SCHOLARS 2012

Following SHARP 2012, Marla Fisher joined the HIV Epidemiology Section at the San Francisco Department of Public Health as a Research Associate on the SHINE Study. She continues to work with her mentor, Dr. Erin Wilson. As SHINE outreach coordinator, Marla has mentored SHARP 2013 interns Lexi Adsit and Nneka Okeke, helping them to build community engagement skills.

Marla is an alumni of City College of San Francisco, finishing her studies just before SHARP. Marla was accepted as a transfer student at Mills College in Oakland beginning January 2013 and has been awarded a Dean’s Scholarship. She is completing a self-designed major in Critical Public Health, with a focus on qualitative research methods and health justice.

Her research interests include sex worker occupational health and Harm Reduction. Marla is a longtime activist for reproductive justice and sex worker rights and currently works as a volunteer HIV test counselor at San Francisco’s St. James Infirmary, a peer-based Harm Reduction clinic serving the sex worker community. She plans to earn her MD and to work as a physician-researcher. As a SHARP Scholar, Marla explored the idea of using Facebook as a tool to keep trans youth engaged in a longitudinal study of HIV risk and resilience. She also pursued her interest in sex worker health by analyzing data from surveys of street-based sex workers in San Francisco and is currently developing a paper on the occupational health needs of this population.

Taylor Heller entered SHARP just after graduating from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and a Minor in Sociology in Spring 2012. After spending the summer in the program, Taylor began a PhD program in Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco in the fall. While in SHARP, Taylor worked on a project that explored the possibility of using a smartphone app to collect data from participants in HIV prevention research studies about their sexual behaviors. Taylor’s role in the project included preparing materials for submission to the ethics review committee, helping run focus groups, and analyzing preliminary data.

Jenese Jackson graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s in Women and Gender Studies at the end of Fall 2012. She ultimately plans to pursue an advanced degree in public health, but in the meantime will be working as a study recruiter and educator for Bridge HIV at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. While in SHARP, Jenese worked on a project to map infection rates among the Black population in San Francisco and culturally competent resources for HIV positive Black women. She used existing data on infections and also took photos of the heavily affected neighborhoods to create these maps.

Martín Padilla entered SHARP as a rising Senior at Stanford University. He completed his Bachelor’s in Biology in Spring 2013, and ultimately plans to go to medical school. As a SHARP scholar, Martín worked on a project that compared how quickly HIV positive individuals were linked to care depending on whether they were diagnosed during the acute or latent stage of infection. His role included conducting a search of journal articles about the linkage of HIV positive individuals to treatment and care, and analyzing data from a local clinic that conducts HIV testing.

“Having a mentor and meeting with him regularly gave me the chance to consistently ask questions about research, the field of medicine, and anything else relevant to my career trajectory. Coming from a non-professional family background, I felt that this gave me the space and time to gain a wider and better understanding of these things than I would have been able to achieve in this time period on my own.”
Martín Padilla
2012 SHARP Scholar
“SHARP has instilled in me the drive develop and implement strategic ways in which to bridge science and behavioral studies in addressing HIV among women , engaging research that takes into account sexuality, gender identity and culture trauma.”
Jenese Jackson
2012 SHARP Scholar
“The applied nature of the program…brought on new perspectives and approaches to conducting research. Because of SHARP, I am now more confident in my desire to further my education and work with marginalized populations.”
Taylor Heller
2012 SHARP Scholar
“I can honestly say that SHARP has been one of the very best parts of my educational path to date – I’ve deepened my understanding of the research process, gained concrete skills that will allow me to work in the field, and formed relationships with incredible mentors and peers.”
Marla Renee Fisher
2012 SHARP Scholar
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