Kaku So-Armah, PhD Hear my name
Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
General Internal Medicine

PhD, University of Pittsburgh
BA, Amherst College

Pronouns: he/him/his

Dr. So-Armah is an epidemiologist with expertise in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of cohort studies and use of electronic health record data for research. His lab uses molecular biology coupled with data on health behaviors, risk factors and disease diagnoses to identify and explain novel epidemiological associations and identify novel intervention targets. His research focuses on substance use and chronic infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and tuberculosis (TB) and how these exposures impact the heart, liver and lungs.

His work uses data from the Russian cohort of the Uganda Russia Boston Alcohol Network Alcohol Research Collaboration on HIV/AIDS (URBAN ARCH) as well as the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).

His long-term goal is to translate the growing understanding of the mechanisms of excess HIV-related comorbid disease risk into effective, sustainable interventions for HIV populations bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

The populations and problems on which my lab is focused has attracted scientists to our lab from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce. We encourage people to come to our lab bringing their full authentic selves in our pursuit of inclusive excellence.

We recognize, value and leverage the power of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in solving complex problems. To this end, I am the founding Director of the Inclusion Diversity & Equity In Addiction medicine, Addiction health professions, and Addiction research (IDEAAA) program. Through strategic partnerships with existing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs, IDEAAA engages earlier stage learners (high school, undergrad, med students) motivating them to consider addiction-related careers. IDEAAA also supports early stage faculty to successfully compete for addiction-related funding by linking people with great ideas to people with existing grants eligible for supplemental NIH funding.

The IDEAAA workforce development initiative complements my work on the leadership team of the Grayken Center for Addiction Anti-racist Approach to Substance Use Treatment working group. Our working group is building the evidence base from published literature and the expertise of people with lived experiences of substance use to 1) identify ways to improve substance use treatment for minoritized populations at Boston Medical Center and beyond; 2) identify and prioritize gaps in research which, if filled, could catalyze the improvement of substance use treatment for minorities populations.

I co-direct the Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Program. This initiative provides teaching, research experiences and mentorship to earlier and later stage learners interested in the field of HIV/AIDS.

As a past chair of the Boston University School of Medicine Faculty Development and Diversity Committee, I led, helped organize, and participated in the Boston University site for Bias Reduction in Internal Medicine clinical trial; the Conversations on Race/Equity discussion series; and the DOM Reads book club.

I am currently an Assistant Chair for Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility in DOM. In this role, I work with the different sections in our department on developing, implementing and improving equitable recruitment and hiring practices.

As a Black, African, man, I benefit from every second I invest pushing Boston University towards inclusive excellence. More importantly, my children, and children that look like my children, and people who think differently from me and my children will also benefit from this investment.

Let's do this, together.

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit

Providence/Boston CFAR Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Program
06/20/2022 - 05/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
The Miriam Hospital NIH NIAID

Kaku So-Armah ZINC Diversity Supplement-Vanderbilt
04/30/2016 - 07/31/2016 (Co-Investigator)
PI: Jeffrey H. Samet, MD, MA, MPH
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Kaku So-Armah ZINC Diversity Supplement: Vanderbilt
02/01/2015 - 04/29/2016 (Co-Investigator)
PI: Jeffrey H. Samet, MD, MA, MPH
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Microbiome, metabolites, and alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD (META HIV CVD)
09/10/2021 - 08/31/2026 (PI)
Vanderbilt University Medical Center National Institute o

Pre notification Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Aging & HIV Outcomes (KAHO) study
07/10/2023 - 06/30/2025 (PI)
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Fogarty Internationa

CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Initiative
07/01/2022 - 06/30/2023 (PI)
The Miriam Hospital National Institute o

CFAR: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Initiative
07/01/2021 - 05/31/2023 (PI)
The Miriam Hospital National Institute o

Novel Mechanisms Driving Excess Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Context of HIV…
08/01/2019 - 01/31/2022 (PI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS

HIV, alcohol use and intestinal dysbiosis, gastrointestinal barrier function and microbial translocation (ST. PETER HIV - Microbiome)
12/01/2017 - 05/31/2019 (PI)
The Miriam Hospital National Institutes


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2023 KNUST Aging and HIV Outcomes 1R21TW012653-01
2023 The Role of Alcohol Use in Lung Disease After Treatment for Active TB Disease Among Persons Living with HIV 5P01AA029541-03-5225
2023 Microbiome, metabolites, and alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD Cohort (META HIV CVD Cohort) 5P01AA029542-03-9195
2022 The Role of Alcohol Use in Lung Disease After Treatment for Active TB Disease Among Persons Living with HIV 5P01AA029541-02-9187
2022 Microbiome, metabolites, and alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD Cohort (META HIV CVD Cohort) 5P01AA029542-02-9195
2021 The Role of Alcohol Use in Lung Disease After Treatment for Active TB Disease Among Persons Living with HIV 1P01AA029541-01-9187
2021 Microbiome, metabolites, and alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD Cohort (META HIV CVD Cohort) 1P01AA029542-01-9195
2020 Novel Mechanisms Driving Excess Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Context of HIV: The Role of Liver Injury 5K01HL134147-05 11
2019 Novel Mechanisms Driving Excess Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Context of HIV: The Role of Liver Injury 5K01HL134147-04 11
2018 Novel Mechanisms Driving Excess Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Context of HIV: The Role of Liver Injury 5K01HL134147-03 11
Showing 10 of 12 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Sung ML, Eden SK, Becker WC, Crystal S, Duncan MS, Gordon KS, Kerns RD, Kundu S, Freiberg M, So-Armah KA, Edelman EJ. The Association of Prescribed Opioids and Incident Cardiovascular Disease. J Pain. 2023 Nov 27. PMID: 38029949
  2. McLaughlin A, Lin N, Jiang W, Lodi S, Lioznov D, Patts G, Gnatienko N, Blokhina E, Bendiks S, Freiberg MS, Tindle HA, Krupitsky E, Hahn JA, Samet JH, So-Armah K. Association of Alcohol Consumption With CD4 Recovery After Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in St. Petersburg, Russia. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2023 Nov 01; 94(3):244-252.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37850982; PMCID: PMC10593489; DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000003250;
  3. Ly SM, Fitzpatrick AM, Canfield J, Powis A, So-Armah K, Hurstak EE. Improving DEIB in Addiction Medicine Training Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Program Evaluation. Subst Abus. 2023 Oct; 44(4):277-281.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37830542
  4. Greenberg AE, Wutoh A, Bowleg L, Robinson B, Magnus M, Segarra L, Simon P, Wutoh A, Blankenship K, Burke M, Okeke NL, Corneli A, Hussen S, Holliday RC, Ciaranello A, Ghebremichael M, Haberer J, Irvin R, Irvin N, Antoine DG, Chen Z, Momplaisir F, Jordan-Sciutto K, So-Armah K, Kuo C, Flanigan T, Sanchez M, Levine AD, Sluis-Cremer N, Koethe JR, Dash C, Pereira FA, Rice AP, Newell A, Dacus J, Wood C, Elopre L, Rana A, Pitpitan E, Stockman JK, Sauceda J, Marquez C, Robinson S, Chi BH, Balkus J, Walters K, Lewin A, Schoonmaker A, Wong E, Refsland E. Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pathway Initiative (CDEIPI): Developing Career Pathways for Early-Stage Scholars From Racial and Ethnic Groups Underrepresented in HIV Science and Medicine. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2023 Oct 01; 94(2S):S5-S12. PMID: 37707842; PMCID: PMC10567097; DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000003270;
  5. Delamerced J, Ramirez L, Kimberly JA, Vargas SI, Flanigan TP, Sanchez MC, Bruciati K, So-Armah K. Going to the Source: Discussions With Early and Mid-Career Faculty From Groups Underrepresented in Biomedical Research to Develop and Enhance CFAR Services. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2023 Oct 01; 94(2S):S108-S115. PMID: 37707857
  6. Torgersen J, Akers S, Huo Y, Terry JG, Carr JJ, Ruutiainen AT, Skanderson M, Levin W, Lim JK, Taddei TH, So-Armah K, Bhattacharya D, Rentsch CT, Shen L, Carr R, Shinohara RT, McClain M, Freiberg M, Justice AC, Lo Re V. Performance of an automated deep learning algorithm to identify hepatic steatosis within noncontrast computed tomography scans among people with and without HIV. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2023 Oct; 32(10):1121-1130. PMID: 37276449; PMCID: PMC10527049; DOI: 10.1002/pds.5648;
  7. Kane JC, Allen I, Fatch R, Scheffler A, Emenyonu N, Puryear SB, Chirayil P, So-Armah K, Kahler CW, Magidson JF, Conroy AA, Edelman EJ, Woolf-King S, Parry C, Kiene SM, Chamie G, Adong J, Go VF, Cook RL, Muyindike W, Morojele N, Blokhina E, Krupitsky E, Fiellin DA, Hahn JA. Efficacy of alcohol reduction interventions among people with HIV as evaluated by self-report and a phosphatidylethanol (PEth) outcome: protocol for a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2023 Jun 06; 13(6):e070713. PMID: 37280036; PMCID: PMC10254608; DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070713;
  8. Filipkowski AM, Kundu S, Eden SK, Alcorn CW, Justice AC, So-Armah KA, Tindle HA, Wells QS, Beckman JA, Freiberg MS, Aday AW. Association of HIV Infection and Incident Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Among 143 001 Veterans. Circulation. 2023 Jul 11; 148(2):135-143. PMID: 37226738; PMCID: PMC10443901; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.063040;
  9. Chen J, Hui Q, Wang Z, Wilson FP, So-Armah K, Freiberg MS, Justice AC, Xu K, Zhao W, Ammous F, Smith JA, Kardia SLR, Gwinn M, Marconi VC, Sun YV. Epigenome-Wide Meta-Analysis Reveals Differential DNA Methylation Associated With Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate Among African American Men With HIV. Kidney Int Rep. 2023 May; 8(5):1076-1086. PMID: 37180517; PMCID: PMC10166785; DOI: 10.1016/j.ekir.2023.02.1085;
  10. Oursler KK, Marconi VC, Wang Z, Xu K, Montano M, So-Armah K, Justice AC, Sun YV. Epigenetic Age Acceleration Markers Are Associated With Physiologic Frailty and All-Cause Mortality in People With Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Feb 08; 76(3):e638-e644. PMID: 35970820; PMCID: PMC10169393; DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciac656;
Showing 10 of 80 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 80 publications over 13 distinct years, with a maximum of 12 publications in 2023


2021-2023 Boston University School of Medicine: Evans Junior Faculty Merit Award
2013 Delta Omega Honors Society in Public Health
2013 University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology: Outstanding Doctoral Student Award
2012 University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health: Dean’s Day Competition First Place
2012 Delta Omega Award For Best Poster
2012 Rosenkranz Award for most significant contribution to public health
2012-2013 Young Investigator Award
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Liver Fibrosis
Cardiovascular Diseases
Longitudinal data analysis
Alcohol Consumption
Opioid-Related Disorders
Microbiome, Human

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