Norweeta Milburn, PhD is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the Division of Population Behavioral Health at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  She also is the Director of the CHIPTS Development Core.

Norweeta obtained her PhD in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).  After earning her degree, she moved to Washington, DC where she began her teaching and research career.   Then in 1990, she accepted a faculty position with Hofstra University in New York, as an Associate Professor of Psychology.  From the beginning, Norweeta’s research interest has always been concentrated on working with underserved and marginalized groups, particularly among those most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Her research specifically focuses on populations who are homeless and from ethnic/racial minority backgrounds with mental health and substance abuse problems.

Since joining UCLA in 1999, she has led or co-led several studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  Norweeta recently completed a study that involved adapting the STRIVE (Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other) intervention and testing its efficacy for young people re-entering communities from the juvenile justice system. Currently, she leads the Health Disparities Core funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program that is part of the UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and AIDS Institute.  Among the main goals of the Health Disparities Core is to build and sustain collaborative partnerships between research and at-risk vulnerable communities in Los Angeles County and to facilitate culturally-appropriate outreach and dissemination of research projects to communities that are highly impacted by HIV.  Additionally, Norweeta is a Co-Principal Investigator of a NIDA-funded R25 grant, the UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP).  The program trains and provides mentorship to a national cohort of early career ethnic and culturally diverse clinician researchers and post-doctoral scholars to conduct research on reducing substance abuse and HIV transmission in underserved populations at risk for traumatic stress and health disparities.

All of Norweeta’s research, training, and community engagement work are anchored within the context of addressing health disparities in mental illness and drug abuse treatment outcomes, and HIV prevention to promote global health and well-being of adolescents and their families.  Norweeta is interested in examining how parental practices, and resources and behaviors with the context of the community system of care can help underserved adolescents develop into healthy functioning adults. Her goal is to develop replicable, sustainable family interventions for underserved adolescents to reduce their risk for HIV, substance abuse and mental illness.

Though work seems to encompass a lot of her life, Norweeta always makes time for her family, which includes her loving spouse and 25 year-old daughter.  She enjoys taking walks, going camping, and hiking. Norweeta truly loves living on the West Coast with all the national parks and other wonderful outdoor spaces! One of her personal life goals is to get in at least one more white water rafting trip before she is too old to get in and out of the raft.

Each month, we’re featuring a member of our CHIPTS family and their work! To see past spotlights, check them out on the spotlights page and make sure to check back to see who we feature next!