Nabila El-Bassel

Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work


Dr. Nabila El-Bassel provides significant national and international leadership to the global health agenda. Dr. El-Bassel is a Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG), which was established in 1990 as a multi-disciplinary center focusing on developing and testing effective prevention and intervention approaches and disseminating them to local, national, and international communities. Dr. El-Bassel is also the Director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA), a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in both New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through Research, Education, Training, and Policy and Dissemination.

Dr. El-Bassel has been funded extensively by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  She has designed and tested HIV intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples, which have been disseminated nationally and internationally. Dr. El-Bassel has been studying the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women and has designed HIV interventions that address these co-occurring problems with significant scientific contributions in gender-based HIV prevention for women.

Dr. El-Bassel has been mentoring HIV research scientists from Central Asia and she has also been funded by the National Institute of Health to train faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention.  She has published extensively on HIV prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of IPV and substance abuse.

Research Interests:

  • Substance abuse
  • HIV/AIDS with women, men, couples, families
  • Partner violence with men and women on methadone
  • Social support
  • Social network interventions
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Health disparities
  • HIV and substance abuse research with people with history of criminal justice
  • International global health (HIV, substance abuse, HCV, TB, STIs etc.)
  • Migrant workers in Central Asia and China
  • Co-occurring problems: Violence, Trauma, Drug abuse and HIV
  • Training of racial ethnic minority researchers

Current Projects:

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Books and Chapters

Brisson, A., El-Bassel, N., & Aybar, J. (2008). Women who have Sex with Women (WSW): Strategies for HIV prevention in international settings. In R. Mizzi (Ed.), Breaking free: Sexual diversity and change in emerging nations. Toronto, Ontario: Queer Peace International.

El-Bassel, N., Witte, S., & Gilbert, L. (2008). HIV/AIDS risk reduction with couples: Implications for reducing health disparities in HIV Prevention.

Alegria, M., Vila, D., Train, S., Williams S., & El-Bassel, N. (2006). Epidemiology of HIV. In F. Fernandez and P. Ruiz (Eds.), Psychiatric aspects of HIV/AIDS. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Journal Articles

Wu, E., El-Bassel, N., Gilbert, L., Chang, M., & Sanders, G. (in press). Effects of receiving additional off-site services on abstinence from illicit drug use among men on methadone: A Longitudinal study. Evaluation and Program Planning.

Wu, E., El-Bassel, N., McVinney, L. D., Fontaine, Y.-M., & Hess, L. (in press). Adaptations of a couple-based HIV Intervention for Methamphetamine-involved African American men who have sex with men. Open AIDS Journal.

El-Bassel, N., Caldeine N., Rugless, L., & Gilbert, L. (2009). African American women and HIV prevention: Risk factors and challenges. American Journal of Public Health.

Panchanadeswaran, S., El-Bassel, N., Gilbert, L., Wu, E., & Chang, M. (2008). An examination of the perceived social support levels of women in methadone maintenance treatment programs who experience various forms of intimate partner violence. Women’s Health Issues, 18(1), 35-43.

The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group (El-Bassel, PI, New York site). (2008). Eban health promotion intervention: Conceptual basis and procedures. JAIDS.

The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group (El-Bassel, PI, New York site). (2008). HIV/STD risk-reduction: Strategies for enhancing the utility of behavioral and biological outcome measures for African American couples. JAIDS.

The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group (El-Bassel, PI, New York site). (2008). The role of community advisory boards (CABs) in Project Eban, an NIMH HIV multisite study with African American couples with mixed HIV status. AIDS.

Epperson, M., El-Bassel, N., Gilbert, L., Orellana, R., & Chang, M. (2008). Criminal justice involvement and associated HIV risk among men on methadone. AIDS and Behavior, 12(1), 51-57.


Wu, E., & El-Bassel, N., McVinney, L. D., Mansergh, G., Charania, M., Fontaine, Y.-M., & Hess, L. (2009). A Couples-based HIV risk reduction intervention for African American, methamphetamine-involved men in longer-term same-sex relationships. Presemted at the National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA.

El-Bassel, N. (2009, January). HIV among drug users in Kazakhstan: Driving forces and implications for HIV prevention & treatment. Presented at CROI, Montreal, Canada.

El-Bassel, N. (2009, March). HIV among drug users in Kazakhstan: Driving forces and implications for HIV prevention & treatment. Presented at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

El-Bassel, N. (2009, July).  HIV among drug users in Kazakhstan: Driving forces and implications for HIV prevention & treatment & The Silk Road Study: Migration and HIV among market vendors in Kazakhstan. Presented at University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.