Steering Committee

Steering Committee

MIchael Taffe

Michael Taffe, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry
UC San Diego

Research in the Taffe Laboratory focuses on the effects of recreational or abused drugs on the brain and the resulting changes in behavior. We have a current interest in the compulsive use of drugs with a focus on factors involved in the transition from casual to repetitive drug use, as well as on novel therapeutic approaches using the immune system. Additional studies focus on the acute and lasting impact of recreational drug exposure on behavior and physiology.

Stephanie Strathdee

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD

Professor, Medicine
UC San Diego

Steffanie A. Strathdee is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins and Simon Fraser Universities. She co-directs UCSD’s new center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH), Global Health Institute and the International Core of UCSD’s Center for AIDS Research. An infectious disease epidemiologist, she has spent the last two decades focusing on HIV prevention in marginalized populations in developing countries and has published over 600 peer-reviewed publications and has recently begun working to move bacteriophage therapy into clinical trials at IPATH. 

Currently, she leads a multidisciplinary team of research on HIV risk behaviors among drug users and sex workers on the Mexico-US border. In 2009, she and her team were awarded the Leadership Award in International Collaboration from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who also granted her a MERIT award for her research in Tijuana. 

In total, she has been awarded more than 64 million USD in federal research grants as a principal investigator. She has recently co-authored a book The Perfect Predator: An Epidemiologist’s Journey to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug published in 2019. It discusses her experience proposing an experimental bacteriophage therapy that saves her husband from a life-threatening multidrug resistant bacterial infection.

Carla Marienfeld

Carla Marienfeld, MD

Clinical Professor, Psychiatry
UC San Diego

Carla Marienfeld, MD, is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist and Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego who supports recovery in a harm-reduction approach through therapy, motivational interviewing, and medication treatment. Her research looks at health outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders, and she published a book Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice. 

She has been highly involved in education of colleagues and trainees about addiction psychiatry and effective interventions including buprenorphine treatment and motivational interviewing, and she is the fellowship director for the UCSD Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. Dr. Marienfeld completed a fellowship in addiction psychiatry and residency training in psychiatry at Yale. During her residency, she was chief resident of psychiatry and founded (and later led) the Yale Global Mental Health Program. She earned a medical degree with honors from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston