UMKC Experts Weigh in on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Sarah Finocchario Kessler
Sarah Finocchario Kessler, a postdoctoral research fellow with the HIV/AIDS Research Group, talks with Ugandan colleagues.

Goggin and Kessler part of KCUR’s Up to Date


Listen to the show here.

On the heels of the 19th International AIDS Conference, researchers are guardedly optimistic. They say that the world has the potential to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, if only the appropriate mix of funding, medicine and policies can come together.

Two University of Missouri-Kansas City researchers weighed in on the topic during a recent segment of KCUR’s Up to Date. Participating in the expert panel were Curators’ Professor of Psychology and Director of the HIV/AIDS Research Group, Kathy Goggin; and Sarah Finocchario Kessler, a postdoctoral research fellow of the HIV/AIDS Research Group.

More on our experts:

Dr. Kathy Goggin: Goggin is Curators’ Professor of Psychology at UMKC, where she serves as Director of the HIV/AIDS Research Group. She is a graduate of the San Diego State University / University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, where she specialized in Behavioral Medicine (1994). She served as Chief Fellow of the NIMH Postdoctoral Training Program in HIV/AIDS at the Cornell University Medical College/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centers in New York City (1995) until being awarded the Aaron Diamond Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to continue her research at Columbia University (1997).

Goggin’s program of research focused on primary and secondary HIV prevention, antiretroviral medication adherence, and psychosocial predictors of health behavior change to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. She has published more than 100 papers and abstracts in leading national and international scholarly outlets spanning diverse fields including pharmacy, medicine, nursing, psychology and public health. Dr. Goggin has garnered continuous extramural funding since 1997 and has been responsible, as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for over $18 million in extramural funding for national and international research studies. Herresearch is also notable for its focus on community-based translational research efforts that have focused on impacting faith-based organizations, community based organizations, communities, and a variety of healthcare settings both domestically and internationally.

Dr. Sarah Finocchario Kessler: Finocchario Kessler is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Department of Family Medicine and a Visiting Research Scholar with the HIV Research Group at UMKC. She completed her doctoral training in international public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her MPH degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to earning her doctoral degree, Finocchario Kessler’s work with D.C.-based NGO, Family Health International, and provided practical, programmatic experience working in HIV clinics in Ghana and Kenya. Her research combines interests in reproductive health and HIV by exploring childbearing intentions among people living with HIV, HIV provider communication about reproductive options, and options for safer conception among serodiscordant couples. She is exploring these issues among HIV-infected women and men in the U.S., Brazil and Uganda. Finocchario Kessler also works in Kenya and Malawi to pilot an intervention designed to improve Early Infant Diagnosis services for HIV-exposed newborns.

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