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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.