Early Career Investigators
Engi F. Attia, MD, MPH
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Stephanie Shiau, PhD, MPH
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Rutgers School of Public Health
Dr. Stephanie Shiau is an Instructor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Rutgers School of Public Health. She received a PhD and an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University and a BA in Public Health Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. After graduate school, she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at Columbia University. Currently, she is a scholar in the UCSD Sustained Training in Aging & HIV Research (STAHR) Program (R25MH108389). Dr. Shiau’s interdisciplinary research program focuses on the effects of HIV and its treatment over the life course, seeking to identify modifiable factors that influence trajectories of HIV-associated non-AIDS (HANA) conditions in children, adolescents, and adults living with HIV and affected by HIV. Her work integrates epidemiologic tools, imaging assessments, and laboratory biomarkers, including assays to measure epigenetic markers.
Dr. Shiau’s PHACS Early Career Investigator Award is focused on studying the influence of maternal inflammatory mechanisms during pregnancy in women living with HIV on growth outcomes in their HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants.
Dr. Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo, MS, DO
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
Dr. Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo is a pediatric infectious disease expert at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor in pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She has worked with the Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative in several African countries and obtained her pediatric infectious disease training at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on non-infections complications of HIV in children and youth in the US and sub-Saharan Africa. She is specifically interested in cardio-metabolic complications and the links with inflammation, immune activation and gut integrity.
Her PHACS early career award is exploring the relationship between GI-barrier disruption and microbial translocation (“leaky gut”) and metabolic complications specifically focusing on adiposity in youth living with HIV within PHACS. In this application, we propose to leverage the highly established research infrastructure within PHACS and utilize repository specimens from a large pediatric cohort to study, for the first time in the setting of well-phenotyped youth living with perinatally acquired HIV, the interplay between body composition, intestinal integrity/microbial translocation and metabolic complications. These results will expand our understanding of the pathogenesis and the role of adiposity and may reveal novel pathways which could inform future prevention strategies against cardiometabolic outcomes in these youth.