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Six Provost Diversity Fellowships Awarded in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences

The Department of Sociomedical Sciences has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to promoting minority faculty members within the Mailman School of Public Health. As a part of the University’s broader diversity initiative, the Department was able to extend six Provost Diversity Fellowships to three short-term visiting fellows and three SMS faculty members.

Short-Term Visiting Fellows

Karen Bullock, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut
Dr. Bullock’s research is focused on examining health disparities in care at the end of life in the acute care setting. Her work is particularly relevant given the aging of the population and the unequal burden of chronic disease and disability in minority populations. Dr. Bullock is the recipient of several research awards that have provided her with valuable training and experience in the field of health disparities. She was nominated for the diversity fellowship by both the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

David Malebranche, MD, MPH '01, Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Malebranche, a Mailman School alum in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, is currently an assistant professor at the Division of General Medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He supervises medical providers-in-training at the Urgent Care Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta, and sees his own panel of patients at the Ponce Infectious Disease Center, a local AIDS clinic that provides comprehensive care to the uninsured.

Additionally, Dr. Malebranche conducts research exploring the racial, gender, age, and cultural factors that influence black men’s health, particularly with regard to sexual risk behavior and HIV testing practices. He recently completed a fellowship with the HIV Prevention Research in Minority Communities Program at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco where he explored how notions of masculinity among Black men who have sex with men influence sexual behavior decision-making and risk for HIV.

Keith Wailoo, PhD, Professor, Department of History and Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University
Dr. Wailoo, an historian of medicine at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is the author of a number of books including Dying in the City of the Blues, a social history of the sickle-cell crisis among African-Americans, and Drawing Blood, a history of the place of blood in the medical and popular culture.

Dr. Wailoo is perhaps the country’s most important senior scholar working in the fields of the history and sociology of science and medicine. He is the recipient of several major awards, including a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award.

SMS Research Fellows

Naa Oyo Kwate, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Dr. Kwate received funding to support her project: “When does place matter? Racial segregation, neighborhood perceptions, and health status among African Americans.” The purpose of Dr. Kwate’s study is to identify some of the factors that may mediate the relationship between living in a racially segregated neighborhood and health status, and to explore the extent to which residents in predominantly Black neighborhoods access goods, services, and social contacts throughout the city.

Dr. Kwate currently serves as the director of the Social Science Research in Public Health track and co-coordinates the Community Scholars Program in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences.

Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Dr. Muñoz-Laboy received funding for his research project: “Power Inequalities and the Sexual Health of Bisexual Latino Youth.” The study is intended to develop preliminary research on sexual risk among young bisexual Latino women and men. Most prevention studies on bisexuals focus on adults, overlooking teenagers. This study will provide unique insights for HIV/STI prevention for this population. Further, although the research on Latino male bisexuality and sexual health is limited in the United States (with a few exceptions), it is almost non-existent for Latina female bisexuality.

Dr. Muñoz-Laboy currently serves as director of the MPH Global Health track and coordinator for the Department’s DrPH program. To acknowledge the central role that he has played in the department for the past several years, he was recently given the title of deputy director of planning.

Patrick Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Dr. Wilson received funding for his project, “Substance Use and Other Factors Associated with Sexual Risk Taking Among HIV-positive MSM (Men Who Have Sex with Men): Understanding the Structure of High-Risk Sexual Situations.” This fellowship supports research that will, through methodologically rigorous and innovative studies, aim to identify situational factors linked to HIV risk taking in high-risk populations.

Historically, research examining HIV-risk behavior has focused on personal HIV-risk factors, such as intentions to engage in safer sex and perceived risk/susceptibility. Dr. Wilson’s study will examine substance use as a characteristic of the sexual situation, which will allow for a better understanding of the possible causal relationship between substance use and sexual risk-taking among HIV-positive MSM. The study will also examine personal factors that may fluctuate from sexual situation to sexual situation.

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