Kate Muessig, PhD
Dr. Kate Muessig is a public health interventionist and social scientist whose research centers on the prevention and care of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the urban United States and in China. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior.
Research ActivitiesDr. Muessig's work focuses on key populations including men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers and populations experiencing health disparities.
She is currently engaged in the development and testing of a number of electronic and mobile Health (eHealth/mHealth) interventions for men who have sex with men in both the U.S. and China. These projects aim to alleviate stigma, increase social support and reduce barriers to care.
Her methodological focus is on the use of qualitative and mixed-methods studies to support the development, implementation and evaluation of health behavior interventions.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, invited member of the editorial board (September 2014–present)
Grant proposal reviewer:
USAID/Project SEARCH: Research to Prevention (R2P)
Small Grants Program for HIV/STD prevention among men who have sex with men (May-July, 2010)
Ad-hoc journal reviewer:
AIDS and Behavior
American Journal of Public Health
BioMed Central Public Health
Journal of Medical Internet Research
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Journal of the International AIDS Society
Patient Education and Counseling
International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI)
Asia Pacific Conference, Bangkok, Thailand (2014)
Annual UNC-South China STI Research Training Course in Guangzhou, China, (2012-2014)
Host faculty adviser for Suowei Xiao, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Carolina Asia Center (2014-2015)
Princeternship: hosted undergraduate Princeton University student for exploring public health career (2014) See write-up.
Selection committee: Princeton in Asia fellowships – interviewer (2013-present)
Department of Health Behavior, Masters Admissions Committee (2014-present)
Department of Health Behavior, Student Survey Committee, Graduate Program Review and CEPH Reaccreditation (April 2015-present)
Carolina Asia Center Advisory Board (2014-2016; two year invited term)
Carolina Asia Center, The China Initiative: Facilitating transdisciplinary research and collaboration among China scholars across the University of North Carolina (2013-present)
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) for Asian languages scholarship committee (2014-present)
Carolina Southeast Asian Summer Program (SEAS), selection committee (2014)
UNC Doris Duke and Fogarty Fulbright International Clinical Research Fellowships review committee (2013-present)
Gillings Innovation Laboratory Awards; conduct faculty proposal reviews (2014)
Invited speaker and workshop facilitator: Qualitative Data Analysis Training Workshop; UNC Office of Undergraduate Education. (2015)
Dr. Muessig develops evidence-based combination interventions that address social, structural and behavioral factors that impede optimal individual and public health outcomes for HIV. These combination interventions include the application and evaluation of advances in biomedical, behavioral and technology-based tools (e.g. web, mobile web, mobile phone apps) for HIV prevention and care.
In North Carolina and internationally, Dr. Muessig works directly with clinicians, public health practitioners, community-based organizations and community members in the design and application of research to advance these goals. For the past four years she has worked with Dr. Hightow-Weidman on her NIH-funded research including the HealthMPowerment study - a web and mobile phone-based intervention to reduce sexual risk and increase testing and linkage to care among HIV-positive and HIV-negative young, Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in North Carolina; and the Epic Allies study – a mobile phone application that uses principles of behavior change, gamification, and social networking to support daily medication adherence and maintenance in care among HIV-positive youth. If successful in their respective randomized controlled trials, these interventions will be disseminated in other U.S. sites and adapted for use in other UNC-collaborative sites in South Africa, Brazil and China.
Dr. Muessig's work supporting the USAID-funded LINKAGES project – a collaboration between USAID, FHI360, UNC-Chapel Hill, IntraHealth and PACT—is focused on improving service delivery of HIV prevention and care services to affected key populations in over 20 countries. She designed a tool called the Programmatic Mapping Readiness Assessment which guides country partners through an information gathering and decision-making process to identify the geographic and sub-population areas of greatest need for HIV services within the country, identify the potential risks and benefits of conducting research ans service provision in these areas and create an action plan for addressing these risks.