About WRI Members
The membership structure for the WRI is a formalized process, with members asked to serve a three-year term. Members are chosen based on their expertise and the knowledge they will add to the intensive annual meeting and subsequent spin-off projects. Members are thoughtleaders and are comprised of researchers, academics, as well as representatives from industry, government and the community. All WRI members donate their considerable time and expertise to this initiative without compensation (both WRI members and invited speakers attend without honorarium or other compensation). This is exceptionally unique and speaks to the value the members ascribe to the work of the WRI and their time spent focusing on this important initiative. Members will be asked to make every effort to attend the annual meetings and participate in at least one project during the term, such as editorial or white paper development, ad hoc meetings with research groups, or other activities as identified by the WRI.
WRI members through 2012 (continued on Page 2):
Erika Aaron is an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia and has and has been providing care to persons with HIV/AIDS since 1989. Her focus has been providing primary care for women with HIV, including administering a Title X funded family planning clinic, which has been integrated into an HIV clinic, and acting as the director of a clinic for HIV-positive pregnant women. In 2001 Ms. Aaron started the first delivery room-based rapid HIV testing program in Philadelphia. Additionally, she has initiated rapid HIV testing programs in an outpatient ob/gyn/family practice clinic as well as in outpatient medical clinics associated with an urban medical center in Philadelphia.
Ms. Aaron is a member of the United States Public Health Service Task Force Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group. She has lectured and published extensively on care women who are HIV+. She earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing and is an Adult Nurse Practitioner.
Laura Armas has been the Clinical Director for the Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Training center since 2003. She has served as the Chairperson of the Women and HIV International Clinical Conference since 2004. Dr. Armas serves as the Executive Sponsor for the Texas Perinatal HIV Project, the Texas Lead Physician for the CDC Medical Monitoring Project, Team Leader for the Women’s Health Project for the AETC National Resource Center, Principal Investigator for Parkland Site of the HIV Research Network (HIVRN) and co-investigator in several trials at the UT-Southwestern HIV Clinical Trials Unit, including the GRACE Trial.
Dr. Armas has contributed to a number of international HIV meetings, including the 2009 International AIDS Society Conference and the 2008 International AIDS Society World AIDS Conference. Dr. Armas is certified in Internal medicine and is an American Academy of HIV Medicine Specialist. She received her MD at La Salle University in Mexico City in 1986.
Judith Auerbach is a sociologist and independent science and policy consultant, who most recently served as Vice President, Research & Evaluation at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Her previous positions include Vice President, Public Policy and Program Development, at amfAR , Director of the Behavioral and Social Science Program and HIV Prevention Science Coordinator in the Office of AIDS Research at the NIH, Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Senior Program Officer at the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Auerbach received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught, presented, and published widely in the areas of HIV/AIDS, social science, public policy, and sex and gender. Her work has appeared in such journals as Health Affairs, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Science, Global Public Health, JAIDS, and the American Journal of Public Health.
Dr. Auerbach has served on numerous professional and advisory groups, including the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC), American Sociological Association Council, the Global HIV Prevention Working Group, and the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. In 2012, she was elected to the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society. Dr. Auerbach has received numerous awards including the 2004 Feminist Activist Award from Sociologists for Women in Society, the 2006 Research in Action Award from the Treatment Action Group (TAG), the 2008 Career Award from the Sociologists AIDS Network, and the 2010 Thomas M. Kelly Leadership Award from Project Inform.
Dawn Averitt was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 at age 19 and has since become
one of the nation’s most prominent HIV and AIDS advocates as well as an
accomplished speaker and published writer on women’s health issues. As the
founder of the Women’s Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS (WRI), Dawn has been
instrumental in shifting the research paradigm to include more women and people
of color. Ms. Averitt is the founder of The Well Project, a non-profit
organization formed in 2002 to improve the lives of women living with HIV and
AIDS and change the course of the AIDS pandemic through a comprehensive focus
on treatment and prevention for women.
Ms. Averitt was recently named to the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. Her numerous board and panel affiliations range from a Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel to several NIH Working Groups. Dawn is a member of the Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group as well as a member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She has served on the organizing committees of several important scientific conferences, such as the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections and the National Women and HIV Conference. Dawn also serves as an advisory board member for most of the pharmaceutical companies involved in the HIV arena. In July 2007, Dawn received a Women Leading Global Change Award from the World YWCA for her leadership in the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Julie Barroso is an Associate Professor at the Duke University School of Nursing, where she also serves as a senior research fellow in the Health Inequalities Program. She is a certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. Her research interests are in qualitative methods, qualitative metasynthesis, HIV-related fatigue, and stigma in HIV-infected women. She recently completed a stigma reduction intervention feasibility study with 99 HIV-infected women in the Deep South. She has published more than 50 articles, most of them research based, and is a reviewer for numerous journals. Recently she completed the chapter on psychosocial issues for the upcoming edition of HRSA's Guide to the Clinical Care of Women with HIV/AIDS. Julie is the first nurse to serve on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Providers in AIDS Care.
Dr. Barroso has served the HIV-positive community personally and professionally for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Research Committee, the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Dr. Barroso received her BSN from Florida State University, her MS in nursing from the University of South Florida and her PhD in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.
Gina Brown, an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, joined the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) as a Medical Officer to manage Microbicides and Women’s and Girl’s research issues. Prior, she served as the chair of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC) for 2004 and has chaired the OAR Women and Girls working group. Dr. Brown also was the maternal-fetal specialist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and was an assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. There she was a member of the Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Columbia and served as the women’s health director of the Women and Children Care Center at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, a clinic that provides comprehensive care for HIV positive women and their families. At the Center, she also was a co-investigator for the Women and Infant’s Transmission Study (WITS) and the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG).
Dr. Brown is a graduate of Harvard University and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She received her ob/gyn training at Harlem Hospital Center and completed fellowships in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Surgical-Anesthesia Critical Care at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Elizabeth Connick is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado in the Division of Infectious Diseases. She is an immunologist with a specific interest in the immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 infection who is well known for studies of immune reconstitution in HIV-infected individuals, including immune reconstitution inflammatory syndromes and clinical trials of immune-based therapies. She is particularly interested in understanding the biological basis of sex differences in viral loads and hormonal influences on HIV-1 pathogenesis in women. Dr. Connick has had continuous NIH funding for her research since 1998 and has served as a reviewer on multiple NIH study sections. She currently is a member of the FDA’s Antiviral Drug Advisory Committee, the Women’s Health Inter-Network Scientific Committee, and the External Advisory Board of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). She is also a member of the Editorial Boards of Infectious Disease News and the Journal of AIDS. She is firmly committed to promoting the careers of women scientists as well as research on HIV-1 infected women.
Dr. Connick obtained her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College in 1978 and her MD from Harvard University in 1988. She completed her internal medicine residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in 1991 and her postdoctoral fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado in 1994. She has been a member of the faculty at the University of Colorado since 1994.
Judith Currier is Professor of Medicine, Associate Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of the Center for AIDS Research and Education Center (CARE) at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Currier has been actively involved in clinical care of HIV-infected adults and in research to identify optimal management strategies for the treatment of HIV infection with a focus on women. She has played a leadership role in the NIH-sponsored AIDS Clinical Trials Group and is currently the Principal Investigator of the UCLA Clinical Trials Unit. Her areas of expertise include clinical trials of antiretroviral therapy, cardiovascular complications of HIV infection and treatment, and sex differences in treatment outcomes. In addition to her research activities, she serves on a number of guideline panels including the U.S. DHHS Antiretroviral Treatment Panel.
Rebecca Denison is the Founder of WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases), an Oakland-based information, support and advocacy network for HIV-positive women and their loved ones. She founded WORLD with her husband, Daniel, in 1991, one year after her own diagnosis with HIV. The network quickly grew to include HIV-positive women across the globe, with a monthly newsletter readership of 12,000 people in 80 countries. Over the coming years she trained 80 women to replicate WORLD's "HIV University" in 40 cities.
Rebecca has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and has conducted trainings and presentations on women and HIV throughout the United States, and in Uganda, South Africa, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Japan. For her work in women and AIDS, Rebecca has received a number of awards including the AIDS Candlelight Memorial and Mobilization Award, Senator Barbara Boxer's "Women Making History" award, the United Nations 50th Anniversary "Women Honoring Women" award, and induction into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame.
Rebecca's proudest achievement is parenting two wonderful daughters, Sophia and Sarah. Born in 1996, both are HIV-negative and juniors in high school. Rebecca has been living with HIV for 30 years.
Dázon Dixon Diallo is the founder and president of SisterLove, Incorporated, established in 1989, the first women’s HIV/AIDS organization in the southeastern United States. She is also adjunct faculty in women’s health at Morehouse School of Medicine’s Masters of Public Health Program in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Diallo is a founding board member of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, currently chairs the Fulton County HIV/AIDS Services Planning Council (Ryan White Council) and the Steering Committee of the Global Campaign for Microbicides, and co-chairs the Community Advisory Board of the HOPE Clinic, Emory University’s HIV Vaccine and Microbicides Research Center.
She has pioneered in the women’s HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice arena, developing a seminal prevention intervention that is now a part of the CDC’s National Compendium of Evidenced-based HIV Prevention Interventions; establishing the first transitional housing program for HIV positive women and children; and engaging a long-term vision for HIV positive women’s leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS and in promoting women’s human rights. In 2001, Dixon Diallo opened a SisterLove program office in Mpumalanga, a rural South African Province near Johannesburg, where the project focus is capacity building and sustainable development for local women-led HIV/AIDS organizations. She has received numerous awards and recognitions over the 28 years she has been working in HIV/AIDS and women’s human rights. Ms. Diallo holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College.
Shari Dworkin is Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She is Affiliated Faculty at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and is an Affiliated Faculty member in Global Health Sciences, UCSF. She is a founding member of the UC Global Health Institute Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment. Her research centers on the intersection of economic empowerment and HIV/AIDS for at-risk women, including research on microfinance and property rights. Her research also emphasizes working with men as partners in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. Dr. Dworkin is an Associate Editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Sex Research.
Dr. Dworkin received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Southern California and a MS in Biostatistics from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Judith Feinberg is Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair of Medicine for Faculty Development at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS since her infectious diseases training at UCLA from 1982 – 1984. She was instrumental in developing the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) as one of the early staff members at the Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Feinberg held a faculty position at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before going to the University of Cincinnati in 1995. She is a well-known investigator and leader in antiretroviral therapy, the prevention and management of AIDS-associated opportunistic infections and HIV disease in women. She was the 2003 recipient of the Constance B. Wofsy Women’s Health Investigator Award.
Dr. Feinberg has served on the ACTG Executive Committee, as chair of the ACTG Opportunistic Infections Committee and in numerous other capacities within the ACTG; as a member of the FDA’s Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee, associate editor of AIDS Clinical Care, section editor of Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice and past chair of the board of the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Carrie Foote is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, where she teaches courses on the sociology of health and illness, particularly HIV/AIDS, and qualitative methods. Her current research focuses on the social aspects of having children and parenting in the context of HIV in varying cultural contexts (United States, Kenya and the Middle East). As a woman who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years, she has personally dealt with challenges around having children and parenting and has witnessed others’ similar struggles and joys and has long been committed to both researching these issues and engaging in advocacy efforts around the reproductive rights of the HIV afflicted.
Dr. Foote has served on numerous HIV clinical, care and prevention advisory boards in Indiana and helped found the Indiana Family AIDS Network. She recently participated in the 2010 Office of AIDS Research Social and Behavioral HIV Prevention Research Think Tank and was appointed to the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She received her PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2002.
Monica Gandhi is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Divisions of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases at UCSF. Dr. Gandhi completed her MD at Harvard Medical School, and did her residency training in Internal Medicine, completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, all at UCSF. She obtained a Masters in Public Health from Berkeley in 2001 with a focus on Epidemiology and Biostatistics and has been on faculty at UCSF since 2003.
Dr. Gandhi directs the HIV Consult Service at San Francisco General Hospital and attends on the HIV and Infectious Diseases consult services. She serves as the Education Director of the HIV/AIDS Division and co-directs the “Communicable Diseases of Global Health Importance” course in the Masters of Science in Global Health Sciences at UCSF. She serves as an HIV and primary care provider in the Women’s HIV Clinic at Ward 86, a multidisciplinary specialty clinic for HIV-infected women in San Francisco. Her research efforts have focused on HIV/AIDS in U.S. women through the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a large prospective cohort study established in 1994 to study the natural history, clinical and laboratory findings of HIV in women.
>>>WRI Member Bios Continued ( Page 2)