The Andy I. Choi Mentoring Program of the UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research announced the recipients of the 2020 Early-Career Research Excellence Awards. The awards were presented at the June CFAR Seminar on June 3, 2020.
Excellence Award for Behavioral Research
Judy Tan, PhD
Dr. Judy Tan is Assistant Professor in the Division of Prevention Science, CAPS. She is a behavioral and prevention scientist trained in social and health psychological theory, quantitative research methods, and behavioral intervention development. She is particularly interested in developing novel interventions to reduce health disparities, particularly those among sexual and gender minority people of color. Dr. Tan is the PI of a NIMH-funded R01 study to develop mHealth capabilities that target and leverage dyadic factors (e.g., couple’s resilience) for enhancing HIV care engagement among Black gay and bisexual men. She is also the PI of a NIA R21 to develop a choir intervention to promote psychosocial wellbeing among older people living with HIV. She is a 2020 UCSF Deans’ Population Health and Health Equity (PHHE) Scholar.
Excellence Award for Clinical Research
Andrew Kerkhoff, MD, PhD, MSc
Dr. Andrew D. Kerkhoff is an infectious disease fellow, HIV primary care provider and researcher in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, at San Francisco General Hospital. He received a Master’s in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Amsterdam. For the last decade, he has undertaken research in sub-Saharan Africa that has focused on the evaluation of tools and approaches to improve the diagnosis of HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB). His current research is based in Zambia and seeks to apply implementation science methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of TB active case finding strategies and diagnostic approaches in resource-limited settings.
Excellence Award for Basic Research
Erika Marques de Menezes, PhD
Dr. Erika Marques de Menezes is a scientist in Philip Norris’ laboratory at Vitalant Research Institute. Erika received her PhD in Clinical Research in Brazil, from the University of Sao Paulo, where her research focused on the area of infectious diseases, working on bone metabolism in the context of HIV-associated osteoporosis. Erika joined Vitalant in May 2017 as post-doctoral fellow and worked on immune responses to extracellular vesicles. Her current research focus is to understand the role of extracellular vesicles and their molecular cargos in the pathogenesis of HIV associated osteoporosis, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
Excellence Award for Translational Research
Michael Peluso, MD, MPhil, MHS, DTM&H
Dr. Michael Peluso is a clinical fellow in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at UCSF. He earned his MD from Yale and completed residency in internal medicine and global health equity at Brigham & Women's Hospital. His initial research efforts focused on neurologic complications of HIV infection and since coming to UCSF he has become a junior investigator within the HIV SCOPE study team with a focus on clinical-translational research related to HIV persistence and cure. He recently submitted a K23 award focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying a novel phenotype of natural HIV control and hopes in the future to lead pathogenesis-focused clinical trials to identify a cure for HIV infection.