Yale University

Annnouncing a Change in CIRA's Methods Core Leadership

CIRA congratulates Dr. Robert Heimer on the awarding of his new project entitled "Parenteral HCV Transmission: Assessing Risks and Prevention Strategies in vitro". This five-year project will take Robert back to doing what he loves best – laboratory-based research -- and will require significant effort. Although Robert will remain affiliated with CIRA, he will be stepping down as Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Methods (IRM) Core this fall. Robert has been IRM Director since 2005 when he took over the role from Dr. Edward Kaplan. Robert was instrumental in building CIRA's IRM Core and has made indelible contributions to the HIV research field over the years. We thank him for his leadership and scientific contributions, and look forward to his continued participation in CIRA.

At the same time, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Trace Kershaw has accepted our invitation to succeed Robert as IRM Core Director. Dr. Kershaw has been an Investigator on the IRM and Community Research (CR) Cores. In 2009, Dr. Kershaw acted as IRM Core Director during Dr. Heimer's sabbatical leave. Kershaw's training and background is as a behavioral scientist and Associate Professor at the Yale School of Public Health with over 10 years of experience conducting behavioral and intervention studies in Connecticut. He has considerable experience in intervention development and implementation. He has served as an investigator on several NIH funded interventions including two interventions to reduce HIV risk among young mothers, an intervention to reduce drug use during pregnancy, and a couples-based intervention to improve mental and physical functioning among cancer patients and their spouses. Furthermore, he teaches the graduate-level class at Yale School of Public Health on designing behavioral interventions. In addition to intervention development expertise, he has expertise in HIV risk among young men and women, relational factors in sexual risk, sexual risk in pregnancy and parenthood, and utilizing complex research designs and analyses involving clustered data. He is currently the Principal Investigator of two R01 studies:

  1. looking at the role of relationship level factors on sexual risk among young expectant couples, and
  2. assessing the effectiveness of a peer-delivered intervention on increasing dual contraceptive use for HIV positive couples in India.

He has considerable experience using attachment theory in behavioral research. These experiences make him well suited to provide leadership and innovative direction as IRM Core Director, working with the many talented members of the Core. He also intends to maintain his role as Investigator on the CR Core.

Published: Monday, September 12, 2011