Kartika Palar, PhD
is Associate Professor in the UCSF Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine and Affiliate Faculty in the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations. Her research addresses the social and economic determinants of HIV, diabetes and other chronic disease outcomes in marginalized populations using both quantitative and qualitative methods, with a focus on food security intervention research. She is currently investigating the health impacts of medically tailored meals and groceries among individuals with type 2 diabetes, in collaboration with community nutrition agency Project Open Hand and funded by the NIH. Also with Project Open Hand, she co-led the Changing Health through Food Support pilot randomized trial (CHEFS-HIV) and the pilot pre-post CHEFS study among people with HIV. Building on this history of collaboration, they now working together to build capacity for equity-focused HIV research among nutrition agencies via an NIH Ending the HIV Epidemic supplement. At San Francisco General Hospital, she is helping launch a new acute care nutrition transitions program called Food Bridge to Health providing medically supportive nutrition to people with or at risk for food insecurity after hospital discharge. In addition to her US-based research, she has worked extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) at the intersection of HIV and food insecurity in partnership with the UN World Food Program Regional Office (LAC), Ministries of Health, local universities, and local associations of people living with HIV. Building on pilot work in the Dominican Republic, she is investigating the health impacts of an urban gardening and peer nutritional counseling intervention (“PROMESA”) for people living with HIV and food insecurity. Dr. Palar is passionate about mentoring and about creating diverse, inclusive research teams. She has mentored three past SHARP scholars and loves the SHARP program!