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Center for Health Improvement and Prevention Studies





barbara gerbert photo Barbara Gerbert, PhD
Barbara is Professor in the Division of Behavioral Sciences, Ethics, and Professionalism, and the Director of CHIPS. She has focused her research on the role of health care professionals in reducing the barriers to optimal preventive health care.

Co-Investigators and Other Colleagues

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David Bangsberg, MD
David is a Senior Scientist in the Partner AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine. He is the director of the International Program for the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research and the Director of the Harvard Global Scholars Program at the Harvard Initiative for Global Health. He was the second highest ranked NIH funded RO-1 investigator in HIV/AIDS in 2007 and has over 120 peer reviewed publications.

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Daniel Ciccarone, MD, MPH
Dr. Ciccarone is Associate Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine in DFCM, as well as Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at UCSF. He has been providing community-based primary care in San Francisco for 17 years. He directs a number of research projects utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, which aim to deepen our understanding of HIV risk taking among socially marginalized groups. His publications have appeared in JAMA, NEJM, AJPH, and MMWR. Recently he has published an epidemiological study on disclosure within sexual partnerships of persons with HIV. At the UCSF School of Medicine he takes pride in revising medical curricula to enhance competencies in working with diverse populations.

Dan’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Together we explore HIV prevention interventions that are effective and respectful of individuals who are HIV positive. Combining our interests in anthropology, psychology, and sociology, we enjoy expanding understanding of risky sex.

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Stuart Gansky, DrPH
Stuart's interest is statistical methods with applications in oral health, pain research, health disparities, and community intervention studies. His particular emphasis is in the areas of correlated data, multiple comparisons, categorical data, clinical trials, and risk prediction. He is also interested in health literacy.

He has collaborated with me on numerous projects, lending his amazing analytic abilities, excellent communication skills, and interesting subtle wit. He always brings his blender when we need to make lemonade.

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Stephen McPhee, MD
Dr. McPhee is a Professor of Medicine at UCSF and the co-founder and co-director of the UCSF Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project (1986-present). He has extensive research experience in disease prevention and health promotion, methods of changing physicians' behavior, graduate medical education, and palliative care.

Of my UCSF colleagues on this list, I have worked the longest with Steve – since 1991. In this case, longest equals bestest. Steve is well known nationally as a mentor’s mentor. He is the most amazing listener, confidante, and adviser. Steve always takes a moment to read me poetry before, during, or after our far-ranging professional and personal discussions.

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Cynthia C. Harper, PhD
Cynthia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the Director of the Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research evaluates new technologies and service improvements in family planning and HIV/STI prevention for women.

She brings her passion about women’s reproductive rights and her international research perspective to my work, and I look forward to future collaborations.

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Linda C. Niessen, DMD
Linda currently serves as Vice-President, Chief Clinical Officer for DENTSPLY International. She holds a faculty appointment as Clinical Professor, Department of Restorative Sciences, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, Baylor College Dentistry in Dallas, where she previously served as the Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Niessen holds a dental degree (DMD), Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Masters of Public Policy (MPP) degree, all from Harvard University. She completed a Geriatric Dental Fellowship and currently lectures on aging and oral health, and womenís oral health.

She adds her wisdom about dental public health, dental practice, academia, and practicality to my work with dentists. Working with her on our domestic violence projects for dentists has added to the fidelity and usability; not only that, but she is a delight to collaborate with and an inspiration at all times.

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Michael Potter, MD
Dr. Potter is Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF. He is Director of the UCSF Collaborative Research Network, a practice-based research network within UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. In this role, Dr. Potter provides research consultation to a broad range of UCSF and community-based investigators and serves as a co-investigator on several practice-based research projects. Dr. Potter is currently principal investigator on a CDC “Elimination of Health Disparities through Translation Research” award (R18) to adapt, implement, evaluate, and disseminate an evidence-based colorectal cancer screening intervention within the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Michael and I are collaborating with Judith Walsh on “PRE-VIEW: An Interactive Video Doctor to Encourage Cancer Screening.” I feel fortunate to be working with him, given his clinician/researcher perspective and expertise and collaborative style.

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Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S.
Bimla was recruited from UCSF to the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) where she was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. One of her areas of interest is the advanced provision of emergency contraception in postpartum and urgent care settings and the relationship between cervical cancer screening and provision of contraception. We have maintained a long-distance collaboration on this topic, among others.

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Naomi E. Stotland, MD
Naomi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF. Dr. Stotland's research interests include weight gain, nutrition, and obesity in pregnancy. In collaboration with Dr. Gerbert, she is currently conducting qualitative research on prenatal care providers and their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding weight gain counseling.

She is new to my circle of valued collaborators. In a short amount of time, we completed a qualitative project, gathering data in focus groups of prenatal providers, about weight gain during preganancy. Her keen intellect and inquiring mind, clinical acumen, and upbeat personality add to the joy of designing and implementing projects with Naomi.

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Janice Tsoh, PhD
Janice is also new to my list of current and future colleagues. I am fortunate that Steve McPhee suggested we meet and look into collaborating. Janice’s research is innovative and designed to improve health outcomes for dually diagnosed smokers in clinical settings. She plans to implement our Video Doctor model as an intervention with this population.


Judith Walsh, MD
Judith a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Her research interests are in disease prevention and health promotion. Her current research focuses on encouraging patients to receive appropriate cancer screening. With Judith as PI, we are developing an interactive Video Doctor to encourage patients to receive needed cancer screening tests.

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Page last updated October 27, 2009