Coordination Areas
BSCG Representatives & Advisors

Network Representatives

Each of the NIH-funded HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks select one representative to serve on the BSCG. Learn more about each representative's areas of expertise below.

K. Rivet Amico, Ph.D.

IMPAACT Representative
Associate Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education at University of Michigan

Dr. Amico has actively contributed to the development and implementation of health promoting interventions for over a decade, with specific emphasis on HIV treatment and engagement in care and HIV prevention. In these areas, Dr. Amico has interest and experience in measurement, methodology, design, and analytic strategies used to characterize the influence of social and contextual variables on decision making and behavior. She has collaborated with a number of teams working within and outside of research networks to enhance delivery of adherence support and HIV prevention counseling, promote engagement in HIV care, and strengthen existing site- and team-level capacities to implement best counseling/engagement practices while maintaining fidelity to rigorous research protocols.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Domestic and International
  • HIV-prevention (counseling and PrEP)
  • Placebo controlled PrEP trials
  • Linkage to care theoretical models, intervention, and measurement approaches
  • Retention in care theoretical models, intervention and measurement approaches
  • Antiretroviral adherence theoretical models, intervention and measurement approaches
  • Protocol and procedures: development, manualization, training and implementation support for multisite trials
  • Research design: Design, measurement and analytic approaches for social behavioral studies and sub-studies

Michele Andrasik, Ph.D.

HVTN Representative
Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences and Community Engagement, HIV Vaccine Trials Network
Senior Staff Scientist, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch
Clinical Assistant Professor, Global Health, University of Washington

Dr. Michele Andrasik works to address psychosocial and structural factors associated with HIV risk and STI disparities among marginalized communities in the US. Dr. Andrasik has a doctoral degree in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Miami and is an expert in Community-Based Participatory Research and Qualitative methods. She is also Core Faculty in the Fred Hutch/UW Center for AIDS Research Socio-behavioral Prevention Research Core.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Community Based Participatory Research Approaches
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Behavioral Risk assessment theoretical models and measurement approaches
  • Intimate Partner violence theoretical models, intervention and measurement approaches
  • Cultural Responsiveness/Humility theoretical models and intervention

Carlos del Rio, M.D.

ACTG Representative
Professor and Chair, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. del Rio's research interests are on early diagnosis, access to care, adherence with antiretrovirals and combination prevention of HIV infection. He has worked for over a decade in hospitals and clinics with hard-to-reach populations including substance abuse users to improve outcomes of those infected with HIV and to prevent infection with those at risk. He is also interested in the translation of research findings into practice and policy. Dr. del Rio is also a practicing HIV clinician at a busy inner-city clinic.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • HIV testing
  • Studies of interventions such as health navigators and contingency management to increase linkage and retention in care
  • Antiretroviral adherence/compliance
  • Interventions with hard-to-reach populations such as substance abusers
  • Increasing participation of minorities and underserved populations in clinical trials
  • PrEP trials

Steven Safren, Ph.D.

HPTN Representative
Professor in Psychology and Cooper Fellow , University of Miami (UM)
Director, Center for HIV and Research in Mental Health (CHARM), University of Miami (UM)
Associate Director, Behavioral/Social Sciences and Community Engagement Core, University of Miami (UM) CFAR

Dr. Steven Safren is engaged in a variety of studies related to behavioral aspects of HIV prevention and treatment both domestically and internationally. He has served as a lead behavioral scientists in several network studies including ACTG5175, HPTN052, HPTN063 (protocol chair), and HPTN083. Dr. Safren has successfully designed and tested key evidenced-based adherence interventions both for HIV ART, as well as PrEP, and frequently works at the interface of HIV-related health behavior change and behavioral health.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Interventions to improve adherence to and engagement in HIV care
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Assessing and decreasing the burden of mental health, substance use, and other syndemics as barriers to self-care
  • Health behavior change for MSM and other populations affected by HIV
  • Behavioral Medicine Interventions for health promotion
  • Assessment of adherence
  • Behavioral science research design in the context of biomedical trials related to HIV treatment and prevention

Ariane van der Straten, Ph.D.

MTN Representative
Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Chair, Behavioral Research Working Group (BRWG), MTN
Chair, Socio-behavioral and Structural Working Group, HPTN

Dr. van der Straten is an expert in female-initiated HIV-prevention methods. Her research focuses on acceptability and adherence to new biomedical HIV-prevention methods and multipurpose technologies for contraception and HIV prevention. She has led or participated in the development and implementation of major research projects in Africa and the U.S., including clinical trials of diaphragm and gel, oral, and vagina Tenofovir based pre-exposure prophylaxis and vaginal rings. Dr. van der Straten has also led several end user acceptability research studies and adherence-related issues in the context of prevention trials.

Areas of expertise:

  • Female-initiated HIV-prevention methods
  • Adherence
  • Qualitative methods\mixed method research
  • Product development
  • End user research
  • MPT (multipurpose prevention technologies – specifically HIV and pregnancy prevention)

External Advisors

External advisors to the BSCG provide outside, expert opinion to the NIH-funded HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks on the behavioral components of their research agenda and studies.

Ira B. Wilson, M.D., M.Sc.

BSCG Co-Chair
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the Brown University School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Dr. Wilson’s research interests are in structural elements of health care delivery systems, and how these structural elements affect patients' experience of their care, physician-patient interactions, patients' health outcomes, and healthcare quality. He is particularly interested in methodological aspects of adherence measurement in chronic conditions, including HIV care, and in interventions to improve the quality of prescription medication management, and has several active NIH grants and a PCORI grant in this area. Dr. Wilson is co-chair of the BSCG, and also a practicing primary care physician who has been active in numerous practice-based quality improvement efforts.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Development and implantation of measures of HIV care quality
  • Development, testing, and implementation of patient self-report measures, including measures of ART adherence
  • Methods related to the description and analysis of physician-patient communication, including but not limited to communication about ART adherence
  • Provider-level behavior change interventions

Jane M. Simoni, Ph.D.

BSCG Co-Chair
Clinical Psychologist and Professor/Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, University of Washington
Director, UW Behavioral Research Center for HIV (BIRCH)
Associate Director, UW/Fred Hutch CFAR Behavioral Sciences Core
Associate Director, UW/Fred Hutch CFAR
Chair, ACTG Behavioral Science Sub-committee

Dr. Simoni's HIV research has focused on behavioral aspects of treatment. She has written reviews and empirical reports of ART adherence theory, methods, and behavioral interventions. She has led NIMH-funded adherence-promotion studies in NYC, Seattle, the U.S.-Mexico border, China, Kenya, and Haiti, emphasizing peer support, technologically based reminders, and provider counseling.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Medication adherence assessment
  • Clinical trials of adherence-promotion behavioral interventions
  • Mental health and stigma assessment and intervention
  • HIV disclosure
  • Peer training and peer support delivery
  • ehealth strategies
  • Product acceptability research (with qualitative methods as well as conjoint analyses and discrete choice experiments)

Mallory Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, UCSF

Dr. Johnson's primary appointment is in the School of Medicine and holds a joint appointment in the School of Nursing. He is a licensed clinical health psychologist with a research career focused on understanding, measuring, and improving the health of persons at risk for or living with chronic diseases such as HIV. He is also Co-Director of the NIMH-funded Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) and Co-Director of the UCSF Bay Area Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). 

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Clinical trials of behavioral interventions 
  • Couples research 
  • Behavioral medicine 
  • Mixed methods research 
  • Adherence and engagement in care measurement and intervention 
  • Research with sexual and gender minority populations 
  • Scale development 
  • Mentoring and career development best practices 

Jessica Haberer, M.D., M.S.

Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Director of Global Health Research, Massachusetts General Hospital
Internist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Haberer's research focuses on wireless adherence monitoring and intervention for developing settings, addressing both treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection. Her current projects are based in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Measurement of antiretroviral medication adherence
  • Real-time adherence monitoring and intervention
  • mHealth (mobile health) technology development in resource-limited settings, including SMS and other wireless devices
  • Understanding antiretroviral therapy adherence in pediatric populations
  • Understanding pre-exposure prophylaxis adherence