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.
Elise Riley, MD, PhD, MPH Trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Riley is interested in how clinical, biological and behavioral factors converge to influence health. Her community-based research focuses on co-morbidities and competing risks in very low-income populations, with an emphasis on housing instability and associated conditions. She works with a team of multidisciplinary investigators, residents, and postdoctoral fellows on a research program that includes “Polysubstance Use and Health Outcomes Evaluation” (PULSE). PULSE investigates the combined influences of HIV, co-infections and substance use (medications, legal drugs like alcohol and illegal drugs) on the cardiac health of unsheltered and unstably housed women. Her program also includes “Cocaine use, viral suppression and precursors of stroke in HIV infection” (CUPS). CUPS investigates the influence of stimulant use and factors specific to HIV on cerebrovascular health in women and men living with HIV. The aim of both studies is to provide clinical tools for risk assessment that reduce morbidity and mortality in high-risk populations. The goal of Dr. Riley’s overall program is to inform health care delivery and prepare early-stage investigators for careers in patient-oriented health disparities research.