Current MARI Grantees

Round 4 (funded in 2016-2017)

Oni Blackstock

Oni Blackstock, MD, MHS

Dr. Oni Blackstock is a primary care physician and assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center (Einstein/Montefiore). She completed her medical education at Harvard Medical School, her Primary Care Internal Medicine and chief residencies at Einstein/Montefiore, and HIV clinical fellowship at Harlem Hospital. Dr. Blackstock is also a graduate of Yale School of Medicine’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. Her primary research interests include improving engagement in HIV treatment and prevention for women with or at risk for HIV.

The goal of Dr. Blackstock’s MARI research, titled Development and Pilot Testing of a PrEP Mobile Outreach Intervention for Women, is to increase HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) access and uptake among cisgender and transgender women at increased risk for HIV infection in East Harlem and the Bronx, New York.

Dustin T. Duncan, ScD, ScM

Dustin Duncan

Dr. Dustin T. Duncan is an assistant professor of population health at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.  He holds a ScM degree in Community Health and a ScD degree in Social Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.  Dr. Duncan’s work focuses on the impact of social and contextual factors on population health, with a particular emphasis on minority health and health disparities.

Dr. Duncan’s MARI research, titled Impact of Neighborhoods and Networks on HIV Prevention and Care Behaviors Among Black MSM in the Deep South, uses geospatial methods to investigate relationships between neighborhoods, social and sexual networks, and HIV prevention and care behaviors among black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in Jackson, Mississippi.

Errol Fields, MD, PhD, MPH

Errol Fields

Dr. Errol Fields is an adolescent medicine physician and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He obtained his MPH from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and graduated with an MD and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 2009. He completed his post-graduate fellowship in Racial Health Disparities at Harvard Medical School in 2011 and his residency in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2012. As an HIV care provider, Dr. Fields’ research is particularly focused on racial disparities and HIV, especially among young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM).

The goal of Dr. Fields’ MARI research, titled Targeted PrEP Implementation: Interrupting HIV Transmission among Young Black MSM, is to prevent HIV transmissions within networks of YBMSM in Baltimore, Maryland by using targeted strategies for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Sophia Ahmed Hussen, MD, MPH

Sophia Hussen

Dr. Sophia Ahmed Hussen is a medical doctor and an assistant professor at Emory University. She graduated in 2002 from the University of Michigan with an MPH, specializing in Health Behavior and Health Education. She obtained her MD in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed her residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics. Following her residency, Dr. Hussen completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine where she continued to strengthen her skills as a researcher. Her past and current work includes engagement in HIV care among young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM), determinants of health in HIV-positive populations, and qualitative analysis of HIV-protective and risk behaviors among black heterosexual men as well as black men who have sex with men (BMSM).

Dr. Hussen’s MARI research, titled Social Capital and Engagement in Care among Young Black Men who have Sex with Men Living with HIV, will combine community-based participatory research and clinical research methods to examine the relationship between social capital (the actual and potential resources contained in an individual’s social network) and engagement in HIV care among YBMSM.

Yzette A. Lanier, PhD, MS

Yzette Lanier

Dr. Yzette A. Lanier is an assistant professor at the New York University (NYU) College of Nursing. She obtained her MS and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Following her PhD, she completed her postdoctoral training in HIV/AIDS Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Equity Research and also at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Communities of Color fellow. Her current work investigates romantic relationships and protective and risk behaviors among young African Americans.

Dr. Lanier’s MARI research, titled The Development of a Couples-focused HIV Behavioral Intervention to Enhance Uptake of Evidenced Informed Combination HIV Preventative Methods for High-risk Heterosexually-identified Black and Latino Youth, uses a high-impact strategy to promote combination HIV prevention with heterosexually-identified black and Latino youth and their partners in the South Bronx borough of New York City.

Souhail Malavé-Rivera, PhD

Souhail Malave-Rivera

Dr. Souhail Malavé-Rivera is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico. She received her PhD in 2010 in Social-Community Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico. Following completion of her PhD, she served as a trainee in AIDS prevention studies as a part of her post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. Her work and interests include social determinants of health, HIV risk behaviors, HIV healthcare quality and access, and HIV-related stigma.

Dr. Malavé-Rivera’s MARI research, titled Combined Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes among HIV-positive YMSM in Puerto Rico, will involve the development of a group-level stigma-management intervention for HIV-positive young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Puerto Rico. The intervention aims to reduce HIV and gay stigma, increase social support, and improve access, retention, and adherence to care.

Omar Martinez, JD, MS, MPH

Omar Martinez

Dr. Omar Martinez is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Temple University. He completed his MPH in Health Policy and JD in Health Law at Indiana University in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He later went on to obtain an MS in Biostatistics at Columbia University in 2014. In 2015, Dr. Martinez completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Science Research and HIV Prevention at Columbia University. His research interests lie in addressing health disparities affecting Latinos, especially immigrants, men who have sex with men (MSM), and male same-sex couples. His past and current research has pertained to syndemic factors and HIV risk in Latino MSM, development and implementation of HIV prevention programs, and health inequalities research.

Dr. Martinez’s MARI research, titled A Couple-based HIV Prevention Intervention to Promote HIV Protection among Latino Male Couples, develops and assesses the feasibility of an intervention (Conectando Latinos en Parejas) among male same-sex Latino couples.

Jacob van den Berg, PhD, MS

Jacob van der Berg

Dr. Jacob van den Berg is an assistant professor of Medicine and Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. He obtained his MS in Clinical Psychology from Yale University in 2002 and his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2009. In 2011, Dr. van den Berg completed his postdoctoral research in Clinical Psychology at Brown University. His interests and research include analyzing the psychological and health consequences of stigma and discrimination, using community-based participatory research in HIV prevention studies, and addressing health disparities.

Dr. van den Berg’s MARI research, titled Reaching Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino MSM through Social Media about Treatment as Prevention and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, develops an intervention that uses a social media platform to decrease new HIV infections among black/African American and Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men (MSM).

Previous Grantees and Project Titles

Round 3 (funded in 2011)

  • Bridgette Brawner, PhD, ARPN: HIV/STI Prevention among Heterosexually-Active Black Adolescents with Mental Illnesses
  • Andres Camacho-Gonzalez, MD: The Metropolitan Atlanta Community Adolescent Rapid Testing Initiative (MACARTI) with Linkage to Care and Counseling Trial
  • Yannine Estrada, PhD, MS: Preventing HIV in Hispanic Adolescents via an Internet-Based Family Intervention
  • Pamela Payne Foster, MD, MPH, MS: Faith-Based Anti-Stigma Initiative Towards Healing HIV/AIDS – Project (FAITHH)
  • DeMarc Hickson, PhD, MPH: Ecological Study of Sexual Behavior & HIV/STI in African American MSM in the Southeastern U.S.
  • Margaret Pereyra, DrPh: Patient Acceptance of HIV Rapid Testing in the Dental Care Setting
  • Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, PhD, MPHE, MCHES: Stigma among HIV-positive Men who have Sex with Men in Puerto Rico
  • Diana Rowan, PhD, MSW: Accessing Young Black Men and Transgender Women who have Sex with Men for HIV Prevention through Social Networking

Round 2 (funded in 2006)

  • Sylvia Amesty, MD: Evaluation of Pharmacy Syringe Access Linked to HIV Testing in Black and Hispanic IDUs
  • Emma J. Brown, PhD, APRN-BC: HIV Testing Factors among Rural Black Men (HiTFARM)
  • Jose Nanin, EdD, MCHES, CSE: Exploring HIV Prevention Communication among Black Men who have Sex with Men in NYC – (Project BROTHA)
  • Guillermo Prado, PhD: Preventing HIV Risk Behaviors in Hispanic Adolescents
  • Carl D. Sneed, PhD: Family and Cultural Impact on STD and HIV Risk among Latino and African American Youth
  • Myriam Torres, PhD, MSPH: Empowering Latinas to Lash out Against AIDS (ELLAS)
  • Scyatta Wallace, PhD: Promoting HIV Testing among Low Income Heterosexual Young Adult Black Men (The BEATS Project)
  • Patrick A. Wilson, PhD: Sexual Risk-Taking among Young Black Men who have Sex with Men: Exploring the Social and Situational Contexts of HIV Risk, Prevention, and Treatment – (Brothers Connect)

Round 1 (funded in 2003)

  • Sonya Arreola, PhD, MPH: Recruiting African Americans and Latinos in HIV Vaccine Trials
  • Chinazo Cunningham, MD: Determinants of Engagement in HIV Primary Care Services
  • Mindy Ma & A. Toni Young: Acceptance of HIV Prevention Trials by African Americans
  • David Malebranche, MD, MPH: Resiliency Factors and HIV Risk Among Black MSM
  • Toni Young: Equal Access: Barriers and Facilitators of African-American Participation in Clinical Trials for HIV Vaccines
  • Muriel Harris & Tiffany Townsend: HIV Knowledge & HIV Testing Attitudes: Low Income Heterosexual Young Adult African-American Populations
  • Tatiana Perrino & Christie Vila: Access to HIV Testing and Treatment in the Nonurban South
  • Anita Raj: Routine Testing for HIV in Primary Care Settings
  • Jesus Sanchez: Prevalence of HIV, Hepatitis and Risk Factors among Hispanic Intravenous Drug Users
  • Emma Simmons: Routine Testing for HIV in Primary Care Settings
  • John Williams: Gay- and Nongay-Identified Black and Latino MSM Who Meet Male Sexual Partners Over the Internet