Yale University

Kristen Underhill, J.D., Ph.D.

  • Associate Research Scholar in Law, Yale Law School
  • Member, Community Research and Implementation Core, CIRA
  • Member, Interdisciplinary Research Methods Core, CIRA


Kristen Underhill holds a D.Phil. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from Oxford University (2007), where she focused on behavioral HIV prevention, systematic reviewing, and research with vulnerable populations. She completed her postdoctoral training under an NIH T32 grant at the Department of Community Health at Brown University (2011), where she focused on the behavioral implications of biomedical HIV prevention strategies. She also holds a J.D. from Yale Law School (2011), and her legal research focuses on law and public health, the use of behavioral science concepts in the law, and healthcare financing. She is jointly affiliated with CIRA and the Law School, and she is currently PI of a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development grant focusing on behavioral issues involved in the use of oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis by men who have sex with men.

Selected Publications:

  • Underhill K. Risk-taking and rulemaking: Addressing risk compensation behavior through FDA regulation of prescription drugs. Yale J Regulation. 2013;30(2):In press.

  • Underhill K, Morrow KM, Operario D, Mayer KH. Could FDA approval of pre-exposure prophylaxis make a difference? A qualitative study of PrEP acceptability and FDA perceptions among men who have sex with men. AIDS Behav. May 15 2013. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0498-9.

  • Underhill K. Study designs for identifying risk compensation behavior among users of biomedical HIV prevention technologies: Balancing methodological rigor and research ethics. Soc Sci Med. Mar 27 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.020

  • Underhill K. Paying for prevention: Challenges to health insurance coverage for biomedical HIV prevention in the United States. Am J Law Med. 2012;38(4):607-666.

  • Underhill, K. "Measuring PrEP-associated risk compensation: Limitations of double-blinded trials." New England Journal of Medicine (2011), 364(14):1374. PMID: 21470023.

  • Underhill, K,, Operario, D,, Skeer, M, Mimiaga M, Mayer K. Packaging PrEP to prevent HIV: An integrated framework to plan for pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation in clinical practice. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2010;55(1):8-13. PMID: 21423876.

  • Underhill K, Operario D, Mimiaga M, Skeer M, Mayer K. Implementation science of pre-exposure prophylaxis: Preparing for public use. Current HIV/AIDS Rep, 2010;7(4):210-19. PMID: 20820971.

  • Underhill K, Montgomery P, Operario D. Maximizing the clinical relevance of sexual abstinence-only program evaluations. Arch Pediatr & Adolesc Med, 2010;164(7):679. PMID: 20603474.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Behavioral HIV prevention and the integration of behavioral and biomedical prevention strategies
  • Behavioral science research methods, including systematic review methods and the measurement of program implementation
  • Public health law, influences of domestic and international law on population-level health and health disparities
  • Healthcare financing, including insurance coverage for preventive care