Elwin Wu

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Assistant Director, Social Intervention Group


Past Research: Professor Wu is a member of the senior investigative team at the Social Intervention Group (SIG), which focuses on the overlapping epidemics of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV). Since joining SIG in 2000, he has carried out several secondary analyses with SIG datasets and is lead or co-author on several publications in the following areas: service utilization among drug-involved men; causal estimates of ancillary service use among men on methadone; service needs among men and women involved with the criminal justice system; the relationships among drug use, IPV, and HIV-risk; factors related to participation in clinical trials; the efficacy of an HIV/STD preventive intervention; and psychological distress in relation to gender and couple-level HIV serostatus con/discordancy. In addition, he successfully served as the PI for a NIDA-funded study examining the patterns and levels of engagement with formal service providers by drug-involved men who report perpetrating IPV.

Present Research: Wu continues to expand the research conducted by SIG investigators in two areas: 1) health services research with populations residing at the nexus of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and IPV; and 2) HIV intervention research with men who have sex with men. He is the PI for a NIDA-funded longitudinal panel study testing hypotheses regarding the impact of structural/programmatic factors on pro-social change among men and women attending alternative to incarceration (ATI) programs in New York City; an innovation of this study is the application of system dynamics methods to derive causally-valid estimates of nested, interacting, and time-/history-dependent factors measures from the service system and individuals attending ATI programs. Wu is also the PI for a CDC-funded multi-site cooperative agreement study designed to develop and test the efficacy of a couples-based HIV/STI preventive intervention for drug-involved men of color in same-sex relationships. Wu continues to serve as a co-investigator on many of the studies conducted for which his SIG colleagues serve as PI; while he contributes to the overall design and implementation of studies, his primary areas of responsibility typically involve oversight of the following areas: biological assay procedures (e.g., specimen collection, preparation, analysis protocols), data management/information technology, and data analyses.

Future Research: While Wu will continue health services research and HIV intervention research with marginalized populations, he is also laying a foundation to build a larger program of research that seeks to apply informatics-based methods to socio-behavioral researchers and behavioral interventionists. In recent years, Wu has also been taking leadership with his SIG colleagues to provide structured research training for promising new investigators by serving as Co-Director of the NIDA-funded Social Work Research Development program at CUSSW to recently serving as Co-PI and Co-Director of a new NIMH-funded training program for racial/ethnic minority new investigators. These research training activities are highlighted by the development of additional tools that supplement “traditional” research training and mentorship with the use of digital, multi-media, and internet-based tools in order to build a “virtual research training center” for new investigators across the country as well as internationally.

Professor Wu's Departmental Biography Page

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