• The BEACH Research Group

    The Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (BEACH) Research Group consists of faculty and advanced doctoral students interested in sexual and reproductive health disparities among marginalized and vulnerable populations.The overarching focus is to conduct research on prevention and treatment of infectious disease disparities.

  • Making Waves in Research on HIV/STI Prevention and Treatment

    Our team's areas of interest include:

    1

    Sexual and Reproductive Health

    2

    Prevention and Treatment

    3

    Substance Abuse

    4

    Mental Health

    5

    Syndemics

  • Our Team

    Typhanye V. Dyer, PhD, MPH

    Director

    Dr. Dyer is an epidemiologist and health disparities scholar whose research examines the influence of social, psychological, and behavioral factors on STI and HIV-risk in Black populations. She has over 15 years of experience conducting research exploring HIV infection and health-related outcomes among Black underserved populations, including sexual minorities and women. The majority of her work involves examining syndemics (intersecting psychosocial and structural barriers to care) among sexual minority Black men, including the impact of trauma, poor mental health and criminal justice involvement and STI/HIV for Black gay and bisexual men.

    Rodman Tupin, PhD, MS

    Co-Director

    Dr. Turpin is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland, College Park and current Domestic Scholar with the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). He is a biostatistician and epidemiologist with a research focus on mental health and HIV/STI-related outcomes affecting sexual and racial minority populations, particularly Black sexual minority men. His research incorporates the use of unique measurement and analytic approaches (latent class, profile, and transition analyses, structural equation modeling), particularly in assessing syndemics of synergistic psychosocial and structural factors negatively impacting health. Much of his work examines interactions between healthcare access/utilization and HIV/STI-related outcomes.

    Thurka Sangaramoothy, PhD, MPH

    Faculty Affiliate

    Dr. Sangaramoorthy an associate professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a cultural anthropologist with specializations in medical anthropology and epidemiology. Dr. Sangaramoorthy's research interests include global health and development, infectious disease epidemics, social studies of science, health policy and governance, and critical studies of racialization. Presently, she is engaged in research projects that study issues of chronicity, aging, and HIV, particularly among African American and Black immigrant women; explore the material and moral effects of recent health and immigration policies on immigrant mental health and well-being; and examine the social life of environmental health policies around cumulative risk.

    Mona Mittal, PhD

    Faculty Affiliate

    Dr. Mittal is an associate professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include physical, emotional, and sexual health of women with a specific focus on psychological trauma, interruption of the intergenerational cycle of violence, and physiological mechanisms linking intimate partner violence (IPV) and adverse health outcomes across the lifespan. In her current work, Dr. Mittal is addressing the synergistic interactions between substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS that have been closely linked with HIV acquisition in the African American population.

    Lakeshia Watson, MPH

    Graduate Research Assistant

    Lakeshia is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, Lakeshia has served as an epidemiological research fellow in the HIV Incidence and Case Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lakeshia received her MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BS in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Her research interests focus on utilizing a social epidemiological framework to understand the multilevel, social and structural determinants of HIV-related outcomes among vulnerable populations. She aspires to use research to inform policies that affect those living with HIV and those living in communities characterized by high HIV diagnoses.

    Yixi Xu, MPH

    Graduate Research Assistant

    Yixi is currently a PhD student in Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2012, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Clinical Medicine from Jiangsu University in China. Afterwards, she worked as a resident doctor in Quzhou People’s Hospital in China. She completed her MPH in 2016 at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She also worked as an intern at the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA). Her research interests include social, cultural and structural determinants of infectious disease disparities. Her current work examines the association between syndemics and sexual risk behaviors among sexual minority Black men.

    Leandra Stubbs, MS

    Graduate Research Assistant

    Leandra is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also serving as a Health Specialist in the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. Leandra received both her MS in Medical Sciences and her BS in Health Behavior from the University of Florida. Her research interests focus on barriers and facilitators to the uptake of HIV prevention strategies among women. Her current work zeroes in on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among Black women in the United States and the co-occurring factors that influence sexual risk behaviors.