COPA Member Biographies
Eugene Farber, PhD, ABPP, is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in the Emory University School of Medicine. A clinical psychologist, Farber serves as director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in the Grady Health System Infectious Disease Program, which is among the largest HIV/AIDS primary care centers in the United States. The mission of this program is to provide accessible community-based services to underserved individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to his administrative and clinical service activities, Farber also is active in clinical teaching and supervision in the HIV/AIDS mental health arena. Farber's research interests and activities focus primarily on factors that influence psychological adaptation to the multiple challenges of living with HIV/AIDS and clinical outcomes of HIV mental health services provided in community-based primary care settings.
Email Eugene Farber
Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, is associate dean for research and doctoral studies, professor of applied psychology, public health and medicine, and director of the center for health, identity, behavior and prevention studies at the Steinhardt School, of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He is also an affiliate of the Center for AIDS Research and Center for Drug Use and HIV Research also at NYU. Halkitis is internationally recognized for his work examining the intersection between HIV, drug abuse and mental health, and is well-known as one of the nation's leading experts on methamphetamine addiction and HIV behavioral research. He is lead editor of two volumes: "HIV + Sex: The Psychological and Interpersonal Dynamics of HIV-seropositive Gay and Bisexual Men's Relationships" (American Psychological Association, 2005), and "Barebacking: Psychosocial and Public Health Perspectives" (2006, Haworth Press). His book, "Methamphetamine Addiction: Biological Foundations, Psychological Factors, and Social Consequences" was published in 2009, and he is currently working on a new manuscript examining the life experiences of gay men who are long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. Author of over 120 peer-reviewed academic manuscripts, Halkitis' research examines how sexual and drug-related risk taking, as well as mental health are influenced by interpersonal, interpersonal, contextual, developmental and cultural factors in the United States. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, New York State AIDS Institute, United Way, the New York Community Trust and American Psychological Foundation. Halkitis serves on the Committee on Psychology and AIDS of the American Psychological Association, is a member of the Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention and Treatment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Services Research Administration (HRSA), as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) College of CSR Reviewers. Halkitis is the recipient of numerous awards from both professional and community-based organizations and is an elected a fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine, The Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Psychological Association. Halkitis received his PhD in 1995 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and is currently completing his MPH degree.
The following video and articles reflect the views of the author.
Interview of COPA Chair Dr. Perry Halkitis on PrEP comprehensive HIV/AIDS Prevention. Video courtesy of NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Chelsea Now Column:
Email Perry N. Halkitis
Timothy G. Heckman, PhD, is associate dean for research and professor of health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia, College of Public Health. Since 1993, Dr. Heckman has conceptualized, implemented and evaluated innovative interventions for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and his AIDS mental health research has been funded by NIH since 1998. Heckman’s AIDS mental health intervention research has focused primarily on rural persons and older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Of particular interest is the use of teletherapy to deliver mental health support services to geographically and psychologically distant persons. Heckman is currently the principal investigator on a $1.6 million grant that is testing the efficacy of telephone-administered interpersonal psychotherapy for reducing depression in HIV-infected rural persons diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Heckman has served on numerous NIH study sections; he served as a standing member of the Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS (BSCH) Study Section from 2007 through 2010. He is an editorial board member of AIDS and Behavior and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other journals. Heckman has authored or co-authored more than 65 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and since 1995, his scientific papers have been cited more than a thousand times.
Email Timothy G. Heckman
Amanda Houston-Hamilton, DMH, is an associate clinical professor in the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and a practicing psychotherapist with clinical, research and consulting experience emphasizing the health needs of ethnic and sexual minorities as well as the implementation of behavioral interventions to complex, "hard to reach" populations in underserved community settings. She has been clinical director of Tenderloin Health serving the multiply diagnosed homeless and marginally housed in San Francisco, Coordinator of Community Research at the Center for Health and Community at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). She was a research scientist at the Northern California Cancer Center studying health decision making in low income African American women and at Polaris Research and Development where, among other issues she conducted one of the first population based studies on HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in the Black community. She has assisted numerous nonprofit organizations to assess, implement and evaluate the service needs of communities disrupted by HIV/AIDS, trauma, substance use and violence, helping them utilize community assets and has over 25 years' experience training and educating medical providers on client-centered care. She has designed curriculum and managed a range of training and technical assistance efforts at the community, state and national levels on mental health and issues associated with AIDS treatment, prevention and education. She received her doctorate through a joint Doctor of Mental Health program from the University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco.
Email Dr. Houston-Hamilton
Velma McBride Murry, PhD, is the Betts Chair in Education and Human Development, professor of human and organizational development, and director, Center for Research on Rural Families and Communities, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Murry has conducted research on rural African American parents and youth for over 15 years and has identified proximal, malleable protective factors that deter youth risk engagement. Findings from these empirical studies informed the development of a curriculum, the Strong African American Families Program, which was designed to enhance parenting and family processes to encourage youth to delay the age of sexual onset and the initiation and escalation of alcohol and other drug use. Results from her longitudinal trials with African American families also informed the design, development, and implementation of the Pathways for African American Success Program, the first family-based, technology interactive program targeting youth risk reduction by enhancing caregivers' regulated-communicative parenting and youths' racial identity, self-esteem, youth decision making processes and risk resistant efficacy. Dr. Murry brings a perspective on adversity that includes race, ethnicity and poverty; a strong background in the role that parenting plays in addressing the needs of youth; and extensive experience in designing and implementing randomized control trials. She is also Co-Director of the Community Engagement and Research Core at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. Dr. Murry has served as Commissioner of the State of Georgia Children's Trust Fund and as a member of the Institute of Medicine's Board on Children, Youth, and Families and Standing Committee on Family Planning; Board of Directors of the Family Process Institute; and co-directed the African American Mental Health Research Scientist Consortium, in which over 100 early career African American scholars were mentored to increase the numbers of competitive grant applications African American research scientists submit to the National Institute of Mental Health, advance the overall participation level of African American mental health researchers in NIMH initiatives and programs, and foster the development of high-quality individual and collaborative mental health research on racial/ethnic minority populations. She edits articles, serves on the publication committee and editorial boards of several journals, and has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles.
Velma McBride Murry, COPA Chair-elect, received an award from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust for inspiring former students to make a difference in the community.
Email Dr. McBride Murry
Monica Rivera Mindt, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, and has a joint appointment in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She received her PhD in clinical psychology, with a concentration in neuropsychology, from the University of Nebraska. She completed her internship within the neuropsychology track at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and her postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Rivera Mindt is actively engaged in research, teaching, clinical practice, and service to the profession. Her research is focused on neuroAIDS, multicultural issues in neuropsychology and health disparities. She is the principal investigator of an NIMH-funded study investigating the neurocognitive and sociocultural determinants of antiretroviral adherence among HIV+ Latinos, and is co-investigator on two additional NIH-funded studies. Dr. Rivera Mindt teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and trains clinical neuropsychology doctoral students. Her clinical practice is comprised of forensic work and pro bono services for disenfranchised communities. Dr. Rivera Mindt has been a member of APA since 1997, and has served APA via the Advisory Board for the Presidential Taskforce on Diversity Education Resources and as a grant reviewer for APA's Science Directorate's Dissertation Research Award. Beginning in 2012, she was appointed to the Committee on Psychology and AIDS (COPA). She has also served APA Division 40 since 2001, currently as an elected Member-At-Large, and in the past as Chair of the Membership Committee, co-chair of the steering committee for the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee and as an inaugural steering committee member for the Women in Neuropsychology committee. She is a grant reviewer for NIMH, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and the Alzheimer's Association; and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and as an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. Rivera Mindt's research, teaching, and contributions to the field have been recognized with numerous awards, including: the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) in 2011; the Early Career Service Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2010; the Distinguished Alumna Award for Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2008; Early Career Award & Pilot Research Award from the Northeast Consortium for Minority Faculty Development in 2007; and Fordham University's Teach of the Year Award in 2005.
Email Dr. Rivera Mindt