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Associate Professor
Catherine Lesko

Departmental Affiliations


Catherine Lesko, PhD '15, MPH, researches clinical outcomes for persons with HIV, particularly as they relate to mental health, alcohol use and substance use.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E7634

Research Interests

alcohol use; causal inference; competing events; epidemiological methods; generalizability; HIV clinical outcomes; HIV care continuum; measurement error; mental health; personalized medicine; quasi-experimental study design; substance use; survival analysis
Experiences & Accomplishments
University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
University of Dayton
University of Dayton
Dr. Lesko's applied research interests are primarily related to describing and improving clinical outcomes for persons with HIV living in the United States. She has a particular focus on (1) estimating the prevalence and effects of mental health disorders, alcohol misuse, substance use, and alcohol and other substance use disorders; and (2) monitoring and improving progress through the HIV care continuum, and better defining and describing "engagement in HIV care" for predicting clinical outcomes.

Dr. Lesko also works on the application and development of epidemiologic methods and theory for estimating policy- and patient-relevant health effects from observational data. Specifically, she has published on causal inference theory and application (how can we determine that changing something about A will lead to a change in Y?); external validity and quantitative approaches to generalizing data from one sample to other target populations (if an intervention worked in one group of people, what will the effect of that intervention in another group of people?); and analyzing time-to-event data in the presence of censoring (e.g., loss to follow-up) or competing events.
Honors & Awards
2015   Delta Omega Honorary Society in the Public Health Theta Chapter
2015   CROI Young Investigator Scholarship
2013   Cornoni-Huntley Scholarship
Select Publications
Selected publications:
  • Lesko CR, Keil AP, Moore RD, Chander G, Fojo AT, Lau B. Measurement of current substance use in a cohort of HIV-infected persons in continuity HIV care, 2007-2015. Am J Epidemiol. In press.
  • Lesko CR, Todd JV, Cole SR, Edmonds A, Pence BW, Edwards JK, Mack WJ, Bacchetti P, Rubtsova A, Gange SJ, Adimora AA, for the WIHS Investigators. Mortality under plausible interventions on antiretroviral treatment and depression in HIV-infected adults: an application of the parametric g-formula. Annals of Epidemiol, 2017; 27(12): 783-789.
  • Lesko CR, Edwards JK, Moore RD, Lau B. A longitudinal, HIV care continuum: 10-year restricted mean time in each care continuum stage after enrollment in care, by history of injection drug use. AIDS, 2016; 30(14): 2227-2234.
  • Lesko CR, Cole SR, Zinski A, Poole C, Mugavero MJ. A systematic review and meta-regression of temporal trends in adult CD4+ cell count at presentation to HIV care, 1992-2011 (with Discussion). Clin Infect Dis, 2013; 57(7): 1027-1037.
  • Hutton H , Lesko CR, Chander G, Lau B, Wand GS, McCaul ME. Differential effects of perceived stress on alcohol consumption in moderate versus heavy drinking HIV-infected women. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2017; 178: 380-385.