Drenna Waldrop

Drenna Waldrop

Professor, tenured, Assistant Dean for Research Operations and Training | PhD

About

Drenna Waldrop, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology. She is a Professor, tenured, at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN), and is jointly appointed in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Waldrop’s primary research and scholarly interest is in treatment adherence, cognitive & affective symptoms, and health literacy among persons living with HIV/AIDS. She has been Principal Investigator on five NIH grants and over the past 20 years has led and collaborated on numerous studies investigating the overarching symptoms associated with HIV infection, including health literacy and cognition, and their impact on health disparities among persons living with HIV. Her research and findings have led to the expansion and understanding of the essential role that cognitive impairment and health literacy plays in health disparities and in self-management of HIV. Her international work includes collaborative studies in northern and southern India to evaluate the effects of Clade C HIV virus, and in Argentina to facilitate health literate and patient-centered care encounters. She has collaborated with neuro-endocrinologists to study HIV/AIDS stress-response and worked with brain imaging specialists to evaluate the effects of HIV infection and drug abuse on brain metabolism. Her most recent research studies the effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive function among PLWH (MPI with Dr. Rebecca Gary) and she is also investigating virtual and mobile app based interventions to address chronic disease and medication adherence.

Dr. Waldrop serves as the Assistant Dean for Research Operations and Training at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. In this role, she oversees that training of postdoctoral fellows in the NHWSN, works with the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Innovation on research mentoring and research operations in the school and through the Office of Nursing Research (ONR). Dr. Waldrop leads the monthly research mock reviews through the ONR and provides professional mentoring to interprofessional faculty members within the NHWSN.

Areas of Expertise

HIV/AIDS

Treatment Adherence

Neurocognition

Health Literacy

Publications

Waldrop-Valverde, D., Murden, R.J., Guo, Y., Holstad, M., Ownby, R.L. (2018). Racial disparities in HIV antiretroviral medication management are mediated by health literacy. Health Literacy Research and Practice. Vol 2, (4), 11 June, 2018. doi:10.3928/24748307-20180925-01.

Anderson, A.N., Haardörfer, R., Holstad, M.M., Nguyen, M., Waldrop-Valverde, D. (2019). A Path Analysis of Patient and Social-Level Factors on Health Literacy and Retention in Care Among African Americans Living with HIV. AIDS and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02699-y

Anderson, A.N., Higgins, C. M., Haardörfer, R., Holstad, M., Nguyen, M., Waldrop-Valverde, D. (2019). Disparities in retention in care among adults living with HIV/AIDS: A systematic review. Accepted for publication at AIDS and Behavior.

Rubin, L.H., Maki, P.M., Springer, G., Benning, L., Anastos, K., Gustafson, D., Villacres, M.C., Jiang, X., Adimora, A.A., Waldrop-Valverde, D., Vance, D.E., Bolivar, H., Alden, C., Martin, E.M., Valcour, V.G. (2017). Cognitive trajectories over four years among HIV-infected women with optimal viral suppression. Neurology. 10 October, 2017; 89(15). doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004491

Waldrop-Valverde, D., Ownby, R.L., Jones, D.L., Sharma S., Nehra, R., Kumar, A.M., Prabhakar, S., Kumar, M. (2015). Neuropsychological test performance among healthy persons in northern India: development of normative data. Journal of Neurovirology, 2015 Aug;21(4):433-8. doi: 10.1007/s13365-015-0332-4. Epub 2015 Mar 18. PMID: 25784168

Teaching

To be an effective teacher, one must be skilled at transmitting information in a manner conducive to learning but also have the ability to model inquisitiveness, perseverance, scholarly integrity, and dedication to their field. As a teacher of the core courses in research methodologies to doctoral students, it is one of the most important duties to help them form a solid foundation for their future scholarly work. It is also important that students are provided with the most up-to-date and accurate information delivered by their teacher and top experts. My ultimate goal is to prepare highly skilled graduates with excellent potential to develop into independent researchers. This goal is directly linked to my philosophy of teaching which rests on the tenets of transformational learning, ultimately developing into a trajectory for lifelong scholarship.

Research

Dr. Waldrop-Valverde’s research and scholarly interest is in adherence, cognitive & affective symptoms, HIV/AIDS, and health literacy. In the area of cognition and HIV/AIDS, she has been Principal Investigator on four NIH grants and over the past 15 years has led and collaborated on numerous studies investigating the overarching symptoms associated with HIV infection, including health literacy and cognition. Her research and findings have led to the expansion and understanding of the essential role that health literacy plays in HIV/AIDS patients. Her international work includes collaborative studies in northern and southern India to evaluate the effects of Clade C HIV virus, and in Argentina to facilitate health literate and patient-centered care encounters. She has collaborated with neuro-endocrinologists to study HIV/AIDS stress-response and worked with brain imaging specialists to evaluate the effects of HIV infection and drug abu se on brain metabolism. She is currently active on nine different grants.

Awards