Staff Spotlight: William Grant

Here is our first post introducing a “Staff Spotlight” series to give some insight into our family here at the CRU. Please read below to learn about William Grant, our newest member of the team and his exciting project to improve HIV prevention knowledge and awareness in future providers. Without further ado…


Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. Go Gators!

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

A: I’ve loved lions since I was young. I’m pretty sure it has everything to do with growing up watching Disney and “The Lion King.”

Q: What year are you in medical school and what are your future goals in medicine?

A: I am currently in my third year of med school. While I haven’t quite decided which medical specialty I’d like to go into, I hope to synthesize longitudinal care with mental health/wellness, preferably in LGBTQ and/or under-resourced patient populations. I would also like to continue working with community-based organizations to provide care to patients and communities. Ultimately, I hope my work links vulnerable folx to care and diversify clinical practice.

 Q: What is the RAMP scholar program and what encouraged you to apply?

A: The HVTN Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) is a program that provides Black and Latinx medical students with funded HIV prevention research opportunities. RAMP also provides students with structured mentorship and professional development opportunities. My interest in HIV prevention, health disparities, and clinical research is what led me to apply to RAMP. I saw RAMP as a special opportunity to combine all of those interests under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

Q: Why did you choose to come to the CRU?

A: I chose to come to CRU because I saw Columbia as the best fit for my career and research interests. When I was selecting prospective research sites and mentors, I was amazed by the variety of clinical initiatives being conducted here at CRU. I have a strong interest in LGBTQ health and the intersections of racial identity on health outcomes within the queer community. I saw the CRU as a site where I would have the opportunity to engage all of those interests. Furthermore, I saw New York City as the perfect place to not only develop professionally, but explore, learn, and enjoy!

Q: What projects are you working on at the CRU?

A: I am currently working on my project, Increasing HIV Prevention Knowledge and Awareness in Future Providers. The aim of my project is to develop interactive, web-based modules for medical students to inform future providers’ understanding of HIV prevention strategies, discussing sexual health in diverse patient populations, and clinical research concepts. I’ve also had the opportunity to perform data analyses for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) uptake in women here in New York City and I recruit participants for HIV vaccine and antibody studies on a weekly basis.