I am an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, with a primary appointment in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a secondary appointment through Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health. As a physician-scientist, board-licensed in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, I have focused my research over the past decade on the social determinants of health-seeking behavior among people living in low-resource settings (in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa), with the goal of developing sustainable socio-behavioral interventions aimed at improving care for the most underserved. My research expertise is in mixed-methods research. In the area of HPV research, we have developed a conceptual model of vaccine adherence, that has been consistently used for guiding HPV vaccine scale-up. We have also performed multiple qualitative studies related to understanding barriers to HPV vaccine uptake. Our research and editorials have been published in multiple journals including: The New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet HIV, AIDS, JAIDS, and AIDS and Behavior. It has also been featured in UNAIDS publications, and throughout the lay press including Scientific American, Reuters, and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The proposed collaborative project reflects overarching goals in my research program: 1) to identify effective, scalable, and sustainable interventions to improve the uptake of the HPV vaccine, and 2) to develop effective strategies for engaging vulnerable populations. My role as on this project is informed by my training as a physician caring for individuals in underserved communities, and my ongoing research focused on community-based strategies to improve engagement in care. Specifically, I will apply my content expertise in HPV, and my experience with mixed-methods research, to understand barriers to care for young people and their families, and improve the uptake of the HPV vaccine in this population.