Stephanie A.S. Staras, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Florida, College of Medicine
Department of Health Outcomes and Policy
1329 SW 16th Street, Room 5241
Gainesville, FL 32610
Phone: 352-265-2553 ext. 86523
Fax: 352-265-8047


2009-Present, Assistant Member, Health Outcome and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.
2007-Present, Assistant Professor of Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
2007-Present, Affiliate Assistant Professor, Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Research Summary

Dr. Staras’ research is focused on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) via reductions in alcohol use and risky sexual partner selection.


2006 Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Epidemiology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Emory University. 2000 Master of Science of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. 1998 Bachelor of Science, Department of Mathematics and Department of Biology Bucknell University.

Current Research

Dr. Staras’ research program focuses on improving the understanding of the interactions between alcohol use, partner selection, and HIV/STD risk in order to improve prevention efforts. As part of her NIH NIAAA K01 entitled “HIV Risk among Racially-Diverse, Minority Youth: Alcohol and Partner Selection,” she is investigating the contextual influence (partner and alcohol activities) on sexual risk-taking among a cohort of urban adolescents in Chicago. Additionally, she is collaborating with researchers at University of Florida, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, and Orlando Health to increase understanding of how girls select sexual partners. Both of these efforts will lead to development of an alcohol-related HIV preventive intervention focused on modifying partner selection.
Dr. Staras also studies factors associated with Florida low-income adolescents’ receipt of a clinically available STD preventive measure, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center researchers, Dr. Staras’ team assessed HPV vaccine use with a Medicaid claims review and analysis; a Medicaid provider survey with a 67% response rate; a telephone survey of approximately 800 adolescents and their parents; and a mail-based, non-responder survey to over 6,000 Florida families.

Recent Publications

Staras SAS, AL Tobler, MM Maldonado-Molina, RL Cook. Riskier Sexual Partners Contribute to the Increased Rate of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Youth with Substance Use Disorders. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2010; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21139514.

Staras SAS, ST Vadaparampil, LT Haderxhanaj, EA Shenkman. Disparities in human papillomavirus vaccine series initiation among adolescent girls enrolled in Florida Medicaid programs, 2006-2008. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2010;47:381-388.

Staras SAS, RL Cook, DB Clark. Sexual Partner Characteristics and Sexually Transmitted Diseases among Adolescents and Young Adults. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2009; 4: 232-238.