Randi Proffitt Leyva

Associate Research Scientist

Ph.D., Experimental Psychology
Texas Christian University

Email address:
r.proffittleyva@tcu.edu

Randi Proffitt received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a focus in social and evolutionary health psychology from Texas Christian University. She is currently an Associate Research Scientist with the IBR and an Assistant Professor of Medical Education for the TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine. Before joining the IBR team in June 2021, Randi was a lecturer for the John V. Roach Honors College, and has served as a coordinator of community medical research at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) and Cook Children’s Health Care System. She has experience recruiting diverse sample populations with tightly controlled inclusion criteria including individuals with specific health condition, Spanish-speakers, and children in specific age groups. She also has experience collecting and processing biological samples, running immunoassays, as well as cleaning and analyzing behavioral and biological data. Her research interests focus on how basic, laboratory science can be translational and applied to real-world settings. Her research agenda to date has focused on using an adaptive behavioral framework grounded in evolutionary science to understand health disparities among low income, justice-involved, and medically underserved populations. Her work strives to reframe how commonly deemed “bad” health behaviors are viewed in research, clinical practice, and policy by shedding light on the adaptive nature of these behavioral responses to environmental stimuli. Areas of interest include risky sexual decision-making and sexually transmitted infections, adherence to HIV and Hepatitis C infection prevention strategies, and other risky health behaviors such as eating in the absence of hunger and substance use in high-risk populations. She currently works on the ACTION project.