Norweeta Milburn, PhD
Professor-in-Residence, Division of Population Behavioral Health
Norweeta Milburn is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the Division of Population Behavioral Health at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Prior to coming to UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University in New York. Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, family interventions and mental health.
She has been a principal investigator of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research on homeless adults and a co-principal investigator of U.S. Department of Education research on coping and adaptation in older African Americans, and was a co-principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health investigation of anxiety and depression in older African Americans. As a principal investigator of National Institute of Mental Health and NIDA studies of homeless and African American youth, she has examined paths into and out of homelessness, and risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia; is implemented a behavioral intervention for homeless adolescents at risk for HIV and their families; and testing recruitment strategies for behavioral interventions. The knowledge that has been gained in conducting these studies has lead me to anchor my program of research within the context of health disparities in mental illness and drug abuse treatment outcomes, and HIV prevention to promote the global health and well-being of adolescents and their families.
- 1976 – Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, B.A.
- 1978 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, M.A.
- 1982 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Ph.D.
- 1985 – Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, Post-Doctoral Training
Research & clinical interests
The overarching question that has guided my research is how underserved, marginalized groups can be brought into the mainstream of society; many of these underserved, marginalized groups are the people who are most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I have lead or co-lead a number of studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Findings from this research has advanced our understanding of homelessness among youth, especially with regard to the apparent resiliency of family relationships, provided greater understanding of how contextual factors shape the development of marginalized adolescents, and demonstrated that many newly homeless adolescents return to stable living situations; and demonstrated that family-based intervention is efficacious in efficacious in reducing HIV risk behaviors and improving mental health outcomes among homeless adolescents. Work has recently been completed on an EXPORT Center project funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) adapting STRIVE and testing its efficacy for young people re-entering communities from the juvenile justice system.
Currently, I am leading a Health Disparities Core funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) that is part of the UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and AIDS Institute. Its mission is to build and maintain research and community connections in LAC to reduce the risk and burden of HIV and meet unmet needs for HIV testing and treatment to better address the County’s HIV/AIDS epidemic which continues to grow in communities of color. I am the co-principal investigator (Gail Wyatt, co-principal investigator) of a National Institute on Drug Abused (NIDA) funded R25 grant, the UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP). The program is designed to train and provide mentorship to a national cohort of early career ethnic and culturally diverse clinician researchers and post-doctoral scholars to conduct research on reducing substance abuse and HIV transmission in underserved populations at risk for traumatic stress and health disparities.
I continue to actively pursue funding to focus on how contextual factors shape the development of underserved, special adolescent populations such as homeless and delinquent youth. Specifically, to better understand how parental practices, and resources and behaviors with the context of the community system of care can be enabled to help underserved adolescents develop into healthy functioning adults. My goal is to develop replicable, sustainable family interventions for underserved adolescents to reduce their risk for HIV, substance abuse and mental illness.
Roles within the division/Fellowship
- Co-Director, DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence
- Co-Director, UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP)
- Director, Development Core, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS)
- Research mentor
- Lectures on topics related to research design, evaluation of health service programs, community program development and research, prevention programs in school and community