co-morbidities such as HIV and HCV.  Interventions include pharmaco- and behavioral therapies, organizational and provider approaches, and technology.  Over 30,000 individuals have participated in CTN trials.  To address the current opioid crisis NIDA will be approximately doubling CTN’s budget, expanding the CTN infrastructure, and initiating nearly thirty new trials.

John RotrosenJohn Rotrosen, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He attended NYU School of Medicine from 1968 to 1972 and completed a Psychiatry Research Residency at NYU and Bellevue Hospital in 1976. From 1980 through 1997, he served as Chief, Psychiatry Service, and from 1997 to 2013, as Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health Research at the VA Medical Center in New York. Dr. Rotrosen’s research has focused on addictive disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia and movement disorders, addressing pathophysiology, pharmacological and behavioral intervention, and translation to community settings. His current work in addictive disorders includes studies on clinical genetics, neuroimaging, medication and behavioral therapies development, implementation in mainstream healthcare settings, services and healthcare disparities, and practice improvement.

Susan TrossSusan Tross, PhD, is an associate director, Division of Gender, Sexuality and Health, and associate professor, Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry, in the Department of Psychiatry, at Columbia University Medical Center. Since 1985, she has had extensive experience in developing, delivering and evaluating intervention programs in substance abuse, HIV risk behavior, and psychological adaptation to HIV. Her research has focused on work with poor, disenfranchised people, including MSM, (injection and non-injection) substance users, and sexual partners of substance users, at highest risk for or living with HIV and comorbid diseases and/or substance abuse, proceeding directly from close partnerships with community collaborators, in agencies that serve them. Currently, in the NIMH-funded HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, she is co-director of the Statistics, Assessment and Data Management Core. As dual principal investigator, she is leading an NIMH R21 grant to analyze the association between use of (non-HIV) ancillary services and viral load suppression in PLHIV, and to develop HIV care and treatment adherence strategies, to be delivered by (non-HIV) ancillary service providers. As co-investigator on three NIH-funded research projects, she is also collaborating on: a trial of a critical consciousness raising/ empowerment group intervention for HIV prevention and substance use reduction for high risk adolescents in a court-based alternative sentencing program; and a cluster randomized trial of Practice Coaching for uptake of HIV testing in outpatient drug treatment programs.

CDUHR Methods Presentation – Ashley Buchanan – September 27, 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: 433 First Avenue, Room 760
Presented by: Ashley Buchanan, DrPH
Presentation title: Assessing Individual and Disseminated Package Effects in Network HIV Treatment and Prevention Trials

Evaluations of packages of HIV prevention interventions are needed because single interventions have not yet halted the epidemic. Furthermore, packages of HIV interventions could have spillover or disseminated effects. This talk will present methodology to estimate the full set of these effects enhancing knowledge gained from network-randomized trials.

Ashley BuchananAshley Buchanan, DrPH, is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Rhode Island, specializing in the areas of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She brings over ten years of experience collaborating on HIV/AIDS research working closely with colleagues both domestically and internationally to develop and apply causal methodology to improve treatment and prevention at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and substance use.

CDUHR AIDS Seminar – DeMarc Hickson – October 9, 2018
Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: DeMarc Hickson, PhD
Presentation title: Title: The Typology of the Multi-Level HIV Environmental Riskscape Among Black MSM in the Deep American South: Insights for Getting to Zero New Infections

DeMarc HicksonDeMarc A. Hickson is Executive Director of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., an AIDS-Service Organization with offices in Washington, DC and Maryland, and Senior Research Scientist at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi. Trained as a Biostatistician and Social Epidemiologist, his work includes community-based participatory research, advocacy and environmental and policy systems changes that shifts paradigms and addresses the salient lifecourse, psychosocial and multilevel factors that impact HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions that chronically and disproportionately impact racial and sexual minorities, including Black gay and bisexual men and transgender women, in the Deep American South. Dr. Hickson recently received a pilot award from the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research to qualitatively explore the optimal behavioral economics methods to improve PrEP adherence among Black MSM, and Black MSM in the Deep South in particular. He is develops and implements community-based care coordination models to improve access to and utilization of culturally-appropriate and relevant clinical, behavioral and social services among people living with and at high-risk for HIV.

Grant Development Workshop 1: Overview of NIH Mechanisms and Funding Priorities – October 24, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD & Yzette Lanier, PhD
Presentation title: Grant Development Workshop 1: Overview of NIH Mechanisms and Funding Priorities

This workshop series is intended to support investigators with the submission of their first NIH grant proposal. The workshops are open to all interested individuals at the four affiliated institutions. The six workshops are sequential in regard to topics covered and the development of an NIH application. Attendance at the complete series is recommended for optimal learning and application of the workshop content. However, for individuals unable to commit to the full series, each workshop will be offered as a freestanding session.

This will be an introduction to the workshop series. Drs. Guilamo-Ramos and Yzette Lanier will provide an overview of NIH funding mechanisms, NIH/OAR funding priorities, grant proposal sections and timeline for developing an an NIH grant proposal.

Guilamo-Ramos-276x303Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, is a professor and founder of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH). He is licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW) and nurse practitioner (ANP-BC) with prescriptive privileges in New York State and is board certified in HIV/AIDS Nursing (ACRN).

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos’ research focuses on the role of families in promoting adolescent health, with a special focus on preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. Additional research interests include parent-adolescent communication, intervention research, HIV prevention and treatment, and alcohol and drug use. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has conducted research primarily in urban, resource-poor settings, including the South Bronx, Harlem, and Lower East Side communities of New York City. In addition, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has extended his focus to HIV-prevention among vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has been the principal investigator of numerous NIH, CDC and other federally funded research grants for his work on adolescent risk behavior. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of a CDC and OAH funded grant to develop and formally evaluate a teen pregnancy prevention intervention that targets Black and Latino adolescent males and their fathers in the South Bronx.

Yzette LanierYzette Lanier, PhD, is a developmental psychologist whose research broadly centers on health promotion and disease prevention in communities of color, with a special focus on preventing HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy among African American adolescents. Using health equity and strengths-based lenses, her research seeks to understand how individual, social, and cultural factors influence adolescents’ sexual decision-making. Dr. Lanier’s current research examines how adolescent romantic relationships influence sexual behaviors. Her long-term goal is to develop effective developmentally-appropriate, culturally tailored interventions that promote healthy romantic relationships and protective sexual behaviors among adolescents. Dr. Lanier received and grant from the CDC for HIV behavior intervention based on young black heterosexual couples’ dynamics.

CDUHR Methods Presentation – Daniel J. Feaster – October 25, 2018
Thursday, October 25, 2018, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: 715 Broadway, Room 1221
Presented by: Daniel J. Feaster, PhD
Presentation title: Methods for Identifying Subgroups and Heterogeneity in Treatment Response

This talk will provide a non-technical explanation of two different statistical methods for identifying subgroups and heterogeneity in treatment effects. Latent class analysis can be used to identify homogeneous subgroups with similar patterns of experiences or characteristics (for example patterns of substance use). This approach will be illustrated using substance use data and examining the relationship of the subgroups to sexually transmitted infections. Random Forests are a non-parametric statistical learning (aka machine learning) approach which can be used to identify how individuals respond to different treatments.  This approach is behind much of what is now called precision medicine.  An application based on HIV risk reduction counseling will illustrate the approach.

 Daniel J. Feaster, PhD, is a Professor in the Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Feaster’s research focuses on how best to address substance abuse and other vulnerabilities to improve access to and retention in HIV care and HIV prevention services. He is also developing methods to predict individual-specific treatment effects to uncover and understand heterogeneity of outcomes in HIV and substance abuse clinical trial, observational and registry data. He has been the statistician on 22 federally funded projects, including center grants, R01s, cooperative agreements and multi-site trials.