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William Brown, III, PhD, DrPH, MA

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address550 16th. Street
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-502-1000 ext. 17135
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0003-4322-4859 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Columbia University, New York, NYPh.D.05/2016Biomedical Informatics
    Columbia University, New York, NYPostdoc05/2012HIV Clinical & Behavioral Research
    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CADr.P.H12/2010Public Health
    San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CAM.A.05/2006Human Sexuality Studies
    University of California, Davis, Davis, CAB.A.06/2004Sociology
    University of California, Davis, Davis, CAB.A.06/2004African American Studies
    University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA08/2019Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
    University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA10/2019Lean Process Improvement Champion Training
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Kaiser Foundation2009Kaiser Foundation Academic Grant Award, Kaiser Foundation
    University of California, Berkeley2010Academic Grant Award, Russell M. Grossman Endowment
    National Institutes of Health2012NIMH LRP Award
    National Institutes of Health2015NIMH LRP Award Renewal
    2016AMIA Annual Symposium Paper Competition (2nd Pl)

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    My expertise is in both biomedical informatics and HIV clinical and behavioral research. I implement innovative biomedical informatics methods, create research tools, and follow the principals of community-based participatory research. My research aims to address health disparities among underserved communities (e.g., African American, LGBT, youth) and to create a Learning Health System that is responsive to vulnerable populations, particularly those at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.

    My informatics research includes knowledge engineering, health informatics, comparative-effectiveness research, semantic harmonization, integrating and analyzing survey, geographic, and electronic health record (EHR) data, as well as developing infographics and data visualizations for patient-centered health information tools. I provide expertise in HIV, New Media, and mHealth and apply innovative informatics methods for the integration of diverse longitudinal data sets and discovery of health markers. My main research activities focus on semantic harmonization, concept/knowledge representation, characterization of semantic heterogeneity, identification of common data elements, the development of an HIV-associated Entities in Research Ontology (HERO), and integration of diverse datasets.

    As an HIV researcher, I specialize in systems design, implementation science, community-based participatory research, mHealth, and the use of New Media. I've developed, applied, and evaluated an mHealth system, and conducted a pilot study researching the feasibility and acceptability of using mHealth technology to support treatment adherence and to collect behavioral data in biomedical studies of HIV (e.g., Home HIV tests, PrEP, and rectal microbicides). I specifically work with African-American and Latino populations, MSM, and ethnic and/or sexual minority youth to develop New Media-based technology -particularly mHealth and social media- for HIV prevention, education, intervention, health promotion, treatment adherence, health management and public health practice.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Map Social Determinants of Health (SDH) to Opioid Prescribing, Misuse/OUD, Screening and Treatment Using UCSF Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data
    CTSI Resource Allocation ProgramJun 1, 2020 - May 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    UCSF Data Science Training to Advance Behavioral and Social Science Expertise for Health Research (DaTABASE) Program
    NIH/NIMHD T32MD015070Mar 13, 2020 - Feb 28, 2025
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Is There More to Opioid Prescribing Than Pain? Examining Associations Between Social Determinants of Health and Opioid Prescribing Using UCSF Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Data
    CTSI K Scholars Pilot AwardMar 1, 2020 - Feb 28, 2021
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Using Smartphones for Early Detection of Opioid Misuse to Inform and Improve Physician Drug Screenings with Patients
    AHRQ K12HS026383Jul 1, 2019 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Awardee
    Creating Community Driven, Personalized Health Maps for Patients with Diabetes
    NIH/NLM R01LM013045Sep 5, 2018 - Aug 31, 2022
    Role: Co-Investigator
    The Next Frontier in Diabetes Communication: Promoting Health Literacy in the Era of Secure Messaging
    NIH/NLM R01LM012355Apr 1, 2018 - Jun 30, 2019
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Rapid Home Test to Reduce Sexual Risk Behavior in MSM and Transgender Women
    NIH R01HD076636Jul 1, 2014 - Jun 30, 2019
    Role: Biomedical Informaticist (SMS/mHealth)
    Addressing disparities in chronic disease with a teen and young adult focus
    NIH/NIMHD P60MD006902Aug 27, 2012 - Feb 28, 2017
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Developing a Short Message Service (SMS) System to Monitor and Aid Adherence in Research Trials
    NIH/NIMH Sub-award under 2P30MH043520-20Dec 1, 2011 - Nov 30, 2012
    Role: Co-Investigator

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    Collapse Featured Videos

    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.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    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. Then We Looked at His Results: Men Who Have Sex With Men from New York City and Puerto Rico Report Their Sexual Partner's Reactions to Receiving Reactive HIV Self-Test Results. AIDS Behav. 2020 Sep; 24(9):2597-2605. Balán IC, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Lentz C, Dolezal C, Cruz Torres C, Brown W, Crespo R, Sheinfil A, Tagliaferri Rael C, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 32078078.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    2. Few Aggressive or Violent Incidents are Associated with the Use of HIV Self-tests to Screen Sexual Partners Among Key Populations. AIDS Behav. 2020 Jul; 24(7):2220-2226. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Brown W, Lopez-Rios J, Sheinfil A, Frasca T, Rael C, Lentz C, Crespo R, Cruz Torres C, Leu CS, Febo I. PMID: 32030526.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    3. Use of Rapid HIV Self-Test to Screen Potential Sexual Partners: Results of the ISUM Study. AIDS Behav. 2020 Jun; 24(6):1929-1941. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Balán IC, Brown W, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Lopez Rios J, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Rael CT, Lentz C, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Cruz Torres C, Febo I. PMID: 31853772.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    4. Text Messaging and Disaster Preparedness Aids Engagement, Re-Engagement, Retention, and Communication Among Puerto Rican Participants in a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Self-Testing Study After Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Apr 08; 1-8. Brown W, Lopez Rios J, Sheinfil A, Frasca T, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Dolezal C, Giguere R, Lentz C, Balán IC, Rael CT, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 32264992.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    5. Broaching the Topic of HIV Self-testing with Potential Sexual Partners Among Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men in New York and Puerto Rico. AIDS Behav. 2020 Apr 02. Lentz C, Iribarren S, Giguere R, Conserve DF, Dolezal C, Lopez-Rios J, Balán IC, Sheinfil AZ, Rael CT, Brown W, Torres CC, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 32239360.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    6. Information and Motivation Predict HIV-Serostatus Among a Population of High-Risk Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav. 2020 Mar 21. Sheinfil AZ, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Lopez-Rios J, Iribarren S, Brown W, Rael C, Lentz C, Balán I, Frasca T, Torres CC, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 32200447.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    7. Transgender Women's Experiences Using a Home HIV-Testing Kit for Partner-Testing. AIDS Behav. 2020 Mar 19. Rael CT, Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Lentz C, Balán IC, Sheinfil A, Dolezal C, Brown W, Frasca T, Torres CC, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Leu CS, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 32193729.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    8. Use of HIV Self-Testing Kits to Screen Clients Among Transgender Female Sex Workers in New York and Puerto Rico. AIDS Behav. 2020 Feb; 24(2):506-515. Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Rael CT, Brown W, Sheinfil AZ, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 31865516.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    9. Secure Messaging with Physicians by Proxies for Patients with Diabetes: Findings from the ECLIPPSE Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 11; 34(11):2490-2496. Semere W, Crossley S, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Brown W, Reed M, McNamara DS, Liu JY, Schillinger D. PMID: 31428986.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    10. Methods, system errors, and demographic differences in participant errors using daily text message-based short message service computer-assisted self-interview (SMS-CASI) to measure sexual risk behavior in a RCT of HIV self-test use. Mhealth. 2019; 5:17. Brown W, Sheinfil A, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Rael C, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 31380409.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    11. Using natural language processing and machine learning to classify health literacy from secure messages: The ECLIPPSE study. PLoS One. 2019; 14(2):e0212488. Balyan R, Crossley SA, Brown W, Karter AJ, McNamara DS, Liu JY, Lyles CR, Schillinger D. PMID: 30794616.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Trajectory of use over time of an oral tablet and a rectal gel for HIV prevention among transgender women and men who have sex with men. AIDS Care. 2019 03; 31(3):379-387. Leu CS, Giguere R, Bauermeister JA, Dolezal C, Brown W, Balán IC, Richardson BA, Piper JM, Lama JR, Cranston RD, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 30318905.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    13. Are participants concerned about privacy and security when using short message service to report product adherence in a rectal microbicide trial? J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2018 04 01; 25(4):393-400. Giguere R, Brown W, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Ho T, Sheinfil A, Ibitoye M, Lama JR, McGowan I, Cranston RD, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 29025127.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Challenges and solutions implementing an SMS text message-based survey CASI and adherence reminders in an international biomedical HIV PrEP study (MTN 017). J Biomed Inform. 2018 04; 80:78-86. Brown W, Giguere R, Sheinfil A, Ibitoye M, Balan I, Ho T, Brown B, Quispe L, Sukwicha W, Lama JR, Carballo-Diéguez A, Cranston RD. PMID: 29501908.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    15. Brief Participant-Centered Convergence Interviews Integrate Self-Reports, Product Returns, and Pharmacokinetic Results to Improve Adherence Measurement in MTN-017. AIDS Behav. 2018 03; 22(3):986-995. Balán IC, Giguere R, Brown W, Carballo-Diéguez A, Horn S, Hendrix CW, Marzinke MA, Ayudhya RPKN, Patterson K, Piper JM, McGowan I, Lama JR, Cranston RD. PMID: 29076032.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Factors Supporting and Hindering Adherence to Rectal Microbicide Gel Use with Receptive Anal Intercourse in a Phase 2 Trial. AIDS Behav. 2018 02; 22(2):388-401. Giguere R, Rael CT, Sheinfil A, Balán IC, Brown W, Ho T, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Liu A, Mayer KH, Lama JR, McGowan I, Carballo-Diéguez A, Cranston RD. PMID: 28825142.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    17. Mixed-Method Evaluation of Social Media-Based Tools and Traditional Strategies to Recruit High-Risk and Hard-to-Reach Populations into an HIV Prevention Intervention Study. AIDS Behav. 2018 01; 22(1):347-357. Iribarren SJ, Ghazzawi A, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Brown W, Lopez-Rios J, Rael CT, Balán IC, Crespo R, Dolezal C, Giguere R, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 29124420.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    18. Preference of Oral Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate/Emtricitabine Versus Rectal Tenofovir Reduced-Glycerin 1% Gel Regimens for HIV Prevention Among Cisgender Men and Transgender Women Who Engage in Receptive Anal Intercourse with Men. AIDS Behav. 2017 Dec; 21(12):3336-3345. Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Balán IC, Brown W, Rael C, Richardson BA, Piper JM, Bekker LG, Chariyalertsak S, Chitwarakorn A, Gonzales P, Holtz TH, Liu A, Mayer KH, Zorrilla CD, Lama JR, McGowan I, Cranston RD. PMID: 29119473.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    19. High levels of adherence to a rectal microbicide gel and to oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) achieved in MTN-017 among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. PLoS One. 2017; 12(7):e0181607. Carballo-Diéguez A, Balán IC, Brown W, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Marzinke MA, Hendrix CW, Piper JM, Richardson BA, Grossman C, Johnson S, Gomez K, Horn S, Kunjara Na Ayudhya RP, Patterson K, Jacobson C, Bekker LG, Chariyalertsak S, Chitwarakorn A, Gonzales P, Holtz TH, Liu A, Mayer KH, Zorrilla C, Lama J, McGowan I, Cranston RD. PMID: 28750059.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic HealthCTClinical Trials
    20. SMASH: A Data-driven Informatics Method to Assist Experts in Characterizing Semantic Heterogeneity among Data Elements. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2016; 2016:1717-1726. Brown W, Weng C, Vawdrey DK, Carballo-Diéguez A, Bakken S. PMID: 28269930.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    21. Examining the unique characteristics of a non-probability sample of undocumented female sex workers with dependent children: The case of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Sex Cult. 2017 Sep; 21(3):680-691. Rael CT, Sheinfil A, Hampanda K, Carballo-Diéguez A, Pala AN, Brown W. PMID: 28959120.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    22. Scoping review and evaluation of SMS/text messaging platforms for mHealth projects or clinical interventions. Int J Med Inform. 2017 05; 101:28-40. Iribarren SJ, Brown W, Giguere R, Stone P, Schnall R, Staggers N, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 28347445.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Ontology-based Semantic Harmonization of HIV-associated Common Data Elements for Integration of Diverse HIV Research Datasets. 2016. Brown W.. View Publication.
    24. Converging Self-reports, Product Returns, and Pharmacokinetic Results to Improve Adherence Measurement in MTN-017-a Phase 2 Rectal Microbicide Study. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 2016; 32:380. View Publication.
    25. Acceptability of a New Smartphone-based HIV and Syphilis Test to Screen Sexual Partners among High Risk MSM and Transgender Women. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 2016; 32:64. View Publication.
    26. Feasibility and Acceptability of an International SMS Text Message-Based Adherence and Survey System in a Biomedical HIV Prevention Study (MTN-017). AIDS RESEARCH AND HUMAN RETROVIRUSES. 2016; 32:386. Brown W., Giguere, R., Sheinfil, A., Balán, I., Ibitoye, M., Ho, T., Lama, J., McGowan, I., Cranston, R., Carballo-Diéguez, A.View Publication.
    27. Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills of High-Risk Young Adults to Use the HIV Self-Test. AIDS Behav. 2016 09; 20(9):2000-9. Brown W, Carballo-Diéguez A, John RM, Schnall R. PMID: 26885813.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    28. A user-centered model for designing consumer mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps). J Biomed Inform. 2016 Apr; 60:243-51. Schnall R, Rojas M, Bakken S, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Carry M, Gelaude D, Mosley JP, Travers J. PMID: 26903153.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 43     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    29. Usabilty Evaluation of a Prototype Mobile App for Health Management for Persons Living with HIV. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2016; 225:481-5. Schnall R, Bakken S, Brown Iii W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Iribarren S. PMID: 27332247.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. Using the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model to Guide the Development of an HIV Prevention Smartphone Application for High-Risk MSM. AIDS Educ Prev. 2015 Dec; 27(6):522-37. Aliabadi N, Carballo-Dieguez A, Bakken S, Rojas M, Brown W, Carry M, Mosley JP, Gelaude D, Schnall R. PMID: 26595265.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Comparison of a User-Centered Design, Self-Management App to Existing mHealth Apps for Persons Living With HIV. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015 Sep 18; 3(3):e91. Schnall R, Mosley JP, Iribarren SJ, Bakken S, Carballo-Diéguez A, Brown Iii W. PMID: 26385783.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    
    32. Cartographic Analysis of Antennas and Towers: A Novel Approach to Improving the Implementation and Data Transmission of mHealth Tools on Mobile Networks. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015 Jun 04; 3(2):e63. Brown Iii W, Ibitoye M, Bakken S, Schnall R, Balán I, Frasca T, Carballo-Diéguez A. PMID: 26043766.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    33. Trust, Perceived Risk, Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness as Factors Related to mHealth Technology Use. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015; 216:467-71. Schnall R, Higgins T, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Bakken S. PMID: 26262094.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Anticipated and actual reactions to receiving HIV positive results through self-testing among gay and bisexual men. AIDS Behav. 2014 Dec; 18(12):2485-95. Martinez O, Carballo-Diéguez A, Ibitoye M, Frasca T, Brown W, Balan I. PMID: 24858480.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Developing an eBook-Integrated High-Fidelity Mobile App Prototype for Promoting Child Motor Skills and Taxonomically Assessing Children's Emotional Responses Using Face and Sound Topology. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2014; 2014:333-42. Brown W, Liu C, John RM, Ford P. PMID: 25954336.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Use of Design Science for Informing the Development of a Mobile App for Persons Living with HIV. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2014; 2014:1037-45. Schnall R, Rojas M, Travers J, Brown W, Bakken S. PMID: 25954413.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Method for the development of data visualizations for community members with varying levels of health literacy. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2013; 2013:51-60. Arcia A, Bales ME, Brown W, Co MC, Gilmore M, Lee YJ, Park CS, Prey J, Velez M, Woollen J, Yoon S, Kukafka R, Merrill JA, Bakken S. PMID: 24551322.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    38. Assessment of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model (Health-ITUEM) for evaluating mobile health (mHealth) technology. J Biomed Inform. 2013 Dec; 46(6):1080-7. Brown W, Yen PY, Rojas M, Schnall R. PMID: 23973872.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Double nigrescence: Toward a comprehensive model for homosexual African American men's racial identity resilience. 2006. Brown W.. View Publication.
    40. Discrimination Dot Com: Racially biased interaction in the online gay male community. McNair Scholar Journal of the University of California. 2003; (6):22-29. William Brown III..
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