Associate Professor
1255 Amsterdam Ave.
212 854 2229

Brooke S. West

Dr. West is a health justice scholar who works on programs that foster sexual and reproductive health and enhance the rights of people who use drugs.


Dr. Brooke S. West is an associate professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group and is on the steering committee for the Columbia Population Research Center (PRA: HIV and Reproductive Health). As a medical sociologist, Dr. West’s research focuses on health justice and the social, economic, physical and policy factors underlying inequities in health, both globally and domestically. Drawing on both social science and public health approaches, including intervention science, social network analysis, and place-based research, her work centers primarily on responding to the social and structural drivers of substance use-related harms and sexual and reproductive health.

Currently, Dr. West is the principal investigator on a NIDA-funded study to develop a multilevel anti-stigma intervention for health care providers and women-identifying individuals who trade sex or use drug in Kazakhstan. This project relies on community-engaged crowdsourcing techniques to develop a messaging campaign and clinic-based intervention to improve service delivery and engagement in HIV/STI prevention and care. Dr. West is also the PI of three pilot projects based in the US to address experiences of stigma and discrimination in health and social service settings for pregnant and postpartum people who use drugs. Utilizing mixed methods approaches, these studies will advance policy and practice to better support perinatal people and their families through a harm reduction and rights-based lens. In all her work, Dr. West seeks to dismantle systems of oppression that prevent equitable access to health care and safety.

Before joining the School of Social Work, Dr. West was an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) with a dual appointment in the Department of Sociology. Prior to her appointment at UCSD she was a postdoctoral fellow on a T32 focused on substance use and infectious diseases. Dr. West received her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and her MA in Sociology from Cornell University.