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Fall 2017
Welcome to the Fall 2017 issue of the CUNY ISPH News, a quarterly newsletter designed to help keep you up-to-date on activities, projects and research happening at the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health.

What's New at the ISPH
The CUNY ISPH at International Conference on HIV Science

Dr. Angela Parcesepe delivering a talk at the International Aids Conference in Paris, France in July. 

In July 2017, three ISPH Investigators, Drs. Denis Nash, Elizabeth Kelvin, and Angela Parcesepe, attended and presented talks at the International AIDS Society Conference in Paris, France. The IAS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, this conference continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy, and an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes to ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.


ISPH Hosts First Meeting of ERC-CFAR Patient and Population Health Outcomes Scientific Working Group
On September 28, 2017, the Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) hosted the first meeting of the Einstein-Rockefeller-CUNY CFAR, Patient and Population Health Outcomes Research Scientific Working Group (PPHOR SWG).  This meeting was attended by investigators and public health experts from institutions across New York City, including CUNY (School of Public Health, Hunter, Queens College, Lehman College), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Rockefeller University, NYC Department of Health and Mental Health, and others.  An overarching goal of this scientific working group is to seed and catalyze research collaborations between these institutions to impact both patient and population health outcomes. The meeting included initial discussions around potential research opportunities involving clinical databases, population and behavioral health sciences, and clinical research.  It also included presentations by Dr. Uriel Felsen, MD, PhD (Einstein) on “Identifying missed opportunities for HIV prevention using the CFAR database” and Dr. Hongbin Zhang, PhD, MSc (CUNY ISPH) who presented on “Joint Modeling of CD4 and Viral Load.”   


ISPH Seminar Series:  Enhancing Linkage to HIV Care in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda - October 3, 2017

On October 3, 2017 the ISPH hosted its Implementation Science Seminar Series with Dr. Kelli O’Laughlin MD, MPH from the Harvard Medical School who presented “Enhancing Linkage to HIV Care in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda.”

Dr. O’Laughlin attended the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine (2003) and completed her emergency medicine residency at the University of California, Los Angeles / Olive-View UCLA Emergency Medicine Residency Program (2007). She earned her MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health (2008). She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School, and an Emergency Medicine Physician for the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  

To view her full talk please follow this link –  

ISPH Presents at BioC2017

In July 2017, ISPH Waldron Lab's Research Assistant Lucas Schiffer attended the annual Bioconductor Conference in Boston, Massachusetts where he presented on diverse topics related to software development, and metagenomics.  These presentations focused on work designed to improve communication infrastructure for developers of biological software, ongoing efforts to make public human metagenomics data more accessible, and software development methodology. The Waldron lab also presented two full length workshops, one on novel data structures in multi-omics and another on methods for functional enrichment analysis.  

ISPH Research / Project Highlights

Y Get It? Program Facilitates Multi-faceted Approach to Reach Vulnerable HIV-Positive Populations

Retention in care and achieving viral load suppression for HIV-positive youth and young adults in New York State (NYS) continues to remain a challenge.  As part of NYS's Ending the AIDS Epidemic Initiative and HRSA's Special Projects of National Significance (Use of Social Media to Improve Engagement, Retention, and Health Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum), the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute has created the Y Get It? project.  Y Get It? is designed to facilitate the timely entry of young HIV-positive individuals aged 18-34 into HIV care, encourage vulnerable individuals to remain in care, and sustain treatment adherence and HIV viral load suppression.  Y Get It? is comprised of a mobile health application (GET!) and Peer Engagement Educator Professionals (PEEPs) who are embedded at Northwell Health in Long Island, NY.  Developed by Mount Sinai App Lab, GET! allows users to track scheduled medical appointments, monitor HIV medication adherence, enter laboratory values (viral load and CD4), and gain health knowledge.  Users can also connect to PEEPs through a secure messaging feature in GET!.  PEEPs are available to provide peer support, linkage to supportive services, and general check-ups on those enrolled in the project.  As part of the Y Get It? project, a new graphic serial called Tested follows the lives of HIV-infected or affected individuals. It includes a diverse cast representing groups disproportionately burdened by HIV/AIDS.   

Read more >>  

New Study Finds Increased Rates of Depression in the USA from 2005 to 2015

According to a recent study led by the CUNY ISPH's Dr. Renee Goodwin, entitled Trends in Depression Prevalence in the USA from 2005 to 2015: Widening Disparities in Vulnerable Groups, the prevalence of depression increased significantly in the US population from 2005 to 2015, before and after controlling for demographics. The rate of increase in depression was most rapid among young persons ages 12-17. The article was published in a recent issue of the journal Psychological Medicine
Read more>>   
For more information on all of our ISPH investigators and their work,  please visit our website:

ISPH Faculty and Staff Profiles

Ludwig Geistlinger - Investigator - ISPH Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Genomics

Dr. Geistlinger’s implementation science experience centers on designing and implementing methods for the analysis of large-scale genomic assay data to improve the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying specific cancer types. This also includes assessment of the clinical relevance of molecular cancer subtypes, especially whether their incorporation in personalized healthcare could improve treatment and clinical outcomes.

Dr. Geistlinger is trained in Bioinformatics. His research interests are in computational biology and biostatistics, focusing on the field of functional enrichment analysis of high-throughput genomic assay data.
Prior to his work at the CUNY ISPH, Dr. Geistlinger completed a PhD on network-based analysis of gene expression data at the University of Munich, Germany, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he analyzed the effects of structural genome variation on gene expression.


Matthew Stief - Project Manager

Dr. Stief is a Project Manager at the ISPH.  His work on the newly funded 'Together 5000" project focuses on investigating the predictors and correlates of HIV seroconversion in a large national longitudinal sample of high-risk gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. He received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University, where he did research on the biopsychosocial foundations of sexual orientation and gender identity, with a special focus on variability within orientations and across cultures.

Dr. Stief’s expertise focuses on key populations, research design and implementation, data collection and analysis, survey design, database management, and cross-cultural research. He is fluent in English and has limited working proficiency in Hindi.

For more information on all of our investigators and staff,  please visit our website:

ISPH Awards and Grants

NIH Awards HIV Prevention Study Grant
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) has awarded Dr. Christian Grov  and his colleagues a $2.4 Million grant to launch the 'Together 5000' project, a 2-year nationwide HIV prevention study of gay and bisexual men, transmen, and transwomen. Gay and bisexual men account for nearly two-thirds of new HIV diagnoses among men, with men of color being hardest hit, and transwomen have the highest percentage of new HIV infections in the US, particularly transwomen of color. This project is designed to address critical needs in HIV prevention research by using innovative technology to enroll and follow a large-scale epidemiological cohort of those at highest risk of infection. The project will utilize established Internet-based strategies, previously used successfully by the research team, to enroll a sample of 5,000 high-risk HIV-negative transwomen, transmen, and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men ages 16 to 49—the populations representing the highest percentage of new infections annually—and follow them prospectively for four years. Click here for our press release announcing the launch of this project. 
ISPH Events

IeDEA 'All Africa' Meeting in Kigali City, Rwanda:
November 5 - 6, 2017

The organizers and dignitaries at the IeDEA All-Africa Meeting in Kilgali, Rwanda in November.

On November 5-6, 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda, the second 'All Africa' meeting of the NIH funded IeDEA network brought together approximately 200 investigators, implementers, the US NIH, government representatives, community representatives, and donor organizations from the 23-sub-Saharan African countries, the U.S., France and Switzerland. Attendees shared knowledge and methods, and strengthened collaborations to develop a research approach to optimize the 'treat all' implementation in the region. The meeting was hosted by the CUNY ISPH, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Rwanda Military Hospital. The event was opened by the Honorable Minister of Health of Rwanda, Dr. Diane Gashumba. The event also received local media attention, and followed a a two day meeting, also in Kigali, of the Central African region of IeDEA.

Read More>>

Please Join us for the Following Upcoming ISPH Events: 

ISPH/Waldron Lab Shotgun Genomics Talk:  
"Large-Scale Microbial Ecological Interaction Networks from Shotgun Metagenomics with the NESRA Algorithm" with Francesco Asnicar

November 22, 2017 
4:00 – 5:00 pm EST
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
Room 717  

55 West 125th Street, NY, NY 10027


ISPH Seminar Series 2 with Dr. Sheri Weiser
 “Food for Thought: Addressing the Vicious Cycle of Food Insecurity and HIV AIDS

December 13,  2017 
12:00 – 1:30 pm EST
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
Room 708
55 West 125th Street, NY, NY 10027



The CUNY ISPH is Hiring

Please click on the following job titles for more information.

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