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Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. His research has established the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs, tested novel interventions and strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve HIV testing among people who inject drugs and men who has sex with men, documented how community conditions contribute to health disparities, and examined health policy implementation. Throughout his career he has worked closely with community-based organizations (CBOs). For instance, he conducted one of the first statewide studies of syringe exchange programs in the United States. That study – the California Syringe Exchange Study – involved research collaborations with 25 CBOs.

Aside from ongoing research collaborations with syringe exchange programs, Dr. Bluthenthal has worked closely with local communities addressing depression in the African American and Latino communities, addressing the HIV prevention needs of bisexual African American men who were recently incarcerated, and is currently leading a community-based participatory research project that is pilot testing a mindfulness-based meditation intervention for Latino middle school aged-children and their parents in East Los Angeles.

Dr. Bluthenthal has published over 100 manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and Social Science and Medicine among others. Dr. Bluthenthal has lead studies funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation among others. He has also contributed to several research centers including being an Associate Core Director in the Center HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (at UCLA, RAND & Charles Drew University), Core Director in the Drew Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services (Charles Drew University), and Core Director of the Drew/UCLA Project Export Center (UCLA & Charles Drew University).

In addition, Dr. Bluthenthal has served as a standing member on two NIH study sections (Community Influences on Health Behavior [CIHB] and Health Disparities and Equity Promotion [HDEP]) and served as chair of HDEP for 3 years. He has also been a regular member of the human subjects protection committees at the RAND Corporation and at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Over the years, Dr. Bluthenthal has held a number of positions including Associate to Senior Scientist at the RAND Corporation, Professor of Sociology and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at California State University Dominguez Hills, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He received his BA in History and Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California Berkeley.

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