Behavioral Science Core

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We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Behavioral Research Center for HIV (BIRCH) at the University of Washington. 

This developmental Center, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, will provide infrastructure and support for high-impact science on HIV and mental health and a research home for like-minded scholars. The Center will emphasize interdisciplinary research on the behavioral aspects of the epidemic, especially how we can better integrate mental health treatment into HIV prevention and treatment strategies.

View the UW BIRCH Website for additional information.


The Behavioral Science Core provides resources to catalyze new behavioral science research that will contribute to curbing the global HIV epidemic and improve outcomes along the continuum of HIV prevention and care. We promote and support collaborative, interdisciplinary HIV research that integrates cutting-edge behavioral science by constructing a behavioral science infrastructure within the CFAR. The Behavioral Science Core will maintain a resource database, organize symposia to promote local and regional cross-disciplinary collaboration, facilitate coordinated responses to funding opportunities, and provide consultation services related to behavioral science to the diverse community of CFAR investigators.


Junior Investigator Group (JIG)

Assists early stage investigators (at least post-doc/MD) in securing funding, actively publishing, and otherwise advancing in their careers. We have a successful track record, with many members are focused on applying for, completing, or transitioning off a K or other post-doc award.

The group meets monthly at 9:30a-10:30am on the first Fridays of each month. JIG members are asked to commit to one year of attendance, presenting at least once and supporting others who present their work.

The meetings are informal, meant to provide a social, constructive - yes, even fun! - environment for presenting work at any stage and for discussing topics such as ethics in peer review; getting the most out of conference attendance; applying, interviewing, and negotiation for academic position; working equitably with global partners, and how to balance work with the rest of your life.

We endorse an anti-racist and decolonizing approach to research and in our practices and hope to provide a supportive environment for BIPOC investigators, members of underrepresented groups, and all allies.

A major benefit of the group is building an interdisciplinary network of peers at the UW working in similar areas who are available for support and collaboration. Toward this end, new members will be paired with another group member for peer support in the transition to the group. Former members - the now "senior" JIG group - often participate to provide additional supervision and support.

Interested investigators should send a biosketch or CV to Jane Simoni directly:


Behavioral Science Symposium to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers and community members (annual)


Quantitative Stigma Working Group monthly meetings to review relevant literature and discuss measurement and analysis issues in quantitative stigma research. Dr. Brian Flaherty and Dr. Susan Graham co-lead the group, and individuals, especially trainees with an interest in this area are welcome to join. To join, please contact Susan Graham at and let her know about your specific interest.




Deepa Rao, PhD – Core Director

Susan Graham, MD, MPH, PhD – Core Associate Director

Jane Simoni, PhD – Core Associate Director



Julie Dombrowski, MD, MPH

Kristin Beima-Sofie, MPH, PhD

David Katz, MPH, PhD

Judith Tsui, MD, MPH


Steering Committee

Michelle Andrasik, PhD

Connie Celum, MD

Karina Walters, MSW, PhD

Frank Wong, PhD