Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first detected in 1981 and has led to one of the most fatal and unrelenting epidemics. Prevention of HIV is the primary goal of my research in adolescent medicine.
I first became interested in adolescent medicine and pediatrics because of my ability to inform and guide medical decisions among youths and their parents or guardians. Adolescent medicine is my passion because adolescence is a critical time of transition. I find it rewarding to support youth as they work through this challenging time to figure out who they are and how to become independent adults.
Another of my interests is in enhancing the care of transgender youth. My specialties are in primary care adolescent medicine and consultative adolescent medicine. I offer patient care services in HIV prevention, reproductive and sexual health, medical gynecology, contraception, mental health and eating disorders. I also provide primary care services for adolescents in the Teen Health Center at Cincinnati Children’s.
I was led to my research interests while caring for youth affected by HIV and sexually transmitted infections in my clinical practice. Adolescents and young adults are the populations most affected by these infections. Since many of these sexually transmitted infections are lifelong and can have long-term negative impacts, my research focuses on preventing sexually transmitted infections.
My research looks at techniques to avert sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. My colleagues and I are looking to find the best ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Although there are some traditional ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections, our findings show that these prevention tactics do not always work for everyone.
In my lab, I hope to learn how to best advocate for the patient and clinician when making decisions about avoiding sexually transmitted infections and HIV. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other internal grants fund my research.
Over the years, I have received multiple awards and honors, including:
- Fellowship status within SAHM in recognition of my contributions to adolescent health and medicine
- Leadership roles at the regional and national/international level at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), the largest organization of adolescent health professionals worldwide
- Participant in the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar
- Participant to the competitive AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar
- Serving as the Secretary-Treasurer for SAHM
I’m certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. I am also a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society. Lastly, I'm the director of research within the Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s.
I regularly give presentations on adolescent medical gynecology topics (such as contraception and heavy menstrual bleeding) locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Adolescent medicine; adolescent gynecology; contraception; sexually transmitted infections
Prevention of sexually transmitted infections and HIV
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics