Claude Ann Mellins, PhD

Child and Adolescent Psychology
Treats Children
Profile Headshot


Claude Ann Mellins, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with research and clinical expertise in psychosocial aspects of HIV disease, substance use, and stress and trauma in children, adolescents, young adults and families in the US and globally. She is a Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Sociomedical Sciences) at Columbia University, as well as a research scientist and co-director of the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. In February 2014, Dr. Mellins became Co-Director of the Office of Clinical Psychology for CUMC psychologists functioning in clinical roles throughout the medical center.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Mellins has completed projects examining neurodevelopment, mental health, and sexual and drug risk behavior in vulnerable population of children, adolescents, and young adults, particularly those affected by HIV, poverty and substance abuse. Her projects have also examined factors influencing medical adherence, sexual and drug risk behavior, and psychiatric functioning in HIV-infected and HIV-affected children, adolescents, and young adults. She has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator of a large number of foundation and federally-funded research projects based in the US and internationally, including multiple cohort studies of perinatally HIV-infected and perinatally HIV-exposed children and adolescents.

From 2009-2013, Dr. Mellins was a standing member of NIH Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section and has consulted on international issues related to children and risk behavior for the New York State Psychiatric Institute's IRB.

In addition to her research, Dr. Mellins co-founded and co-directed the Special Needs Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital, one of the first and largest mental health clinics for HIV-infected women, children, adolescents and families. The Special Needs Clinic has provided care to over 1,800 patients since 1992.

Through all of her work to-date, Dr. Mellins has developed extensive skills in cognitive and behavioral research and the interface with biomedical issues; integration of sexual risk reduction prevention and mental health services; academic-clinical partnerships; studies in clinical and hospital-based settings; experience with oversight of longitudinal studies with children, adolescents, young adults and families from impoverished communities; assessment of pediatric cognitive and mental health function, as well as adolescent and young adult sexual risk behavior; and adapting evidence-based interventions for low resource settings in ways that are feasible and scalable.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Sociomedical Sciences) at the Columbia University Medical Center

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • University of Southern California
  • Internship: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Internship: New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Internship: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NY


Psychosocial aspects of HIV disease, substance use, and stress and trauma in children, adolescents, young adults and families in the US and globally.

Most recent projects include:

Project CASAH (Risk and Resilience Trajectories to Young Adulthood: The Role of Perinatal HIV; R01-MH69133; PI: Mellins), a federally funded multisite behavioral study in NYC of perinatally HIV-infected and HIV-exposed youth;

The Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS; U01-HD52104; PI: Van Dyke), a large federally funded multi-site study of perinatally HIV-exposed infants, children, and adolescents;

CHAMP+ for HIV+ Youth in the US (R34-MH72382; PI: McKay; Co-PIs: Mellins, Abrams), and South Africa (CHAMP+SA; R21-NR10474; PI: Mellins); VUKA; R01-HD74052; PI: McKay; Co-I: Mellins);

MASIVUKENI, an adherence intervention for HIV+ women and men in Cape Town, South Africa (R01-MH95576; PI Remien; Co-I: Mellins), and

Asenze, an epidemiological study neurodevelopment and health outcomes in young children and their caregivers living in South Africa in a high HIV seroprevalence community (R01-HD053051; PI: Davidson; Co-I: Mellins).

Selected Publications

  • For complete lists of publications and citation statistics, please see Dr. Mellins's Google Scholar page