A leading figure in intervention science for the prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Dr. El-Bassel is known for her work explicitly targeting couples, enabling them to practice safer sex, reduce HIV, and resolve conflicts without violence.
Dr. El-Bassel is the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work. She is director of the Social Intervention Group, which was established in 1990 as a multi-disciplinary center focused on developing and testing prevention and intervention approaches for HIV, drug use, and gender–based violence, and disseminating them to local, national, and global communities. Her work has been funded extensively by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She provides significant national and international leadership to the global HIV and health agenda.
She is also director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through research, education, training, policy and dissemination.
In addition, Dr. El-Bassel has designed and tested a number of multi-level HIV and drug use intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples in settings including drug treatment and harm reduction programs, primary care, and criminal justice settings. She studies the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women, and she has designed HIV interventions that address these co-occurring problems with significant scientific contributions in gender-based HIV prevention for women.
Dr. El-Bassel has published extensively on HIV behavioral prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of HIV, gender-based violence, and substance use. She has mentored HIV research scientists from Central Asia, and she has been funded by the National Institute of Health to train underrepresented faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention.
Dr. El-Bassel holds a BSW from Tel Aviv University and an MSW from the Hebrew University School of Social Work (Israel).