The Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) has a core team of researchers and project coordinators who work throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Alongside the core scientific team, numerous part-time staff members, students, interns, and partners support the center’s work. The members of CLAFH’s core team are:
Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN is the Director and founder of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH). His program of research focuses on family-based disease prevention and health promotion, particularly among Latinos and other people of color. This research draws on an interdisciplinary perspective grounded in nursing, public health, and social welfare to address persistent health disparities among underserved communities in the U.S. Specifically, his research encompasses three primary areas: (1) documentation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) disparities, with a focus on Latino and other racial/ethnic minority youth; (2) development of family-based interventions designed to prevent adverse SRH outcomes and promote uptake of SRH services; and (3) evaluation and large-scale dissemination of interventions, particularly family-based, nurse-led, and team-based approaches to prevention and health care service delivery. He has published extensively in leading scientific journals, including: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, Clinical Infectious Diseases, JAMA Pediatrics, Pediatrics, and the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos’ research and scholarship has led to coverage in well-known media sources such as The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post.
Dr. Guilamo-Ramos currently serves as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, and the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. He also serves on the Latino Commission on AIDS Board of Directors as vice chair, the Power to Decide Board of Directors, and the Ending the HIV Epidemic Working Group of the HIV Medicine Association as co-chair. In addition, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is a nurse practitioner with expertise in adolescent SRH and dually licensed in primary care (ANP-BC) and psychiatric-mental health nursing (PMHNP-BC), and he is credentialed as an HIV Specialist (AAHIVS) by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Adam Benzekri, MS is an Associate in Research at Duke University, Project Director, and Psychologist at CLAFH. At CLAFH, he is involved in every step of the research process including study design, the development of grant proposals, implementation of funded projects, data management, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and dissemination of research findings. Mr. Benzekri’s research interests lie in the intersection between public health, psychology, and neuroscience. Specifically, his research seeks to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative healthcare delivery models that formally integrate theories of decision-making and parental influence to address disparities (e.g., behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health) during adolescence and young adulthood. His work has been published in leading scientific journals including The Lancet Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, The American Journal of Public Health, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Research in Social Work Practice, JAMA Pediatrics, and Pediatrics.
Marco Thimm-Kaiser, MPH is an Associate in Research at Duke University and Epidemiologist at CLAFH. At CLAFH, he coordinates study design, development of grant proposals, and study implementation, data analysis, and dissemination of research findings. His research interests are anchored in social science and quantitative epidemiology. His research explores traditional and decentralized health care systems as potential mediators in the relationship between social determinants of health and longstanding health inequities. Specifically, he examines how social determinants of health predict unequal reach and effectiveness of novel prevention and treatment interventions as well as corresponding changes in health disparities. His work has been published in leading scientific journals including The Lancet Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, The American Journal of Public Health, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and JAMA Pediatrics, and he has been a contributor to The Hill and The Conversation.
María de Lourdes Rosas López is CLAFH’s primary collaborator in Mexico, and a Professor at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. She coordinates CLAFH’s research portfolio in Mexico. CLAFH’s Mexico-based work and Dr. Rosas López’ research focus on Latino migration dynamics into the United States, the associated health, social, and political challenges, and novel intervention approaches to address them. She is an internationally recognized expert on unaccompanied minors migrating to the U.S. Her research has been published in leading scientific journals including The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The American Journal of Public Health.