Technology and Engagement: Research Interest Group


To expand UNC HIV research on technology and engagement, with a focus on junior investigators and those new to HIV research. We define technology and engagement as research that uses any form of technology (e.g., video, GIF, virtual reality) to engage people at risk for or living with HIV.


Technology expands how people living with HIV engage in the social world. This introduces exciting new opportunities for interventions, research, and programs. The concept of technology and engagement moves beyond m-health to think about how technology can enhance meaningful participation. Technological innovations have been used to spur engagement in HIV testing, linkage to care, and viral suppression.

Main Objectives:

  • Tech-enhanced lecture series. We host a monthly lecture series on HIV technology and engagement. We will use technology to live broadcast to UNC sites outside of Chapel Hill, tweet and livestream (as appropriate).
  • Champion technology and engagement in grant writing. We will assist junior investigators and others interested in developing NIH grant applications focused on HIV m-health, crowdsourcing, and related aspects.
  • Technology & Engagement Education. The team organizes short-term workshops and conferences.
Archive of Lectures

Group Directors

Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH

Lisa Hightow-Weidman is a Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Infectious Diseases and Health Behavior, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Hightow-Weidman completed her medical school training at the University of Virginia and became board certified in Internal Medicine in 2001 after completing residency training at Stanford University. She completed fellowship training in Infectious Diseases and earned a Master’s degree in Public Health in Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Hightow-Weidman is an expert on mhealth, social media and utilization and evaluation of technology-based interventions to address the HIV Care Continuum for youth and young adults, particularly among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. She has developed technology-based interventions to address uptake and adherence to biomedical HIV prevention technologies, as well as intervening to increase HIV diagnosis, linkage and retention in care for YMSM. She is the PI of iTech, The UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology Across the Prevention and Care Continuum. This grant, part of the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV Interventions (ATN), seeks to develop a technology center to address the domestic epidemic of HIV among at risk and HIV-infected youth.

Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD, AM

Joe Tucker is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UNC School of Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research focuses on crowdsourcing to improve HIV and other health outcomes. Crowdsourcing has a group of people attempt to solve a problem, then shares solutions with the public. He has a K24 mid-career grant to mentor trainees on global HIV research. His current studies focus on youth-led HIV self-testing in Nigeria, pay-it-forward testing promotion, and decentralized testing.
Twitter: JosephTucker

For inquiries, please contact Tabs Faulkner