News Release: School of Public Health

Mar. 24,  2010

Emory Researcher Named Scholar, Awarded Grant for HIV Prevention

The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and the National Science Foundation have named Emory University infectious disease researcher Zandraetta Tims-Cook, MD, MPH, as an HPTN scholar and awarded her a research grant. Dr. Carlos del Rio, Emory HPTN principal investigator and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, will serve as Tims-Cook's mentor.

Tims-Cook is among six scholars from under-represented racial/ethnic minority communities identified by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to participate in HIV prevention research activities at National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trials units and/or clinical research sites around the country. The funding was made available through a training supplement from the NIH to the HPTN to support the development of early-career professionals in their participation in the current domestic HIV prevention research agenda.

Tims-Cook, a clinical team member of the HPTN Women's HIV Seroincidence Study (ISIS) within the Emory Clinical Trials Unit, is studying risk factors that result in a higher incidence of HIV infection among high-risk African-American women. In addition, she will examine the commodities most often exchanged among sex workers.

"I am excited to have been selected as an HIV Prevention Trials Network Scholar," says Tims-Cook. "This mentored research experience will allow me to further investigate African-American women's risk for HIV and explore best practices for reducing their risk."

Tims-Cook received a bachelor's degree in biology from Spelman College in Atlanta. She completed public health and medical training in New York City at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College, respectively. While completing undergraduate medical training, she maintained a passionate interest in the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on minority communities. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Jay Lawrence Award for Proficiency in Infectious Diseases. Tims-Cook completed her Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., before beginning sub-specialty training in adult infectious diseases at Emory.

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