Colleen Hoff, Principal Investigator

Colleen Hoff, Ph.D., an AASECT-certified sex therapist, has extensive experience designing and directing HIV prevention studies with gay men. She was the Principal Investigator of the behavioral study, “Sex Behavioral Differences Among Gay Male Couples,” which examined sexual behavior with primary and non-primary partners among both members of the couple. Dr. Hoff maintains a part-time psychotherapy practice where she works with couples and individuals. She has presented at professional conferences and published in the area of AIDS prevention and relationship issues among gay men. As a practicing Clinical Psychologist and researcher, Dr. Hoff brings a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical issues involved in the UCSF Gay Couples Study.

Lynae Darbes, Co-Investigator

Lynae Darbes, PhD. is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Darbes is Principal Investigator of a study of voluntary counseling and testing for HIV for heterosexual couples in South Africa, while active in all aspects of the Gay Couples Study. Dr. Darbes completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado where her research focused on the influence that partners may have on each other’s health behavior. In addition, she gained expertise in dyadic data analysis techniques. She has worked in HIV prevention research for over a decade. In addition, she has continually supplemented her research activities with clinical work with HIV-positive people and within the gay community. Dr. Darbes brings extensive conceptual, practical and analytical skill to the Gay Couples Study.

Tor Neilands, Senior Statistician

Torsten B. Neilands, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at CAPS and directs its Methods Core. He is an expert in structural equation modeling, factor analysis, longitudinal data analysis methods modeling, and analyzing dyadic data. He holds a Master’s Degree in Quantitative Methods and Psychometrics and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas, Austin. He presently serves as a Co-Investigator on a number of epidemiological and behavioral research projects at CAPS. Dr. Neilands serves as senior consulting statistician in conceptualizing the UCSF Gay Couples Study’s data analyses and interpreting results. He works closely with the study team to plan the study’s design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative results.

Deepalika Chakravarty, Statistician

Sean Christian Beougher, Project Director

Sean Christian Beougher worked for the UCSF Gay Couples Study as a Research Associate for nearly two years before becoming its Project Director. Sean earned his Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. His graduate thesis examined perceptions of race and desire for gay men in interracial relationships. Sean also holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Human Sexuality Studies from the same university. Sean’s research interests include the intersection of race and sexuality, historical perspectives on human sexuality, and couples-based sexuality research and HIV prevention.

Carla Garcia, Research Assistant

Carla Garcia received her BA in Psychology at San Francisco State University. Carla’s previous research experience includes studies looking at benefit-finding from cancer as well as ethnic self-labeling among high school students of Chinese and Mexican backgrounds. Carla has attended both the University of Iowa and UCLA’s summer research fellowship programs. After completing research at the summer fellowship program Carla was published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology and Developmental Psychology.

Walter Gómez, Research Assistant

Walter Gómez has been working on HIV research for close to seven years. He has worked on topics ranging from masculinity, violence, institutional and cultural stigma, and organizational readiness for intervention implementation, among others. This has allowed him to experience the causes, effects, and possible solutions for this epidemic from both micro and macro contexts. Walter is currently a Doctoral student in the Sociology program at UCSF. His upcoming dissertation will explore the ways in which race/ethnicity, culture, and power intersect in the process of design and deployment of risk-management strategies around HIV and drug use, within the context of MSM sex work. These themes should overlap with his proposed work in the Gay Couples Study, regarding the power dynamics within inter-racial couples, as they concern HIV prevention.

Last modified: February 7, 2011