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Specifically, the Advisory Council:

  • Offers advice on research priorities and opportunities for partnerships
  • Assists in identifying unmet HIV research needs in the State of California and beyond
  • Share expertise and experience on broad scientific, policy, and funding matters that may help to maximize the impact of CHRP’s resources
  • Evaluates the progress of CHRP’s HIV/AIDS grantmaking portfolio in order to address the dynamic, interconnected relationships between comorbidities and social determinants that threaten the health and well-being of persons at risk or living with HIV infection

Advisory Council recommendations have significant impact on scientists and community members in California. Council members are intended to be a mix of experts and critical perspectives representing scientific areas and communities concerned with HIV/AIDS research. This collective perspective is essential for the development of a well-balanced program and initiatives that will best serve serve to develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovative research for eliminating new HIV infections.


Advisory Council

CHRP's Advisory Council is comprised of program stakeholders who work in California representing academic researchers, clinicians, research advocates, Departments of Public Health, community-based or non-governmental organizations, and/or foundations. Members are invited to serve for two years on a voluntary basis without remuneration, and agree in writing to adhere to Program policies governing conflict of interest and confidentiality.


Jacek Skarbinski, MD (Chair; he/him)
Program Director, HIV Fellowship and Adjunct Investigator,
Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Dr. Skarbinski is an infectious disease physician and HIV specialist. His career has been focused both on providing excellent, up-to-date clinical care in a variety of settings and improving community health more broadly through work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During his primary care residency at UCSF, he fell in love with providing longitudinal care for patients, especially persons living with HIV, and subsequently completed an infectious diseases fellowship at Emory University to deepen his knowledge of HIV and infectious diseases. As a clinician, he has worked in a number of clinical settings, including practicing general internal medicine as a hospitalist, working as an HIV specialist and primary care provider at the Ponce de Leon Center in Atlanta (the largest free-standing HIV clinic in the US), and as an infectious disease consultant with a large private practice group in the Atlanta area.

At the CDC, he focused on the prevention and control of various infectious diseases including HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, and Ebola. As a public health researcher he studied ways to improve diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care delivery in novel ways, including evaluating new diagnostic tests for malaria in Kenya, conducting clinical trials of new antimalarial drugs in Malawi, monitoring the quality of HIV care in the United States, and developing new strategies for tuberculosis control in India. Over ten years with the CDC, he was fortunate enough to have worked in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ghana, and lived in New Delhi, India; all of which have given him a broad appreciation for the complexity and diversity of this world.


Malcolm John, MD, MPH (Vice Chair; he/him)
School of Medicine; Director, HIV/AIDS Program, and Medical Director for Health Equity, UCSF Health, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Malcolm John, an expert in infectious diseases, is director of the UCSF HIV/AIDS Program, one of the most comprehensive HIV and AIDS treatment programs in the country. In addition to his work at UCSF, John is an HIV consultant for Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco.

Dr. John's research addresses molecular and immunologic components of diseases associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) in HIV-infected patients, particularly among African Americans. He also studies differences in HIV care and outcomes among African Americans.

Dr. John earned his medical degree at Harvard University and a master's degree in public health at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed a residency and fellowship in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed a fellowship in infectious diseases with the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.

Dr. John has received numerous honors, including an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program.


AJ King, MPH (he, him)

Director of Next-Level Consulting, Inc.,

Mr. King is Director of an independent consulting firm specializing in nonprofit capacity building and human resources services. AJ has over 25 years of experience in the field of public health and nonprofit management. His work focuses on developing and delivering trainings and workshops; developing and implementing evaluation plans and community-based assessments; grant-proposal writing; research and report writing; and planning processes. A strong advocate for collaborative approaches, AJ has facilitated such processes for government agencies, universities, coalition groups and community based-organizations. He has written successful grant proposals at the federal, state, and local level, securing millions of dollars from both government and private funders. As a seasoned trainer, AJ has developed numerous curricula and engaged a variety of audiences ranging from public health officials to community level providers. AJ has served in leadership roles on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, HIV Prevention Planning Council, and currently serves as a Senior Trainer for The Grantsmanship Center and an Associate of Community Works Consulting, Inc. and the Aspire Group.


Anne Donnelly, MA

Director of State Health Care Policy, San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Anne has worked as a health care policy director for over 30 years, first with Project Inform (PI), a national HIV and Hepatitis C advocacy and information organization from 1989 – 2019. She has worked at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation since 2019. During her time at PI she spearheaded, along with Treatment Action Group and the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the campaign that yielded the largest increase ever received in NIH AIDS Research. She also worked in partnership with Harvard AIDS Institute and the University of Wisconsin at Madison on the Future Directions in AIDS Research convenings that brought together leading HIV researchers in academia and industry, including Anthony Fauci, Bob Gallo and other NIH researchers, with national decision-makers and advocates to explore innovative approaches to moving HIV research forward and shortening drug development time from bench to bedside.  She led Project Inform’s community organizing efforts, developing and implementing the Treatment Action Network. She trained nationwide in coalition building and grassroots advocacy. Anne was a founding member of AIDSWatch, that national HIV advocacy day, the National AIDS Response Network, the Fair Pricing Coalition, the HIV Health Care Access Working Group and End the Epidemics, CA. She served as Co-Chair for the California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHEP) from 2018 – 2023, spearheading the largest increases in state hepatitis C (HCV) funding, including a $5M ongoing allocation. She has presented at many state and national conferences as well as community-based organizations and programs on various aspects of health care delivery, health care reform, Medicare, Medi-Cal and Ryan White programs. Anne served for many years on various committees and advisory boards, including the Medi-Cal Stakeholders Advisory Committee, the San Francisco Health Care Reform Task Force, The California Task Force on High Cost Drugs, the Covered California Advisory Committee, the Office of AIDS advisory board and others.

At the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Anne is the Director of State Health Care Policy. She is responsible for ensuring that HIV and hepatitis C health care legislation, funding, program policies and delivery system reforms in California reflect the needs of people living with HIV, hepatitis C and related conditions. She works to ensure that people with HIV and hepatitis C can access equitable, affordable, comprehensive and quality care and treatment. SFAF centers those most vulnerable to inadequate health care, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, low income people, men who have sex with men and/or same gender loving individuals, transgender individuals, people who use drugs, those who are undocumented, and those who are incarcerated  She is a founding member of the End the Epidemics, CA, a statewide coalition that advocates for anti-racist policies and funding priorities to eliminate health inequities and end the epidemics of HIV, STIs, viral hepatitis, and overdose in California. Anne is deeply committed to the value that working together to address the interrelated health conditions and social determinants of health that affect the most vulnerable individuals and populations is essential to creating the change that we each want to see in the world.


Annick Bórquez, MSc, PhD (she/her)
HIV and Drug Use Epidemiologist and Assistant Adjunct Professor, Medicine, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Bórquez's research seeks to improve the health of marginalized populations through developing, applying and integrating mathematical modeling, cost effectiveness and qualitative methods to better understand, predict and respond to intersecting epidemics of drug use disorders, overdose, HIV, HCV and other associated health harms; with a focus on social and structural determinants of health. She has led multiple studies to inform intervention and policy planning in HIV and substance use among people who inject drugs, justice involved populations, female sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgender women in a range of settings, including Mexico, Peru, West and Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Russia and the United States.

Dr. Bórquez has a background in medical microbiology from the University of Edinburgh and holds an MSc. and a PhD. in epidemiology from the department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She has long standing collaborations with the HIV Modelling Consortium at Imperial College London, UNAIDS, the Universidad Cayetano Heredia in Peru and is currently a visiting fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

She is the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Avenir 5 year grant to adapt emerging infectious diseases methods including internet/big data analysis and mathematical modeling, to the field of drug use to better understand, predict and respond to emerging drug use epidemics and associated harms in the United States. 


Craig Pulsipher, MPP, MSW (he/him)
Legislative Director, Equality California

Craig Pulsipher is the Legislative Director for Equality California responsible for leading the organization’s state policy, budget, and administrative advocacy work. Prior to joining Equality California, Craig served as the Associate Director of Government Affairs at APLA Health in Los Angeles where he oversaw statewide HIV and health care policy, legislation, budget, and political strategy. During his time at APLA Health, Craig led a multi-year campaign to reform California’s outdated HIV criminal laws, helped pass groundbreaking legislation to expand access to HIV treatment and PrEP, and spearheaded the formation of a new statewide coalition to end the HIV, STD, viral hepatitis, and overdose epidemics. Craig received graduate degrees in Public Policy and Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Dawn P. McClendon (she/her)

Assistant Director, Los Angeles County Commission on HIV

Dawn P. Mc Clendon is the Assistant Director for the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. The Los Angeles County Commission on HIV (COH) serves as the integrated prevention and care local planning council for planning, allocating, coordinating, and delivering HIV/AIDS and STD services. The COH comprises 51 members and represents a broad and diverse group of providers, consumers, and stakeholders. 33% of the members are individuals living with HIV who are federally funded Ryan White Program consumers.

Dawn began with the Commission in 2008 as an administrative assistant to the Executive Director. Through the years, she has nurtured an incredible connection with and passion for people experiencing less-than-ideal health and socioeconomic conditions, especially those living with and impacted by HIV. Dawn leads with a people-first approach by demonstrating empathy, compassion, and gratitude, which has allowed her to be instrumental in leading the efforts of the Commission’s consumer-centered caucuses – Consumer Caucus, Black/African American Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus – in addressing the needs and barriers to care and services and identifying opportunities to improve their health and wellness holistically. Dawn leads numerous community engagement efforts and initiatives on behalf of the Commission, and has become more emboldened in amplifying and championing the Black/African American community voice in addressing the historical disproportionate and devasting impact that HIV and STDs has had and continues to have on the community. 


Devi SenGupta, M.D., M.Phil.

Executive Director, Virology Clinical Development

Dr. SenGupta is Executive Director of Clinical Development at Gilead Sciences, leading the company’s HIV cure development program. Prior to joining Gilead in 2015, she was a physician scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Her NIH-funded program focused on translational HIV immunology research. Dr. SenGupta received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Biology at Harvard University, M. Phil. in Neuropsychology at Cambridge University (U.K.), M.D. at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and completed her internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and infectious diseases fellowship at UCSF. During her time at Gilead, she has led HIV treatment, HIV cure as well as COVID-19 clinical trials and programs and is a member of the HIV Franchise Strategy team. As global development and strategy lead of the HIV cure program, Devi provides direction for cross-functional internal teams and external multi-stakeholder collaborations developing combination approaches aimed at achieving long-term HIV remission. She also recently assumed the role of global Chair of the Women at Gilead Employee Resource Group. Devi’s leadership extends beyond Gilead; she has been an invited speaker to multiple international conferences, is part of the NIH Delaney HIV cure collaboratories, serves on the steering committee for the International AIDS Society (IAS) HIV Cure Industry Collaborative Group and is thrilled to have been recently nominated to the Advisory Council of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP).


Joel Wertheim, PhD (he/him)
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego

Joel Wertheim is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego). He received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His research program focuses on (i) the use of viral genetic sequences to understand the origin and emergence of human viruses including SARS-CoV-2 and human herpes simplexviruses and (ii) the application of molecular epidemiology to understand HIV transmission dynamics and improve public health practice.

To this end, Dr. Wertheim has been awarded multiple NIH grants to study how HIV molecular analysis can be used to improve public health surveillance and prevention. Dr. Wertheim also serves as a research consultant analyst for the Detection and Response Branch (DRB) within the Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Wertheim is a co-developer of HIV-TRACE, a web application to permit rapid construction of HIV molecular transmission networks. This tool has since been adopted by the CDC, as Secure HIV-TRACE, to facilitate HIV molecular surveillance by public health departments across the United States.


Kenny Banh, MD FACEP (he/him)

Assistant Dean, University of California San Francisco Fresno, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of Mobile Health and Learning University of California San Francisco Fresno

While working at a safety net hospital training program in the San Joaquin Valley, Dr. Banh created and directed UCSF Fresno Mobile Health and Learning (Mobile HeaL) a free mobile clinic system to address health inequities in the San Joaquin Valley in 2018. He has been the largest single provider of COVID testing, vaccinations and treatment in the region and handled the County’s MPOX response. Mobile HeaL provides free HIV and other STI screening and treatment to traditionally underserved populations including rural migrant farmworkers, homeless populations and communities of color.  Mobile HeaL is partnering with Lt. Governor Kounalakis’ administration and Upstream USA to provide free reproductive health services for the region.

Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania from a refugee family who fled war torn Vietnam, Dr. Banh has worked his entire career in safety net medicine and physician education programs targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Dr. Banh attended the University of Pennsylvania for college and Drexel University for medical school. He completed residency in Emergency Medicine at UCSF Fresno and has been at UCSF Fresno since 2004. Besides working in Emergency Medicine, his main administrative roles include as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education and serves on the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Regional Medical Campuses Steering Committee.

Dr. Banh has raised over $26 million dollars in grants and donations for outreach and educational programs in his region and has been honored for his work in both the fields of education and outreach in undeserved medicine. At UCSF he has been awarded the Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching, Healthcare Hero, Dean’s Commendation for Exceptional Volunteerism and Community Service, and was inducted into the Academy of Medical Educators. He has also received the Fresno Madera Medical Society Special Project Award, the Fresno Mayors Heart of Service Award, the California Medical Association Compassionate Services Award, the AAMC Star of Community Achievement Award and was an invited guest for President Joe Biden Congressional Address.


Marisa Ramos*, PhD (*Ex officio member) (she/her)
Office of AIDS Chief, California Department of Public Health

Dr. Marisa Ramos has been with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for 16 years. Currently, she is the Office of AIDS Chief. Previously she served as the Office of Refugee Health Chief for 11 years. She has 27 years of experience managing research projects, data systems, and surveillance efforts, and has authored publications and presented at local, state, national and international conferences on refugee and Latinx health issues.

Prior to coming to CDPH, Dr. Ramos was an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of California, Davis, where she currently serves as a volunteer Professor of Public Health. Dr. Ramos completed both Masters and Doctoral programs in Biological Nutrition with an emphasis in Epidemiology from the University of California, Davis.


Michael Weiss (he/him)
HHS Program Services Coordinator,
Humboldt County DHHS

Michael Weiss' work with the North Coast AIDS Project for the past 16 years has focused on HIV Prevention and Stigma Discrimination Reduction in vulnerable and underserved populations including case management, mobile outreach, needle exchange, overdose prevention, HIV and hepatitis C testing, and PrEP education. Michael has done policy and advocacy work state-wide and nationally.  Michael participated on the planning committee for the 2007 LGBTI International Health Summit held in Philadelphia, a California state-wide workgroup on Transgender Health Policy in San Francisco and the California LGBTQ Reducing Disparities Project.  

His interests include addressing stigma related to HIV, access to PrEP, and LGBTQ issues through the lens of a rural perspective. He has been working in the HIV prevention field since 2000 as an HIV Nutrition specialist, HIV “buddy”, HIV activist and community coordinator, HIV Case Manager/Outreach Worker, and HIV Program Manager. In Humboldt County Michael implemented the first PrEP Navigation program, launched the Humboldt County Sexual Health Task Force, coordinated the Humboldt County AIDS Food Project, and worked with community partners to establish and support the local LGBTQ Pride Organization, and Transgender medical clinic

“I have been living with HIV for 23 years. I have lived and worked in both the urban and rural environments.  Ever since I relocated from the Los Angeles to rural Humboldt County, I have learned a great deal about the challenges that rural communities face both programmatically and culturally with regards to dealing with HIV.  I think it is very important to have a rural voice at the table.”

Michael currently is in his second term as an At-Large Member of the California Planning Group for the CDPH Office of AIDS and is the Chair of the HIV and Aging subcommittee.


Nadia Roan, PhD (she/her)

Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute & Professor of Urology, UCSF

Dr. Nadia Roan received her BA from UC Berkeley and completed her PhD in at Harvard Medical School where she studied mucosal T cell responses to Chlamydia trachomatis. Her postdoctoral studies at the Gladstone Institutes focused on studying the interactions between mucosal host factors and HIV. Dr. Roan is currently Senior Investigator at Gladstone Institutes, and a Professor of Urology at UCSF. Her lab uses a variety of single-cell technologies paired with bioinformatics approaches to define the properties of T cells, and how they can be beneficial or detrimental in the context of HIV transmission and persistence. These technologies include the development of a variety of CyTOF panels to characterize the protein and glycan features of HIV-infected cells, computational approaches to trace reactivated reservoir cells to their pre-stimulated states, and multi-omics single-cell sequencing approaches to define the transcriptome, surface proteome, and clonal expansion histories of HIV reservoir cells from ART-suppressed people living with HIV.


Sara Gianella Weibel, MD (she/her)
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego 

Dr. Gianella is an HIV researcher and an infectious disease physician with a broad background in translational virology, molecular biology, and immunology. Her research ranges from investigating HIV transmission dynamics and interactions with co-infecting viruses, especially cytomegalovirus, to characterizing the establishment of the latent viral reservoir during primary HIV infection as well as sex/gender-differences in HIV persistence. She is currently investigating clinical complications related to persistent immune activation and is leading several clinical trials as part of the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG). Her work involves bioinformatics to characterize viral evolution during and after HIV transmission and viral dynamics between anatomic compartments.

She is currently the director of the Translational Virology Core at the Center of AIDS Research (CFAR) and the co-director of the NeuroVirology and Biology Core at the HIV Neuobehaviorial Research Center (HNRC), all at UC San Diego. She is the director of the Virology Speciality Laboratory for the ACTG, the co-director of the Last Gift cohort study at UCSD, and the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Avenir 5 year grant to study the effect of opioids on HIV persistence in tissues (among other grants).