Each SHARP scholar is matched with a mentor team, with whom they work throughout the summer. These mentors provide guidance on the scholar’s project, serve as a sounding board for the scholar’s educational career and goals, and provide coaching on how to work in a public health research environment.
Vanessa McMahan, PhD, MS, is a Research Scientist at the Center on Substance Use and Health (CSUH) at the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). Her research focuses on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among people who use methamphetamine. At CSUH she conducts data management and analyses for studies assessing the impact of changes in opioid availability and oversees a PrEP adherence study among persons who use methamphetamine and inject substances. Previously, she coordinated the iPrEx study, which was the first trial to demonstrate the efficacy of PrEP for HIV prevention.
Vanessa is also passionate about harm reduction and has volunteered at syringe services programs (SSPs) since 2000. She is currently a co-investigator of a project evaluating safer smoking services at SSPs in the Pacific Northwest. She received her doctorate and Master of Science from the University of Washington in Health Services.