Faculty & Staff

Gail Wyatt, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

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.

Norweeta Milburn, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator

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.

Co-Investigator

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.

Sharon Kleintjes, Ph.D., M.Phil

Professor Kleintjes worked in the Western Cape Province’s Department of Health as a clinical psychologist and then as a programme manager for mental health between 1990 and 2004. From 2004 to 2006, she worked as a research manager in mental health and substance abuse at the Human Sciences Research Council, after which she joined the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at University of Cape Town as a researcher in mental health policy development (2006-2010) and convener of the Postgraduate Diploma in Addictions Care (2011).

She returned to the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town, remaining jointly appointed to the Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health at the University of Cape Town as a Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor, and co-head of the Division of Psychotherapy (2012-2018). In March 2018, she was appointed to the Vera Grover Chair and Professor of Intellectual Disability in the Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health at UCT.

Her research interests include recovery –oriented public mental health policy and service development for people with psychosocial disability and intellectual disability, and promotion of self-advocacy by people with psychosocial and intellectual disability.

Leickness Simbayi, M.Sc., D.Phil.

Professor Simbayi is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) for Research (DCEO-R) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa since 1 January 2016. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex in England, United Kingdom. He is a registered Research Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa's Professional Board of Psychology and also a Member of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He is also currently an Honorary Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. He is also a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated researcher.

During the past two decades Professor Simbayi has mostly conducted his research in the area of social aspects of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In particular, his research has focused on second-generation HIV surveillance especially using biobehavioural surveys, HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), determinants of HIV infection (such as poverty, alcohol and drug use, gender-based violence, sex in the presence of blood, multiple sexual partnerships, and male circumcision), and theory-based HIV social and behavioural risk reduction interventions including positive prevention which targets people living with HIV/AIDS who are aware of their status. He has published 138 scientific articles in both local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, 26 research reports, 15 abstracts, and 12 book chapters. He co-edited a book entitled HIV/AIDS in South Africa 25 Years on: Psychosocial Perspectives which was published by Springer of New York in 2009. He has also presented more than 300 papers and posters at both local and international conferences.

Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele, Ph.D.

Professor Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele was born at Balanganani village at Ha-Davhana being the third born child of the late Vhamusanda Vho DMK Davhana and Mrs Nyambeni Rhodah Davhana (nee‘ Nengovhela). She trained as a nurse and midwife at the then Venda Nursing College and served as a Professional nurse at Donald Fraser hospital. She obtained BA(Cur) Nursing Education and Community Health Nursing Science; Honours BA(Cur) in Nursing Education and Masters in Nursing Education all at UNISA. She completed her Doctoral degree in Programme Development at the University of Johannesburg. She was awarded a scholarship through Fogarty Funding to pursue her Postdoctoral studies at the University of California (Los Angeles) USA in collaboration with University of Limpopo. Her PostDoctoral studies focused on trauma research with special emphasis on Gender Based Violence. She also did Postgraduate Diploma in International Research Ethics in Southern Africa (IRENSA) at UCT.