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Research Statement

I am interested in research that tackles inequity in sexual and reproductive health through an interdisciplinary approach, with a particular emphasis on the role of stigma in shaping health-seeking behaviors, values and preferences for care. My expertise centers around research strategies that identify and explore sociocultural factors that impact patient identity, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors, particularly as related to race, gender, class and sexuality. Most of my research experience has focused on cervical cancer prevention strategies for women living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.

3U01AI96299 (Anastos, Yotebieng, Nash, MPI)



Central Africa International Epidemiologic Database to Evaluate AIDS (CA-IeDEA)

The IeDEA-CA network was established in 2011 and currently includes 18 partners in Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo and Rwanda.  With longitudinal data on almost 65,000 HIV-infected adults and children, IeDEA-CA partners are utilizing implementation science to:

  • Identify effective strategies for optimizing HIV care outcomes, including timely diagnosis and care enrollment, care retention, ART initiation and viral suppression.

  • Conduct clinical epidemiologic investigations of co-morbidities of aging among HIV+ persons.

IeDEA-CA also leads and contributes to multi-regional IeDEA projects, and it maintains updated population-based data from various sources for use in examining contextual determinants of HIV outcomes.

I have served as a Study Coordinator to CA-IeDEA projects since 2017, including within an administrative supplement "Cervical Cancer Screening Strategies in HIV-Infected Women Living in Cameroon" (P30CA013330-43S1A - NCI/NIH). In this study, a study of 800 HIV-infected and 400 HIV-uninfected women living in Limbé, Cameroon was conducted to examine cervical cancer screening strategies and build health service research and delivery capacities. I served as the primary data analyst of the qualitative data resulting from that project, which produced two manuscripts that I co-authored and one that I served as the primary author. I presented these results both as a poster at the HIV & Women Workshop in 2021and an oral presentation at our internal CA-IeDEA Research Meeting in 2021.

In this role, I previously mantained the qualitative and quantitative databases for our PrEP studies in Rwanda and the DRC. I co-led the analysis of our findings from our PrEP initiation study with Charles Ingabire, and a manuscript is currently in draft. In our PreP adherence and retention study, I co-designed the interview guide with Dr. Adebola Adedimeji and provided data collection & analysis support for the project. I was also involved with REDCap capacity building & supervised training for Rwandan investigators & data management staff.

An exploratory study of knowledge, perceptions and attitudes towards COVID-19 stigma and impact on utilization of testing and care services (Adedimeji, PI)

In an internally funded study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, I serve as a Co-Investigator with the aim of understanding how stigma impacts attitudes towards and inhibits access to utilization of prevention and treatment services for COVID-19. The goal of this project was to assess the role of stigma and its likely impact on country’s efforts in flattening the curve and preventing a resurgence of the virus. We collected 275 survey responses from participants in over 14 countries, and we are in the process of drafting a manuscript for publication.


5R01DA042813-05 (Nahvi, PI)                                           


Achieving smoking cessation milestones in opioid treatment patients: a randomized 2 x 2 factorial trial of directly observed and long-term varenicline

This project serves as an evaluation of the mechanisms of two promising interventions to promote and maintain tobacco abstinence: directly observed therapy and long-term varenicline treatment. The proposed research will guide efforts to optimize medication treatment effects and reduce the burden of tobacco use among opioid treatment patients. I was brought onto this project in 2020 to serve as a Qualitative Data Analyst for data collected from opioid treatment program (OTP) patients surrounding their care experience during COVID-19. Our primary author Dr. Teresa Lopez-Castro presented our preliminary findings as an oral presentation at The Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA) 2021. We are currently drafting a manuscript for publication.

Merck & Co., Inc (Ratzan, PI)

COVID-19 New Vaccine Information, Communication and Engagement (CONVINCE USA)

Amanda's teaching philosophy consists of an adaptive equity-oriented approach to guide her curriculum development, class exercises and overall culture in her courses. Her teaching goals are that students leave her courses with enhanced critical thinking and appraisal skills as well as the recognition that learning is a life-long process

In her classroom, Prof Pierz strive to:

  • offer opportunities for students to deliberately practice critical thinking strategies individually and in small groups with ongoing, low-stakes feedback.

  • diversifies her course materials and readings on a variety of mediums to adequately appeal to differing learning styles

  • utilize her students’ & peers’ feedback to refine her classroom style, modify the curriculum & assignments as needed and her instruction to meet the ongoing needs of her current & future students


Amanda is specifically interested in providing education to global health students on the unintended consequences of global health work, the importance of incorporating local knowledge into research design & analysis and the use of different sociological lenses to conduct more robust public health research.


Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Sharma, PI)

Developing and Testing a Model for Integrated HIV and Geriatric Care for Older People Living with HIV in Ambulatory Settings

In this Gilead funded study, I serve as a Qualitative Data Analyst to conduct the qualitative data collection and analysis portion of this study. The goal of this study is to pilot the use of an evidence-based, HIV-specific Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment adapted to the needs older persons living with HIV (OPLWH), and implemented by providers from nursing, social work, nutrition, mental health, and HIV-primary care within a multidisciplinary HIV clinic that cares for over 1500 OPLWH. This project is currently in the process of data collection among patients at the Center for Positive Living (CPL) at Montefiore and the staff and providers. Data analysis is scheduled to begin December 2021.

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