El Centro Associated Faculty at UM

Marie Guerda Nicolas joined the Educational and Psychological Studies (EPS) faculty at the School of Education & Human Development in August, 2008. She was an associate professor at Boston College in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology prior to joining the EPS faculty. As a multicultural (Haitian American) and multilingual psychologist (Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole), her research is reflective of her background and interests. Her current research centers on partnering with ethnically diverse and immigrant communities to develop culturally effective mental health interventions to combat depression, address issues of racism and racial discrimination stress, enhance the racial and ethnic identity development of children and adolescents, and promote individual, family, and community well-being.  Dr. Guerda Nicolas co-directs the Research, Education, and Training Core of El Centro along with Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda.

Dr. Jose Castro is an Associate Professor/Director of the STD program at the University of Miami Health Systems.  His areas of clinical practice include HIV medicine, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), hospital acquired infections and tropical medicine.  Dr. Castro’s research interests include HIV drug resistance, barrier methods to prevent HIV transmission, vaccines, HIV associated peripheral neuropathy, barriers to access to care for HIV and/or STD clinical services, prevention/treatment of HPV infections, and fungal infections in HIV infected individuals.  Dr. Castro was the Principal Investigator on a mixed methods pilot study entitled “ Attitudes about Circumcision”, funded by El Centro in Year 2.  The study enrolled 121 Hispanic men and women who were expecting a baby to assess attitudes and beliefs surrounding male circumcision.

Maria Lopez, PhD,  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Health Systems.  She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  Dr. Lopez was the Principal Investigator on a mixed methods pilot study entitled “Hispacare: HIV+ Latino Adults: Acculturation, Adherence Patterns, and Healthcare Utilization, funded by El Centro in Year 2.  The study enrolled 74 Hispanic HIV+ adults to assess the relationship of acculturation, health literacy and other psychosocial factors to adherence patterns and healthcare utilization.  Dr. Lopez practices as a Clinical Psychologist within the Courtelis Center and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Daniel J. Feaster, PhD is an Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Science, Division of Biostatistics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  His research interests include statistical methods for clinical trials and effectiveness research, multilevel modeling, structural equations modeling, family-based health-related interventions, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and minority health disparities.

Guillermo Prado, PhD is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.  His applied and basic research area focuses on the prevention of substance use and HIV risk behavior health disparities among Hispanic youth as well as on the application of advanced statistical methodology to understand the socio-contextual determinants of health and the evaluation of behavioral health interventions for Hispanic adolescents.

Dr. Maite Mena is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Research Assistant Professor. She has extensive experience in working with minority populations experiencing health disparities and in implementing programs and evaluating their outcomes. Specifically, Dr. Mena has collaborated in developing and testing a culturally informed family therapy for minority populations (CIFFTA) focusing on families affected by substance abuse and co-occurring psychiatric disorders, and families affected by cultural issues. Her research interests include vulnerable populations, primarily Hispanic youth and their families in the areas of mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, HIV and sexually risky behaviors, gender differences, and cultural stressors. Dr. Mena works collaboratively with a community organization which focuses on reducing health disparities in the Hispanic community. As a result of her work in the community, Dr. Mena received an award for Excellence in Partnership from the community organization in 2013.

Daniel Santisteban, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor at the University of Miami, School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Santisteban has been the recipient of six NIH grants to develop and test enhancements to family treatments for special populations (Hispanics and drug abusing adolescents with co-occurring disorders), and is the developer of Culturally Informed and Flexible Family Based Treatment for Adolescents (CIFFTA), and empirically derived treatment. Dr. Santisteban has published over 35 book chapters and articles on family therapy outcomes, family processes, cultural competence, adolescent co-occurring disorders, and the blending of research and practice. He has received numerous awards including the 2004 American Family Therapy Academy award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research and the 2012 University of Miami Civic Engagement Award. He has been a contributor to NIH grant review committees, treatment guidelines panels, editorial boards of journals, and to State agencies focused on bridging research and practice in the public health systems.