Physician Education: Bridging Clinical Research and Patient Care

Faculty Profile

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Puerto Rico
School of Medicine
San Juan, PR

Topics of Professional Interest:
  • HIV in women
  • Mother-to-infant HIV transmission
  • Women and empowerment
  • Preventive HIV vaccines
Current Professional Summary:

Dr Zorrilla is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico. She participated in the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group 076 as one of the first 10 pilot sites. She is currently the Co-Principal Investigator for the Puerto Rican site of the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) and the Principal Investigator for the Longitudinal Women's HIV Clinic, for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 386, and for the Empowerment intervention study for women with HIV as well as for women with breast cancer. She is currently involved in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network as the Prinicpal Investigator for the Puerto Rico site and for the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Center for the Study of HIV Disparities. She has been a consultant for the National Institutes of Health, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute for Health Care Improvement, and others. She has participated in scientific and planning committees of several national and international meetings.

Committees and Organizations:
  • Perinatal Guidelines HIV Working Group (former member)
  • Minority Working Group, Office of AIDS Research, National Institutes of Health(former member)
  • Oral Examiner, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Chair, PACTG Protocol 386
  • CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention (2004)(former member)
Honors and Awards:
  • Designated "Local Legend" by the American Women's Medical Association and the National Library of Medicine, as part of the "Changing the Face of Medicine" project (2004)
  • Distinguished Woman of the City of San Juan, Mayor's Office recognition (2001)
  • Woman of the Year in Medicine, El Nuevo Dia newspaper (2001)
  • First prize for scientific presentation, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, District IV Meeting (1992)
  • Puerto Rico Senate Resolution and Diploma in Recognition of Research Activities (1990)
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, American Medical Students Association (1988)
  • University of Puerto Rico, BS, Magna Cum Laude (1974)
  • University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, MD (1978)
  • University Hospital Internship and Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology (1978–1982)
Selected Publications:
  1. Tuomala R, Kalish L, Zorrilla C, Fox H, Shearer W, Landay A, Vermund S, Landesman S, Burns D. Changes in total CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes during pregnancy and one year postpartum in human immunodeficiency-infected women. Obstet Gynecol. 1997;89:967-974.
  2. Burns D, Tuomala R, Chang B, Hershow R, Minkoff H, Rodriguez E, Zorrilla C, Hammill H, Regan J. Vaginal colonization or infection with Candida albicans in human immunodeficiency virus-infected women during pregnancy and during the postpartum period. Clin Infect Dis. 1997;24:201-210.
  3. Zorrilla C, et al. Obstetrical factors and mother-to-infant transmission of HIV-1. Infect Dis Clin North Am.1997;11:109-118.
  4. Rasheed S, Sheng Z, Zorrilla C. Site specific virus load in the reproductive tract tissues of women infected with human immunodeficiency virus. 12th World AIDS Conference. Geneva, Switzerland; 1998.
  5. Zorrilla C, Santiago L. Redefining empowerment and sexual negotiation for women living with HIV. Mujer y Salud.1998;17:253-256.
  6. Garcia P, Kalish L, Pitt J, Minkoff H, Quinn T, Burchett S, Kornegay J, Jackson B, Moye J, Hanson C, Zorrilla C, Lew J, for the Women and Infants Transmission Study Group: Maternal levels of plasma human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA and the risk of perinatal transmission. N Engl J Med.1999;341:394-402.
  7. Zorrilla C. Antiretroviral combination therapy in HIV-1 infected women and men: are their responses different? Int J Fertil. 2000;45:195-199.
  8. Zorrilla CD. La mujer ante el VIH/SIDA: barreras y nuevos desafios. PR Health Sci J.1999;18:397-400.
  9. Zorrilla CD. Mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission: state of the art and implications for public policy. PR Health Sci J. 2000;19:29-34.
  10. Read J, Tuomala R, Kpamegan E, Zorrilla C, et al. Mode of delivery and postpartum morbidity among HIV-infected women: the WITS. JAIDS. 2001;26:236-245.