Lab Members

Click on a lab member's name to learn more about them.

Principal Investigator
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  • Steven Safren, Ph.D.

    S‌teven Safren, Ph.D., ABPPDr. Steven Safren

    I joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami in the Fall of 2015 after 18 years working in the Harvard Medical School system at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where I was the founding Director of the current Behavioral Medicine Service and track Director of the Behavioral Medicine Internship track. During this time I was also an Affiliated Investigator at Fenway Health where I led studies related to HIV prevention for men who have sex with men (MSM). I am a clinical health psychologist with expertise in health-related behavior change and a particular focus on psychosocial (mental health and substance use) comorbidities related to HIV prevention and treatment in both domestic and international settings. I have been PI or protocol chair of 12 federally funded studies (via NIMH, NIDA, and NIAID), and, in addition to studies where I am PI, I have regularly served as co-PI, co-investigator, or mentor on studies related to HIV prevention and treatment.

    I work with other medical illnesses, and I work on cognitive behavioral approaches to managing adult and adolescent ADHD. My international studies have been via the NIAID-funded AIDS networks (i.e. HIV Prevention Trials Network - HPTN, and the AIDS Clinical Trials Network -ACTG), which span multiple countries, via my own NIH-funded studies, and via the work of my mentees K and R level funded studies in India and Africa. Much of my work on HIV focuses on prevention and treatment with men who have sex with men (MSM), though I have worked extensively with other populations including individuals with depression and those who have struggled with substance use disorders. Finally, during my time at MGH, I worked on studies of cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in adulthood and adolescence.

    Currently, my funded work includes a preliminary study involving treating syndemics (intertwined psychosocial problems such as depression, childhood sexual abuse, substance use, interpersonal violence) in HIV-infected individuals with uncontrolled virus, a study on HIV prevention in men who have sex with men in two sites in India, and an effectiveness study on treating depression and improving adherence in HIV-infected individuals in South Africa who have failed first line antiretroviral therapy. Anticipated future studies, based on prior collaborative pilot work, involve pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) adherence in high risk MSM, interventions to reduce crystal meth and increase safer sex (condoms or PrEP) in MSM who use crystal meth, and additional studies addressing syndemics in individuals with HIV and uncontrolled virus.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

    For my full CV (as of November 2019), please click: CV - Dr. Steven Safren

Post-Doctoral Associate
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  • Marc Puccinelli, Ph.D.‌

    Marc Puccinelli, Ph.D.‌Marc Puccinelli, Ph.D.‌

    Post-Doctoral Fellow‌

    Marc earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami in 2017, prior to joining the HPAC lab as a post-doctoral researcher. Marc also earned his M.Ed. from the University of Miami. His clinical and research interests include addressing mental and physical health disparities by improving the efficacy and effectiveness of manualized interventions. Marc is also interested in cultural factors and comorbidities that may impact treatment response among underserved and minority populations. Prior to and during his graduate training, Marc worked on a number of clinical trials investigating experimental family therapy models for adolescent drug abusers. His dissertation focused on one of these models, and explored the treatment and moderator effects of acculturation and acculturative stress among Hispanic participants in South Florida. His clinical experience includes counseling newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Cancer Support Community, and conducting child and adolescent assessments and intervention at the Mailman Center for Child Development. Marc also completed practica training and a subsequent doctoral internship at the Miami VA medical center in the clinical health psychology track.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

Research Assistant Professor
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  • Audrey Harkness, Ph.D.

    Audrey Harkness, Ph.D.Audrey Harkness, Ph.D

    Research Assistant Professor

    Department of Public Health Sciences

    Audrey completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the HPAC lab at the University of Miami. Prior to this, she earned her Ph.D. inCounseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016Audrey is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Prevention Science and Community Health Division, as well as a member of the HPAC lab. Overall, her work is focused on promoting positive mental and physical health for sexual and gender minorityindividuals and communities. She has worked as a project director for the Miami site of the ESTEEM project for the past three years, and also collaborates on other ongoing HIV-prevention and treatment research in the HPAC lab and at UM. She is also beginning a new line of research which seeks to better understand address barriers and facilitators to engaging Latino sexual minority men in HIV-prevention (i.e., HIV testing, PrEP, PEP) and behavioral health services.

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

Graduate Students
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  • Tiffany R. Glynn, M.S.

    Tiffany R. Glynn, M.S.Tiffany R. Glynn

    Fifth-Year Graduate Student

    Tiffany is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Health Psychology Ph.D. program. She earned a B.S. in Psychology in 2011 from Bridgewater State University and an M.S. in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences from the School of Public Health at Brown University in 2016. Her master's work focused on how minority stress and gender affirmation affect the physical and mental health of transgender women. Before coming to the University of Miami, she worked as research staff at the Brown University School of Public Health in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and the Alcohol Research Center on HIV for 5 years. At UM, she is part of the HPAC lab (Director: Safren) and also collaborates with the UM NIMH funded AIDS Research Center (CHARM; PI: Safren) and the iCARUS lab in the Department of Public Health Sciences (Director: Carrico). Currently, she coordinates and serves as a clinician on a NIDA-funded R01 multisite randomized clinical trial investigating an HIV-prevention intervention for MSM who use stimulants (Project IMPACT).

    Broadly, her research interests are biopsychosocial health disparities among sexual and gender minorities with an emphasis on substance use and HIV. Currently, she has an R36 award from NIDA to examine how the biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors interact (a “syndemic”) to drive primary and secondary HIV risk among transgender women in Miami. Tiffany is also co-investigator on a CFAR pilot that explores if feminizing hormone therapy influences the microbiome and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk in transgender women living with HIV. Additionally, she is a co-investigator on a pilot award from CHARM that explores the role of intersectional stigma and resilience in cardiovascular disease among cisgender women living with HIV.

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

  • Jasper S. Lee‌, M.S.

    Jasper S. Lee‌, M.S.Jasper S. Lee‌

    Fifth-Year Graduate Student

    Jasper received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2015. He then worked as a Research Associate in the HPAC lab for one year before entering his first year as a graduate student in the Health Clinical Area in August of 2016. He received his M.S. in 2018. Jasper's research interests are in HIV prevention and treatment; particularly in how the application of cognitive-behavioral psychosocial interventions can be tailored for adherence and depression in HIV-positive populations and for prevention in those who are at-risk. Furthermore, he is very interested in how comorbid conditions, such as substance use, depression, and anxiety, can affect medication adherence, as well as interact synergistically (i.e. syndemics) to increase the burden of disease in people living with HIV/AIDS.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

  • Noelle A. Mendez, B.A.

    Noelle A. Mendez, B.A.Noelle A. Mendez

    Second-Year Graduate Student

    Noelle is a second-year graduate student in the Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She graduated from the University of Miami with a B.A. double majoring in Psychology and Criminology in 2015. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Program for Anxiety, Stress, & OCD under the direction of Dr. Kiara Timpano where she did a senior honors thesis on how certain cognitive control factors relate to social anxiety. After graduating, she served as the Lab Manager in the Power, Women, & Relationships Lab under the direction of Dr. Asia Eaton at Florida International University. She then served as a Research Associate for the HPAC lab for two years before beginning in the doctorate program. She is broadly interested in health psychology, with a particular interest in HIV prevention and risk reduction among high-risk populations.

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

  • Jasmyn Sanders‌, B.S.

    Jasmyn Sanders‌, B.S.Jasmyn Sanders‌

    Third-Year Graduate Student

    Jasmyn is a second-year graduate student in the Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D.program. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Florida A&M University in 2014. After graduating from FAMU, she volunteered as a hotline operator for Big Bend 2-1-1 and Lifeline and worked as a substitute teacher in Tallahassee, FL, for two years. In 2016, she entered an NIH-funded PREP (Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program) fellowship at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) in the Impulsivity Neuroscience laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Melissa Cyders. There, her research focused on the role of the UPPS-P model of impulsivity in sexual risk behaviors; the relationship between sexual abuse and substance use in detained youth; and risks among victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Currently, she is interested in investigating how substance use, previous trauma, and discrimination may impact sexual risk taking and health outcomes, particularly among MSM (men who have sex with men) and people of color.

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

  • Satyanand Satyanarayana, J.D.‌‌‌‌

    Satyanand Satyanarayana, J.‌D., M.S.Satyanand Satyanarayana, J.D

    Fourth-Year Graduate Student‌‌

    Satyanand is a fourth-year graduate student in the Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. He received his B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard College, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and worked as a litigator in San Francisco prior to completing the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2016. Before joining the University of Miami, Satyanand was a member of the research team for the Stanford Daily REST Study, examining the relationship between sleep and mood in youth with bipolar disorder, as well as the Stanford Cancer Survivorship Research Team, examining interventions for insomnia in female breast cancer patients. Additionally, he worked as a research assistant for the Sexual and Gender Minority Health Equity Lab and The Pride Study at UCSF. His research interests include sexual minority health disparities, the intersection of race and sexual minority status, and improving outcomes for the treatment and prevention of HIV among vulnerable populations.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

  • Elliott Weinstein, MPH

    Elliott Weinstein, MPH

    First-Year Graduate StudentElliott Weinstein

    Elliott is a first-year graduate student pursuing his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology – Health Major Area of study at University of Miami. He graduated with a B.A in Art History and Psychology from Boston University’s Kilachand Honors College at and completed his Masters in Public Health from Boston University in 2017. During his time at Boston University, Elliott worked as a Senior research assistant in both the Healthy  Minds Healthy Bodies Lab (PI - Dr. Andrea Mercurio) and the Brain and Early Experiences Lab (PI - Dr. Amanda Tarullo) as well as a graduate researcher in the Center for Innovations in Social Work and Health.  Elliott’s was drawn to working with underserved populations living with and at risk for HIV after his experiences as a summer research fellow and consultant with  in the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the NYC Department of Health, interning in Lesotho with the International Center for AIDS Prevention and Treatment (ICAP) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, advocating with Connect 2 Protect at Fenway Health, and volunteering at the 2012 and 2016 International AIDS Society annual conferences. Elliott’s current research interests are in health psychology, the intersection of HIV-aging-LGBTQ health, and risk reduction interventions among high risk populations.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

Full-Time Staff
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  • Daniel Hernandez Altamirano, B.S.‌‌‌

    Daniel Hernandez Altamirano, B.S.‌‌‌

    Research Associate
    Daniel Hernandez Altamirano
    Daniel completed his B.S. in Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver in 2019. As an undergraduate, he worked on better understanding socioeconomic barriers individuals that suffer from migraines face. Attending Johns Hopkin’s Diversity Summer Internship Program introduced Daniel to HIV prevention/intervention research. Daniel is interested in pursuing a career focused on gender and sexual minority health. Because substance abuse and chronic pain is prevalent among Hispanic LGBT+ individuals, Daniel intends to establish a career as a Health Psychologist to provide individual care at a therapeutic level while conducting research to better understand and treat these populations.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

  • Daniel Mayo, B.S.

    Daniel Mayo, B.S.

    Research Associate
    Daniel Mayo
    Danny graduated from Haverford College in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Health Studies. He completed a senior thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Le, that assessed how micro-aggressions and mentorship play a role in the development of college students’ social, academic, and leadership identity domains. Other notable projects include conducting summer fellowships in Latin America. For example, in Mexico City, Danny utilized radical hospitality practices to mitigate  mental health problems among migrants, and, in Santiago de Chile, he developed classroom-based interventions to promote LGBT inclusion and awareness in primary schools. Danny’s  current research interests are in the areas of social and health psychology, with an emphasis on intergroup relations and health disparities. He is specifically interested in how stigma and discrimination influence the health and illness of LGBT individuals, people of color, and migrants. Danny plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in the near future.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

  • Joey Waknin‌, B.A.

    Joey Waknin‌, B.A.Joey Waknin‌, B.A.

    Community Outreach Coordinator‌

    Joey is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Health Promotion And Care. He graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a B.A. in Psychology in 2009. Since then, he's worked in clinical research with the adult male population at the Royal Victoria Hospital and with adolescents at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Joey was also interning with the Psychology Research Lab at Tel Aviv University in 2010. His experience in research and networking abilities also led him to be closely involved with the LGBT community and develop relations that allowed him to found Ga’ava, the LGBT Jewish organization in Montreal. Joey moved to Miami in April of 2014, and felt the need to rebuilt and reconnect with his passions, which made his fit with the HPAC team seamless. His goals are to complete his graduate studies in the field at the University of Miami, all while creating a (safe) space for HPAC in the Miami community.

    Pronouns: he/him/his

  • Rosana Smith-Alvarez, B.A.

    Rosana Smith-Alvarez, B.A.Rosana Smith-Alvarez, B.A.

    Clinical Research Coordinator

    Rosana graduated from the University of Miami in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Theatre Arts. She worked as a Research Associate in HPAC Lab from 2017-2020. Rosana is now working as the Clinical Research Coordinator of CHARM’s Administrative Core, as well as a liaison between the CHARM and HPAC teams. Rosana has a particular interest in HIV prevention and care, as well as the effects of minority stress on mental health. She is also currently a student at UM in the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program.

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lab Alum
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  • Lab Alum

    Ivan Ivardic, M.S. 

    Brooke G. Rogers, Ph.D.

    Christopher Albright, B.S.

    Tomás Delgado Jr., B.A.‌‌‌