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Administrative Core

Welcome to the Yale-UPR Administrative Core (AC), which provides overall scientific and organizational leadership, management and infrastructure to support the Y-UPR mission and integration of efforts and processes across all Cores/SWGs of the HIV Initiative. A major goal of the AC is to expand scientific exchange by fostering relationships across Yale and UPR and developing ties with key partners outside of the two universities.

The structure of Y-UPR is designed to support HIV/AIDS researchers at Yale and UPR in developing stronger interactions with and across the two institutions, as well as with key partner organizations, to promote collaborations that serve Y-UPR aims. Leadership will assist in creating additional linkages to foster relevant HIV/AIDS research, in collaboration with Yale’s CIRA, and UPR’s CCHDR/RCMI, along with a new nursing science network.

New Haven, CT is riven with complex social determinants of HIV in minority communities. In the CDC’s most recent HIV Surveillance Report, New Haven’s metropolitan area has a prevalence of diagnosed HIV infection of 375.5/100,000. Nearby Hartford (35 mi) and Bridgeport (16 mi) have rates >270/100,000. UPR, in the San Juan area, has prevalence of diagnosed HIV infection of >400/100,000, higher than the rates in some of the hardest hit areas in the states. San Juan is one of the 50 venues (48 counties, the District of Columbia, & San Juan municipality) targeted by the White House initiative: Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.
Co-PIs/AC co-Directors, Drs. Vermund, Kurth, Zorrilla, and Rabionet, are highly cognizant of the local contexts for scientific research, and the need for local impact of our mission on behalf of PR and CT. This Yale-UPR HIV initiative endeavors to reduce PR isolation as a resource-limited US territory, strengthening HIV research capacity in both venues.

The goals of the Yale-UPR administrative core are as follows:

  1. Establish Y-UPR scientific and organizational direction and strategy, integrating two Universities in a synergistic partnership. This means coordinating the scientific leadership of the Y-UPR across the health sciences and other engaged schools of Yale and the two key University of Puerto Rico campuses (UPR, Medical Sciences Campus [UPR, Recinto de Ciencias Médicas] and UPR, Río Piedras Campus [UPR, Recinto de Río Piedras]).
  2. Coordinate, nurture, and support the Cores, SWGs, and the CABs as they accomplish their primary function and collective goals. The AC will facilitate strategic and participatory decision-making processes to advance Y-UPR scientific aims. It will also support the CABs and advisory committees to enhance the community and scientific relevance of our work.
  3. Establish fiscal and administrative oversight, coordination, and operations management mechanisms to maximize transparency, accountability, and effective deployment of resources. This means ensuring excellent budgetary management and progress reporting to the respective universities.
  4. Enhance information technology resources to support the research development and dissemination processes on behalf of members/users. This means managing central web platforms and communications functions, including social media and web conferencing and assist members/users with IT challenges. AC core will also facilitate networking and engagement of the key HIV public health and clinical entities that are vital disseminators of research innovation.
  5. Develop and implement approaches to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Y-UPR Cores and SWGs, considering the context of the two Universities. The AC core will provide ongoing assessment of the productivity and impact of the Cores, SWGs, Developmental Core awards, expenditures, and partnerships through ongoing monitoring performance metrics. The core will also approach the Y-UPR leadership with a concept to develop a new cross-UPR nursing science network.


  • Co-director

    Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, MPH, FAAN is Dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor, Yale University School of Nursing, and Professor of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Kurth is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine, and of the American Academy of Nursing; and is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. She served on the US Preventive Services Task Force which sets screening and prevention guidelines for the nation. An epidemiologist and clinically-trained nurse-midwife, Dean Kurth’s research focuses on HIV/reproductive health and global health system strengthening. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID, NIDA, NIMH, NICHD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNAIDS, CDC, HRSA, and others, for studies conducted in the United States and internationally. She chairs the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), the 190+-university member academic global health association. Dr. Kurth has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and scholarly monographs. She has received awards for her science and leadership including Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Award and Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame award. She chairs the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Board on Global Health, and is a member of the NAM Climate and Health Initiative.
  • Director

    Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health

    Dr. Sten Vermund is a pediatrician and infectious disease epidemiologist focused on diseases of low and middle income countries. His work on HIV-HPV interactions among women in Bronx methadone programs motivated a change in the 1993 CDC AIDS case surveillance definition and inspired cervical cancer screening programs launched within HIV/AIDS programs around the world. The thrust of his research has focused on health care access, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, and prevention of  HIV transmission among general and key populations, including mother-to-child.  Dr. Vermund has become increasingly engaged in health policy, particularly around sustainability of HIV/AIDS programs and their expansion to non-communicable diseases, coronavirus pandemic response and prevention, and public health workforce development. His recent grants include capacity-building for public health in Chad, molecular epidemiology for HIV in Kazakhstan, and COVID-19 vaccine studies in Dominican Republic and Connecticut. He has worked with schools and arts organizations for COVID-19 risk mitigation and institutional safety.
  • Administrative Director

    She is an associate professor in health education at the University of Puerto Rico School of Public Health and Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy. She received a BA from Mount Holyoke College, and MA and EdD from Harvard University. She directs the Puerto Rico Mentoring Institute for HIV and Mental Health Research which supports junior researchers. She has published about public health education, mentoring, research capacity building, and sociobehavioral aspects of drug use.She is mainly involved in three areas of scholarship:• HIV/Health Disparities Research Development and Mentoring• Sociobehavioral Aspects of Pharmacy• History of the Health Sciences