Postdoctoral Fellows

Anindita Dasgupta, Ph.D.


Dr. Dasgupta received her Doctorate in Public Health (Global Health track) in 2015 from the University of California San Diego, and San Diego State University (‘15), where she was a NIDA T32 pre-doctoral fellow on HIV, and substance use at UCSD (PI: Steffanie Strathdee), and pre-doctoral fellow at the Center on Gender Equity and Health. Prior to this, Dr.Dasgupta received her Master of Public Health from Boston University (‘10), and her Bachelors of Arts from Mount Holyoke College (‘08). Dr. Dasgupta’s dissertation research examined the intersection of gender based violence, contraception use, and risk for unintended pregnancy among married women in Maharashtra, India. Since 2009, Dr. Dasgupta has worked as a project manager on multiple NIMH-funded HIV risk-reduction interventions in India (married women) and Boston, Massachusetts (unemployed/homeless black men), as well as an NICHD-funded family planning intervention for couples in India (PI: Anita Raj). Dr. Dasgupta’s current research interests involve understanding how women who are engaged with the criminal justice system contend with HIV risk (via unsafe sex and drug use), and gender-based violence.

Seth J. Prins, Ph.D. MPH

SethPrinsDr. Prins received his doctorate in epidemiology (2016) and master in public health (2010) from Columbia University. He received a bachelor of arts from McGill University (2004). Dr. Prins is a psychiatric and social epidemiologist who studies the medicalization of crime, the criminalization of mental illness, and the effects of relational social processes such as class, race, and gender on mood disorders. His dissertation tested the methodological and conceptual assumptions of criminogenic risk assessment in the criminal justice system. Prior to his doctoral training, Dr. Prins was a senior policy analyst at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, where he worked on local, state, and national projects to improve collaboration between criminal justice and mental health systems.

Ciara A. Torres, Ph.D.

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Dr. Torres received her B.S. in Biology (’07) from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, followed by an M.A. (’09) and M.Phil. (’10) in Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Studies, and a Ph.D. (’14) in the area of Neuropharmacology from Columbia University. Dr. Torres’ previous research focused on understanding the molecular effects of recreational drugs in laboratory animals. She now aims to expand her knowledge by studying women who use drugs and the contextual factors (e.g., HIV and socioeconomic status, culture, and race) that mediate consequences related to drug use.



Alexandra Wimberly, Ph.D.

Dr. Wimberly’s research focuses on the development of interventions that support the health and well-being of people with substance use problems in the criminal justice system. Most recently she conducted a yoga intervention study for people with HIV who are in reentry from prison or jail and have substance use problems, funded by a NIDA F31 grant. Alexandra has her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. She received her master’s in public health from Harvard, her master’s in social work from Simmons, and her bachelor’s in art studio from UCLA.



Kristi Stringer, Ph.D.

Dr. Stringer received her Doctorate in Medical Sociology (2017) and her Master of Arts degree in Sociology (2012) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She earned her Bachelor of Science in the field of Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University in 2009. During her tenure at UAB, Dr. Stringer was an AHRQ pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education in UAB’s Division of Preventive Medicine and was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institute of Drug Abuse in 2014. Dr. Stringer’s research agenda focuses on the impact of health related stigmas on the HIV treatment cascade and the development of stigma reduction interventions aimed at increasing HIV prevention and treatment adherence behaviors. Her dissertation research utilized a mixed-methods approach to understand the adverse effects of substance use stigma and HIV-related stigma on adherence to antiretroviral medications and retention in HIV care among drug involved people living with HIV (PLWH). During her post-doctoral training at Columbia University, Dr. Stringer plans to adapt a stigma reduction intervention to address health related stigmas experienced within healthcare environments among drug involved PLWH in Kazakhstan through Columbia’s collaboration with the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA).

Predoctoral Fellows

Karen Shiu-Yee

bioKaren is a PhD student in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences (Sociology concentration) at the Mailman School of Public Health. Karen holds a Masters of Public Health (Infectious Disease and Vaccinology, 2011) from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2009) and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics, 2009) from the University of California Davis. Karen’s research interest focuses on the impact of patient-physician relationships on the level of engagement and retention in care among HIV-infected substance users. Specifically, Karen’s research uses a sociological frame to better understand how physicians’ dispositions influence their practices towards the clinical management of HIV-infected substance users. Karen has over 8 years of experience in HIV prevention and care research, which began with an undergraduate honors thesis on the economic impacts of HIV-related orphan-hood in sub-Saharan Africa and a Master’s thesis on the impact of HIV-related stigma on HIV prevention service utilization among Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the California Bay Area. Karen has also conducted monitoring and evaluation research for local health departments and non-profit organizations on various reproductive health, sexually transmitted disease, and HIV prevention projects.

 Kimberly Levin

kimberlyKimberly holds an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include women’s health, specifically surrounding sexual assault and violence. Kimberly’s previous research includes a study on the intersections of substance abuse, intimate partner violence and the presence of children in the home, as well as a study on pressure for graduate students.




Tracy Pugh


Tracy is interested in understanding the intersections of policy, punishment, and stigma. Prior to Columbia, she worked to advance a public health approach to drug policy for New York at the Drug Policy Alliance and, before that, at the New York Academy of Medicine. She has extensive experience engaging in policy research and advocacy related to health disparities and social justice in partnership with nonprofits, government agencies, community stakeholders, advocates, and policy makers. Tracy received her MHS in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA from Cornell University.



Former Fellows