Whitney Irie, PhD, MSW is a lecturer on Population Medicine in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Her primary research focuses on preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) access and implementation, particularly for Black Women in the United States. Dr. Irie utilizes a community-empowerment and practice-guided framework to identify mechanisms and processes at the structural, interpersonal, and individual levels to improve, promote, and protect the sexual health of Black women, with a specific focus on Black women in the Midwest, South, and rural areas.
Her research situates health disparities as a consequence of social and structural practices driven by systems of oppression rather than individual behavior. Her current projects use both in depth qualitative data and large data sets to understand patterns and preferences of PrEP access, and implementation science to develop interventions to facilitate improved competency and capacity for HIV prevention and PrEP care provision in clinical settings that serve Black women. Dr. Irie was a NIH-funded post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School, prior to she received her doctoral degree in social work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and completed a master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.