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Sarah Rutstein, MD, PhD, a physician scientist and senior clinical fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, has been accepted to the HIV Infectious Disease and Global Health Implementation Research Institute (HIGH IRI) through the Center for Dissemination and Implementation at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sarah Rutstein, MD, PhD

The program is composed of a two-year period of training and mentorship with two one-week in-residence sessions in St. Louis, and remote mentorship throughout the year. HIGH-IRI offers mentored training in dissemination and implementation research methods focused on HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Health.

Funded by Viiv Healthcare and the National Institutes of Health, the program selects six to eight scholars annually, and seeks to cultivate a scientific network among peers and mentors. Dr. Rutstein’s HIGH-IRI Program mentorship will be complemented by her Chapel Hill-based implementation science mentor, Dr. Vivian Go in the Department of Health Behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Rutstein completed her MD and PhD (Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health), as well as her Internal Medicine Residency at UNC. Dr. Rutstein will be joining the ID Division and DOM faculty on July 1, 2022. Her research focuses on translation of efficacious interventions into clinical implementation in resource-limited settings, through behavioral and biomedical clinical trials and cost-effectiveness analyses. Dr. Rutstein has worked to develop HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and treatment practices and policies that efficiently prioritize scarce resources. Such strategies include early identification and intervention for persons with acute HIV infection, improved viral load monitoring for persons on antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa, and risk-targeted prevention directly addressing the intersecting epidemics of HIV and bacterial STIs.

Her modeling work includes a diverse collection of decision-analytic and predictive models, the outcomes for which have helped guide WHO policies for HIV testing and case finding – specifically, the use of assisted partner notification in sub-Saharan Africa. With a focus on efficient distribution of scarce resources, Dr. Rutstein has applied models of differentiated service delivery to examine new implementation strategies for HIV prevention and treatment programming, such as integrating STI and HIV services in Malawi and examining risk-based strategies to identify persons most likely to benefit from longer-acting HIV treatment alternatives in Vietnam.