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Kartika Palar, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)Postdoctoral Fellowship - Social/Behavioral HIV Research2015Division of HIV, ID and Global Medicine
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Postdoctoral Fellowship - Health Services Research2014UCLA School of Public Health, Dept of Health Policy and Mgmt
    RAND CorporationPhD - Policy Analysis2012Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Tufts UniversityMA - International Affairs2006Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
    Brown UniversityBA - Development Studies & Ethnic Studies2001
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) 2017Early Career Award of Excellence in Behavioral Research

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    My research focuses on addressing the drivers and consequences of health inequity in HIV and chronic disease. One stream of research investigates the impact of food insecurity and other unmet subsistence needs on health. A new stream of research examines the intersection of HIV, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and social determinants of health. Within these areas, I have a special interest in developing equitable community partnerships to design and evaluate program and policy solutions. I am interested in both safety-net interventions that address immediate needs, as well as policies that address upstream root causes of health inequity.

    Current studies fall within one or more of the above research streams. I am PI of the 5-year NIH-funded Women, HIV/AIDS and Diabetes Study, or WAND Study, based within the US national Women’s Interagency HIV Study. WAND is using both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the impact of social and economic barriers on HIV and diabetes health among women living with both conditions, with the goal of developing an intervention to improve HIV/diabetes co-management among women experiencing multiple vulnerabilities. I am also co-PI of the Changing Health through Food Support (CHEFS) Study, an RCT of comprehensive, medically appropriate food support to low-income, people with HIV in the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with Project Open Hand. I am co-leading the development of a community-based collaboration to evaluate urban gardens as a strategy to improve health among low-income people with diabetes in the Bay Area, and am involved with an urban garden intervention for people with HIV in the Dominican Republic. I am a co-investigator or collaborator on several other projects addressing food insecurity and health, and/or HIV/NCD co-morbidity, domestically and abroad.

    My international work is largely based in Latin America, in collaboration with the World Food Programme and others. Finally, I have a strong commitment and passion for mentoring students and others with interest in issues of health equity, particularly those with backgrounds underrepresented in scientific research.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Food is Medicine: Randomized Trial of Medically-Tailored Food Support for Diabetes Health
    NIH/NIDDK R01DK124630Apr 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2024
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Pilot Study of the Nutrition-Enhanced Wellness for Diabetes Self-Management Program (NEW-DSMP) among Low-Income Adults with Type II Diabetes
    NIH/NIDDK R21DK123632Feb 7, 2020 - Jan 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Food as Medicine: Providing medically appropriate meals to patients after hospital discharge for congestive heart failure.
    San Francisco General Hearts Foundation Jul 1, 2016 - Jun 30, 2018
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Investigating the Impact of Food Insecurity on HIV and Diabetes Comorbidity
    Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the National Center for Expertise in Women's Health Jan 1, 2016 - Dec 31, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Changing Health through Food Support (CHEFS): Randomized controlled trial to identify potential health impacts of providing food support to individuals with HIV
    Kaiser Community Benefits Nov 1, 2015 - Nov 1, 2017
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Identifying barriers to diabetes and HIV co-management in vulnerable populations
    NIH/NIDDK K01DK107335Aug 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Global Health

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Palar K, Lemus Hufstedler E, Hernandez K, Chang A, Ferguson L, Lozano R, Weiser SD. Nutrition and Health Improvements After Participation in an Urban Home Garden Program. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2019 Oct; 51(9):1037-1046. PMID: 31601420.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Palar K, Frongillo EA, Escobar J, Sheira LA, Wilson TE, Adedimeji A, Merenstein D, Cohen MH, Wentz EL, Adimora AA, Ofotokun I, Metsch L, Tien PC, Turan JM, Weiser SD. Food Insecurity, Internalized Stigma, and Depressive Symptoms Among Women Living with HIV in the United States. AIDS Behav. 2018 Dec; 22(12):3869-3878. PMID: 29948333.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Palar K, Napoles T, Hufstedler LL, Seligman H, Hecht FM, Madsen K, Ryle M, Pitchford S, Frongillo EA, Weiser SD. Comprehensive and Medically Appropriate Food Support Is Associated with Improved HIV and Diabetes Health. J Urban Health. 2017 02; 94(1):87-99. PMID: 28097614.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Palar K, Kushel M, Frongillo EA, Riley ED, Grede N, Bangsberg D, Weiser SD. Food Insecurity is Longitudinally Associated with Depressive Symptoms Among Homeless and Marginally-Housed Individuals Living with HIV. AIDS Behav. 2015 Aug; 19(8):1527-34. PMID: 25351185.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Martin A, Palar K, Derose KP, Adams J.Food insecurity and nutritional barriers to antiretroviral therapy: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean. Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. 2011; 2(10):194-214.