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STD/AIDS Research Training Fellowship Program

Research in HIV/STD Care & Affected Populations Track

Director: R. Scott McClelland, MD, MPH

Overview: The training program in the HIV/STD Care & Affected Populations Research Track is intended to equip trainees with the skills needed to perform research in populations affected by STD/HIV, with an emphasis on measuring clinical outcomes, transmission from infected persons, and interventions to enhance quality of life. This track encompasses large observational cohort studies that can provide superb opportunities for primary data analyses or nested studies developed as original proposals by trainees. It is distinct from the Epidemiology & Prevention Interventions for HIV/STD Track through its focus on individuals already infected with the pathogens of interest. This track trains postdoctoral and predoctoral (PhD) fellows for academic careers in STD and HIV research, and public health practice. Many MD postdoctoral fellows earn an MPH during training, fulfilling the need for clinical and population-based epidemiologic methods training. Predoctoral trainees receive training in analytic research methods and skills, typically in epidemiology but also in health services or a related field. Predoctoral and MD MPH trainees participate in course-work and dissertation/thesis research leading to a PhD or MPH/MS in epidemiology or health services, or a PhD in the newly launched Global Health PhD program in Global Health Metrics & Implementation Science. The Track Director, Dr. McClelland, is internationally recognized for his work in the Mombasa cohort of HIV-infected commercial sex workers,analyses of vaginitis, the contribution of STD to HIV transmission and natural history, and for his superb record of mentoring both pre and postdoctoral students.


11 Training Faculty and 1 Junior Training Faculty

McClelland, R. Scott MD, MPH Track Director, Training Faculty    
Dr. McClelland has conducted research in Kenya since 1998, with a focus on HIV-1 and STD prevention in women in resource-limited settings. He leads the Mombasa HIV/STD Research Site that provides care for high-risk women and conducts HIV prevention and treatment research. The unique ongoing nature of the site and research collaborations support highly productive research projects, including several large studies currently led by McClelland with opportunities to provide mentorship for numerous Masters, PhD, and post-doctoral trainees.

Casper, Corey MD, MPH Training Faculty    
Research efforts focus on the transmission, acquisition, natural history, pathophysiology and treatment of infection-associated cancers, especially human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). As director of the Uganda Cancer Institute / Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance, Dr. Casper established a clinical research site in Kampala, Uganda in 2004 which currently has more than 20 active studies examining control of HHV-8 replication, biomarkers for prediction of KS and successful treatment, immunogenetics of infection-associated cancers, treatment of KS and lymphoma, role of nutrition in infection-related cancers, and discovery of novel pathogens associated with cancer.

Collier, Ann MD Training Faculty    
Ongoing NIH-supported clinical research projects include studies of antiretroviral therapy for HIV, treatments to manage and/or prevent HIV-associated complications, pathogenesis and treatment of primary HIV infection, and effects of antiretroviral therapy on neurological aspects of HIV infection. Research projects are multi-disciplinary, emphasize importance of collaboration, involve local as well as international collaborators, and include single-center and multicenter studies. While most are prospective, some also involve secondary analyses of prospectively collected clinical data on long-term outcomes of treated HIV infection.

Kitahata, Mari MD, MPH Training Faculty    
Dr. Kitahata established the UW CFAR Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research Core to promote multidisciplinary research aimed at optimizing outcomes for persons living with HIV infection. Her research has elucidated key determinants of survival for HIV-infected persons, including greater physicians' HIV/AIDS experience and earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment. She pioneered the design of electronic clinical data systems to standardize and integrate HIV patient data for clinical, translational, and behavioral research, and established networks of national and international HIV research collaborations to address critical questions regarding effectiveness of HIV care.

Marra, Christina MD Training Faculty    
Research broadly focuses on clinically relevant problems that relate to infections of the central nervous system (CNS). Laboratory-based work concentrates on syphilis and neurosyphilis, studying means to more accurately diagnose, treat, and monitor patients who have syphilis and neurosyphilis, with a focus on differences between patients who are and are not co-infected with HIV. Additional studies include determining host and pathogen related factors that increase neurosyphilis risk and the mechanisms underlying those risks, and the impact of concomitant syphilis on HIV-induced CNS injury.

Rao, Deepa PhD, MA Training Faculty    
Research interests are designing effective interventions to improve mental health and reduce stigma for vulnerable populations worldwide. Dr. Rao conducts work in the United States and in South India, particularly with women. She co-directs the program on Global Mental Health at UW.

Simoni, Jane PhD, MA Training Faculty    
Dr. Simoni is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the development and evaluation of health promotion interventions. Most of her research involves persons living with HIV/AIDS and other populations at risk for health disparities, including sexual and ethnic minorities in the U.S. Specific areas of expertise include medication adherence, HIV diagnosis disclosure, and interventions facilitated via peer support and multi-media technology. Recently, she has expanded her research into global mental health (China and the U.S.-Mexico border, India, and Africa) and the use of nurse-facilitated computer-based technologies to lessen the treatment gap.

Stekler, Joanne MD, MPH Training Faculty    
Dr. Stekler leads studies investigating novel methods to diagnose acute and early HIV infection; comparisons of rapid HIV tests; and home, self-testing for HIV infection. She is site PI for HPTN 069, NextPrEP. Dr. Stekler's research in the UW Primary Infection Clinic focuses on factors associated with HIV transmission, consequences of transmitted drug resistance, viral dynamics following HIV acquisition, and clinical outcomes of antiretroviral therapy during primary HIV infection. She has additional interests in developing new technologies for use in HIV research, care, and prevention.

Walson, Judd MD, MPH Training Faculty    
Research is focused on investigating the effect of treating or preventing endemic co-infections (TB, malaria, helminthes, diarrhea) on HIV disease progression. Dr. Walson is the project PI of a large center grant assessing the epidemiology of non-typhoidal salmonella diarrhea and bacteremia in Kenyan children. He recently completed a large, multi-center randomized trial to determine whether de-worming could delay HIV disease progression, and another trial to evaluate potential benefit of insecticide-treated bednets and a point-of-use water filtration device on HIV disease progression. He is the faculty co-lead of the Global Strategic Analysis and Research Training Program, a research and graduate student training program which is a collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UW Department of Global Health.

Zunt, Joseph MD, MPH Training Faculty    
Over the past decade, Dr. Zunt has built a collaborative research and training network involving the University of Washington and numerous Peruvian medical centers, universities and nongovernmental organizations. His NIH-funded research interests in Peru include 1) clinical, neurologic and virologic manifestations of HIV, HTLV-I, and HTLV-II infections and coinfections; 2) HPV and other STD; 3) assessment and education of adolescents regarding STD and reproductive health; and 4) clinical, operational and health sciences research and training for AIDS and TB infections.

Crane, Heidi MD, MPH Junior Training Faculty    
Dr. Crane is primarily interested in using routine collection of patient-reported outcomes administered by computerized adaptive tests to improve medical care and patient outcomes in patients with HIV. Metabolic, cardiovascular, and other chronic complications of HIV comprise a second research focus. Recent papers examined impact of antiretroviral medications on lipids and differences in statins among HIV- infected individuals. Ongoing studies examine cardiovascular disease risk factors and primary vs. secondary myocardial infarctions among HIV-infected patients.

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STD/AIDS Research Training Fellowship Program


Training Program Organization

Upcoming Events

Core Curriculum

Application Information

Bacterial & Viral STD Pathogenesis & Immunology Track

Research in HIV/STD Care & Affected Populations Track

Epidemiology & Prevention Interventions for HIV/STD Track

STD/HIV in Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health Track

Health Metrics & Modeling in HIV/STD Track

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