Deepthi Varma, PhD, MPhil, MSW
Research Assistant Professor
Director, PhD in Epidemiology Program
Dr. Varma is the Director of the PhD program in Epidemiology (https://epidemiology.phhp.ufl.edu/about/ph-d-in-epidemiology-2/), Director of Work Force Development at HealthStreet – the community engagement initiative at University of Florida (http://healthstreet.program.ufl.edu/), and Member of the Board of Directors of Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition (https://www.healthystartncf.org/). She is a trained mental health professional with a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychiatric Social Work from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India, and post-doctoral training in Psychiatric Epidemiology from the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her research focus is mental health, with a specific focus on women who have alcohol and/or substance use disorders, have experienced intimate partner violence, have been diagnosed with HIV infection or have engaged in risky sexual behaviors, or are pregnant or postpartum. Dr. Varma has considerable field experience in rural India, specifically working on the reproductive health of women. She previously worked as a Program Officer in the Reproductive Health Division at Population Council, New Delhi, India. While at the Council, she conducted several large epidemiological studies on women, men, and health care providers to assess the demand and practices to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition outcomes in rural India. Additionally, she is also a trained qualitative researcher and leads the Qualitative Research Colloquium at the Health Science Center. She is a recipient of the International Research Travel Grant by University of Florida International Center (UFIC) and the UF- CTSI Pilot Award. Dr. Varma teaches Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (Fall) and Introduction to Mixed Methods Research (Spring). As the PhD Program Director, Dr. Varma welcomes all students with a passion for epidemiology to join this department.
Dr. Varma’s ongoing projects include: 1) Florida-Development in Early Childhood: Adversity and Drug Exposure (FL-DECADE) Study (Role: Co-I) 2) Improving lactation success in mothers of critically ill infants using personalized real-time biomarker based text messages (Role: MPI) 3) A partnership for prescription drug disposal: the Deterra project funded by the Health Promotion and Wellness Coalition (HPW) Alachua County, Florida (Role: PI) and 4) A focus group study to explore the feasibility of a mHealth application to monitor and manage anxiety and mood symptoms of women during their pregnancy and postpartum period (Role: PI).
A comprehensive list of her publications can be found at her NCBI bibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1Dw3PO_2fC9ks/bibliography/48864364/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending.