The Steering Committee

The UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP) Steering Committee provides oversight of the program in all its aspects, monitors the program daily, assists trainees in identifying appropriate mentors, and advertises the HA-STTP Program locally and nationally, through all universities, minority-serving and community Black colleges and universities, nonprofit research organizations, and national ethnic organizations that have graduate level student affiliations, such as the American Psychological Association, The American Public Health Association, The National Medical Association and other professional organizations.

Co-Director

Dr. Gail Wyatt is a Clinical Psychologist, Sex Therapist and Professor at UCLA, was the first person of color to receive an NIMH Research Scientist Career Development Awardee for 17 years. Her research examines the consensual and abusive sexual relationships of women and men, the effects of these experiences on their psychological well-being and the cultural context of risks for STIs and HIV. She has conducted national and international research funded by the NIMH, NIDA, State and private funders since 1980. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Wyatt has over 250 publications in journals and book chapters, and has co-edited or written 6 books. Dr. Wyatt is the Associate Director of the UCLA AIDS Institute and the Director of the NIMH funded, UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities. She also directs the Phodiso Project that trains South African investigators to conduct research in culture, trauma and mental health. She coordinates a core of behavioral scientists that consult with other researchers to recruit underserved populations, conduct research that effectively incorporates socio-cultural factors in HIV/AIDS research, and identifies the etiology of health disparities. She also directs the HIV/AIDS Translational Training Program to increase the expertise of underrepresented minorities who will receive funding from NIMH. Finally, she directs the Sexual Health Program at UCLA to offer sexuality education training and research to the campus, local and national communities.

Co-Director

Norweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D. is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute Center for Community Health. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Prior to coming to UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University in New York and Assistant Director of the Psy.D. Program in School/Community Psychology. Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, family interventions and mental health.
She has been a principal investigator of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research on homeless adults and a co-principal investigator of U.S. Department of Education research on coping and adaptation in older African Americans, and was a co-principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health investigation of anxiety and depression in older African Americans. As a principal investigator of National Institute of Mental Health and NIDA studies of homeless and African American youth, she has examined paths into and out of homelessness, and risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia; is implementing a behavioral intervention for homeless adolescents at risk for HIV and their families; and testing recruitment strategies for behavioral interventions.

Alison Hamilton, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Research Anthropologist in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and a Research Health Scientist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA in 2002, and her M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences from UCLA in 2009. Dr. Hamilton currently has an NIH Career Development Award (NIDA K01 DA017647) to study women methamphetamine users and sexuality. This study focuses intensively on women’s life histories of trauma and their relationship to substance abuse, adult trauma and violence, and sexual experiences. Dr. Hamilton also serves as a Co-Investigator on VA-funded studies of (1) determinants of genetics and genomics services in the VA; (2) quality improvement in care for veterans with severe mental illness (SMI); and (3) utilization of peer support technicians in intensive case management teams for veterans with SMI. She is Principal Investigator on a SAMHSA-funded evaluation of a modified therapeutic community for dually diagnosed male veterans, and she is co-PI on a privately funded pilot study of high-functioning individuals with schizophrenia. Utilizing qualitative and mixed methodologies, her areas of specialty are substance abuse, sexuality, HIV risk, trauma, mental health, women’s health, evaluation research, and health services quality improvement.

Hector F. Myers, Ph.D is Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at UCLA and Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Research Center on Ethnicity, Health & Behavior at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science. He has published extensively on biobehavioral and psychosocial factors contributing to ethnic disparities in health & mental health, and maintains an active research program especially in the areas of cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS. He has conducted several large collaborative studies, including the first large study of the neurobehavioral sequelae on HIV/AIDS in African American men (The African American health Project - AAHP). He was also Co-Investigator on the Women & Family Project, one of the largest longitudinal studies of HIV-positive women and their partners, on a recently completed clinical trial of a Risk Reduction Intervention for Women with Histories of Child Sexual Abuse, on the NIMH collaborative multi-site trial of a Risk Reduction Intervention for HIV-Serodiscordant African American Couples, and he Co-PI and Co-Director of the Methods Core of the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities. Dr. Myers is also Principal Investigator on the NIMH-funded multi-site study of Ethnic Variations in Anti-depressant Response. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and for mentoring of minority undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as for his research and scholarly activities.

Dr. Steven Shoptaw is a licensed psychologist who is Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Family Medicine and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Shoptaw has conducted a series of clinical studies in community clinic settings, primarily on topics that involve developing medical and behavioral interventions to treat substance abusers, many of whom face conditions of stigma and disparities. He is Director of a NIDA-funded Center of Excellence on medication development for methamphetamine abuse and is Principal Investigator for a national HIV Prevention Trials Network Study, "Brothers," evaluating prevention approaches for Black men who have sex with men.