Conference Speakers 2018
(Click Name to View Bio)

Eric Daar, MD - David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Eric DaarEric S. Daar, MD, works at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he is director of the division of infectious diseases, medical director of the AIDS and Immune Disorder Center, and an associate physician and research scientist. He is also an associate professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine. A two-time recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, Daar completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA and received his medical degree from the Georgetown School of Medicine.

Christopher Nguyen, MD - ViiV Healthcare

Christopher NguyenDr. Nguyen is the Western Regional Medical Director for ViiV Healthcare. He received his bachelor degree from UCLA and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. He did his Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency at the Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, CA. He started working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health right after residency and was doing HIV Primary Care for the indigent patient population of San Francisco for 12 years prior to joining ViiV. For the first 9 years, he worked at the Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic, San Francisco’s homeless clinic. Then, for the last 3 years with SFDPH, he was the Medical Director for the Castro Mission Health Center, a sister clinic to Tom Waddell. He still sees patients for Tom Waddell and SFDPH once a week and has a small panel of HIV+ patients of Asian Pacific Islander descent. He also still attends on the inpatient medicine wards for UCSF at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Karen Mark, MD - Office of AIDS, California Department of Public Health

Karen MarkKaren E. Mark, MD, PhD, was appointed Chief of the Office of AIDS (OA) in the Center for Infectious Diseases, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in June 2013. Dr. Mark’s background, experience, skills, and interests prepared her well to accept the Chief of OA appointment. She has devoted her professional career to improving the lives of people with and at risk for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) through her work as a doctor, epidemiologist, public health professional, researcher, and teacher.

Dr. Mark completed her medical training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), her internal medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and her infectious diseases fellowship, Master of Public Health, and PhD in epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Mark spent a year working on a HIV prevention research project in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa from 1996–1997, a time when one of every three adults living in the city was infected with HIV and no effective treatment was available. This experience led to a career devoted to working in HIV and STDs at the intersection between clinical medicine and public health.

Dr. Mark spent two years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to the Division of STD and Hepatitis Prevention in San Diego County and several years as a faculty member at the University of Washington, where she studied another chronic, treatable, but incurable viral STD (genital herpes) and was the Clinic Director of the Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, where volunteers participate in HIV vaccine studies with the goal of finding a safe and effective HIV vaccine.

Wanting to refocus her work on HIV/AIDS and public health, Dr. Mark joined the Office of AIDS in January 2010 as Chief of the Surveillance, Research, and Evaluation Branch, where her work focused on improving HIV surveillance in California and using HIV surveillance data and Care and Prevention program evaluation data to improve HIV care, treatment, and prevention in California. She became Interim Chief of OA in September 2011. Throughout her career Dr. Mark has continued to see patients with HIV/AIDS one half day per week, first at the University of California, San Diego Owen Clinic, then at the Madison Clinic in Seattle, and most recently at the CARES clinic in Sacramento.

Geeta Gupta, MD - Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center, UCI

Geeta GuptaDr. Geeta Gupta is the Director of the AIDS Education and Training Center at UCI. She has been providing care to HIV patients and been involved with HIV education for over 2 decades. Her focus has been the education of health professionals on topics related to HIV/AIDS.  In her quest to provide better healthcare for HIV infected individuals, she delivers educational presentations locally, around the country, and internationally. At UC Irvine Medical Center, she also supervises clinical preceptorships for health care workers who desire to become more proficient in delivering care to HIV infected patients.

After obtaining her medical degree at Harvard Medical School, she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at University of California, Irvine Medical Center. She has been on faculty at UC Irvine for the past 24 years.

Christian B. Ramers, MD, MPH, AAHIVS - Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSD

Christian RamersDr. Ramers is an Infectious Disease specialist who is deeply involved in the treatment of HIV, HCV, and Opioid addiction in underserved populations. He teaches residents, medical students and fellows in an urban, underserved FQHC, and leads several educational programs in HIV and HCV medicine, and obtained his X-license Buprenorphine waiver in 2016 to offer Medication-Assisted therapy to patients with opioid use disorder. Dr. Ramers completed an undergraduate degree in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at UCLA. 

He then attended medical school at UCSD and went on to complete a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Duke University.  He served as a clinical advisor for the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), writing and implementing HIV-related curriculum for the Ministries of Health in Angola and Mozambique. Dr. Ramers currently serves as the Assistant Medical Director for Research and Special Populations, and the Director of Graduate Medical Education for the Family Health Centers of San Diego.  He is developing nascent residency programs in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, oversees HIV and HCV treatment programs in high risk homeless populations, liaises with regional academic centers on research projects, and is implementing an HIV in Primary Care initiative using longitudinal mentoring and telehealth.  He is board-certified in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Infectious Diseases, and maintains an active clinical practice providing HIV and HCV specialty care as well as primary care to underserved and homeless individuals of all ages.

Heidi Bauer, MD, MS, MPH - Office of Medical & Scientific Affairs, STD Control Branch

Heidi BauerDr. Heidi Bauer is the Chief of the STD Control Program for the California Department of Public Health and faculty for the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.  She has faculty appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco and the University of California at Berkeley.  She received her Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley; and after completing a Master of Science at UC Berkeley, she went on to complete her medical training at UCSF School of Medicine.  She completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at UCSF and is board-certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.  In her current position, she develops curricula and conducts clinical training, provides care for STD patients, and designs public health research and programs to reduce the burden of STDs in California.  

Tim Vincent, MS - STD/HIV Prevention Training Center

Tim VincentTim Vincent, MS, MFT is a Training Coordinator at the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center in Oakland. He is a licensed mental health clinician and has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for nearly 20 years. He oversees the prevention with positives training and technical assistance program and a new training program for HIV service providers on the topic of responding to the needs of gay-identified and other men who have sex with men. He has developed curriculum on improving providers' skills in working with HIV-positive clients in prevention for the Prevention Training Center, called Positive Strengths. He also has developed training on the topic or recognizing and responding to stigma. Prior to his training work, he worked in community based organizations in mental health and social work with clients living with HIV. He presents regularly at HIV prevention and care conferences throughout the country. Tim is currently working on a training and technical assistance project conducting Strengthening Support Group and MSM Sensitization trainings in South Africa.

Raphael J. Landovitz, MD, MSc - AIDS Research & Education, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Raphael LandovitzRaphael J. Landovitz’s clinical research career focuses on optimizing the use of HIV antiretroviral therapy for both HIV treatment and HIV prevention.  He is Currently Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA, Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research & Education, and Co-Director of the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS).  He is the protocol chair for the NIH/DAIDS funded Phase 2a and Phase 3 studies of long-acting injectable PrEP using cabotegravir (HPTN 077 and HPTN 083). He was awarded the John Carey Young Investigator Award by the AIDS Clinical Trials Group in 2010.

Bernard M. Branson, MD - Scientific Affairs LLC

Bernard BransonDr. Branson has been at the forefront of HIV diagnostic testing for nearly 30 years and was lead author of the 2014 updated recommendations for laboratory testing. He served as Associate Director for Laboratory Diagnostics in the HIV Division at CDC until his retirement in 2014. Since then, he has been actively involved in promoting HIV testing practices and also, adoption of PrEP.

Jenna Rapues, MPH - Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, University of California, San Francisco

Jenna RapuesJenna Rapues is a Filipina American woman of trans lived experience. Jenna was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Francisco where she received her Master of Public Health degree from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Jenna directed both provider and community-based transgender HIV and health promotion efforts within SFDPH. In this capacity, Jenna organized and coordinated SFDPH provider and community-led health initiatives, provided programmatic oversight on SFDPH HIV prevention contracts among trans populations, and conducted several transgender research studies on HIV and health for SFDPH. Jenna's work is also published in several journal articles highlighting the impact of HIV and health disparities among San Francisco's transgender communities.

Michael Sandoval, MS - National Community Health Partners, Tucson, AZ

Michael SandovalMr. Sandoval’s background is in non-profit administration and leadership, directing clinical and psycho-educational health-related services. Mr. Sandoval has worked as a child & family therapist, a director of statewide HIV prevention programs and field-based psycho-social services.  In addition, Mr. Sandoval has held positions in substance abuse prevention counseling, in clinical coordination/medical case management of HIV/AIDS medical services and currently provides nationwide capacity building assistance to community organizations and FQHCs. He is responsible for developing and refining training/curriculum and technical assistance services. A brief list of training and technical assistance includes:  Motivational Interviewing for Individuals Living with HIV, Grant Writing, Leadership Development, and Cultural Competency on Latino & Migrant Populations, Transgender, and the Behaviorally Bisexual Population.