Ryan P. Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH
Position title: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (608) 265-7927
5220 UW Med Foundation Centennial Bldg
1685 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705
Associate Professor of Medicine
Dr. Westergaard’s research group investigates social and behavioral factors relevant to the prevention and treatment of viral infections. Their current research is focused on the intersection between substance use disorders and the epidemics of HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States. They study health-related behaviors among people who inject drugs, seeking to understand how they contribute to viral transmission in communities with varying availability of prevention and treatment resources. The overall goal of this work is to develop patient-centered interventions to prevent HIV, HCV, and other consequences of injection drug use. Recent findings by their group have characterized how geographic barriers to specialty care and state Medicaid policy have contributed to low treatment access for adults diagnosed with HCV infection in criminal justice settings. This study, led by pre-doctoral trainee Karli Hochstatter, has informed discussions within state government agencies around expanding access to HCV treatment and developing strategies to increase capacity of providers in rural areas to treat HCV and opioid use disorder. He collaborates with Drs. Striker and D. O’Connor, resulting in a multi-disciplinary, translational research program on HIV/HCV that spans basic, clinical, and population health sciences. His lab is supported by 4 NIH grants.