The Team

The Social Intervention Group (SIG)

SIG is a multidisciplinary research center at the Columbia University School of Social Work that works to develop and test effective prevention and intervention models and disseminate them to local, national, and international communities. SIG’s research addresses the co-occurring problems of HIV, drug abuse, intimate partner violence and trauma. For more information on SIG, click here. For the SIG website, click here.

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL)

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) was founded at Columbia University in 1999 to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of new media and technology. In partnership with faculty, the Center supports efforts ranging from basic course website management to advanced project development. CCNMTL is committed to remaining a leader in the field of new media teaching and learning, engaging faculty, educators, librarians, partner institutions, and the community in the reinvention of education for the digital age. For the CCNMTL website, click here.


Susan Witte, Ph.D.
[email protected]
Principle Investigator

Dr. Susan Witte’s research focuses on the development and testing of prevention and treatment interventions targeting the co-occurrence of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence among vulnerable populations. Dr. Witte’s special interests include dissemination of relationship-based interventions, promotion of female-initiated reproductive health technology, including the female condom, and a focus on highly vulnerable and underserved populations, including street-based sex workers and drug-dependent fathers. Currently, Dr. Witte is an Investigator on several NIMH, NIDA, and CDC-funded studies, including the Principal Investigator of an NIMH funded HIV prevention and microfinance project with female sex workers in Mongolia.

Elwin Wu, Co-Investigator

Dr. Wu is an Associate Director of the Social Intervention Group and the Co-Director of the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Racial/Ethnic Minority New Investigators. His practice experience includes direct clinical practice with individuals, couples, and groups with agencies serving primarily the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities; evaluation of violence prevention programs for perpetrators of intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships; and program development and evaluation for criminal justice-involved adolescents and adults. Dr. Wu’s research primarily consists of prevention and intervention research that focuses on offenders—defined as those whose behaviors place others at risk for health and psychosocial problems—residing at the nexus of drug abuse, partner violence, and HIV. Dr. Wu has also recently embarked upon empirical investigations into factors and experiences that affect the professional trajectory of up-and-coming racial/ethnic minority researchers interested in applied sociobehavioral science to address and redress health disparities.

Nabila El-Bassel, Co-Investigator
Dr. Nabila El-Bassel provides significant national and international leadership to the global health agenda. Dr. El-Bassel is a Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Director of the Social Intervention Group. Dr. El-Bassel is also the Director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA), a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in both New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through Research, Education, Training, and Policy and Dissemination.
Dr. El-Bassel has been funded extensively by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  She has designed and tested HIV intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples, which have been disseminated nationally and internationally. Dr. El-Bassel has been studying the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women and 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 been mentoring HIV research scientists from Central Asia and she has also been funded by the National Institute of Health to train faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention.  She has published extensively on HIV prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of IPV and substance abuse.

Louisa Gilbert, Co-Investigator
Dr. Louisa Gilbert is a licensed social worker with 25 years of experience developing, implementing and testing multi-level interventions to address HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, trauma, partner violence and other co-occurring issues among vulnerable communities in the U.S. and Central Asia. She has served as the Co-Director of the Social Intervention Group since 1999 and the Co-Director of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia since 2007. Her specific area of research interest has concentrated on advancing a continuum of evidence-based interventions to prevent intimate partner violence among drug-involved women and women in the criminal justice system.  More recently, her funded research has also focused on identifying and addressing structural and organizational barriers in harm reduction programs to implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent overdose among drug users in Central Asia.

Tim Hunt, Director of Training and Capacity Building
Timothy HuntCo-investigator, and Director of Training and Capacity Building for Columbia University School of Social Work’s Social Intervention Group (SIG), the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA), and director of the Jordan Social Work Education for Excellence Program where he has provided extensive leadership for health and social service organizations in the adaption and integration of evidence-based strategies and research methods both in the US and internationally.  He brings over 24 years of clinical experience as a family/couples’ therapist, licensed clinical social worker, and addiction specialist to the project and has personally trained over 9,000 healthcare staff.  Mr. Hunt has also developed and disseminated the curriculum and technical assistance in three Central Asian nations to build medical staff capacity to engage high risk populations while enhancing adherence to treatment and care funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Frank Moretti, Co-Investigator
Frank Moretti was the executive director and co-founder of the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, for which he provided pedagogical, strategic and managerial leadership. In addition to defining the goals and disseminating the CCNMTL message on campus, Frank served as Professor of Communications, Computing and Technology at Teachers College. Prior to joining Teachers College, Frank served as the Associate Headmaster at the Dalton School, where he was also Executive Director of their New Laboratory for Teaching and Learning, which he co-founded in 1989, and of the internationally known Dalton Technology Plan. His many degrees include a Ph.D. in History and an M. Phil from Columbia University, an M.Ed. from Teachers College and a B.A. in Greek and Latin from St. Bonaventure University. Frank was recognized as one of America’s leading theorists and practitioners in the use of digital technology in education.

Jessica Rowe, Director, Triangle Initiative
Jessica Rowe is the Triangle Initiative Senior Program Specialist for CCNMTL.  She focuses on the development of faculty research projects and their integration into Columbia classrooms. Jessica is the director of several large scale projects in the area of health, including NIMH-funded Multimedia Connect and NIDA-funded Multimedia WORTH. She received her BA from Smith College and her MDes from the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Katie Potocnik Medina, Project Director

Omi Gray, Assessment Coordinator