Laura Otto-Salaj, Ph.D.
CABHR Interim Director and associate professor, HBSSW
Dr. Otto-Salaj joined the CABHR Administrative Leadership Team in 2003. She has been the principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health-funded studies on HIV behavioral risk, including ARRIVE (National Institute on Mental Illness; NIMH), which examined the efficacy of an HIV risk reduction intervention for adults with serious persistent mental illness and coexisting substance use issues, and HEART to HEART (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; NIAAA), which examined the efficacy of an HIV-risk reduction intervention combined with alcohol treatment, for women with alcohol use disorders. She is currently Principal Investigator of Stories to Tell (funded by NIMH, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse), a five-year prospective study examining the intersection of substance use, sexual risk, trauma history and current victimization, and mental illness in disadvantaged African American women. Specifically, the study is trying to examine risk and resilience to multiple risk issues.
Dr. Otto-Salaj received her doctorate in social psychology from Temple University. Before joining CABHR, she conducted HIV behavioral research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her current research interests include the intersection of alcohol and other substance use with HIV sexual risk behaviors, especially for at-risk women.
Dr. Otto-Salaj is a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism, the American Psychological Association Divisions 35 (Psychology of Women) and 38 (Health Psychology), and the Society for Social Work and Research. She has reviewed numerous federal grants for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institutes of Health; she is a current member of the Behavioral and Social Conseuqences of HIV/AIDS (BSCH) study section for the Center for Scientific Review.