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, Harvard Medical School
Director, CFAR Social Behavioral Sciences Core, Harvard University
Director of Behavioral Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Steven Safren is engaged in a variety of studies related to behavioral aspects of HIV prevention and treatment both domestically and internationally. He was one of the lead behavioral scientists in several network studies, particularly at their inception phase, including ACTG5175, HPTN052, and is protocol chair of HPTN063. Dr. Safren has successfully designed and tested key evidenced-based adherence interventions both for HIV ART, as well as PrEP (i.e. in the Gates-Funded ancillary adherence study Partners in Prevention; and two U.S. domestic studies with MSM).

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Interventions to improve adherence to self-care and medications
  • 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
  • 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
Senior Fellow and Director, RTI Women’s Global Health Imperative
Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Chair, Behavioral Research Working Group (BRWG), Microbicide Trial Network

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.

Currently, she is working on a large multidisciplinary program to develop a biodegradable implant system for HIV-prevention and a multipurpose implant for HIV and contraception. 

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 Developmental AIDS Research Center
Director, UW/Fred Hutch CFAR Behavioral Sciences Core

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

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Medication adherence assessment
  • Mental health treatment
  • Clinical trials of adherence-promotion behavioral interventions

Mallory Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, UCSF

Dr. Johnson's primary appointment is in the School of Medicine and holds joint appointments in the School of Pharmacy and 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 is active in mentoring and training of early career investigators interested in HIV-related research from multiple disciplines.

Areas of behavioral and social science expertise include:

  • Clinical trials of behavioral interventions
  • Couples research
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Mixed methods research
  • Adherence measurement and intervention
  • Research with MSM and transgender women
  • Scale development

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