Theresa Exner, PhD

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Phone: (646) 774-6927

Theresa Exner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, where she teaches human sexuality to psychiatric residents and medical students. She also teaches in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia and is a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. As an investigator with the HIV Center's Intervention Science Core, Dr. Exner provides consultation to a variety of researchers and community organizations on project and intervention development, training staff on sexuality related issues, and assessment of sexual behavior. 

Dr. Exner has been involved in HIV prevention work since 1988. Previous federally funded initiatives include HIV/STI prevention efforts with women accessing contraceptive care in medically under-served areas of NYC; evaluation of a school-based, peer- and teacher-delivered prevention program for youth in rural KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; and development and piloting of an HIV prevention program targeting Nigerian men.  In partnership with the NYSDOH AIDS Institute, she conducted a state-wide structural intervention to promote female condom use. With Joanne Mantell, Ph.D., (Principal Investigator), she developed and pilot-tested an intervention to promote reproductive health among HIV-positive women and men entering primary HIV Care in Cape Town, South Africa, and a study to promote the female condom among university students in South Africa.  With Robert Remien, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator),  she was involved in a structural intervention to promote Acute HIV Infection (AHI) screening in medical clinics in New York City. With Susie Hoffman, Dr. P.H. (Principal Investigator) she completed a study designed to understand health care trajectories of newly-diagnosed HIV+ women and men in Durban, South Africa, and is currently involved in a study to promote uptake of PrEP among young women and adolescent girls in South Africa at Medical Research Council study sites. 


LaSalle College, Philadelphia, PA
BA - 1977 - Psychology

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
PhD - 1986 - Clinical Psychology


1979-1980: Clinical Psychology Intern, Spring Grove Hospital Center, Baltimore, MD

1981-1985: Teaching Assistant in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

1986-1988: Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy, New York, NY

1987-1988: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Connecticut College, New London, CT

1987 Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology, Hunter College, New York, NY

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology, Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology, Connecticut College, New London, CT

1988-present: Research Scientist, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Staff Therapist, Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy, New York, NY

1991-2009: Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology, Dept. of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY

2009 - present: Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY


1977: B.A. summa cum laude, LaSalle College

1978-1979: U.S. Public Health Service Fellowship

1985: Dissertation Fellowship, University of Connecticut

1988-1989: Member, NIMH Workgroup, Psychosexual Assessment in AIDS Research

1996-1999: Research Associate Award, New York State

2006: John Dondero Alumni Award, La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA