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Biobehavioral Assessment Research Center (BARC)

The Biobehavioral Assessment and Research Center (BARC) promotes research on high impact science that the National Institute of Health (NIH) have identified as high-priority areas of public health research. With a team of multi-disciplinary investigators, BARC utilizes and develops innovative biobehavioral and technological approaches that integrate behavioral measures/markers into intervention studies, prevention trials, and clinical science. BARC also supports incorporation of clinical and basic biomarkers into behavioral research and prevention science.


The Biobehavioral Assessment and Research Center (BARC) stands at the forefront of incorporating basic biomarkers into behavioral research and prevention science. BARC has unique expertise in the areas of sexual health, especially research realated to transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, substance use and infectious disease, adherent to HIV clinical care, microbiome/metabalome assessment, epidemiological methods, qualitative assessments and analysis, laboratory based biomarkers, and mobile tools for data collection.

Led by Pamina M. Gorbach, MHS, DrPH, BARC leverages existing projects and has a proven record of sustained funding from multiple sources. Dr. Gorbach and other Center members are committed to training the next generation of public health researchers and support trainees at different levels. BARC provides a platform for junior investigators to develop the skills necessary for an independent research career in translational science that utilizes biobehavioral assessment.

Projects and Programs

BARC's projects and programs include:

mSTUDY: Minority Men Who have Sex With Men Cohort at UCLA Linking Infections Noting Effects (MASCULINE)

Grant: U01DA036267 (PI: Dr. Gorbach and Dr. Shoptaw)

The mSTUDY is a research platform to understand the dynamics of substance use on HIV pathogenesis in a large cohort of men of color who have sex with men (MoCSM). 

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

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The Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO)

Grant: U24DA044554 (PI: Dr. Gorbach and Dr. Siminski)

The Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO) manages and stimulates the use of the NIDA longitudinal cohorts and addresses high priority research on HIV/AIDS in the context of substance misuse. 

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

UCLA/Cambodia HIV/AIDS Training Program in Data Management & Analysis

Grant: D43TW009590-01A1 (PI: Dr. Gorbach)

A training program to provide master’s degree, doctoral and post-doctoral students from Cambodia with training at UCLA and at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Cambodia. 

Funder: National Institutes of Health Fogarty Institute

Young Men’s Human Papillomavirus Prevalence Study

Site PI: Dr. Gorbach

Six hundred young men who have sex with men (YMSM) at community clinics will participate in a study of prevalence of types of rectal HPV and vaccine related behaviors. 

Funder: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program in Global HIV Prevention Research

Grant: 2T32MH080634 NIMH (PI: Dr. Currier and Dr. Gorbach)

A T32 training program that prepares physician, social, behavioral, and professional scientists for academic research careers focused on understanding and preventing HIV disease globally. 

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health

Maturation, Infectibility, and Trauma (MIT) Contributes to HIV Susceptibility in Adolescents

Grant: R01 Al 128796-01 (PI: Dr. Aldrovandi)

Pamina Gorbach, MHS, DrPH, provides scientific leadership and technical guidance on the assays used and methods of data collection to assess trauma from rectal sexual activity in this innovative transgender youth microbiome study. 

Funder: National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases

The Multicenter Aids Cohort Study (MACS)

Grant:U01 AI/CA035040 (PI: Detels) 

The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) is a 30-year study of the HIV-1 infection in homosexual and bisexual men. Dr. Gorbach is a long-time co-Investigator and member of the behavioral working group. 

Funder: National Institutes of Health

Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Biobehavioral Epidemiology & Substance Use Research (BESU) Program Section

Grant: AI028697 (PI: Dr. Zack)

The CFAR BESU Program Section fosters translational science amongst basic scientists, behavioral scientists, and substance use researchers. 

Funder: National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases

Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS)

Grant: P30 MH058107 (PI: Dr. Shoptaw)

CHIPTS’ mission is to eliminate new HIV infections by promoting research, fostering networking, and supporting capacity building, with an emphasis on key populations who face comorbidities. Both domestically and globally, CHIPTS has expertise in HIV program administration, junior faculty and trainee development, policy impact and evaluation, and innovation in interventions to optimize care and treatment of HIV-infected individuals and to expand prevention opportunities for HIV-uninfected at-risk individuals.

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health 

South American Prevention of HIV Research (SAPHIR) Training Program

Grant: R25 MH087222 (PI: Dr. Clarke)

The SAPHIR program is to provides a year-long program of structure6d didactic education and mentored research training in one of the main fields of HIV prevention in Latin America (Epidemiology, Behavioral Prevention, Biomedical Prevention, Antiretroviral Therapy, and Basic/Translational Prevention Science).

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health