Lisa Butler, PhD

Associate Research Professor, InCHIP (Principal Investigator)

Research Overview

I am an epidemiologist and behavioral scientist with research interests in child and adolescent HIV prevention, care and treatment. I have education and training in applied developmental psychology and population health sciences, and over 17 years’ experience with epidemiologic research in clinic and community settings in sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana. I specialize in the design and implementation of innovative clinic- and community-based strategies that incorporate participatory methods, mobile health (mHealth) technologies and multi-media resources to engage communities, health care providers, children, adolescents, and their families to improve infant and child health outcomes in the context of low-resource, high HIV-prevalence settings.

As an InCHIP Affiliate, I plan to work on projects focused on child nutrition and development, adolescent HIV prevention and treatment, and maternal mental health and caregiving practices.

I have previously worked with InCHIP faculty and affiliated students. Specifically, (1) Dr. Fisher has served as advisor on my ongoing NIH-funded study of a problem-focused cognitive behavioral intervention to support pediatric HIV disclosure, and (2) I served as an external advisor for student Emily Tuthill on her PhD thesis (through the School of Nursing).


A.B. 1992 Psychology, Smith College
M.A. 1998 Education/Psychological Studies in Human Development, U California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. 2000 Education/Psychological Studies in Human Development, U California, Los Angeles
M.P.H. 2002 Epidemiology and Biostatistics & Health and Social Behavior, U California Berkeley
Ph.D. 2009 Epidemiology, U California Berkeley

Recent Publications


Featured Publications

1. Weiser, S, Leiter, K, Bangsberg D, Butler LM, Percy-de Korte F, Hlanze Z, Phaladze N, Iacopino V, Heisler M. Food insufficiency is associated with high-risk sexual behavior among women in Botswana and Swaziland. PLoS Med. 2007;4(10):1589-1597. PMCID: 17958460.
2. Butler LM, Dorsey G, Hladik W, Rosenthal PJ, Brander C, Neilands, TB, Mbisa G, Whitby D, Kiepiela P, Mosam A, Mzolo S, Dollard S, Martin JN. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus seroprevalence in population-based samples of African children: Evidence for at least two patterns of KSHV Transmission. J Infect Dis. 2009;200(3):430-438. PMCID: 19534596.
3. Butler LM, Osmond D, Graves Jones A, Martin J. Use of saliva as a lubricant in anal sexual practices among homosexual men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009;50(2):162-167. PMCID: 19131893.
4. Crankshaw T, Corless IB, Giddy J, Nicholas PK, Eichbaum Q, Butler LM. Exploring the patterns of use and the feasibility of using cellular phones for clinic appointment reminders and adherence messages in an antiretroviral treatment clinic, Durban, South Africa. AIDS Patient Care STDs. 2010;24(11):729-734.
5. Dollard SC, Butler LM, Graves Jones AM, Mermin JH, Chidzonga M, Chipato T, Shiboski CH, Brander C, Mosam A, Kiepiela P, Hladik W, Martin JN. Substantial regional differences in human herpesvirus 8 seroprevalence in sub-Saharan Africa: Insights on the origin of the “KS belt.” Int J Cancer. 2010;127(10):2395–2401. PMCID: 20143397.
6. Butler LM, Mzolo S, Osmond D, Neilands T, Martin J. A population-based study of how children are exposed to saliva in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: implications for the spread of saliva-borne pathogens to children. Trop Med Int Health. 2010;15(4):442-453. PMCID: 20149165.
7. Horwood C, Butler L, Vermaak K, Rollins N, Haskins L, Nkosi P, Neilands T, Qazi S. Disease profile of children under 5 years attending primary health care clinics in a high HIV prevalence setting in South Africa. Trop Med Int Health. 2011;16(1):42-52.
8. Butler LM, Were WA, Balindani S, Downing R, Dollard S, Neilands TB, Gupta S, Rutherford G, Mermin J. Human herpesvirus 8 infection in children and adults in a population-based study in rural Uganda. J Infect Dis. 2011;203(5):625-634.PMCID: 3071279
9. Chetty T, Knight S, Giddy J, Crankshaw T, Butler LM, Newell M-L. A retrospective study of human immunodeficiency virus transmission, mortality and loss to follow-up among infants in the first 18 months of life in a prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in an urban hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. BMC Pediatr. 2012;12:146.
10. Horwood C, Vermaak K, Butler LM, Haskins L, Phakathi S, Rollins R. Elimination of pediatric HIV in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: Low HIV transmission rates but still high mortality among HIV-exposed infants. A PMTCT impact Assessment at scale. B World Health Organ. 2012;90(3):168-75.
11. Horwood C, Butler LM, Haskins L, Phakathi S, Rollins N. HIV-infected adolescent mothers and their infants: low coverage of HIV services and high risk of HIV transmission in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(9):e74568.
12. Crankshaw TL, Voce A, King RL, Giddy J, Sheon NM, Butler LM. Double disclosure bind: Complexities of communicating an HIV diagnosis in the context of unintended pregnancy in Durban, South Africa. AIDS Behav. 2014;18(Suppl 1):S53-59.
13. Tuthill E, Butler LM, McGrath JM, Cusson RM, Makiwane GN, Gable RK, Fisher JD. Cross-cultural adaptation of instruments assessing breastfeeding determinants: a multi-step approach. International Breastfeeding Journal, 2014;9:16.
14. Cohen CR, Steinfeld R, Weke E, Bukusi EA, Hatcher A, Shibowski S, Rheingans R, Scow KM, Butler L, Otieno P, Dworkin S, Weiser SD. Shamba Maisha: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya Design, methods, and baseline results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Springer Plus, March 12;4:122
15. Weiser SD, Bukusi EA, Steinfeld R, Frongillo EA, Weke E, Dworkin SL, Pusateri K, Shiboski S, Scow K, Butler LM, Cohen CR. Shamba Maisha: Randomized control trial of an agricultural and finance intervention to improve HIV health outcomes in Kenya. AIDS, July 23 –>

Contact Information
Mailing AddressInstitute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy
2006 Hillside Road, Unit 1248
Storrs, CT 06269-1248