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Francine Cournos; M.D., is the esteemed professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Epidemiology) at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University as well as a  Principal Investigator of the New York/New Jersey AIDS Education and Training Center. She has worked at the interface of HIV and mental illness since 1983, conducting early research studies focused on HIV among people with severe mental illness. She has participated in numerous clinical practice guidelines and policies on HIV-related mental health issues, including for the New York State AIDS Institute, the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. Since 2000, Dr. Cournos has collaborated in international mental health research, training and/or service projects in Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. She has published more than 130 articles and book chapters, the majority of which are focused on mental health and HIV, and has given more than one thousand local, national and international talks. In 1999 Dr. Cournos published a memoir, City of One, that describes the deaths of her parents in childhood and her placement into foster care, and has since spoken widely about childhood bereavement and the mental health needs of foster children.