Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Reback is a Research Sociologist; she joined the staff of Friends Research Institute in 1997. Her research focuses on the intersection of HIV risk behaviors, substance use, sexual identity and gender identity. Dr. Reback was one of the first researchers in the country to link the rise in HIV infection among gay and bisexual men to sexual risk behaviors engaged in while using methamphetamine. Dr. Reback has an extensive background in conducting community-research collaborations, developing mHealth interventions, evaluating behavioral treatment therapies, designing and implementing street-based intervention programs for out-of-treatment substance users, and managing large-scale HIV prevention and intervention programs. Additionally, Dr. Reback collaborates with local community-based organizations to adopt, tailor, and transfer evidenced-based interventions into public health and community settings.
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. Additionally, Dr. Reback is the Executive Director of Friends Community Center (www.friendscommunitycenter.org), the FRI’s Los Angeles community site. Dr. Reback’s solid commitment to community research has led her to become a sought-after collaborator.
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. In addition to her work with Friends Research Institute, Dr. Reback is a Research Sociologist with UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (UCLA ISAP) and a Core Scientist with the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (UCLA CHIPTS).