Maria Isabel (Isa) Fernandez, PhD
Maria Isabel (Isa) Fernández, PhD, Professor of Public Health in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the Director of the Behavioral Health Promotion Program. She also directs COM’s Research Fellowship Program, a competitive program designed to provide one year of real world research experience to 2 COM students between the M2 and M3 year and chairs the college’s Faculty Development and Mentoring Program. After completing her doctoral program in Community Psychology at Michigan State University, she joined the federal government working in the HIV/AIDS programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1995, she joined the faculty at the University of Miami School of Medicine and moved to NSU in 2005. Dr. Fernández is an internationally known HIV with a strong and diversified portfolio of research grants and publication record. Her research is primarily focused on HIV prevention and treatment interventions targeting at-risk populations specifically young and adult Latino and Black men who have sex with men (MSM). At this stage of her career, Dr. Fernández is also focused on mentoring primarily ethnic minority researchers to help them achieve research independence. Some of her other professional activities include participating in NIH and CDC study sections, reviewing journal articles, and serving on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at University of California at San Francisco, the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services at the University of California at Los Angeles, and “El Centro” National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the University of Miami.
Dr. Fernández has been a member of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) since the year it was first funded and has held a number of leadership positions including Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Behavioral Leadership Group. She also directed the ATN’s scholar program whose focus was on developing multi-disciplinary youth focused HIV researchers. In the current ATN, she serves on the Management Core of ATN-Cares, directs intervention activities and works closely with Dr. Abadalian, the New Orleans site PI, and Ms. Kozina, the Project Director, to facilitate implementation and monitoring activities in New Orleans. She is also a member of the ATN’s Executive Committee.