Professor El-Bassel Named the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work

October 17, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

September 15, 2011

The Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) is pleased to announce that the Columbia University Trustees have approved the naming of Professor Nabila El-Bassel to be the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work. Professor El-Bassel will succeed Professor Emeritus Ed Mullen, who retired during the last academic year.

"As Albert Musher was keen on evidence-based approaches to societal improvements, Professor El-Bassel embodies many of his beliefs and is arguably among the leading social work scholars internationally who have dedicated themselves to the use of science to forward social intervention research and practice in the areas of HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, TB, interpersonal violence, and drug abuse. We are so proud of her," said CUSSW Dean Takamura.

Professor El-Bassel is the director of the CUSSW Social Intervention Group and the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia. Professor El-Bassel has been involved in HIV, infectious diseases, drug abuse and partner abuse research more than 20 years. She has designed and tested a number of HIV and drug abuse intervention models for women, men and couples. A number of her HIV interventions have been recommended by CDC as best practices and for dissemination. Professor El-Bassel has also conducted a number of population-based and intervention research on the co-occurring problems of intimate partner violence, trauma and HIV/AIDS, and has made significant scientific contributions in this area of research.

Among the groundbreaking research studies Professor El-Bassel has led is Project Eban, which focused on preventing HIV transmission among African American couples. The results of Project Eban´s findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and received significant attention nationwide.

While her earliest work focused primarily on U.S. communities, Professor El-Bassel is now conducting research in many parts of the world, including in Jordan in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and throughout the countries of Central Asia.  She is currently leading a number of population-based studies on the spread of infectious disease, substance abuse, TB and related co-morbidities among migrant workers in Kazakhstan recruited from the largest market place in Central Asia and among fishermen in Malaysia.  She is also conducting a number of HIV and substance abuse intervention and implementation studies to reduce the spread of HIV and drug abuse in Central Asia and Malaysia. Professor El-Bassel is the director the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Racial Ethnic Minority HIV Investigators, funded by NIMH. This program provides training on HIV biomedical, and behavioral prevention science to junior scientists.

Dr. El-Bassel has been praised as the leading HIV/AIDS social work scholar in an article entitled, "HIV/AIDS Scholarship: An Analysis of Groundbreaking Programs and Individuals," published in Social Work and Health Care (Natale and Baker, 2010). Her publication record includes more than 150 articles that have appeared in multidisciplinary journals (The Lancet, Science, Archives of Internal Medicine, Social Science and Medicine, and the American Journal of Public Health). She has published nearly a dozen book chapters and more than 40 externally funded research grants, primarily from the National Institutes of Health.

Professor El-Bassel has been a member of many Columbia University Committees including the Search Committee for the Provost, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Diversity Initiatives, and the Faculty Development Task Force. She has served on national and international professional boards and working groups including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Group on HIV and Women, Doctors of the World, the NIDA Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Data Safety Monitoring Board, and the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse for the NIDA.  Her service to the School has ranged from membership on the Search, Doctoral, Curriculum, International, and Evidence-Based Practice Committees to co-chairing the Advanced Generalist Programming and Practice Method and the Contemporary Social Problems Field of Practice.

We congratulate new Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work Nabila El-Bassel.

About CUSSW (
For 112 years, the Columbia University School of Social Work has been a leader in the education of professionals for careers in practice, policy, and administration. Located in New York City, the School offers a master’s and a doctoral program which are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence. With a signature curriculum that features multidisciplinary courses taught by leading scholars and practitioners and rich Practicum Learning, CUSSW continues to be at the forefront of clinical and community practice, social policy, and social enterprise administration education, research and innovation in the 21st Century.