Dr. Elena Cyrus is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist with research experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and the Latin American and Caribbean region. Her research focuses on investigating social determinants of health contributing toward health inequities among vulnerable populations globally. Dr. Cyrus is a Fogarty global health equity alumnus and completed her fellowship with Yale University in Lima, Perú investigating HIV syndemic risk factors among incarcerated women, and men who have sex with men and transwomen. Before her doctoral training, Dr. Cyrus was a clinical trials manager with the HIV Prevention Trial Network for the Tenofovir feasibility and safety trials.

Following her post-doctoral training, she was awarded a National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) K99/R00 training grant, and a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA) Loan Repayment award. These NIH NIDA/NIAAA funded projects are focused on the prevention of substance use and HIV among high-risk women. She has recently published papers on the burden of COVID-19 in African American communities and increasing substance use during the same public health emergency.

Dr. Cyrus obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, and earned a Master in Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Cyrus has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the FIU Worlds Ahead award for her doctoral work, and the Rising Star in Biomedical Research award from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Recent selected publications:

  1. Cyrus, E., Sanchez, J., Madhivanan, P., Lama, J., Bazo, A., Valencia, J., Leon, S., Villaran, M., Panagiotis, V., Sciaudone, M., Vu, D., Coudray, M., Altice, F. (2021). Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Use Disorder and Depression among Incarcerated Women in Lima, Perú.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). doi:10.3390 /ijerph18211134 
  2. Galea, J., Marhefka, S., León, S., Rahill, G., Cyrus, E., Sánchez, H., Zhang, Z., Brown, B. (2021). High levels of mild to moderate depression among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Lima, Peru: implications for integrated depression and HIV care. AIDS Care. doi:10.1080/09540121.2021.1991877
  3. Ramírez-Ortiz, D., Seitchick, J., Polpitiya, M., Algarin, A., Sheehan, D.M., Fennie, K., Cyrus, E., Trepka, M.J. (2021). Post-immigration factors affecting retention in HIV care and viral suppression in Latin American and Caribbean immigrant populations in the United States: A systematic review.  Ethnicity and Health. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2021.1990217
  4. Cyrus, E., Johnson, S., Perez, H. Fajardo, F., Holder, C. (2021 in press). Engagement in primary care as a predictor of HIV screening among Transgender Women in South. Transgender Health. epub ahead of print

  5. Cyrus, E., Clarke, R., Bursac, Z., Hadley, D., Trepka, M.J., Dévieux, J., Bagci, U., Coudray, M., Mariano, Y., Kiplagat, S., Noel, I., Ravelo, G., Paley, M., Wagner, E. (2020 under review). Measuring the impact of socioeconomic disparity on COVID-19 health related outcomes in the United States. Health Equity

  6. Cyrus, E., Coudray, M., Kiplagat, S., Mariano, Y., Noel, I., Dévieux, J., Galea, J.T., Hadley, D., Wagner, E. (2020). Cannabis use among adolescents: A narrative review. Current Opinion in Psychology.

  7. Galea, J., Marhefka, S., Cyrus, E., Contreras, C., Brown B. (2020). Integration of  depression care in HIV services: A global mental health perspective. The Lancet.
  8. Hintzen, P., Vertovec J., Cyrus E., Padilla M., Varas-Díaz N. (2019). Introduction to the special issue: Applying a Caribbean perspective to an analysis of HIV/AIDS. Glob Public Health, 14(11):1547-1556. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1658122
  9. Cyrus, E., Sheehan, D.M., Fennie, K., Sanchez, M., Dawson, C., Cameron, M., Maddox, L., Trepka, MJ. (2018). Delayed diagnosis among non-Latino Caribbean immigrants. Journal of Health Care for Poor and Underserved, 29(1):266-283, doi: 10.1353/hpu.2018.0019.

  10. Holder, C., Perez, H., Fajardo, F., Diaz, A., Cyrus, E. (2019). PrEP Use and Awareness among Transgender Women in South Florida. Journal of National Medical Association, doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2019.08.001

Complete List of Published Work available at:

Education & Specialties

  • PhD, Epidemiology
  • MPH, Public Health
  • BA, International Relations (Concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies)


  • Global Health Equity
  • Population and Reproductive Health Sciences

Research Interests

  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Health Disparities and Equity
  • Women’s Health and Empowerment
  • Global Health

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