The Columbia School of Social Work would like to congratulate Associate Professor Louisa Gilbert on being granted tenure at Columbia University. Dr. Gilbert is a leading researcher on interventions for gender-based violence, substance use, and HIV among women in the United States and around the world. She has served as co-director of the School’s Social Intervention Group (SIG) since 1999, and as co-director of SIG’s Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) since 2007.

“Louisa is a true leader who has made significant contributions to the field of HIV, substance use, [and] family violence,” said Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work Nabila El-Bassel, the co-director of SIG and a close research associate of Dr. Gilbert’s for many years.

Dr. Gilbert has been developing and implementing interventions throughout the United States and Central Asia for more than a quarter century. Her recent work with SIG and GHRCCA has focused on implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent opioid overdose among people who inject drugs in Central Asia. Her ongoing work includes Project WINGS, an evidence-based screening, intervention, and treatment referral tool designed to identify different types of intimate partner violence and gender-based violence among women who use drugs. Originally developed for women in New York City, WINGS has been adapted for women in Krygyzstan and India, and for women who engage in sex work.

Dr. Gilbert has received three National Institute on Drug Abuse awards as Principal Investigator, and has published 56 peer-reviewed articles, 15 of which are first-authored. On campus, she is recognized by students and colleagues as an innovative and excellent teacher. She has developed and is currently teaching the new course “Harm Reduction Policies, Programming and Practice to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic.”

“Louisa is an exceptionally productive scholar with a well-defined and focused research agenda in intervention research,” says Interim Dean Irwin Garfinkel. “The Columbia School of Social Work is fortunate to have such a brilliant and dedicated scholar in our tenured ranks.”

Dr. Gilbert’s appointment was endorsed by several committees, external reviewers, and university administrators, and was officially approved by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger. A homegrown talent, Dr. Gilbert holds a B.A. from Barnard College, and an M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from the Columbia School of Social Work.

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