Tooru Nemoto, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Tooru Nemoto, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Center of AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Nemoto is a community psychologist who received his doctorate from New York University and his post-doctoral training in Health Policy at the Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF. His research efforts have mainly focused on drug abuse and HIV prevention, particularly among under-served and stigmatized populations, such as transgender persons, Asian female sex workers, and Asian and Pacific Islander (API) men who have sex with men (MSM), and on cultural issues in substance use and HIV prevention. Since Dr. Nemoto completed a post-doctoral training, he has been conducting a number of community-based research studies as the Principal Investigator. Currently, he conducts five studies: 1) HIV prevention intervention study for Asian female sex workers at massage parlors (Supported by NIH/NIDA: R01DA13896), 2) Drug abuse and HIV prevention targeting APIs (SAMHSA: H79TI14476), 3) Drug use and HIV risk behaviors among female sex workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand (NIDA Supplement: R01DA13896), 4) Drug use and HIV risk behaviors among transgenders (NIDA: R01DA11589), 5) Outreach and pretreatment for gender variant individuals (SAMHSA: H79 TI15807). As the Principal Investigator, Dr. Nemoto completed a number of research studies investigating drug use and HIV risk behaviors among APIs, transgender persons, and API MSM in collaboration with local substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention and AIDS service agencies. Through funding from the Japanese Foundation for AIDS Prevention, he has been collaborating with Japanese researchers in substance abuse and HIV prevention targeting Japanese youths, substance users, travelers in foreign countries, and HIV positives. He has published a number of research papers in professional journals and presented study findings at community forums and local, national, and international scientific meetings.

Mariko Iwamoto, MA, Project Coordinator

Mariko received her Master’s degree in Social Psychology, focusing on cultural issues among Asian immigrants. She is the co-founder of the Domestic Violence Support Group for Japanese Victims at the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco. She has had extensive experience working with women and minority populations and is bilingual and bicultural in Japanese.

Alefiyah Pishori, Research Assistant

After receiving her Bachelors degree in Psychology and Government from Claremont McKenna College in May 2006, Alefiyah returned to the South Bay, where she grew up. She hopes to pursue a career in mental and public health, working with minority groups, especially Asian and South Asian Americans. In her free time, she likes to read, travel, go shopping, and spend time with her friends.

Christy Tam, Data Manager

Christy Tam emigrated from China to the United State with her family in 1990 and has lived in the bay area ever since. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 1998. Christy has three lovely young kids who always keep her busy, one 4 year old girl and two boys, 2 and 1 years old.

For HPEP or Sensitivity Training Program please contact:

Peggy Lee, Sensitivity Trainer

Peggy Lee is a Bay Area girl, born and bred. She grew up in Fremont and graduated from UC Berkeley in the summer of 2003 (although it feels like yesterday). She loves living in the city. She also loves fried dessert, film, and languages.

For TEPOT Health Educators please contact:

Yoonjung Kim, Health Educator

Yoonjung was born and grew up in South Korea.  Before moving to the U.S., she worked on the program of Korean Overseas Volunteer, which is similar to the American Peace Corps program, in Thailand for a couple of years.  She had a six-year long career as a journalist, and joined UCSF CAPS in 2005.  She is currently in the MSW program at UC Berkeley with a concentration in community mental health.  She loves world-travel and cross-cultural studies.

Natalie Sacramento, Health Educator

Natalie Sacramento grew up in Vallejo and went to school at UCLA. Though she enjoyed her time in Los Angeles, she is glad to be back here in the beautiful Bay Area. Natalie is a gradual vegan (but may never be able to give up real cheese), loves waking up early, and would like to travel more.

Koji Sakakibara, MA, Health Educator

Koji Sakakibara was born and raised in a medium sized city in Central Japan. After finishing his bachelor’s in Law, Koji moved to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in special education. Upon completion, Koji spent several years working as a teacher in addition to focusing on work with HIV+ Japanese nationals who were living in the United States. In December of 2004, Koji joined the TEPOT project as a health educator.

Last modified: January 20, 2011