Gabriel Cartagena, B.A.

BiographyGabriel Cartagena

Gabriel graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a B.A. in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Global Health. In Spring 2015, Gabriel became a National Institutes of Health Training Scholar, conducting movement intervention research with Alaskan cancer survivors, as well as studying the viral mechanisms that facilitate Neurodegenerative AIDS using human neuroblastoma cells. In Spring 2016, Gabriel traveled to Durban, South Africa to conduct community-based participatory research on HIV survivorship among women in rural communities, in partnership with the Center for AIDS Prevention Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). Thereafter, Gabriel served as a Mental Health Aid for children and adults with severe cognitive impairment in rural Homagama, Sri Lanka. He also subsequently completed a clinical psychology internship at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), in Bangalore, India. 

Through these experiences, Gabriel has been trained in qualitative and quantitative data analyses, focus group development, cross-cultural clinical care, and health communication practices.

Research & Clinical Focus

Gabriel is in the Medical and Health Psychology track. He works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Psycho-Oncology Program, mentored by Dr. Deidre Pereira. Gabriel’s Master’s Thesis analyzes the impact of Socioeconomic Status and Minority Status on depression, anxiety, and immune response in women with gynecologic malignancies.

His primary research interest is in psychoneuroimmunology and the relationship between stress and immune response in individuals with cancer, cancer-causing infectious diseases (such as HIV and HPV), and other immune diseases. He has three current research focuses: 1) Health Disparities: studying health inequities in cancer, as well as the differential impacts of stress on immune function for at-risk groups, 2) Trauma: studying the psychoneuroimmunological pathways involved in early-life trauma on adult cancer outcomes, and 3) Translational Science/Health Communication: finding ways to communicate psychoneuroimmunology/oncology research findings and interventions to underserved communities.

Gabriel’s overarching goal is to conduct research that both informs clinical care and engages community members in improving their health outcomes.

Guest Lecture/Teaching Experience

  • Cartagena, G., Ferguson, E., Rohl, B., Ding, K., Alvarez, F., & Pinto, S. (October, 2018). Diversity and Intersectionality in Clinical Psychology. Introduction to Clinical Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Cartagena, G. (2018, September). U Matter, We Care: LGBT+ Health Discussion Panel. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Cartagena, G. (2018, September). LGBT Perspectives in Psychology. Psychology of Human Sexuality, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Cartagena, G. (February, 2018). Introduction to Psycho-Oncology. Clinical Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Cartagena, G. (2018, January). HIV: Acquisition, Treatment, and Care from a Medical Psychology Perspective. Introduction to Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Cartagena, G. (2016, November). Fingerprints of Chronic Illness: Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Living with Disease. Culture, Health, and Medicine: Medical Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • Cartagena, G. (2016, October). The Impacts of Infectious Disease: HIV Treatment Across Borders. Health Psychology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Publications

  • Smith, L., Walsh, K., Whittington, L., Shaw, A., Minamide, L., Watson, K.,…Cartagena, G., & Kuhn, T. (2017). The Role of Neurotropism in HIV-1 gp120 Induced Oxidative Stress and Neurodegeneration. The FASEB Journal, 31(1_supplement), 936-12.
  • Cartagena, G., & Lopez, E. (2016). ‘I Don’t Want to Survive, I Want to Thrive’: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Rural HIV/AIDS Survivorship in Fairbanks, Alaska and Vtulindlela, South Africa. Manuscript in Preparation

Abstracts and Presentations

  • Cartagena, G., Kacel, E.L., & Pereira, D.B. (2018). Systematic review of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and cancer outcomes in men. [Abstract]. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(Suppl 2), S221-S222.
  • Padron, A., Cartagena, G., McCrae, C. S., Robinson, M. E., Trinastic, L., Postupack, R., Esparza-Duran, D., Kacel, E., Ulfig, C., Shultz, G., Castagno, J., Pereira, D. B. (2018, June). Cognitive behavioral effects on total wake time in women with gynecologic malignancies and insomnia. [Abstract]. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(Suppl 2), S233.
  • Cartagena, G., Kacel, E.L., & Pereira, D.B. (2018, June) Systematic review of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and cancer outcomes in men. Poster session presented at the Annual Meeting of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO), Vienna, Austria.
  • Padron, A., Cartagena, G., McCrae, C. S., Robinson, M. E., Trinastic, L., Postupack, R., Esparza-Duran, D., Kacel, E., Ulfig, C., Shultz, G., Castagno, J., Pereira, D. B. (2018, June). Cognitive behavioral effects ontotal wake time in women with gynecologic malignancies and insomnia. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and the International Society of Oral Oncology, Vienna, Austria.
  • Cartagena, G., Kacel, E.L., & Pereira, D.B. (2018, April) Systematic review of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and cancer outcomes in men. Poster session presented at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions Research Day, Gainesville, Florida.
  • Donges, A., Cartagena, G., Laitner, M. & Waxenberg, L. (2018, February) The Development of a Grassroots Departmental Committee to Promote Multiculturalism, Advocacy, and Social Justice. College of Public Health and Health Professions Diversity Day Conference. Gainesville, FL.  
  • Waxenberg, L., Laitner, M., Cartagena, G. & Sweenie, R. (2018, January) What Motivates Academics to Social Justice? University of Florida Social Justice Summit. Gainesville, FL.

Professional Membership

  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, 2016- Present
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2018 – Present
  • American Psychosomatic Society, 2018 – Present
  • American Psychosocial Oncology Society, 2018 – Present
  • Division 38, Society for Health Psychology, 2017 – Present
  • Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer, 2017 – Present
  • American Psychological Association, 2016 – Present

Volunteer/Leadership

  • Director of CHP Student Diversity Committee
  • Co-Creator of Grace Marketplace Art Hive
  • Outreach Director of Pride Student Union
  • Executive Board Member of UF Women in Science and Engineering
  • Coordinator and Therapist at Equal Access Clinic Free Therapy Night
  • CHP Representative in the College of Medicine HealthQueer Alliance
  • Member of CHP Education and Advocacy Committee
  • Volunteer at IMPACT Autism
  • Volunteer at Gainesville Area AIDS Project
  • Volunteer at the Pride Center of North Central Florida

Funding and Awards

  • Change the World Scholarship, 2018
  • University of Florida Graduate Research Assistantship, 2017
  • NIH Biomedical Learning and Student Training Fellowship, 2015-2017

Additional Links

Photo exhibit documents Fairbanks residents living with HIV, AIDS