Marya Gwadz

Associate Dean for Research; Professor

Areas of Expertise

Social/behavioral interventions; the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST); HIV; substance use; mental health; stigma; health equity; adolescents, emerging adults, and adults living with HIV; persons living with HIV with barriers to HIV medication; medication adherence; mixed methods research approaches; grant writing


Marya Gwadz is Associate Dean for Research and is a Professor at NYU Silver. She also serves as an Associate Director in the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core in the NIDA-funded Center for Drug Use and HIV Research at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (CDUHR).

The main focus of Dr. Gwadz's research is the development and evaluation of potent, innovative, and culturally salient social/behavioral interventions to address racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender inequity in health. Her work with vulnerable adolescent and adult populations spans three decades and focuses on populations such as persons with substance use problems, sexual and gender minorities, heterosexuals in high-risk contexts, populations with high rates of criminal justice involvement, runaway/homeless youth, and people of color living with HIV from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. Dr. Gwadz's program of research has been continually funded by the NIH since 2000.

Dr. Gwadz is an expert on the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), a framework for developing efficient and cost-effective interventions with no inactive, poorly performing, or counter-productive elements. She is currently Co-Principal Investigator on a NIDA-funded study using MOST to optimize an intervention for vulnerable populations living with HIV (R01DA040480) with Dr. Linda Collins, the original developer of MOST. Their study is the first application of the MOST framework in the field of HIV treatment and prevention. She is also an expert on adaptive trial designs, including sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMART).

Prior to joining NYU Silver, Dr. Gwadz was a Senior Research Scientist at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and Director of CUDHR's Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core. She has played a leadership role in CDUHR since 2005.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Gwadz earned her PhD and MA in clinical psychology from NYU and her BA in psychology from the University of Rochester.