Health Behavior Policy

The School of Integrated Science and Humanity houses the Health Behavior and Policy Initiative as part of the overall development of SISH's behavioral health programs. SISH enhances the university's ability to create lasting change through its research in the social science and humanities fields.

Health Behavior & Policy present an opportunity for the School to forward its research agenda in areas such as immunology, neuropsychology and health economics, as well as in the basic biomedical and behavioral sciences.

The mission of the Human Behavior and Policy (HBP) is to promote and improve the health of those in our community that are at risk, such as infected individuals, adolescents and families suffering with HIV. The HBP research group has a strong interest in research that makes a difference in improving outcomes that will achieve health equality. Some of the research topics include HIV, alcohol, tobacco and neuroimmunology.

We are dedicated to improving the health and health care of our community through research and research training. As a team, we are committed to addressing the needs of populations that have been disproportionately burdened by the epidemic of HIV, and tobacco or alcohol abuse. The ultimate goal of our research is to create lasting changes in our community through the HBP research initiatives. To achieve this goal we also support the training of new investigators who bring new ideas and help to further expand research programs.

For several years we have studied the immune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infections and the role of recreational drugs as cofactors in disease progression.

Innovative studies are currently being done on topics such as "...the cardiovascular risks of alcohol on people living with HIV," "neurocognitive damage, health outcomes and direct medical costs triggered by tobacco use..." and "the role of brain-derived neurotropic factors (BDNF) in risk behavior decision-making."

Faculty & Staff


Maria Miguez Perez, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, Research Professor

Clery Quiros, Research Coordinator