Entry Year


Major Area of Study



Erin Morgan, PhD / Igor Grant, MD



Research Interests

My research explores how experiences of social adversity across the lifespan interact with neurobiological disease processes in late-life dementias and HIV to influence cognitive, affective, and functional well-being. I am interested in identifying factors of risk and resilience for these diseases’ outcomes, and informing clinical interventions with a particular focus on communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities.

Representative Publications
  • Watson, C. W.-M., Campbell, L. M., Sun-Suslow, N., Hong, S., Umlauf, A., Ellis, R. J., Iudicello, J. E., Letendre, S., Marcotte, T. D., Heaton, R. K., Morgan, E. E., & Grant, I. (under review) Daily cannabis use is associated with lower CNS inflammation in people with HIV.

  • Watson, C. W.-M., Pasipanodya, E., Savin, M. J., Ellorin, E. E., Corado, K. C., Flynn, R. P., Opalo, C., Lampley, E., Henry, B. L., Blumenthal, J. S., Bolan, R., Morris, S., & Moore, D. J. (in press). Barriers and facilitators to PrEP initiation and adherence among transgender and gender non-binary individuals in Southern California. AIDS Education and Prevention, 32(6).

  • Campbell, L. M., Tang, B., Watson, C. W.-M., Higgins, M., Cherner, M., Henry, B. L., & Moore, R. C. (2020). Cannabis use is associated with greater total sleep time in middle-aged and older adults with and without HIV: A preliminary report utilizing digital health technologies. Cannabis, 3(2), 180-189. doi: 10.26828/cannabis.2020.02.005

  • Pasipanodya, E. C., Montoya, J. L., Watson, C. W.-M., Marquine, M. J., Hoenigl, M., Garcia, R., Kua, J., Gant, V., Trambley, J., & Moore, D. J. (2020). Tailoring a mobile health text-messaging intervention to promote antiretroviral therapy adherence among African Americans: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE, 15(6), e0233217. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233217

  • Watson, C. W.-M., Paolillo, E. W., Morgan, E. E., Umlauf, A., Sundermann, E. E., Ellis, R. J., Letendre, S., Marcotte, T. D., Heaton, R. K, & Grant, I. (2020). Cannabis exposure is associated with a lower likelihood of neurocognitive impairment in people living with HIV. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 83(1), 56-64. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002211

  • Bertola, L., Watson, C. W.-M., Avila, J. F., Zahodne, L. B., Angevaare, M. J., Schupf, N. S., & Manly, J. J. (2019). Predictors of episodic memory performance across educational strata: Multiple-group comparisons. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 25(9), 901-909. doi: 10.1017/S1355617719000717

  • Watson, C. W.-M., Sundermann, E. E., Hussain M. A., Umlauf, A., Thames, A. D., Letendre, S. L., Moore, R. C., Jeste, D. V., Morgan, E. E., & Moore D. J. (2019). Effects of trauma, economic hardship, and stress on neurocognition and everyday functioning outcomes in HIV. Health Psychology, 38(1), 33-42. doi: 10.1037/hea0000688

  • Alakkas, A., Ellis, R. J., Watson, C. W.-M., Umlauf, A., Heaton, R. K., Letendre, S., Collier, A., Marra, C., Clifford, D. B., Gelman, B., Sacktor, N., Morgello, S., Simpson, D., McCutchan, J. A., Kallianpur, A., Gianella, S., Marcotte, T., Grant, I., & Fennema-Notestine, C. for the CHARTER Group. (2018). White matter damage, neuroinflammation, and neuronal integrity in HAND. Journal of Neurovirology, 25(1), 32-41. doi: 10.1007/s13365-018-0682-9

  • Zahodne, L. B., Watson, C. W.-M., Seehra, S., & Martinez, M. (2017). Positive psychosocial factors and cognition in ethnically diverse older adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 24(3), 294-304. doi: 10.1017/S1355617717000935

  • Watson, C.W.-M., Manly, J.J. & Zahodne, L.B. (2016). Does bilingualism protect against cognitive aging? Methodological issues in research on bilingualism, cognitive reserve, and dementia incidence. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism: Special Issue on Bilingualism and Executive Function: An interdisciplinary approach, 6(5), 590-604. doi: 10.1075/lab.15043.wat ***[Republished in 2019. Bilingualism, Executive Function, and Beyond. Questions and Insights, 2019]

  • 2016-present: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Predoctoral Training Grant T32 DA031098 | Training in Research on Addictions and Interdisciplinary NeuroAIDS
  • 2020: UC San Diego Psychiatry Department’s Trainee Champion of Diversity Award
  • 2018: National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention | Multi-Modal Imaging of Racial Discrimination across the Lifespan
  • 2012-2013: Columbia University Senior Thesis Grant Award

Wei-Ming Watson CV