William Paterson University Professor Yen-Tyng Chen Receives National Institutes of Health Grant for Innovative HIV Prevention Strategy Research

Yen-Tyng Chen, PhD

Yen-Tyng Chen, PhD, assistant professor of public health at William Paterson University, was awarded a highly competitive National Institutes of Health grant to research new HIV prevention strategies that investigate the influence of individual, network, and environmental factors on HIV transmission. 

“I am pleased that Dr. Chen in collaboration with Dr. Schneider is planning to address a critical public health issue by offering unique solutions that involve highlighting a place-based affiliation network approach," says Venkat Sharma, dean of the College of Science and Health. “This collaborative funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse should help them launch larger projects aiming at spatial approaches to address myriad issues in public health topics.”  

“There is an urgent need to scale up HIV prevention efforts to reduce HIV infection among marginalized groups,” says Chen. In their study, Chen and co-principal investigator John Schneider, of the University of Chicago, are using an innovative method to understand spatial mobility using real-time GPS data and advanced network analysis. 

“By identifying a small number of locations that are connected to a large number of individuals at high risk from a network map, we are able to maximize the dissemination and impact of HIV prevention intervention among the most vulnerable,” says Chen. 

Chen is an infectious disease and social epidemiologist. Her research incorporates social network and spatial approaches to better understand the independent and joint influence of individual, network, and environmental factors on disease transmission, study recruitment, risk behaviors, and health service use among marginalized groups.