Director, Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc

Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc is a Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Social Medicine and Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and is Director of the Center for Health Equity Research. She is also the Director of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute’s Community Academic Resources for Engaged Scholarships (CARES) services, and Co-Director of the Program on Health Disparities through the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

Dr. Corbie-Smith is nationally recognized for her scholarly work and has expertise in community-engaged and patient-oriented research. Her empirical work, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, has focused on the methodological, ethical, and practical issues of research to address racial disparities in health. She has been the principal investigator of grants funded through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), and the National Human Genome Research Institute, among others. Since 2004, Dr. Corbie-Smith has been the PI on grants to support Project GRACE, a community-academic research partnership in Eastern North Carolina that has developed, tested, and disseminated interventions to prevent HIV and cardiovascular disease.

In 2013, Dr. Corbie-Smith established the UNC Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) to bring together collaborative multidisciplinary teams of scholars and community members to improve health in underserved communities through a shared commitment to health equity, innovation, and translational research. Dr. Corbie-Smith was named Co-PI for the Advancing Change Leadership Clinical Scholars Program, funded by RWJF in 2015. The Clinical Scholars Program will provide intensive learning, collaboration, networking, and coaching to seasoned clinicians to create a community of practitioners improving health across the country.


Associate Director, Gaurav Dave, MD, DrPH, MPH

Associate Director, Gaurav Dave, MD, DrPH, MPH

Dr. Dave is an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Dr. Dave is an expert in the field of formative and summative evaluation research, specializing in evaluating multi-level, complex initiatives, programs and interventions. He has over 15 years of clinical and public health practice and evaluation experience. His area of research focuses primarily on hypertension and chronic diseases, integrating systems thinking in evaluation research. He is the Director of Evaluation of the NIH-funded North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) at UNC, which aims at to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science to discovery to dissemination to patients and communities. He also co-directs the Systems Science and Evaluation Lab at UNC to foster the integration systems thinking and evaluation in biomedical, clinical and public health research. He also serves as the Evaluation chair for HRSA’s Southeast Regional Genetics Network at Emory University to improve health equity and health outcomes in individuals with genetic conditions, reduce morbidity and mortality caused by genetic conditions.

As the principal evaluator and investigator, Dr. Dave has worked on various federally and foundation-funded projects all over the U.S., including the Newborn Screening and Sickle Cell Disease Program, Heart Matters and Community Initiative to Eliminate Stroke. Dr. Dave has a medical degree from the University of Pune, India and worked as an emergency room physician in Mumbai, before coming to the U.S. in 2004. He attended the UNC at Greensboro and completed a Masters and a Doctorate in Public Health in 2006 and 2011 respectively, with a concentration in public health, community-based prevention research and evaluation. Dr. Dave’s research interests include evaluation, systems science, and methods research to reduce disparities associated with chronic diseases and hypertension.


Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD

Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, condom use, deep south, PhD,

Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Social Medicine at UNC – Chapel Hill, as well as a core faculty member in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She received her PhD in Community, Research, and Action at Vanderbilt University and then completed a NIDA T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School. Dr. Brinkley-Rubinstein’s research focuses on incarceration and HIV and the ways in which incarceration can impact health outcomes. Her recent work explores the impact of incarceration on overdose and the implementation of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis programs in criminal justice settings.


Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C

Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C

Tonia Poteat, PhD, PA-C, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Social Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as core faculty in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Aftercompleting doctoral studies, Dr. Poteat served for two years in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator as the Senior Advisor for Key Populations. Since returning to academia in 2014, Dr. Poteat’s research, teaching, and practice have focused on HIV and LGBTQ health disparities with particular attention to the health and well-being of transgender communities. Her current work attends to the health consequences of stigma based on multiple marginalized identities. Dr. Poteat is a certified HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and has devoted her clinical practice to providing medically appropriate and culturally competent care to members of the LGBTQ community as well as people living with HIV. In 2018, she was selected for the Simmons Scholars Program which provides support for UNC faculty who are underrepresented in medicine. Dr. Poteat earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Yale University, Master of Medical Science from Emory University, Master of Public Health from Rollins School of Public Health, and PhD in International Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.