Pop Center welcomes new faculty

Several new faculty have joined the Pop Center in recent months. We welcome Laura Bogart, Francisco Buchting, Heather Corliss, Sandra Eyster, Kevin Mahoney, Don Operario, David Pantalone, and Jeffrey Parsons.

Dr. Laura M. Bogart is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Research Director of the Division of General Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston. Before coming to Boston in 2008, Dr. Bogart was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND. She currently is Associate Editor of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and on the Editorial Board of AIDS and Behavior. Dr. Bogart specializes in applying principles of social cognition to understanding risky health behaviors, with a focus on the influence of discrimination and medical mistrust on health behaviors among African Americans and Latinos; much of her research involves people living with HIV and is conducted using principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR). Dr. Bogart has led studies in primary and secondary HIV prevention, as well as adherence to antiretroviral treatment for HIV. She currently has NIH funding to examine the association of discrimination, HIV misconceptions (also termed HIV conspiracy beliefs), and medical mistrust with treatment adherence and sexual risk among African-American and Latino men living with HIV; and to conduct a social network analysis of the relationships among medical mistrust, HIV misconceptions, and treatment adherence among African Americans living with HIV. She is also currently developing and pilot-testing an HIV treatment adherence intervention for adolescents; and conducting a pilot intervention study to adapt a US-developed worksite-based HIV prevention program for parents of adolescents to the South African context.

Dr. Francisco O. Buchting is Vice President of the Program Services Division at ETR Associates. In addition to his management of the division, Dr. Buchting's recent work includes having a leadership role in the area of health in the Latino and LGBT communities, health disparities research, advancing eHealth programs and knowledge transfer/research translation efforts, and producing research sampling methodologies reports on hard to reach communities and mobile populations. He is also a member of the National Cancer Institute's Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND). Dr. Buchting's career includes bilingual clinical practice in behavioral medicine with a special focus on chronic diseases, author research articles, designing and directing programs in the areas of nicotine addiction, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), healthy relationships, and work in the area of applying integrated marketing communication techniques to public health initiatives. He has also co-authored a bi-monthly newspaper column on health and worked on adapting health literature, especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS and tobacco use, for underserved and marginalized populations. His career is marked by extensive personal involvement in health advocacy and community activism as well as service on community based organization boards and museum advisory committees. Dr. Buchting earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Boston University and B.A.S. (Bachelor of Arts and Science) in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Heather Corliss is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a Research Scientist at Children's Hospital Boston. She received her PhD in Epidemiology (2004) and her MPH in Community Health Sciences (1999), both from the University of California Los Angeles. From 2005-2007, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital Boston where she continued studying and researching health disparities based on sexual orientation. In 2007, she was awarded a NIDA Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01) to study patterns, causes, and consequences of sexual orientation disparities in youth substance use. In addition to conducting research, she mentors students and fellows in multiple health-related disciplines and teaches courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and Children's Hospital Boston on research methods and gender and health.

Dr. Sandra Eyster is a Managing Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Chair of AIR's Institutional Review Board, and a senior technical advisor within AIR's Federal Statistics Program. Dr. Eyster earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1999, where she taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in quantitative research methods and statistics. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Eyster worked within the federal statistical system as a survey statistician at the US Bureau of the Census, as well as in technical and management positions with private sector survey research firms, and as a survey research and statistical consultant. In her role as senior technical advisor, Dr. Eyster provides expertise in statistics and survey methods, including weighting and sampling, research design, privacy and confidentiality issues, and statistics for complex sample surveys. On Project Talent, Dr. Eyster provides guidance on issues related to data analysis, study design, respondent tracing, and data file development, including administrative linkages.

Dr. Kevin J. Mahoney is a faculty member at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work where he serves as Professor as well as Director of the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS). This new national center offers training, technical assistance, research and policy support to states and other organizations that want to offer, or are already offering, participant-directed care services. During his 30 year career in gerontology and long-term care, Dr. Mahoney has served in a number of policy making and administrative positions in the state governments of Connecticut and California. Prior to coming to Boston College in 1999, he held academic appointments at Yale University, the University of Connecticut, the University of California- San Francisco and the University of Maryland. From 1978 to 1987, Dr. Mahoney served as Chief of Research and Program Development at the Connecticut Department on Aging where he was responsible for that state's home care programs for the frail elderly. From 1987 to 1995, Dr. Mahoney developed and implemented innovative partnerships between private insurance and Medicaid to finance long-term care -- first in the State of Connecticut and then in the State of California. From 1996 to 2008, Dr. Mahoney was the National Program Director for the Cash & Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation, a policy-driven evaluation of one of the most unfettered forms of consumer direction of personal assistance services, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An expert on state government and long-term care innovation, he speaks and writes extensively on consumer direction, the roles of the public and private sectors in financing long-term care, long-term care insurance and care management.

Dr. Don Operario is Associate Professor of Medical Sciences in the Department of Community Health. He was trained as a Social and Health Psychologist (BA, UCLA; MS, PhD, UMass Amherst; Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Francisco). He was previously on the faculty of the University of Oxford (Department of Social Policy and Social Work) and before that was at the University of California San Francisco (Center for AIDS Prevention Studies - Department of Medicine). His research addresses two inter-related areas. The first general area is the social context of HIV transmission and the social sequelae of HIV/AIDS in affected communities, with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions in high-risk groups. A second research area is the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of disadvantaged group members and addressing associated health and psychosocial disparities. He conducts research addressing both U.S. domestic and international public health issues.

Dr. David Pantalone is a clinical health psychologist with interests and experience in HIV prevention and treatment, substance use and abuse, and interpersonal violence in sexual minority individuals. Dr. Pantalone has used multiple methods to answer relevant research questions, including qualitative, survey, and intervention research in a variety of settings. The overarching goals of his program of research are to understand better the complex relations between mental and physical health to aid in the targeting, development, validation, and dissemination of interventions for vulnerable and marginalized individuals. Dr. Pantalone is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Suffolk University in Boston.

Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons is a developmental and health psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on the intersections between sexual health, substance use/abuse, and contextual factors related to risk-taking behaviors, particularly in LGB T populations. He is the Director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), focused on reducing the transmission of HIV and improving the lives of those living with HIV. He has published over 175 peer-reviewed publications, has been awarded over 31 million dollars in federal grants, and has been honored by the American Psychological Association Division 44 with the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award and by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality with the John Money Award.