Our Team

Sophia Hussen, MD, MPH

Principal Investigator/Associate Professor

Rollins School of Public Health

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Sophia is a public health researcher and infectious diseases physician focused on HIV among adolescents and young adults, with a focus on young Black gay and bisexual men. In her work, she aims to always incorporate community and youth perspectives at every stage, in order to develop research that is strengths-focused and relevant. Her favorite part of her job is working with the EmPOWER team and watching everybody grow in their lives and careers.

Antonio Newman Jr., MBA

Manager of Research Projects

Rollins School of Public Health

Hubert Department of Global Health

Tony started his journey with the EmPower team as a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) member. Tony has coordinated several studies to include VOT+, OpenMind, and MobiliTy, but he is most proud of being one of the original creators of the B6 (Brothers Building Brothers By Breaking Barriers) intervention. His favorite thing about being a part of the team is the balance between work and fun. “We laugh and uplift one another, but we also know how to get the job done. And there is still a lot of work to be done within the community!”

Maddie Goldstein, DO, MPH

Assistant Professor

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Maddie is a pediatric infectious disease physician and public health researcher under the mentorship of Dr. Hussen. Her research aims to mitigate the effects of intersecting stigmas and improve HIV-related outcomes through innovative intervention design and implementation among children and adolescents living with HIV. Atlanta has quickly become a second home and when she is not working, you can find her cooking a new recipe, exploring the botanical gardens, or traveling somewhere new!

McKinsey Bullock-Stewart

Senior Research Associate Coordinator

Rollins School of Public Health

Hubert Department of Global Health

McKinsey earned his B.S. in Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University and studied Biomedical Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine. When not at work, McKinsey enjoys playing video games, going to the gym, and watching movies (particularly superhero movies). He is also a business owner, managing The Chemistry of Zen Candle Co. As of right now, McKinsey is taking a hiatus from school but intends to return to further his education. 

Srija Dutta, MPH

Public Health Program Associate

Rollins School of Public Health

Hubert Department of Global Health

Driven largely by her commitment to understanding and addressing global health inequities, Srija has a foundational passion for working with and learning from individuals exposed to the harsh realities of the HIV epidemic. She primarily works with the CHIMES Intervention, the B6 study, and the HIStory study. Srija is excited to expand her impact in the public health field and loves collaborating with the dedicated, compassionate, and hilarious EmPOWER team.

Marcus Reed, MPH

Public Health Program Associate

Rollins School of Public Health

Hubert Department of Global Health

Marcus primarily works on the B6 study. His interests include LGBTQIA+ sexual health (mainly concerning YB-GBMSM living with and w/o HIV) and health communication.  He aspires to be a health communication specialist, which will allow him to fulfill two of his greatest passions: (1) providing critical health-related information to marginalized communities of color and (2) equipping these same communities with the necessary resources and supports to realize optimal health. 

Michael Curtis, PhD, LMFT

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Emory Training Program in HIV Translational Research

Emory Center for AIDS Research

Michael’s research focuses on investigating the traumatic stress processes linking intersectional stigma to Black sexual minority men’s increased risk of intersectional health disparities. He is particularly interested in the protective effects of positive social relations on these processes as it is a largely understudied yet highly important context within which health inequities can be perpetuated, exacerbated, or mitigated. His long-term goal is to translate his findings into the development of ecologically and culturally responsive, multisystemic interventions aimed at improving Black American sexual minority men’s biopsychosocial health.

Samuel Opara, MD

Infectious Disease Fellow

Sam is an infectious disease physician involved in public health research under the mentorship of Dr. Sophia Hussen.  His clinical and research interests are mostly geared towards patients living with HIV, with a focus on Black gay and bisexual men. On joining the EmPOWER Research Team, he has been fortunate to interact with a highly skilled and motivated crew from whom he learns a tremendous amount on a daily basis. When he is not working, you can find him at the gym, at a movie theater, or just relaxing in his apartment.

Kamini Doraivelu, MPH

Doctoral Student

Kamini has been a member of the EmPOWER team since she was an MPH student at Rollins. She stayed on the team after graduation and now works with many studies. Her favorite thing about the EmPOWER team is that we’re like a family and support each other. When Kamini is not working, you can probably find her snuggling Sconnie (her dog). She’s a proud Wisconsin alumna and never misses a Badger/Packer game day. She is now pursuing a PhD in Global Health and Development at Rollins.

Annie Albright

MD Candidate

Annie is a medical student at Emory University. She is interested in promoting health equity among the members of the LGBTQ+ community and individuals with substance use disorder. She primarily works on the Open Mind study. Outside of school and research, Annie enjoys spending time with her dog, Chicken.

Tigest Mekonnen, MPH

Doctoral Student

Tigest is Global Health and Development Ph.D. student at Emory University. She is passionate about strengthening health systems and improving health equity through data-driven, evidence-based programming and research. Her interests/experience include global health programming and research focused on family planning, maternal and child health, and HIV primarily in Eastern and Western Africa. Tigest enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, sipping good tea, yoga, and exploring cultures.

Rosalind Byrd

Graduate Research Assistant

MD/MPH Candidate

Growing up with family on the Southside of Chicago and rural Mississippi, Rosalind became acutely aware of the disparities in quality and access to care.  Her interest in public health was incited by an internship in college during which she worked with a community based organization working to reduce incidence of HIV within the Black community. Working with the EmPOWER team has broadened her understanding of how academic research can help community members build capacity and self-efficacy. In her free time, Rosalind enjoys gathering with friends, listening to podcasts, and challenging herself physically on aerial hoop and aerial sling.

Madeline Lynam

Graduate Research Assistant

MPH Candidate

Madeline is currently a student at the Rollins School of Public Health. Her primary public health interests are in HIV-related work, specifically intervention-based research that aims to combat inequities facing communities disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. She is involved with the PrEP US NoW and TIYM projects for the EmPOWER team. When not engaged in schoolwork or research tasks, Madeline enjoys listening to music (especially Taylor Swift), cooking, and watching TV shows with her partner, cat, and dog.