HIV Faculty

HIV Cluster 
Our Mission: The CDU HIV Cluster is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to ensuring excellence in HIV education, research and service provision for underserved communities, both locally and internationally. We will accomplish this by stimulating new ideas, supporting the efforts of its members, and coordinating and representing CDU’s activities in HIV.

Please meet our HIV Cluster members of the CDU Faculty:

Nina Harawa, PhD, MPHDr. Nina Harawa serves as faculty leader for the Charles Drew University’s Center for AIDS Research Education and Services (Drew CARES). She is a Professor in the CDU College of Medicine as well as the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Harawa’s research involves understanding trends in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and developing effective, culturally relevant interventions for prevention, care, and treatment.  She has conducted innovative research with a variety of populations – including high-risk African American men, sexually active African American and Latina women, older adults, and transgender women.  Much of this work has involved partnering with local governmental and community organizations in order to address health issues in populations that experience major health disparities. She currently co-leads two multi-site NIH-funded studies. One examines the impacts of incarceration and related interventions and policies on HIV in Black men who have sex with men. The second will test an intervention to help HIV-positive young people leaving jail to link to and be retained in HIV medical care. In addition, she leads a California HIV/AIDS Research Program study to test the effectiveness of a peer-supported, incentive/mobile app-based intervention to encourage PrEP uptake and ongoing HIV/STI screening for people leaving jail. Dr. Harawa also directs the policy core of the NIMH-funded Center for HIV Identification Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) which examines the impact of various policies of effots to end the HIV epidemic in the United States and abroad.

Derrick Butler, PhD, MPHDerrick Butler, MD, MPH is a Family Medicine Physician and HIV Specialist practicing in South Central Los Angeles.  He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. He currently serves as Associate Medical Director at the T.H.E. Clinic, a long standing federally qualified community health center and is the director of T.H.E Clinic’s HIV Program.  He also serves as Assistant Professor with the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center at Charles Drew University.  Dr. Butler is focused on addressing the current HIV/AIDS epidemic and the health disparities of urban populations.  With an additional interest in international health, Dr. Butler has also lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and participated in medical missions in various parts of Africa. 

Cynthia Davis, PhD, MPHCynthia Davis, MPH is an Assistant Professor and Program Director in the College of Medicine and College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Professor Davis received her MPH degree from the UCLA School of Public Health in 1981. Professor Davis is responsible for the planning, coordination, and evaluation of several HIV/AIDS-related programs including the CDU Mobile HIV Testing and Community Outreach Program targeting at risk medically underserved populations residing in South Los Angeles. 

Professor Davis was instrumental in the development of the first mobile HIV testing and community outreach project initiated in Los Angeles County in 1991. Since 1991, the CDU HIV Mobile Testing and Community Outreach Projects have provided free HIV screening services to over 60,000 Los Angeles County residents. Professor Davis has been an advocate for increased primary prevention services targeting women and youth in South Los Angeles and over the past 32 years has been actively engaged in facilitating HIV/AIDS education and risk reduction primary prevention services targeting women, sexually active youth and adults, runaway and homeless youth, and young men who have sex with men.

Homero del Pino Homero E. del Pino has a BA in philosophy from Cornell University and holds a doctorate in philosophy and a Master of Science in clinical research from UCLA. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has worked with health departments and community-based organizations at the national level and with the CDC before starting his research career. His primary research interests include the impact of family relationships on the health outcomes of gay/bisexual men of color across the life span, substance use and HIV risk, and HIV Using PrEP use among Latino men who have sex with men. He is committed to working with community partners to develop and implement research projects to promote health equity in underserved communities.

Eric Houston Eric Houston, PhD is a clinical psychologist with research interests focusing on the role of cognitive processes and psychosocial distress as factors in health disparities related to HIV. Much of his recent work examines how technology can be used to strengthen our understanding of these factors and address their impact through interventions aimed at promoting engagement with HIV care and treatment adherence among patients who are lost to follow up or are vulnerable to dropping out of care. Dr. Houston has served as principal investigator for a web-based pilot study designed to reach these patients and was principal evaluator for a community-based intervention aimed at promoting the health status of young African-American MSM living with HIV. His research has been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at national conferences

Wilbert Jordan Wilbert Jordan, MD is the Director of the OASIS Clinic and AIDS Program. I treated my first patient in 1979, and in 1981 called him for follow-up, saying I know what you have.  Thus, I have been involved in HIV from the beginning. That includes three terms on the original Los Angeles county Commission on AIDS, which chaired for two years; and being involved with the original HIV Planning Council and the subsequent merger with the Commission.  Outreach has been a long term interest, I developed the Focused Intervention model in 1986.  It has been used by GSK as its Act4Life national campaign, as well as being cited by CDC and HRSA.  Because of this model, we continue to see 1- - 12 new clients per months, and many with CD4 counts above 400.

Further interests include expanding services for adolescents and transgender clients and further developing our community advisory boards.  The latter will be composed of a Women’s group, a Transgender support group and the Adolescent support group, and the Client advisory Committee. All have been established and are meeting. My participation on a national level includes  consultants  to  several pharmaceutical companies;  having termed off the DHHS Guidelines Committee;  being on a CDC  advisory committee  for outreach  to  Black MSM's   and  being  PI  to three  CDC  sponsored  projects  with the  National Medical Association.  Locally that translate into me sending letters to 4400 local primary care providers asking them to test their patients for HIV.  Through this we have identified 23 - 104 patients annually.  These are insured.  A project to identify the un-insured involves identifying the zip codes with the highest rates of HIV, STD, and teenage pregnancy in the Second District, then mapping out those zip codes and having effective outreach/testing programs in those areas.

David P. Lee David P. Lee, MSW, MPH is a Community Faculty member here at Charles R. Drew University and currently serves as the UCLA/OASIS Clinic PATH PrEP Project Director, overseeing an HIV biomedical prevention project.  He also serves as the Ryan White Part C Program Director for OASIS Clinic.  He previously lived in Lima, Peru, where he studied Spanish and worked at a large NGO coordinating U.S. government grant writing activities focusing on HIV research and training and also served as a training advisor and mentor for international scholars.  He has worked with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle where has was actively involved in developing and implementing that organization’s first vaccine study.

Eva McGhee Dr. Eva McGhee is an Assistant Professor, in the College of Medicine (COM), Divisions of Cancer Research.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, in Cellular and Molecular Immunogenetics. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in Molecular Cancer Genetics, and a Clinical Fellowship at UCSF/Stanford University in Medical Genetics. Dr. McGhee held several faculty positions at UCSF.  Through a competitive process, Dr. McGhee was selected to become a Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard, Dr. McGhee worked on cervical cancer-the human papillomavirus (HPV). Her research focus is on health disparities, Infectious Diseases (HPV and HIV Co-Infection), Oral Disease, Cancer Genetics, and Vaccines. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF, Dr. McGhee discovered the candidate region for Coffin Siris, a rare Mendelian Syndrome; published in the Journal of Medical Genetics.  In 2017, Dr. McGhee and her team published on the uptake of HPV Vaccines, which was later featured in an interview on oral cancer by CNN. Dr. McGhee is also leading research to expand awareness for Precision Medicine this is in collaboration with the John Hopkins University. Dr. McGhee just published a manuscript in the Journal of clinical Cases (March 2020) on HPV and Robertsonian aberrations. Chancellor Sam Hawgood honored Dr. McGhee at the UCSF 150th Anniversary Celebration for receiving the Chancellor Award for Research, Public and Community Service, and the Thomas N. Burbridge Award for Social Justice; Presented by Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop. Dr. McGhee is a Senator for COM, and the Academic Senate Chair for the Committee on Clinical and Community Programs. Dr. McGhee recently received an Alumni award from the University of Kansas (October 2019), and she was also selected as a distinguished Kansan (January 2020).

 Charles McWellsCharles McWells, BA earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College.  Diagnosed with AIDS in 1996, Mr. McWells has spent the past eighteen years advocating for persons living with or at risk of becoming infecting with HIV/AIDS.  Since 2010, he has been an Instructor with the Community Faculty Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  He is currently the Program Manager for the At-Risk Men’s Services program at the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA), as well as the Project Director/Co-Principal Investigator of L.A. CADA’s Passport to Wellness program.  He is also the Principal Investigator of a National Institute of Health cancer grant study that is exploring the feasibility of smoking cessation programs tailored for Black same-gender-loving HIV positive men.  McWells is also Co-Host of The Good News Radio Magazine, a weekly broadcast which features interviews with healthcare professionals, clinical researchers, faith-based leaders and community advocates.  

Ekow Kwa Sey Ekow Kwa Sey, PhD is a Supervising Epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Assistant Professor at Charles R. Drew University.  Dr. Sey was born and raised in Ghana. After studying at the United World College of the Atlantic (Wales, U.K.) on a Prince of Wales Scholarship, Dr. Sey attended Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut, where he majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Sey completed an MPH in Epidemiology and a PhD in Public Health at the UCLA School of Public Health. He has over 15 years of experience working in Public Health. His research interests include behavioral and serologic surveillance, variant, atypical and resistant HIV strains, HIV prevention in priority population and economic evaluations of health programs.

JaneDr. Lejeune Y. Lockett, DM, MSPH serves as the Director of the Office of International Affairs at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and is an Assistant Professor in the College of Science and Health. She holds a Doctorate of Management (Organizational Leadership) from the University of Phoenix, Arizona, a Masters of Science in Public Health (Health Services Planning and Policy Analysis) from UC Los Angeles, and a Bachelors in Psychobiology from UC Davis.

As an institutional member of the HBCU Global Health Consortium, she is part of the leadership team that provides oversight to the HRSA/PEPFAR funded Rise Up! Project established in Lusaka, Zambia by Charles R. Drew University (CDU). As the Operations & Program Manager for Global Health at CDU from 2010-2018, she managed three Military HIV/AIDS Prevention Projects located in Angola, Jamaica and Belize funded by PEPFAR and the US Department of Defense. As the Associate Director/Health for the U.S. Peace Corps in Namibia, she spearheaded and managed the agency’s Community Health and HIV/AIDS Program from 2005-2009. She co-founded the Young Achievers Empowerment Program in Namibia for the historically disadvantaged youth living in the former township of Katutura.

Dr. Lockett worked for the Augsburg College Center for Global Education (CGE) as the Program Coordinator/Adjunct Professor in Mexico and as Interim Director in Namibia to facilitate semester abroad programs and short-term travel seminars in Mexico, Namibia, South Africa, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Cuba. As an International Population Fellow, she worked at the National Institute of Public Health/School of Public Health of Mexico and later as the Head of the Department of Alternative Health Care Models. She lived in Mexico for 10 years and in Namibia for 6 years and has travelled to over 40 countries. She enjoys discovering the interconnectedness of people, places and things. Dr. Lockett is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. Dr. Lockett has served as a member of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) since 2015.

Katrina is a data analyst for the HIV research pillar as well as for the AXIS Research Design and Biostatistics core. Katrina received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University. At Charles Drew University, she collaborates with students and faculty on projects ranging from translational bench science to behavioral interventions.

Katrina is a data analyst for the HIV research pillar as well as for the AXIS Research Design and Biostatistics core. Katrina received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University. At Charles Drew University, she collaborates with students and faculty on projects ranging from translational bench science to behavioral interventions.

Dr. Daniels is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behaviors at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. His research focuses on improving HIV and TB treatment adherence for Black MSM and men in the US and South Africa with current NIH grant funding in these areas. Dr. Daniels received his PhD from the University of Washington and NIMH post-doctoral training in Global HIV/AIDS Prevention from UCLA. He has expertise in implementation science, qualitative research methods, mHealth, human resources for health, healthcare access, MSM and men’s health, educational attainment and HIV, and HIV/TB treatment cascades. Dr. Daniels serves as faculty in the Partnership for Unified Services in HIV (PUSH) for Watts-Willowbrook and mentors students in the Student Opportunities to Advance Research (SOAR) program.