Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.


Core Scientist, Combination Prevention Core



Cathy J. Reback, PhD is a Senior Research Scientist with Friends Research Institute, Inc., a Research Sociologist with UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, and a Core Scientist with the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (UCLA CHIPTS). Dr. Reback’s research focuses on the intersection of sexual identity, gender identity, substance use and HIV risk behaviors.
Currently, Dr. Reback is Principal Investigator of a NIDA-funded study to evaluate differential immediate and sustained effects, and cost effectiveness, of transmitting theory-based text messages by peer health educators, versus by automation, compared to an assessment-only control condition among out-of-treatment, methamphetamine-using MSM for reductions of methamphetamine use and HIV sexual risk behaviors; a NIDA-funded study to develop a methamphetamine-abuse treatment intervention cross-platform computerized mobile app for MSM to reduce their methamphetamine use and HIV sexual risk behaviors, and to increase ART medication adherence; a NIDA-funded study to develop an iPad application to assess the social networks, HIV risk and protective behaviors, and technology use of transgender women; a HRSA-funded project to evaluate a multi-tiered model, integrating network (Social Network Recruitment), individual (Peer Health Navigation) and structural (Contingency Management) components to identify, recruit, test, link, treat and retain transwomen of color into HIV care; and, a CDC-funded project to adapt and transfer the Safety Counts evidence-based intervention for use among high-risk transgender women. Additionally, Dr. Reback currently serves as the Director of six County-funded contracts for high-risk MSM substance users and transgender women and three City-funded contracts.
Dr. Reback has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on mHealth, behavioral and biobehavioral intervention, ethnographic, and epidemiological studies funded by NIDA, CDC, HRSA, CSAT, CHRP and California State Office of AIDS. Dr. Reback’s research interests involve conducting behavioral and mHealth interventions with high-risk populations, tailoring evidence-based interventions for use in community settings, research/community collaborations, and ethnographic work on high-risk populations. She has collaborated with Dr. Steve Shoptaw on major research intervention studies that evaluated behavioral therapies and HIV risk reduction for gay and bisexual male methamphetamine users. Dr. Reback’s community and policy work includes current and past membership on numerous local and national HIV/AIDS and substance abuse task forces and advisory committees.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, US
M.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, US
B.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, US

Research and Interests:

HIV/AIDS, methamphetamine abuse among gay and bisexual males, HIV and substance abuse prevention and treatment interventions, high-risk male-to-female transgender women, research and community collaborations