Christine Rael, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Columbia University Irving Medical Center


Christine Rael, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the HIV Center. She received her Ph.D. in Health and Behavioral Science from the University of Colorado in Denver. Dr. Rael’s recent research focuses on existing and emerging biomedical HIV prevention methods. Particularly, she is interested in developing strategies to tailor these tools to fit the unique life contexts of end-users during the product development process, especially transgender women. To do this, Dr. Rael’s work engages mHealth strategies (e.g., smartphone applications), novel modes of medication delivery, and end-user designed adherence support interventions. Dr. Rael’s other work focuses on self- and sexual partner-testing for HIV infection. 

Prior to her appointment at the HIV Center, Dr. Rael’s research focused on identifying relationships between stigma, depression, and poor health outcomes in children of female sex workers, women living with HIV/AIDS, and Haitian migrant women in the Dominican Republic.


University of Wisconsin - Parkside
BA - 2006 - International Studies, Spanish

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
MS - 2008 - Anthropology

University of Colorado - Denver
PhD - 2015 - Health and Behavioral Science



2008 - 2010: Teaching Assistant: Biological Anthropology, University of Colorado-Denver

2010 - 2011: Anthropology Lab Manager, University of Colorado-Denver

2011: Teaching Assistant: Intro to Public Health, University of Colorado-Denver

2012: Teaching Assistant: Intro to Epidemiology, University of Colorado-Denver

2008 - 2012: Research Assistant, University of Colorado-Denver

2009 - 2014: Independent Contractor, Hep C Connection

2012 - 2014: Adult Intervention Manager, Denver Health & Hospital Authority

2015 - present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, HIV Center for Clinical & Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, NY

2017 - present: Chief Fellow, HIV Center for Clinical & Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, NY



2002-2006: Rotary Undergraduate Scholarship

2002-2006: Full scholarship to complete undergraduate degree

2008-2011: Tuition stipend for doctoral degree coursework

2011: Rotary Global Health Scholarship

2011: Robinson-Durst Scholarship for Global Health Research

2012: Colorado Health Foundation Symposium University Scholar

2013 - 2014: Fulbright Full Research Grant

2016 - 2017: HIV Center Development Core Pilot Study Grant

2017: Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health Manuscript Publication Award

2017: Microbicide Trials Network Team Innovation Award (team member)

2017 - 2018: HIV Center Development Core Pilot Study Research Grant

2017 - 2019: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Award