GSHI provides training and mentorship for graduate students (master, PhD), postdoctoral research fellows, and policy/law summer students interested in work on gender, sexual health and HIV.
GSHI partners policy/ law students with human rights/ legal policy organizations. GSHI also offers an undergraduate medical student elective in sexual health research through the Division of AIDS in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Putu Duff, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, is a social epidemiologist whose research interests lie in the intersection of HIV and sexual and reproductive health. With a background in global health, she has worked as an epidemiologist in Uganda, India, and Indonesia, focusing on HIV and health access issues, particularly among marginalized populations. Combining the use of quantitative and spatial analyses, Putu's current postdoctoral research seeks to elucidate the influence of structural and interpersonal violence, including the criminalization of sex work and HIV, on the sexual and reproductive health of marginalized women at risk and living with HIV in both Canada and Southeast Asia. She is also the principal investigator of a CIHR-funded multi-country study to explore the ethical implications of scaling up HIV testing, treatment, and care among key populations, in the context of Treatment as Prevention. Putu has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
Eugenia Socías, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, is an infectious diseases physician and researcher. With a background in clinical epidemiology, she has worked in urban and rural settings in Argentina, conducting observational and interventional research in HIV, HCV, and neglected tropical diseases. Her postdoctoral research focuses on understanding barriers and facilitators of engagement in HIV and hepatitis C care, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, including gender/sexual minorities, sex workers, and people who use drugs. Her work is supported by a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Ofer Amram, MSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, completed a joint PhD from Simon Fraser University (geography) and Ben Gurion University in Israel (health sciences). His research focus is in the field of health geography and the use of geographical information systems in evidence-based decision-making. More specifically, he is investigating the relationship between space, place, and health outcomes, namely how individual, contextual, and environmental factors impact health outcomes.
Elena Argento, MPH, Research Associate/Qualitative Researcher, is a graduate of the Master of Public Health program in Global Health at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on sexual and drug use-related HIV risks among sex workers in Vancouver and the impact of criminalization of sex work in Canada (C-36) on health outcomes for men and women in the sex industry. Her master's project examined structural violence among sex workers in south India, and she has gained multinational experience with other projects in Guyana and Brazil. Elena has an ongoing interest in improving health and human rights for marginalized populations and those with mental health and substance use problems. Elena is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program. Her PhD research is supported by a CIHR Doctoral Award.
Daniella Barreto, BSc, Research Assistant, is an MSc student in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. As a former interviewer/outreach worker, she trained and supported SHAWNA's peer research associates in recruiting participants from diverse community settings. Daniella grew up in Zimbabwe and became interested in HIV because of its effect on the country. Daniella has been a facilitator for years with the Canadian Red Cross and YouthCo HIV and Hep C Society. At YouthCo, her work involved community engagement and facilitation of inclusive sexual health workshops with youth and service providers. She was involved in the humanitarian issues arm of the Red Cross for many years around HIV, children in war, and international humanitarian law. She was a public health intern at the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana and participated in the Health Issues and Ethics term of Simon Fraser University's Semester in Dialogue. Daniella is interested in the intersections of sustainable development, public health, and social justice, particularly for racialized populations affected by colonial history. She is an art and photography enthusiast, who loves travel, a good story, and playing ultimate.
Brittany Bingham, MPH, Aboriginal Health Research Coordinator, is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the Aboriginal Health Research Coordinator at the GSHI. Her doctoral work is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and investigates health, social, and justice service use among Aboriginal people who are homeless in two Canadian cities. Her research looks at the health of sex workers of Aboriginal ancestry in Vancouver with a focus on identifying the social and structural environments that impact Aboriginal women’s well-being and HIV vulnerability while providing policy recommendations for how to better address their needs.
Jill Chettiar, MPH, Research Associate, is a medical student at the University of British Columbia and a graduate of the Master of Public Health program in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Formerly GSHI's Research Coordinator, Jill now serves as a Research Associate, continuing to share her expertise with the GSHI team. Jill's interests lie in examining how different forms of gendered structural violence impact the health and safety of people who do sex work. Jill is currently doing support work for a local sex worker group called the Sex Workers United Against Violence Society, which is involved in a constitutional challenge to the laws surrounding sex work in Canada.
Margaret Erickson, BA, MPH, Research Assistant, has worked with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS on various research projects since 2013. Her current research with GSHI is centered around women living with HIV who have been incarcerated in British Columbia. Margaret is passionate about sexual and reproductive health education and research and has been involved in various projects and organizations concerning sexual and reproductive health for youth and key populations in Canada as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her master's research with GSHI explored the lived experiences of women sex workers in post-conflict northern Uganda. She is currently working towards her Sexual Health Educator Certification with Options for Sexual Health.
Belen Febres-Cordero, MA, is committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge that contributes to the needs of marginalized populations. She focused on this area of interest while pursuing a master's degree in anthropology at Simon Fraser University, and continues to do so through a doctoral program at the same institution. Belen has conducted research in Canada and Latin America, including a study for UNICEF analyzing the implementation of human rights in the Caribbean. She volunteers at a mobile clinic that offers medical services to temporary foreign farm workers throughout the Fraser Valley. Belen is so passionate about her work that she cannot imagine doing something else. She also loves biking (even when it rains), and always has a book in her bag.
Blake Hawkins, MLIS, Research Assistant, completed his thesis at the University of British Columbia iSchool on LGBTQ youth from Prince George, Canada, and the health information behaviours and characteristics of where they prefer to go for information. His research interests include the sexual and mental health of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM); health information behaviours; online interactions among GBMSM; rural/urban GBMSM access to care; and qualitative research methods. He will begin his PhD work at the University of British Columbia and GSHI with Drs. Shannon and Lyons, focused on understanding the effects of PCEPA on access to health information among sex workers, as well as sexual health outreach by peer/ sex worker-led programs, service providers, and third parties (e.g., websites). This PhD work is nested in the CHAPS project, a community-based research partnership with HUSTLE/HiM and men sex workers and buyers in Metro Vancouver.
Kathleen Kenny, MHSc, is a PhD student at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is focused on the well-being of marginalized mothers and their families, including the health, social, and structural impacts of child custody loss on women. She is working with the GSHI team for her PhD dissertation to examine the role of child custody loss to Child Protective Services in shaping HIV vulnerability and well-being of women in the AESHA cohort. Kathleen previously worked for five years coordinating community engagement projects with COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program in Toronto, including development of a bereavement and social action project for women who had experienced child custody loss. She is currently a member of Community Action for Families, a grassroots feminist organization in Toronto that provides various forms of direct support to women involved with the child protection system, and works to promote movement building and political action around these issues.
Bronwyn McBride, BA, Research Assistant, is an MPH candidate in global health at Simon Fraser University. She has worked in non-profit and health communications for over five years in India and Canada, and recently worked in research and project monitoring and evaluation in Vietnam. Her research interests centre around health inequities for marginalized women, specifically in the areas of reproductive justice, maternal and child health, and physical and sexual violence against women. Bronwyn is a regular volunteer at the WISH Drop-In Centre and a vocal advocate for sex workers' health and rights. She is working with the GSHI team on projects related to im/migrant sex workers' health and access to care.
Elisa Mountain, MSc, is currently a PhD student in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London and an MSc graduate of modern epidemiology at Imperial College London. Her PhD work is supported by an MRC DTA studentship, and focuses on structural determinants of HIV risk and the HIV care cascade among female sex workers. Elisa is currently working with the GSHI team on a project related to workplace violence in the AESHA cohort, and uses mathematical modeling with data analysis to conduct her research.
Jeanette S. Pedersen
Jeanette S. Pedersen, BA (Hons.), is a medical student at the University of Calgary. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and health sciences from Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include the health of vulnerable populations, health inequities, violence against women, addictions, and HIV. Jeanette is working with the GSHI team on research projects related to physical and sexual violence.
Teresita Rocha-Jiménez, MA, is a PhD student in the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, Global Health Track, and a Fogarty AITRP Fellow. She received her MA in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and BA in International Relations from the Instituto Technológico Autónomo de México. Her main interests are migration, mobility, sex work, and border issues (Mexico-United States and Mexico-Guatemala) and how policies surrounding these issues have unintended consequences for migrant sex workers' health, including risk for acquiring HIV.
Ariel Sernick, BA (Hons.), Research Assistant, completed her undergraduate degree in diaspora and transnational studies at the University of Toronto. She focused on intersections of health and migration, with specific attention to international organ trade and the history of Indigenous health in the "Canadian" north. She has conducted research in Canada and Israel. Ariel has worked as an educator and educational facilitator for the past nine years and currently works at a non-profit providing support for suvivors of sexualized violence. Her research interests include the intersectionality of HIV, migration, sex work, and experiences of gendered and racialized marginalization.
Meaghan Thumath, MSc, BSN, RN, is a PhD student with GSHI looking at the harms of child apprehension with the AESHA and SHAWNA Projects in partnership with Sheway, SWUAV, and Pivot. She is also a public health leader in communicable disease control and reproductive health. Her research interests include gender, health equity, global health metrics, and HIV implementation science. A registered nurse by training, she has over 10 years of HIV experience in direct clinical care, teaching, and research. Meaghan completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently enrolled in a DPhil on social policy and intervention at the University of Oxford.