Paul Wesson, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address550 16th Street, #3802
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-502-1000 ext. 14615
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-7033-1038 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoNIMH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship2019AIDS Prevention Studies
    University of California, BerkeleyPhD2016Epidemiology
    Stanford UniversityBA2006Human Biology
    University of California, San Francisco, CA03/2020Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    University of California, San Francisco2019John A. Watson Faculty Scholar
    University of California, Berkeley2011Chancellor's Fellowship for Graduate Study

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    I am an epidemiologist focused on quantifying the health burdens of (and disparities related to) hard-to-reach and socially marginalized populations, particularly as they relate to infectious diseases. My research expertise includes developing and using data driven methods for sampling hard-to-reach and “hidden” populations, population size estimation methods, and using advanced epidemiologic and statistical techniques to study the social determinants of health. I am particularly interested in the social determinants of infectious disease risk. I see my research as existing at the nexus of infectious disease, data science, and social epidemiology; as such, I incorporate theories and principles from social epidemiology to inform and guide my study designs and analyses (e.g. intersectionality, minority stress theory).

    Specifically, as an HIV researcher, my research agenda relates to the unique challenges of sampling hard-to-reach populations for HIV surveillance, and leverages information from the sampling process (and survey data) to generate estimates of the population size. Valid estimates of the population size are a key component of biomedical informatics and epidemiological analyses (providing a denominator for the population at risk) and inform how and where limited public health resources should be targeted. In my research, I have both applied numerous population size estimation methods to data sets derived from bio-behavioral surveillance surveys, public health surveillance, and electronic medical records. As part of my research on population size estimation, I have also developed novel population size estimation methods to correct for known biases.

    Additionally, I am interested in extending my research to include Geo-spatial analysis and clinical data to further examine contextual and structural determinants of disparities in health outcomes.
    Collapse Global Health Equity

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Determining the social drivers of HIV vulnerability among adolescent girls and young women in South Africa
    CAPS Resource Allocation Program (Mentored Scientist Award) 2P30MH062246-21Nov 6, 2021 - Oct 5, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Understanding HIV Care and Social Service Utilization for Vulnerable PLWH in the COVID-19 Era
    CFAR Resource Allocation Program (COVID-19 Rapid Response Pilot) P30AI027763Sep 1, 2020 - Jul 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Application of Quantitative Intersectionality Methods to Identify the Most Vulnerable Populations in teh HIV Continuum of Care
    CAPS/CFAR Resource Allocation Program (Mentored Scientist Award) 2P30MH062246-20; P30AI027763Sep 1, 2020 - Aug 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The science for the last mile: Enhanced epidemiologic surveillance to accelerate HIV elimination
    NIH K01AI145572Mar 1, 2020 - Feb 28, 2025
    Role: Principal Investigator
    RAPID: Evaluating gaps and improving immediate linkage and ART initiation in the Bay Area
    NIH/NIAID P30AI027763/A129590Sep 1, 2019 - Aug 31, 2020
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Using Medicaid data to advance care for people with schizophrenia at risk for HIV (Medicaid-DASH)
    NIH R01MH112420Jul 1, 2017 - Mar 31, 2022
    Role: Co-Investigator (administrative supplement)
    Multilevel Mechanisms of HIV Acquisition in Young South African Women
    NIH R01MH110186Apr 22, 2016 - Jan 31, 2021
    Role: Postdoctoral Researcher
    The Transnational Cohort: global HIV epidemiology and prevention research for transwomen.
    NIH R01MD010678Sep 25, 2015 - Jun 30, 2020
    Role: Analyst
    Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies
    NIH T32MH019105May 1, 1989 - Jun 30, 2024
    Role: Trainee

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications

    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. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Evaluating a Targeted Minimum Loss-Based Estimator for Capture-Recapture Analysis: An Application to HIV Surveillance in San Francisco, California. Am J Epidemiol. 2024 Apr 08; 193(4):673-683. Wesson P, Das M, Chen M, Hsu L, McFarland W, Kennedy E, Jewell NP. PMID: 37981713; PMCID: PMC10999650.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. HIV Viral Suppression Among Psychiatric Inpatients with Schizophrenia in San Francisco: A Retrospective Cohort Study. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2024; 35(1):1-7. Riano NS, Wesson P, Vittinghoff E, Cournos F, Dilley J, Mangurian C. PMID: 38661855.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Interruptions in HIV and Behavioral Health Care for Criminal-Legal Involved People Living with HIV Following Implementation of Decarceration and Shelter in Place in San Francisco, California. AIDS Behav. 2024 Mar; 28(3):1093-1103. Clemenzi-Allen AA, Hebert J, Reid MA, Mains T, Hammer H, Gandhi M, Pratt L, Wesson P. PMID: 38060113; PMCID: PMC10896806.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    4. Respondent-Driven Sampling for Estimation of the Cumulative Lifetime Incidence of Abortion in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa: A Methodological Assessment. Am J Epidemiol. 2023 07 07; 192(7):1081-1092. Jayaweera RT, Gerdts C, Wesson P, Motana R, Muñoz I, Bessenaar T, McFarland W, Ahern J. PMID: 37016442.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Racial Disparities in Pulse Oximeter Device Inaccuracy and Estimated Clinical Impact on COVID-19 Treatment Course. Am J Epidemiol. 2023 05 05; 192(5):703-713. Sudat SEK, Wesson P, Rhoads KF, Brown S, Aboelata N, Pressman AR, Mani A, Azar KMJ. PMID: 36173743; PMCID: PMC9619495.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Publisher Correction: Population size estimation of seasonal forest-going populations in southern Lao PDR. Sci Rep. 2023 Feb 27; 13(1):3357. Rerolle F, Jacobson JO, Wesson P, Dantzer E, Lover AA, Hongvanthong B, Smith J, Marshall JM, Sturrock HJW, Bennett A. PMID: 36849589; PMCID: PMC9970961.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    7. Response to Prone vs. Supine Ventilation and Mortality Outcome in Intubated COVID-19 Patients. J Intensive Care Med. 2023 03; 38(3):322. Shelhamer M, Baxi S, Wesson P, Kelly D. PMID: 36562152; PMCID: PMC9791022.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Incidence of and Experiences with Abortion Attempts in Soweto, South Africa: Respondent-Driven Sampling Study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2022 Dec 08; 8(12):e38045. Gerdts C, Jayaweera RT, Motana R, Bessenaar T, Wesson P. PMID: 36480253.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  Translation:Humans
    9. Evaluating tools for capture-recapture model selection to estimate the size of hidden populations: it works in practice, but does it work in theory? Ann Epidemiol. 2023 01; 77:24-30. Wesson P, Jewell NP, McFarland W, Glymour MM. PMID: 36328347; PMCID: PMC9826711.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Mental Distress and Use of Stimulants: Analysis of a Longitudinal Cohort of Transgender Women. LGBT Health. 2023 04; 10(3):228-236. Baguso GN, Santiago-Rodriguez E, Gyamerah AO, Wilson EC, Chung C, McFarland W, Wesson P. PMID: 36301245; PMCID: PMC10079245.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. COVIDNearTerm: A simple method to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022; 6(1):e59. Olshen AB, Garcia A, Kapphahn KI, Weng Y, Vargo J, Pugliese JA, Crow D, Wesson PD, Rutherford GW, Gonen M, Desai M. PMID: 35720970; PMCID: PMC9161046.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5  
    12. Mapping and population size estimates of people who inject drugs in Afghanistan in 2019: Synthesis of multiple methods. PLoS One. 2022; 17(1):e0262405. Rasheed A, Sharifi H, Wesson P, Pashtoon SJ, Tavakoli F, Ghalekhani N, Haghdoost AA, Atarud A, Banehsi MR, Hamdard N, Sadaat SI, McFarland W, Mirzazadeh A. PMID: 35089934; PMCID: PMC8797259.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    13. Risks and Opportunities to Ensure Equity in the Application of Big Data Research in Public Health. Annu Rev Public Health. 2022 04 05; 43:59-78. Wesson P, Hswen Y, Valdes G, Stojanovski K, Handley MA. PMID: 34871504; PMCID: PMC8983486.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    14. An investigation of quantitative methods for assessing intersectionality in health research: A systematic review. SSM Popul Health. 2021 Dec; 16:100977. Guan A, Thomas M, Vittinghoff E, Bowleg L, Mangurian C, Wesson P. PMID: 34869821; PMCID: PMC8626832.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 21  
    15. Evaluating the Validity and Reliability of the Gender Equitable Men's Scale Using a Longitudinal Cohort of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in South Africa. AIDS Behav. 2022 Mar; 26(3):775-785. Wesson PD, Lippman SA, Neilands TB, Ahern J, Kahn K, Pettifor A. PMID: 34426864; PMCID: PMC8840910.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Population size estimation of seasonal forest-going populations in southern Lao PDR. Sci Rep. 2021 07 20; 11(1):14816. Rerolle F, Jacobson JO, Wesson P, Dantzer E, Lover AA, Hongvanthong B, Smith J, Marshall JM, Sturrock HJW, Bennett A. PMID: 34285321; PMCID: PMC8292394.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    17. Experiences and factors associated with transphobic hate crimes among transgender women in the San Francisco Bay Area: comparisons across race. BMC Public Health. 2021 06 02; 21(1):1053. Gyamerah AO, Baguso G, Santiago-Rodriguez E, Sa'id A, Arayasirikul S, Lin J, Turner CM, Taylor KD, McFarland W, Wilson EC, Wesson P. PMID: 34078334; PMCID: PMC8173924.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Variation in SARS-CoV-2 Infection Risk and Socioeconomic Disadvantage Among a Mayan-Latinx Population in Oakland, California. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 05 03; 4(5):e2110789. Esaryk EE, Wesson P, Fields J, Rios-Fetchko F, Lindan C, Bern C, Fernández A. PMID: 34019089; PMCID: PMC8140375.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    19. Prone Positioning in Moderate to Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Due to COVID-19: A Cohort Study and Analysis of Physiology. J Intensive Care Med. 2021 Feb; 36(2):241-252. Shelhamer MC, Wesson PD, Solari IL, Jensen DL, Steele WA, Dimitrov VG, Kelly JD, Aziz S, Gutierrez VP, Vittinghoff E, Chung KK, Menon VP, Ambris HA, Baxi SM. PMID: 33380236; PMCID: PMC7780273.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 56     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    20. Intercategorical and Intracategorical Experiences of Discrimination and HIV Prevalence Among Transgender Women in San Francisco, CA: A Quantitative Intersectionality Analysis. Am J Public Health. 2021 03; 111(3):446-456. Wesson P, Vittinghoff E, Turner C, Arayasirikul S, McFarland W, Wilson E. PMID: 33476238; PMCID: PMC7893335.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Prone Positioning in Moderate to Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to COVID-19: A Cohort Study and Analysis of Physiology. Res Sq. 2020 Aug 17. Shelhamer M, Wesson PD, Solari IL, Jensen DL, Steele WA, Dimitrov VG, Kelly JD, Aziz S, Gutierrez VP, Vittinghoff E, Chung KK, Menon VP, Ambris HA, Baxi SM. PMID: 32839769; PMCID: PMC7444300.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    22. High HIV Incidence Among Young and Racial/Ethnic Minority Transgender Women in San Francisco: Results of a Longitudinal Cohort Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 05 01; 84(1):e7-e10. McFarland W, Wesson P, Turner C, Lin J, Veras MASM, Yan H, Raymond HF, Wilson EC. PMID: 32032305; PMCID: PMC7363166.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC): Dominance analysis across 183 countries highlights importance of strengthening health workforce. PLoS One. 2020; 15(3):e0229666. Reid M, Gupta R, Roberts G, Goosby E, Wesson P. PMID: 32130241; PMCID: PMC7055867.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Software Application Profile: The Anchored Multiplier calculator-a Bayesian tool to synthesize population size estimates. Int J Epidemiol. 2019 12 01; 48(6):1744-1749. Wesson PD, McFarland W, Qin CC, Mirzazadeh A. PMID: 31106350; PMCID: PMC6929553.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    25. Monitoring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in high Tuberculosis burden countries: Tuberculosis mortality an important tracer of UHC service coverage. PLoS One. 2019; 14(10):e0223559. Reid M, Roberts G, Goosby E, Wesson P. PMID: 31665144; PMCID: PMC6821027.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    26. Multilevel Gender-Equitable Norms and Risk of HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Acquisition Among Young South African Women: A Longitudinal Analysis of the HIV Prevention Trials Network 068 Cohort. J Adolesc Health. 2019 12; 65(6):730-737. Wesson P, Lippman SA, Neilands TB, Twine R, Ahern J, Gómez-Olivé FX, Peacock D, MacPhail C, Kahn K, Pettifor A. PMID: 31543406; PMCID: PMC6874745.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    27. Estimated Population Size of Men Who Have Sex with Men, San Francisco, 2017. AIDS Behav. 2019 Jun; 23(6):1576-1579. Raymond HF, McFarland W, Wesson P. PMID: 30382454.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Estimating the Population Size of Female Sex Workers in Namibia Using a Respondent-Driven Sampling Adjustment to the Reverse Tracking Method: A Novel Approach. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2019 Mar 14; 5(1):e11737. Wesson PD, Adhikary R, Jonas A, Gerndt K, Mirzazadeh A, Katuta F, Maher A, Banda K, Mutenda N, McFarland W, Lowrance D, Prybylski D, Patel S. PMID: 30869646; PMCID: PMC6437614.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3  
    29. Effects of Aerobic Dance Training on Psychological Well-Being and Immune Function of Women Living With HIV. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2019 Mar-Apr; 30(2):238-244. Ghayomzadeh M, Earnest CP, SeyedAlinaghi S, Wesson P, Taj L, Rezaei S, Navalta JW, Mohraz M, Gharakhanlou R, Voltarelli FA. PMID: 30822296.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. A Bayesian approach to synthesize estimates of the size of hidden populations: the Anchored Multiplier. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 10 01; 47(5):1636-1644. Wesson PD, Mirzazadeh A, McFarland W. PMID: 29931067; PMCID: PMC6208278.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    31. Evaluating the Completeness of HIV Surveillance Using Capture-Recapture Models, Alameda County, California. AIDS Behav. 2018 Jul; 22(7):2248-2257. Wesson P, Lechtenberg R, Reingold A, McFarland W, Murgai N. PMID: 28828535; PMCID: PMC5821606.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    32. Estimating the population size of transgender women in San Francisco using multiple methods, 2013. International Journal of Transgenderism. 2018 Jan 2; 19(1):1-6. Wesson WP, Qabazard QR, Wilson WE, McFarland MW, Raymond RH. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    33. Theoretical and Empirical Comparisons of Methods to Estimate the Size of Hard-to-Reach Populations: A Systematic Review. AIDS Behav. 2017 Jul; 21(7):2188-2206. Wesson P, Reingold A, McFarland W. PMID: 28078496.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Socioeconomic Factors Explain Racial Disparities in Invasive Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Disease Rates. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 03 01; 64(5):597-604. See I, Wesson P, Gualandi N, Dumyati G, Harrison LH, Lesher L, Nadle J, Petit S, Reisenauer C, Schaffner W, Tunali A, Mu Y, Ahern J. PMID: 28362911; PMCID: PMC5656382.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 34     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    35. Socioeconomic Factors Explain Racial Disparities in Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccocus aureus Disease Rates. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2015 Dec 9; 2(suppl_1). See SI, Mu MY, Gualandi GN, Dumyati DG, Harrison HL, Lynfield LR, Nadle NJ, Petit PS, Reisenauer RC, Schaffner SW, Tunali TA, Wesson WP, Ahern AJ. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    36. If You Are Not Counted, You Don't Count: Estimating the Number of African-American Men Who Have Sex with Men in San Francisco Using a Novel Bayesian Approach. J Urban Health. 2015 Dec; 92(6):1052-64. Wesson P, Handcock MS, McFarland W, Raymond HF. PMID: 26392276; PMCID: PMC4675739.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. If you are not counted, you don't count: Estimating the number of African-American Men who have Sex with Men in San Francisco. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2015 Oct 1; 44(suppl_1):i39-i39. Wesson WP, Handcock HM, McFarland MW, Raymond RH. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
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