Sannisha Dale, Ph.D.

Asst. Professor
Director, Strengthening Health through INnovation and Engagement (SHINE) Research Program
Chair, Diversity and Equity Committee, Department of Psychology

Phone:
(305) 284-1991
Locator Code:
0751

 
About

Dr. Sannisha Dale is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Miami. She was previously an Assistant in Psychology in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests are (a) enhancing our understanding of the relationships between resilience, trauma, and health outcomes among individuals with HIV and those at risk for HIV, (b) investigating psychosocial (e.g., discrimination) and structural factors (e.g., poverty) that relate to health disparities, (c) developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote resilience and good health outcomes, and (d) engaging community members and stakeholders in research.

Career

Education

2014Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Boston Unviersity
2005Ed.M Human Development and Psychology Harvard University

Professional Experience

2017 - Faculty, University of Miami
2015 - 2017Assistant in Psychology/Instructor in Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Honors & Acknowledgements

2015 Vera S. Paster Award
American Orthopsychiatric
2016 Emerging Professional- Contributions to Research Award

APA Division 45-Society forthe Psychological Study ofCulture, Ethnicity, and Race

2017 Rhoda Johnson-Tuckett Award for Community Engaged Research

Harvard  University Center for AIDS Research

2017 Community Heroes Award
Action for BostonCommunity Development(ABCD)
2018 Samuel M. Turner Early Career Award for Distinguished Contribution to Diversity Research in Clinical Psychology
APA Division 12, Clinical Psychology
2018 Carolyn Payton Early Career Award

APA Division 35, Section 1, Society for the Psychology of Women

Research

Research Interests

I am a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in conducting research on the intersection of mental (e.g., PTSD) and physical health (e.g. HIV) and developing interventions. I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at Boston University in 2014, Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 2015, Predoctoral Fellowship at the MGH/HMS in 2014, and a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2005. I was previously an Assistant in Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. I joined the Psychology Department at the University of Miami’s in August of 2017 as an Assistant Professor in Psychology.

My primary research interests are (a) enhancing our understanding of the relationships between resilience, trauma, and health outcomes among individuals with HIV and those at risk for HIV, (b) investigating psychosocial (e.g., microaggressions, discrimination) and structural factors (e.g., poverty) that relate to HIV health disparities, (c) developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote resilience and good health outcomes amongst survivors of trauma and individuals with or at risk for HIV, especially members of racial minority (e.g., Blacks/African Americans) and gender and sexual minority groups who are heavily burdened by the HIV epidemic, and (d) engaging community members and stakeholders in research. I have been the principal investigator of four grants in the area of HIV (K23 award from NIMH, F31 award from NIMH, a scholar award via the Harvard Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and a provost award from the University of Miami). The K23 study (Striving Towards EmPowerment and Medication Adherence [STEP-AD]) developed and assessed the feasibility and acceptability of an intervention to improve medication adherence for Black women with HIV by combining evidence-based strategies for trauma symptom reduction, strategies for coping with racial and HIV-related discrimination, gender empowerment, problem solving techniques for medication adherence, and other resilient coping techniques. The study funded by the Provost Award is aimed at piloting a brief two-session counseling intervention (MI-PrEP) that combines psychoeducation on PrEP, motivational interviewing techniques, and light case management in a culturally-informed manner to promote PrEP uptake among Black women at risk for HIV.

In addition to the noted projects above, I collaborate on several other research efforts. For instance, I am a Co-Investigator on a R01 grant (PIs Howe and Keita) aimed at creating a reliable and valid resilience measure to capture individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood resilience components among African Americans with HIV and assess whether higher resilience facilitates positive HIV outcomes by the level of the neighborhood risk environment. I am also a Co-Investigator and the Scientific Director for Community Engagement for a recently funded P30 grant (University of Miami Developmental Mental Health HIV/AIDS Research Center [PI Safren]). In all research endeavors, I view community engagement and involvement as the key and start to doing research that can be adopted in community settings to have a positive impact. Positive community relationships both ground and inspire my approach to research.

Research Projects

Striving Towards Empowerment and Medication Adherence (STEP-AD)

NIMH 1K23MH108439

P.I.  – Dale

Thepurposeofthecurrentstudyistodevelopandassessthefeasibilityandacceptabilityofaninterventiontoimprovemedicationadherence for Blackwomen withHIVbycombiningevidence-based strategies for  traumasymptomreduction,strategiesforcopingwithracialandHIV-relateddiscrimination,gender empowerment,problemsolvingtechniquesformedicationadherence,andotherresilientcopingtechniques.
Motivational Interviewing to Increase Motivation for PrEP Uptake Among Black Woman at Risk for HIV (MI-PrEP)

University of Miami Provost Award

P.I. - Dale

This proposal will develop and pilot a brief two-session counseling intervention (MI-PrEP) that combines psychoeducation on PrEP, motivational interviewing techniques, and case management (e.g. helping with access to insurance or medication programs for low-income patients) in a culturally-informed manner to promote PrEP uptake among Black women at high risk for HIV.
The role of resilience in addressing racial disparities in adverse HIV-related outcomes

NIMH1R01MH112386

P.I. Howe &Keita

Co.I. Dale

This study aims to (1) use advanced concept mapping, which is a mixed methods approach, to generateitems that capture all components of resilience; (2) perform psychometric testing of concept mapping itemsto create a reliable and valid resilience measure that includes all components of resilience; (3a)examine  whether resilience and non-resilience individual-level factors (e.g., alcohol/drug use, mental illness,and health insurance) are prospectively associated with HIV outcomes (e.g., clinic attendance, ARTadherence, and virologic suppression) by the level of the neighborhood risk environment; and (3b) assess forinteractions between resilience and non-resilience individual-level factors by the level of the riskenvironment.

Publications

Dale SK, Kelso G, Cruise RC, Watson C, Cohen M, Weber KM, Watson C, Burke-Miller JK, Brody LR. "Resilience among women with HIV: Impact of silencing the self and socioeconomic factors" Sex Roles 221-231 (2014).


Dale SK, Cohen M, Weber K, Cruise RC, Kelso G, Brody LR. "Abuse and resilience in relation to HAART medication adherence and HIV viral load among women with HIV in the United States." AIDS Patient Care STDS 28 (3), 136-143 (2014).