Core BCS

Core J 0.3The Behavioral and Community Science Core J (BCSC) supports research on behavioral, environmental, economic, and social HIV/AIDS risk and protective factors in the Deep South. The BCSC has 3 specific aims:
  • Bring methodological advances in behavioral and community science to bear on HIV/AIDS research and interventions in Deep South communities disproportionately affected by the shifting epidemic.
  • Strengthen and sustain collaborations with key groups to achieve Aim 1, including but not limited to: CFAR Biostatistics and Analysis Core D and Clinical Core C; the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health; and community partners and stakeholders.
  • Inform BCSC initiatives by assessment of needs of UAB HIV/AIDS researchers working on behavioral and community science projects.


Examples of research tools that the Behavioral and Community Science Core (BCSC) supports include:
  • Venue Enumeration Sampling to select community locations for research recruitment of at-risk groups
  • Respondent Driven Sampling to access hard-to-reach populations not amenable to conventional probability sampling
  • Telecommunication methods (e.g., Interactive Voice Response systems) for remote monitoring, data collection, and intervention
  • Geographic Information Systems mapping of environments, risk indicators, and health-relevant outcomes.

BCSC partners and collaborators include:
  • CFAR Biostatistics and Analysis Core. Community-based studies often address research questions not amenable to RCT designs and require observational, longitudinal, and participatory approaches. The BCSC coordinates with Core D coordinate to support such research.
  • CFAR Clinical Core. The BCSC and Core C collaborate to develop a seamless community-clinic interface for research and intervention addressing linkages encompassed by the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade, a goal of the National AIDS Strategy and CFAR strategic plan.
  • UAB Center for the Study of Community Health (CSCH). The CSCH is a University Wide Research Infrastructure Center housing the CDC-funded UAB Prevention Research Center and its Core Research project CITY Health, which involves HIV testing. CSCH projects/services will be coordinated with Core J services to reduce redundancies and maximize resources.
  • Community partners. Community-based studies require effective academic-community partnerships. The BCSC interfaces between stakeholders, employs a Community Engagement Coordinator, works with the Jefferson County HIV/AIDS Community Coalition, and provides leadership and training on building relationships.


Austin, E. (2013). Sexual orientation disclosure to health care providers among urban and non-urban Southern lesbians. Women & Health, 53(1), 41-55. [UAB intramural funding]

Austin, E., & Bozick, R. (2012). Sexual orientation, partnership formation, and substance use in the transition to adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(2), 167-178. [funded by Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Boehme, A., Moneyham, L., McLeod, J., Walcott, M., Wright, E. LO., Seals, P., Mugavero, M., Norton, W. E., & Kempf, M. C. (2012). HIV-infected women’s relationships with their health care providers in the rural Deep South: An exploratory study. Health Care for Women International, 33(4), 403-419. [UAB intramural funding]

Blank,A., Amodei, N., Comerford, C. Eastwood, E., Farmer, P., Henderson, T.Kintziger, K., Manian, N., Martorell, C., Matoff-Stepp, S., Reyerson-Espiono, S., Simpson, C., Quinlivan, B., & Xavier, J. (in press). The HIV/AIDS women of color initiative: Improving access to and quality of care for women of color. Journal of the Poor and Underserved.

Clark, C. B., McCullumsmith, C. B., Waesche, M. C., Perkins, A., Islam, A. M., Francis, R., & Cropsey, K. L. (2012). HIV risk characteristics in community corrections. Journal of Addiction Medicine. Dec 6: [Epub ahead of print]

Cheong, J., & Mackinnon, D. P. (2012). Mediation analysis in structural equation modeling. In R. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of Structural Equation Modeling. New York: Guilford Press. [stats textbook chapter]

Cropsey, K. L., Hendricks, P. S., Jardin, B., Clark, C. B., Katiyar, N., Willig, J., Mugavero, M., Raper, J. L., Saag, M., & Carpenter, M. J. (2013). A pilot study of screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT) in non-treatment seeking smokers with HIV.  Addictive Behaviors, 38(10), 2541-2546. PMCID: PMC3725186.

Dearing, J. W., Norton, W. E., & Larson, S. R. (2013). Next steps in designing for diffusion of pre-exposure prophylaxis: demonstration projects. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(1 Suppl 2), S156-S160. [review]

Dermody, S. S., Marshal, M. P., Cheong, J., Burton, C., Hughes, T., Aranda, F., & Friedman, M.S. (in press). Longitudinal disparities of hazardous drinking between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals from adolescence to young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Kim, D. J., Westfall A. O., Chamot, E., Willig, A. L., Mugavero, M. J., Ritchie, C., Burkholder, G. A., Crane H. M., & Raper, J. L., Saag, M. S., & Willig, J. H.  (2012). Multimorbidity patterns in HIV infected patients: the role of obesity in chronic disease clustering. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 61(5), 600-605. PMCID: PMC3508375.

Lanzi, R. G. & Ramey, S. L. (2012). The Parenting Responsibilities and Emotional Preparedness (PREP) Screening Tool:  A 3-item screen that identifies teen mothers at high risk for non-optimal parenting.  Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 166(8), 1-7.

MacKinnon, D. P., Cheong, J., & Pirlott, A. G. (2012). Statistical mediation analysis. In H. Cooper (Ed.), APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [stats textbook chapter]

McClellean-Lemal, E., Toledo, L., O’Daniels, C., Villar, O., Simpson, C. A., Adimora, A., & Marks, G. (in press).  A man’s gonna do what a man wants to do: African-American and Hispanic women’s perspectives on their relationships and risk for HIV infection. A qualitative analysis.  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

McClellan, E., O’Daniels, C.M., Marks, G., Villar, O., Doherty, I., Simpson, C.A., Weiss, S., Hanna, B., Adimora, A., White, B., Wheeling, J., & Borkof, J.B. (2012).  Sexual risk behaviors among African-American and Hispanic women in five rural counties in the United States 2008-2009.  Women’s Health Issues, 22, 9 – 18.

Merlin, J. S., Westfall, A. O., Raper, J. L., Zinski, A., Norton, W. E., Willig, J. H., Gross, R., Ritchie, C., Saag, M. S., & Mugavero, M. J. (2012). Pain, mood, and substance abuse in HIV: Implications for clinic visit utilization, ART adherence, and virologic failure. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 61(2), 164-170. PMCID: PMC3459261

Mugavero, M. J., Lin, H. Y., Allison, J. H., Giordano, T. P., Willig, J. W., Raper, J. L., Wray, N. P., Cole, S. R., Schumacher, J. E., Davies, S., & Saag, M. S. (2009). Racial disparities in HIV virologic failure: Do missed visits matter? Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 50, 100-108. PMCID: PMC2766510

Mugavero, M. J., Amico, K. R., Westfall, A. O., Crane, H. M., Zinski, A., Willig, J. H., Dombrowski, J., Norton, W. E., Raper, J. L., Kitahata, M. M., & Saag, M. S. (2012). Early retention in HIV care and viral load suppression: Implications for a test and treat approach to HIV prevention. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 59(1), 86-93. PMCID: PMC3237801.

Mugavero, M. J., Norton, W. E., & Saag, M. S. (2011). Health care system and policy factors influencing engagement in HIV medical care: Piecing together the fragments of a fractured health care delivery system. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 52(Suppl 2), S238-S246. PMCID: PMC3106258

Mugavero, M. J., Amico, K. R., Horn, T., & Thompson, M. A. (in press). The state of engagement in HIV care in the United States: From cascade to continuum to control. Clinical Infectious Diseases. [review]

Muzny, C., Harbison, H., Pembleton, E., & Austin, E. (2013). Sexual behaviors, perceptions of sexually transmitted infection risk, and practice of safe sex among African American women who have sex with women. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 40(5), 395-400. PMCID: In process.

Norton, W. E. (2012). An exploratory study to examine intentions to adopt an evidence-based HIV linkage-to-care intervention among state health departments AIDS directors in the United States. Implementation Science, 7(27). PMCID: PMC3348078

Norton, W. E., McCannon, C. J., Schall, M., & Mittman, B. S. (2012). A stakeholder-driven agenda for advancing the science and practice of scale-up and spread in health. Implementation Science, 7(118).  PMCID: PMC3541125 

Norton, W. E., Fisher, J. D., Amico, K. R., Dovidio, J. F., & Johnson, B. T.(2012). Relative efficacy of a pregnancy, STI, or HIV prevention-focused intervention on sexual behavior among older adolescents: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American College Health, 70(8), 574-582. PMCID: In Process.

Ruan, Y., Pan, S. W., Chamot, E., Qian, H. Z., Li. D., Li, Q., Liang, H., Shao, Y., & Kristensen, S. (2011). Sexual mixing patterns among social networks of HIV-positive and HIV-negative Beijing men who have sex with men: a multilevel comparison using roundtable networkmapping. HIV Care, 10, 1-12.

Schumacher, J. E., McCullumsmith, C., Mugavero, M. J., Ingle-Pang, P. E., Raper, J. L., Willig, J. H., You, Z., Batey, D. S., Crane, H., Lawrence, S. T., Wright, C., Treisman, G., Saag, M. S. (2012). Routine depression screening in an HIV clinic cohort identifies patients with complex psychiatric co-morbidities who show significant response to treatment. AIDS & Behavior. [Epub ahead of print] [industry funding]

Thompson, M. A., Mugavero, M. J., Amico, K. R., Cargill, V. A., Chang, L. W., Gross, R. A., Orrell, C., Altice, F. A., Bangsberg, D. R., Bartlett, J. G., Beckwith, C. G., Dowshen, N., Gordon, C. M., Horn, T., Kumar, P., Scott, J. D., Stirratt, M. J., Remien, R. H., Simoni, J. M., Nachega, J. B. (2012). Guidelines for improving entry into and retention in care and antiretroviral adherence for persons with HIV: Evidence-based recommendations from an IAPAC expert panel. Annals of Internal Medicine, 156, 817-33. [expert panel white paper;]

Tucker, J. A., Blum, E. R., Xie, L., Roth, D. L., Simpson, C. A. (2012). Interactive voice response self-monitoring to assess risk behaviors in rural substance users living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS & Behavior, 16(2), 432-440. PMCID: PMC3264810

Tucker,  J. A., Simpson, C. A., Huang, J., Roth, D. L., Stewart, K. A. (2013).  Utility of an Interactive voice response self-monitoring to assess antiretroviral pharmacotherapy adherence among substance users living with HIV/AIDS in the rural South. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 27(5), 280-286. PMCID: PMC3651686

Turan, J. M., & Nyblade, L. (2013). HIV-related stigma as a barrier to achievement of global PMTCT and maternal health goals: A review of the evidence. AIDS and Behavior, 17(7), 2528-2539. [review]

Turan, J. M., Hatcher, A. H., Medema-Wijnveen, J., Onono, M., Miller, S., Bukusi, E. A., Turan, B., & Cohen, C. R. (2012). The role of HIV-related stigma in utilization of skilled childbirth services in rural Kenya: A prospective mixed-methods study. PLoS Medicine, 9(8), e1001295. PMCID: PMC3424253.

Turan, J. M., Steinfeld, R., Onono, M., Bukusi, E.A., Woods, M., Shade, S., Washington, S., Marima, R., Penner, J., Ackers, M., Mbori-Ngacha, D., & Cohen,C.R. (2012). The Study of HIV and Antenatal care Integration in pregnancy in Kenya: Design, methods, and baseline results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. PLoS One, 7(9), e44181. PMCID: PMC3435393.

Waggoner, M., Lanzi, R. G., Klerman, L. V., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect. (2012).Pregnancy intentions, long-acting contraceptive use, and rapid subsequent pregnancies among teen and adult first-time mothers. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 25(1), 96-104. PMCID: PMC3346287.

Wright,E. L., McGuiness, T., Moneyham, L. D., Schumacher, J. E., Zwerling, A., & Stullenbarger, N. E. (2012). Opioid abuse among nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists.  American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, 80(2),120-128.


Core Co-Directors
Janet M. Turan, PhD and Robin G. Lanzi, PhD, MPH

Dr. Turan (jmturan@uab.edu) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy (Maternal and Child Health Concentration). She brings experience in maternal and child health, qualitative and mixed methods research and a unique focus on reducing stigma and discrimination experienced by women living with HIV to the core leadership. She was just awarded an RO1 to study the adverse effects of HIV-related stigma among pregnant women in Kenya.  She is also the co-principal investigator for a $1.7 million grant to study ways to eliminate new pediatric HIV infections, saving maternal lives and simplifying antiretroviral therapy implementation.  Janet is currently Co-Chair of the Psychosocial and Behavioral Working Group of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and a leader of a CFAR-IRG on developing and testing interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma and increase HIV testing and engagement in care in Alabama (I.e.,  Finding Respect and Ending Stigma around HIV (FRESH) Study).

Dr. Lanzi (rlanzi@uab.edu) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and currently serves as Graduate Program Director.  She has extensive involvement in research on adolescent reproductive health, including recent involvement in research on HIV/AIDS prevention.  She currently has a SBIR grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development titled “Sexually Active Adolescent Focused Education (SAAFE):  A Mobile Based Game to Promote Healthy Sexual Practices" that is aimed at developing a consumer friendly HIV/STI prevention application for adolescents.  Robin has extensive experience in community-based research, including at the national level as part of the Community Child Health Network (funded by NICHD and NINR) for which she chaired 3 oversight committees.  She has had similar roles in other national and state research networks and is involved in community-based research and engagement in the greater Birmingham area.  


Cathy A. Simpson, PhD

Dr. Simpson, Associate Professor (part-time), Department of Health Behavior, SOPH, is a clinical psychologist and behavior analyst with expertise in public health applications of behavioral economics. She also is consulting Program Evaluator for the Health Services Center Inc. (HSC), Hobson City, AL, an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) serving 14 counties in rural east Alabama. She has more than a decade of experience working with ASOs and extensive experience with community-based research and evidence-based HIV risk reduction interventions. She oversees the interface essential for effective academic-community partnerships.

Liaison to Biostatistics and Analysis Core D
JeeWon Cheong, PhD

Dr. Cheong is Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior, SOPH. She is social and quantitative psychologist who is an expert in mediation and longitudinal modeling as applied to real life data, including HIV behavioral risk factors. She coordinates Core J faculty research needs with the Biostatistics and Analysis Core D.

Program Coordinator
Samantha Whitfield, MPH

Mrs. Whitfield holds degrees in social psychology and health behavior, both from UAB. She is the program coordinator for Core J as well as for Dr. Turan’s U.S. studies. She assists with planning Core activities, coordinates study recruitment, and creates and amends IRB documents in compliance with University policies. Her primary interests are in minority population health and sexual health education and promotion. She has experience conducting extensive literature reviews, assisting with manuscript writing, managing SPSS databases, facilitating young adult group discussion regarding risky behaviors, and HIV testing and informal counseling.

Communty Engagment Coordinator
Jasmine Howard, BS

Ms. Howard completed her undergraduate studies at UAB, graduating from the Honors College with a B.S. degree in Biology and is currently working on her M.S. degree in Biotechnology. She has research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology studying a rat model of anxiety and depression, for which she is a published author; as well as experience in developmental psychology studying cortisol levels in adolescents, including studying abroad in the Czech Republic. Ms. Howard has other research experience, for which her Honor's Thesis was completed, in cancer biology, specifically colon cancer in African Americans. For Core J, she creates and maintains community relationships with organizations that specialize in HIV/AIDS prevention and patient services in Birmingham and is creating a database and network that will span the entire state in the hopes of creating a long-term partnership with UAB and community organizations that would benefit investigators and the people of our community.



Core J Monthly Seminar Series


“A panel: Innovative mobile applications (mHealth) for HIV/STI programs and research”
Monday, February 9, 2015
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Edge of Chaos - 4th Floor of Lister Hill Library

As the UAB CFAR Behavioral and Community Science Core, we aim to promote the use of innovative research methods at UAB.  As part of that effort, we have organized a panel on mobile health applications focused in the areas of HIV/STIs.  The panel includes: Ann Gakumo, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar; Robin Lanzi, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior; Bulent Turan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology; and Steve Dellinger, Community Health Educator, Alabama Department of Public Health.  Each panel member will share information from their research studies or projects.  Janet Turan, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy will moderate the session with an initial overview of mHealth, followed by key questions for panel members.
We hope to see you there!

Robin Lanzi and Janet Turan
Co-Directors for Behavioral and Community Science Core Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)


Become a Fordham University Fellow for HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training. Deadline Feb 25th. More info
th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence, June 2014: More Info

20th International AIDS Conference, July 2014: http://www.aids2014.org/

CFAR Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Network (SBSRN) 8th National Scientific Meeting, October 2014: more info


Office on AIDS, American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/pi/aids/index.aspx

HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/

Effective Interventions, HIV Prevention That Works: https://www.effectiveinterventions.org/


AIDS: http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/pages/default.aspx

AIDS & Behavior: http://www.springer.com/public+health/journal/10461

AIDS Care: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/caic20/current#.Unp2JnCsh8E

AIDS Education and Prevention: http://guilfordjournals.com/loi/aeap

AIDS Patient Care and STDs: http://www.liebertpub.com/APC

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: http://journals.lww.com/jaids/pages/default.aspx

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: http://www.janacnet.org/

Funding Opportunities

HIV/AIDS-Related National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Funding Opportunity Announcements: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/organization/dar/aids-related-funding-opportunity-announcements-foas.shtml

HIV/AIDS Funding Announcements, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/funding/announcements/index.html

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): http://www.pcori.org/funding-opportunities/funding-center/

               National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):  http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/ann/pages/opps.aspx

Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Samantha Whitfield, MPH

University of Alabama at Birmingham
UAB School of Public Health
Department of Health Care Organization and Policy
1665 University Boulevard, RPHB 310B
Birmingham, AL 35294-0022