STAHR Steering Committee

Dilip Jeste, MDDilip Jeste, MD
STAHR Program Director

Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care, Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, Director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego. His main areas of interest are successful psychosocial aging. He is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and Principal Investigator on several research and training grants.

Scott Letendre, MD Scott Letendre, MD
STAHR Program Co-Director

Professor of Medicine (Infectious Disease) and Psychiatry in Residence at the University of California, San Diego who performs translational, patient-oriented research of the central nervous system complications of chronic infections, including HIV, HCV, and CMV. As part of a multidisciplinary research team, he conducts interventional trials focused on the prevention and treatment of neurocognitive and mood disorders as well as studies of the pharmacokinetics of antiretrovirals, the effects of comorbidities and substance abuse, and biomarker correlates of disease. Dr. Letendre is also Chair of the Neurology Collaborative Science Group of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and founding co-chair of the International Workshop on HIV & Aging.

María J. Marquine, PhDMaría J. Marquine, PhD 
STAHR Program Deputy Director

Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego. Dr. Marquine’s broad research interests center on identifying psychosocial and biomedical determinants of neurocognitive and mental health outcomes among older Hispanics/Latinos living in the US, particularly those infected with HIV.

Sara Gianella, MD Sara Gianella Weibel, MD

Dr. Gianella is a physician specialized in infectious disease and a researcher in the area of translational virology, molecular biology, and immunology. Her primary research focus is on the transmission dynamics and persistence of HIV in various anatomic compartments (genital and central nervous system), and interactions with co-infecting viruses, especially cytomegalovirus. She is also investigating clinical complications related to persistent immune activation during treated HIV-infection and sex-differences in HIV pathogenesis. Her work involves bioinformatics to characterize viral evolution during and after HIV transmission and viral dynamics between anatomic compartments.

Dr. Gianella is an active member of the ACTG Women's Health Inter-Network Scientific Committee, and she is the director of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Translational Virology (TV) Core. She is also leading the Virology Unit of the HIV Neuro-behavioral Research Center (HNRC). 

Elizabeth Twamley, PhDElizabeth Twamley, PhD

Dr. Twamley is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and supported employment. She is particularly interested in community- based interventions that help people reach their highest potential social and occupational functioning. She supervises doctoral students and undergraduate students at UCSD and VASDHS. She also conducts a neuropsychological assessment clinic at the St. Vincent De Paul Medical Clinic.

Dr. Twamley's research focuses on bridging neuropsychology and interventions for individuals with cognitive impairments. Pursuing a longstanding interest in the links between cognition and everyday functioning, she has developed compensatory cognitive training interventions for people with psychiatric illness, traumatic brain injury, and mild cognitive impairment, and these manuals have been adapted for other populations (e.g., autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, and hoarding). Current intervention studies focus on compensatory cognitive training for individuals with cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Dr. Twamley’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the VA, the Department of Defense, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Mariana Cherner, PhDMariana Cherner, PhD

Dr. Cherner is Associate Professor In Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD as well as a faculty member in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and obtained her Ph.D. at the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, specializing in neuropsychology and behavioral medicine. She completed a clinical psychology internship at the University of Washington, where she also received postdoctoral training in neuropsychology. Dr. Cherner directs the Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship in NeuroAIDS (IRFN) and is an investigator within the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC) and the Translational Methamphetamine AIDS Research Center (TMARC). Her research is on neurobehavioral correlates of HIV and stimulant dependence, focusing on individual differences in vulnerability to methamphetamine-related brain dysfunction and HIV transmission risk behaviors. She is also interested in culturally competent neuropsychological assessment, with a focus on Spanish speakers and HIV in resource-limited settings.

Dr. Cherner has an interest in the role of coexisting conditions such as stimulant drug (methamphetamine, MDMA) abuse and hepatitis C in the manifestation of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Her current work focuses on genetically determined individual differences in vulnerability to brain dysfunction among methamphetamine users with HIV. The other focus of her research is in the area of cross-cultural neuropsychology, with a special interest in international neuroAIDS research and culturally competent assessment of cognitive abilities in Spanish speakers. She conducts her work within the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program, where she is an investigator on a number of federally funded projects. She also directs the Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship in NeuroAIDS and participates in training and mentorship of pre- and postdoctoral researchers.

David Moore, PhD David Moore, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD. Dr. Moore is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology and interventions research. Dr. Moore’s HIV research has been funded by NIMH, NIDA, NIA and the California HIV/AIDS Research Program. In recognition of his research, mentoring, and service efforts for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, the American Psychological Association (APA) awarded him the 2013 Psychology and AIDS Emerging Leader Award. His research focuses on the neuropsychological and everyday functioning challenges of persons living with HIV infection. Recently, he has been examining the protective factors that allow persons to successfully age with HIV. In addition, Dr. Moore has developed a personalized text messaging intervention to improve antiretroviral medication adherence for persons living with HIV.

David Yassai-Gonzalez David Yassai-Gonzalez, B.S.
Program Coordinator

 For questions regarding the STAHR program, please contact David at