College Directory

Marya Gwadz,

Senior Research Scientist
Director, Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR)
433 First Ave Room 748
New York, NY 10010
Areas of Specialization 

Understanding/eliminating racial/ethnic, sexual minority status, social class, gender, and other health disparities; health equity; the Multiphase Optimization STrategy (MOST) approach; social/behavioral interventions; structural interventions; interventions for persons living with HIV/AIDS who have declined medication; peer-driven intervention; culturally targeted interventions; interventions that integrate new technologies; interventions to uncover undiagnosed HIV infection; HIV testing interventions; Motivational Interviewing; mental health; substance use problems; mixed methods designs; and at-risk populations including runaway and homeless youth, young men who have sex with men, heterosexuals at high-risk for HIV infection, and persons living with HIV.

PhD, 1998, NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Professional Overview 
Dr. Gwadz is a licensed psychologist, a Senior Research Scientist, and the Director of the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core in the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR, P30 DA011041; Sherry Deren, PhD, and Holly Hagan, PhD, Co-PIs). Dr. Gwadz has been conducting intervention research for over two decades, with an emphasis on HIV-related health disparities in urban populations of color and among women. She is the author of over 70 articles on health disparities, HIV, interventions, mental health, drug use, or related topics. Further, Dr. Gwadz is an expert in developing, refining, and evaluating social and behavioral interventions. Dr. Gwadz has expertise in a number of intervention approaches including small group, individual, family, dyadic, patient navigation, and peer-driven intervention. She has led numerous successful intervention trials. She is also a leading expert in the recruitment and retention of vulnerable populations in research studies.
NY State Psychology
Professional Membership 
American Public Health Association
Clinical Practice / Clinical Interests 

Private Psychotherapy Practice (adults)

Current Research Projects
William T. Grant Foundation
PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Director, Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR),

Runaway/homeless youth (RHY) are highly vulnerable to adverse outcomes. A diverse network of settings has developed to locate, engage, house, and treat RHY. However, almost no research has been conducted on these settings, and therefore we do not understand which characteristics of settings best promote positive youth development, or what factors impede or promote settings’ effectiveness. The proposed study uses the Youth Program Quality Model and multiple research methods to study settings for RHY and their impact on RHY. The multi-disciplinary team will also convene an Expert Panel to interpret findings, which will be disseminated nationally.  

Gwadz, M.V., Leonard, N.R., Cleland, C.M., Riedel, M., Banfield, A., & Mildvan, D. (2011). The effect of peer-driven intervention on rates of screening for AIDS clinical trials among African Americans and Hispanics. American Journal of Public Health, 101, 1096-1102. 10.2105/AJPH.2010.196048.
Gwadz, M.V., Cylar, K., Leonard, N.R., Riedel, M., Herzog, N., Arredondo, G.N., Cleland, C.M., Aguirre, M., Marshak, A., Mildvan, D. (2010). An exploratory behavioral intervention trial to improve rates of screening for AIDS clinical trials among racial/ethnic minority and female persons living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS and Behavior, 14, 639-648. 10.1007/s10461-009-9539-9.
Gwadz, M.V., Cleland, C.M., Quiles, R., Nish, D., Welch, J., Michaels, L.S., Gonzalez, J.L., Ritchie, A.S., Leonard, N.R. (2010). CDC HIV testing guidelines and the rapid and conventional testing practices of homeless youth. AIDS Education and Prevention, 22, 312-327. 10.1521/aeap.2010.22.4.312.
Gwadz, M.V., Colon, P., Ritchie, A.S., Leonard, N.R., Cleland, C.M., Riedel, M., Bowens, D., Banfield, A.D., Chang, P., Quiles, R., Mildvan, D. (2010). Increasing and supporting the participation of persons of color living with HIV/AIDS in AIDS clinical trials. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 7, 194-200. 10.1007/s11904-010-0055-3.
Gwadz, M.V., Leonard, N.R., Cleland, C.M., Riedel, M., Arredondo, G.N., Wolfe, H., Hardcastle, E., & Morris, J. (2008). Behavioral interventions for HIV infected and uninfected mothers with problem drinking. Addiction Research and Theory, 16, 47-65. 10.1080/16066350701651214.
Leonard, N.R., Gwadz, M.V., Cleland, C.M., Vekaria, P.C., & Ferns, B. (2008). Maternal substance use and HIV status: Adolescent risk and resilience. Journal of Adolescence, 31, 389-405. 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.07.001, PMCID: PMC2713070.
Gwadz, M.V., Gostnell, K., Smolenski, C., Willis, B., Nish, D., Nolan, T.C., Tharaken, M., & Ritchie, A.S. (2008). The initiation of homeless youth into the street economy. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 357-377. 10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.01.004.
Leonard, N.R., Gwadz, M.V., Cleland, C.M., Rotko, L., & Gostnell, K. (2007). Physical and mental health functioning of urban HIV-infected and uninfected mothers with problem drinking. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 33, 419-427. 10.1080/00952990701313652.
Leonard, N.R., Gwadz, M.V., Arredondo, G.N., Riedel, M., Rotko, L., Hardcastle, E.J., & Potere, J.C. (2007). Description of a behavioral intervention to reduce substance use and related risk and increase positive parenting among urban mothers with alcohol and other drug problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16, 531-544. 10.1007/s10826-006-9104-3.
Gwadz, M.V., Nish, D., Leonard, N.R., & Strauss, S.M. (2007). Gender differences in traumatic events and rates of post-traumatic stress disorder among homeless youth. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 117-129. 10.1016/j.adolescence.2006.01.004.
Gwadz, M.V., Leonard, N.R., Nakagawa, A., Cylar, K., Finkelstein, M., Herzog, N., Tharaken, M., & Mildvan, D. (2006). Gender differences in attitudes toward AIDS clinical trials among urban HIV-infected individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds. AIDS Care, 18, 786-794. 10.1080/09540120500428952.
Gwadz, M.V., Clatts, M.C., Yi, H., Leonard, N.R., Goldsamt, L., & Lankenau, S. (2006). Resilience among young men who have sex with men in New York City. Sexuality Research and Social Policy,, 3, 13-21. 10.1525/srsp.2006.3.1.13, PMCID: PMC2136414.
Lankenau, S.E., Clatts, M.C., Welle, D., Goldsamt, L.A., & Gwadz, M.V. (2005). Street careers: Homelessness, drug use, and sex work among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). International Journal of Drug Policy, 16, 10-18. 10.1016/j.drugpo.2004.07.006.
Gwadz, M.V., Clatts, M.C., Leonard, N.R., & Goldsamt, L. (2004). Attachment style, childhood adversity, and behavioral risk among young men who have sex with men. Journal of Adolescent Health, 34, 402-413. 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.08.006.
Leonard, N.R., Lester, P., Rotheram-Borus, M.J., Mattes, K., Gwadz, M., & Ferns, B. (2003). Successful recruitment and retention of participants in longitudinal behavioral research. AIDS Education and Prevention, 15, 269-281. 10.1521/aeap.