Amanda E. Tanner Ph.D., MPH

Promoting Health, Engaging Communities, Changing Lives

Amanda E. Tanner Ph.D., MPH


Education and Training

W.K. Kellogg Community Health Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Adolescent Health, Indiana University School of Medicine,
Doctorate(PhD) in Health Behavior, minor in Sociology, Indiana University,
Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, Indiana University
Bachelor of Art in Psychology and Women’s Studies, Saint Olaf College

Curriculum Vitae


After college I had two landmark experiences that led me to graduate school: (1) spending a year as a Colorado ski bum trying to figure out what I wanted to do and (2) working at an international women’s health organization in New York City. I left the city to work on my MPH and PhD in Health Behavior at Indiana University. Since then I have continued to focus on sexual and reproductive health in my research, teaching, and service.  Outside of work, you will find me on my bike, in the yoga studio, or in the woods playing with my family and friends!

Research Interests

As a public health behavioral researcher, I am interested in health disparities especially as they relate to sexual and reproductive health outcomes. The central, integrated research areas that drive my public health research agenda include: 1) Community Engagement; 2) Infectious Disease Behavioral Science; and 3) Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health. In order to adequately address public health issues, especially health disparities, I believe it is crucial to conduct research grounded in the community and in strong theoretical and conceptual frameworks. My training in health behavior necessitates an understanding of both the individual and community context under which behaviors occur to promote sexual and reproductive health. While my research focuses primarily on women and adolescents within each of these research areas, I endeavor to maintain a focus on diverse populations to consider how these complex issues are understood within specific cultural contexts. Methodologically I incorporate quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method designs as appropriate to the specific research question.

Past and Current Studies

The concentration of much of my work has been on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health, including assessing the acceptability of hormonal contraceptives and microbicides (product in development to prevent transmission of HIV/STI) among young women. In order to support product use and overall sexual health, public health professionals need to consider the multiple factors (e.g., substance use, communication skills, relationship quality) that influence motivation for engaging in sexual behaviors and use of contraceptive and disease prevention methods. Empowering young people to make healthy sexual decisions requires us to understand the social and relationship factors that influence sexual behaviors and decisions. Decreasing the immediate (e.g., STI, unintended pregnancy) and long-term (e.g., infertility) consequences of sexual behaviors depends on a comprehensive understanding of these factors. While this research focuses on the potential reduction of negative outcomes associated with young women’s sexual behaviors, it also incorporates the influence of relationship contexts on the ways in which women and their partners negotiate sexual interactions and pleasure-centered experiences. The continued exploration and consideration of how multiple identities, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, influence individual’s sexual behaviors is essential in the promotion of health. My research is important as it addresses the socio-cultural contexts in which sexual behaviors and decisions occur for the promotion of positive sexual development.

The majority of my current research agenda focuses on sexual and reproductive health particularly with adolescents and young adults, including the following projects:

  • ATN 135: Comprehensive Assessment of Transition and Coordination for HIV-Positive Youth as they Move from Adolescent to Adult Care (CATCH)
    • This multi-method, longitudinal study will describe the transition process for HIV-positive youth as they move from pediatric- and adolescent-specific to adult care at 14 clinical sites across the United States. To achieve this goal, we will characterize the transition process from the perspectives of HIV-positive youth, ATN clinic providers and program staff, and receiving adult clinic staff. Study will go into the field in Spring 2015. Role: Principal Investigator
  • Using CBPR to Reduce HIV Risk among Immigrant Latino MSM (R01MH087339)
    • The goals of this CBPR study are to refine, implement, and evaluate a culturally congruent lay health advisor intervention designed to reduce the disproportionate HIV burden borne by Latino MSM. Analysis is ongoing. Role: Co-Investigator
  • ATN 093: Evaluation of SMILE inCaring for Youth: HIV Testing and Linkage-to-Care Collaboration (3U01 HD040533-09S1)
    • The goal of Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) project is to determine program-level factors associated with the effectiveness of the Care Initiative – a strategic, multisite, initiative for the identification, linkage, and engagement in care for youth with newly diagnosed HIV at 15 Adolescent Medicine Trial Units clinical sites. Role: Co-Investigator
  • ICE: Increasing HIV Care Engagement (UNCC Faculty Research Grant)
    • This qualitative study examines factors influencing care practices for individuals living with HIV in the Charlotte, NC metropolitan area. The study also explores the affect of an HIV diagnosis on contraceptive and fertility intentions and how fertility desires may increase adherence to medical care and treatment. Role: Principal Investigator

Courses Taught

  • HEA 405 Planning and Evaluation
  • HEA 470 Adolescent Health
  • HEA 609 Community Health Interventions
  • HEA 670 Adolescent Health
  • HEA 760 Teaching in Community Health Education

Honors and Awards

Gail M. Hennis Graduate Teaching Award, 2013-2014
William L. Yarber Sexual Health Fellowship, 2006-2007
Indiana University Chancellor’s Fellowship, 2004-2007
Indiana University Fellowship, 2004-2005

Links of Interest

NC Docks
International Academy of Sex Research
Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality


Central Carolina Health Network, Board of Directors
Central Carolina Health Network, Finance Committee Co-Chair
American Public Health Association, HIV Section, Leadership Committee