Randi Proffitt

Research Scientist

Ph.D., Experimental Psychology
Texas Christian University

Email: 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 a Research Scientist with the IBR and an Assistant Professor of Medical Education for the TCU Burnett School of Medicine. 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 circumstances such as poverty, violence, skewed sex ratios, etc. 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 serves as the regulatory director and oversees the operations of the ACTION study mobile health unit . In addition, along with Dr. Kevin Knight, she is a Multiple PI for the “Beauty Shop Study,” an innovative approach to improving access to PrEP and sexual healthcare for young, black women at risk for HIV by leveraging beauty shops as community health hubs with healthcare delivery using a mobile clinic.

Before joining the IBR team in June 2021, Randi was a lecturer for the TCU John V. Roach Honors College, and served as a research 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 conditions, 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


Springer, S.A., Nijhawan, A.E., Knight, K., Kuo, I., Di Paola, A., Schlossberg, E., Frank, C.A., Sanchez, M., Pankow, J., Proffitt, R.P., Lehman, W., Pulitzer, Z., Thompson, K., Violette, S., Harding, K.K., & ACTION Cooperative Group (2022). Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial comparing two linkage models for HIV prevention and treatment in justice-involved persons. BMC Infect Dis 22380, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07354-x

Gassen, J., White, J. D., Peterman, J. L., Mengelkoch, S., Leyva, R. P. P., Prokosch, M. L., Eimerbrink, M. J., Brice, K., Cheek, D. J., Boehm, G. W., & Hill, S. E. (2021). Sex differences in the impact of childhood socioeconomic status on immune function. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-10.