Physician Education: Bridging Clinical Research and Patient Care

Faculty Profile

Professor of Medicine, Family and Social Medicine

Associate Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine

Director, General Internal Medicine Fellowship Program

Director, Diversity Affairs, Department of Medicine

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Montefiore Medical Center

Bronx, NY

Topics of Professional Interest:
  • HIV and substance use
  • Opioid use and opioid use disorder
  • Health services to marginalized populations
Current Professional Summary:

Since 1998, Chinazo Cunningham, MD, MS has been providing care, developing programs, and conducting research focused on marginalized populations including drug users with or at-risk for HIV infection.  She has collaborated with community-based organizations to develop unique and innovative programs to deliver health care to these marginalized populations. Parallel with program development, her research has focused on improving access to care, utilization of health care services, and health outcomes.  Dr. Cunningham has been the principal investigator on numerous grants funded by the NIH, CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and local and state Departments of Health. In addition to her own research, she has mentored over 25 trainees to conduct clinical research, resulting in many NIH-funded grants led by her trainees. Dr. Cunningham has served on numerous national advisory committees, including serving as the Chair of NY State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Substance Abuse Committee; a member of the Opioid Guideline Workgroup of the CDC's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016; a member of the NIH Office of AIDS Research’s Racial and Ethnic Populations Committee; and a member and Chair of the NIH’s Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section. 

Honors and Awards:
  • Member and Chair, Behavioral and Social Consequences HIV/AIDS Scientific Review Group, NIH, 2012-2018

  • Chair, New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute, Substance Abuse Guidelines Committee, 2012-current

  • Member, Opioid Guideline Workgroup, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016

  • Member, New York City Mayor’s Ad-Hoc Heroin and Prescription Opioid Public Awareness Task Force, 2016

  • W. Anderson Spickard, Jr Excellence in Mentorship Award from the Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, 2015

  • Clinical Science Mentor of the Year, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2015

  • Member, American Society of Addiction Medicine’s National Practice Guideline Committee for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use, 2014-2015

  • Fellow, Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, Drexel University, 2014-2015

  • Member, Racial and Ethnic Populations Committee of the NIH Office of AIDS Research, 2010-2014

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Harold Amos Faculty Development Award, 2006-2010

  • Northwestern University, BA in Psychology (1990)
  • University of California San Francisco, MD (1994)
  • University of California San Francisco, Internship in Primary Care Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital (1994-1995)
  • New York University, Residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine (1995-1997)
  • New York University, Chief Resident, Internal Medicine (1997-1998)
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, MS in Clinical Research Methods (2006-2008)
Selected Publications:

Publications available at






Improving the Management of HIV Disease®: An Advanced CME Live Course in HIV Pathogenesis, Antiretrovirals, and Other Selected Issues in HIV Disease Management