Kelly Knight, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests: The social construction and experience of addiction; Co-morbidity (HIV, substance abuse, mental illness), homelessness, and US urban health; Chronic non-cancer pain, clinical uncertainty, and scientific evidence; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bi-polar disorder, and the US welfare state; Gender, reproduction, motherhood and citizenship.
2017 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
PhD, 2010 - Graduate Division (Medical Anthropology), University of California, San Francisco
EdM, 1993 - Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University
BA, 1991 - Philosophy, Psychology, Theology, Georgetown University
Honors and Awards
  • Bridges Curriculum Teaching Award: Excellence in Innovative Teaching Modalities, UCSF School of Medicine, 2018
  • Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Award, British Sociological Association, 2016
  • Honorable Mention, Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, Society for Medical Anthropology, 2016
  • Finalist (5/94), C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2015
  • Chancellor’s Graduate Research Fellowship, UCSF, 2008
  1. Paul DW, Knight KR, Campbell A, Aronson L. Beyond a Moment - Reckoning with Our History and Embracing Antiracism in Medicine. 2020. PMID: 32722907

  2. Neff J, Holmes SM, Knight KR, Strong S, Thompson-Lastad A, McGuinness C, Duncan L, Saxena N, Harvey MJ, Langford A, Carey-Simms KL, Minahan SN, Satterwhite S, Ruppel C, Lee S, Walkover L, De Avila J, Lewis B, Matthews J, Nelson N. Structural Competency: Curriculum for Medical Students, Residents, and Interprofessional Teams on the Structural Factors That Produce Health Disparities. 2020. PMID: 32342010

  3. Rosenwohl-Mack S, Kushel M, Ramsey C, Handley M, Knight KR. "We Really Help, Taking Care of Each Other": Older Homeless Adults as Caregivers. 2019. PMID: 31903411

  4. Knight KR, Duncan LG, Szilvasi M, Premkumar A, Matache M, Jackson A. Reproductive (In)justice - Two Patients with Avoidable Poor Reproductive Outcomes. 2019. PMID: 31412176

  5. Bruns EB, Befus D, Wismer B, Knight K, Adler SR, Leonoudakis-Watts K, Thompson-Lastad A, Chao MT. Vulnerable Patients' Psychosocial Experiences in a Group-Based, Integrative Pain Management Program. 2019. PMID: 31314560

  6. Satterwhite S, Knight KR, Miaskowski C, Chang JS, Ceasar R, Zamora K, Kushel M. Sources and Impact of Time Pressure on Opioid Management in the Safety-Net. 2019. PMID: 31068401

  7. Donald C; Fernandez F; Hsiang E; Mesina, O; Rosenwohl-Mack S; Medeiros A; Knight KR. “Reflections on the Intersection of Student Activism and Structural Competency Training in a New Medical School Curriculum” 2019. PMID:

  8. Neff J; Holmes S; Strong S; Chin G; De Avila J; Dubal S; Duncan L; Halpern J; Harvey M; Knight KR; Lemay E; Lewis B; Matthews J; Nelson N; Satterwhite S; Thompson-Lastad A; Walkover L. “The Structural Competency Working Group: Lessons from Iterative, Interdisciplinary Development of a Structural Competency Training Module” 2019. PMID:

  9. Knight KR, Kushel M, Chang JS, Zamora K, Ceasar R, Hurstak E, Miaskowski C. Opioid pharmacovigilance: A clinical-social history of the changes in opioid prescribing for patients with co-occurring chronic non-cancer pain and substance use. Volume 186. 2017. PMID: 28599142

  10. Hurstak EE, Kushel M, Chang J, Ceasar R, Zamora K, Miaskowski C, Knight K. The risks of opioid treatment: Perspectives of primary care practitioners and patients from safety-net clinics. Volume 38 of Issue 2. 2017. PMID: 28394752

  11. Neff J, Knight KR, Satterwhite S, Nelson N, Matthews J, Holmes SM. Teaching Structure: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Structural Competency Training for Resident Physicians. Volume 32 of Issue 4. 2016. PMID: 27896692

  12. Chang JS, Kushel M, Miaskowski C, Ceasar R, Zamora K, Hurstak E, Knight KR. Provider Experiences With the Identification, Management, and Treatment of Co-occurring Chronic Noncancer Pain and Substance Use in the Safety Net. Volume 52 of Issue 2. 2016. PMID: 27754719

  13. Riley ED, Shumway M, Knight KR, Guzman D, Cohen J, Weiser SD. Risk factors for stimulant use among homeless and unstably housed adult women. Volume 153. 2015. PMID: 26070454

  14. Mizuno Y, Purcell DW, Knowlton AR, Wilkinson JD, Gourevitch MN, Knight KR. Syndemic vulnerability, sexual and injection risk behaviors, and HIV continuum of care outcomes in HIV-positive injection drug users. Volume 19 of Issue 4. 2015. PMID: 25249392

  15. Riley ED, Cohen J, Knight KR, Decker A, Marson K, Shumway M. Recent violence in a community-based sample of homeless and unstably housed women with high levels of psychiatric comorbidity. Volume 104 of Issue 9. 2014. PMID: 25033127

  16. Knight KR, Das M, DeMicco E, Raiford JL, Matheson T, Shook A, Antunez E, Santos GM, Dadasovich R, Dilley JW, Colfax GN, Herbst JH. A roadmap for adapting an evidence-based HIV prevention intervention: personal cognitive counseling (PCC) for episodic substance-using men who have sex with men. Volume 15 of Issue 3. 2014. PMID: 23412947

  17. Knight KR, Lopez AM, Comfort M, Shumway M, Cohen J, Riley ED. Single room occupancy (SRO) hotels as mental health risk environments among impoverished women: the intersection of policy, drug use, trauma, and urban space. Volume 25 of Issue 3. 2013. PMID: 24411945

  18. Mackenzie S, Pearson C, Frye V, Gómez CA, Latka MH, Purcell DW, Knowlton AR, Metsch LR, Tobin KE, Valverde EE, Knight KR. Agents of change: peer mentorship as HIV prevention among HIV-positive injection drug users. Volume 47 of Issue 5. 2012. PMID: 22428820

  19. Rose CD, Courtenay-Quirk C, Knight K, Shade SB, Vittinghoff E, Gomez C, Lum PJ, Bacon O, Colfax G. HIV intervention for providers study: a randomized controlled trial of a clinician-delivered HIV risk-reduction intervention for HIV-positive people. Volume 55 of Issue 5. 2010. PMID: 20827218

  20. Latkin CA, Buchanan AS, Metsch LR, Knight K, Latka MH, Mizuno Y, Knowlton AR. Predictors of sharing injection equipment by HIV-seropositive injection drug users. Volume 49 of Issue 4. 2008. PMID: 19186356

  21. Mizuno Y, Purcell DW, Zhang J, Knowlton AR, De Varona M, Arnsten JH, Knight KR. Predictors of current housing status among HIV-seropositive injection drug users (IDUs): results from a 1-year study. Volume 13 of Issue 1. 2008. PMID: 18247113

  22. Arnsten JH, Li X, Mizuno Y, Knowlton AR, Gourevitch MN, Handley K, Knight KR, Metsch LR. Factors associated with antiretroviral therapy adherence and medication errors among HIV-infected injection drug users. Volume 46 Suppl 2. 2007. PMID: 18089986

  23. Frye V, Latka MH, Wu Y, Valverde EE, Knowlton AR, Knight KR, Arnsten JH, O'Leary A. Intimate partner violence perpetration against main female partners among HIV-positive male injection drug users. Volume 46 Suppl 2. 2007. PMID: 18089979

  24. Purcell DW, Latka MH, Metsch LR, Latkin CA, Gómez CA, Mizuno Y, Arnsten JH, Wilkinson JD, Knight KR, Knowlton AR, Santibanez S, Tobin KE, Rose CD, Valverde EE, Gourevitch MN, Eldred L, Borkowf CB. Results from a randomized controlled trial of a peer-mentoring intervention to reduce HIV transmission and increase access to care and adherence to HIV medications among HIV-seropositive injection drug users. Volume 46 Suppl 2. 2007. PMID: 18089983

  25. Knight KR, Shade SB, Purcell DW, Rose CD, Metsch LR, Latka MH, Latkin CA, Gómez CA. Sexual transmission risk behavior reported among behaviorally bisexual HIV-positive injection drug-using men. Volume 46 Suppl 2. 2007. PMID: 18089988

  26. Purcell DW, Mizuno Y, Metsch LR, Garfein R, Tobin K, Knight K, Latka MH. Unprotected sexual behavior among heterosexual HIV-positive injection drug using men: associations by partner type and partner serostatus. Volume 83 of Issue 4. 2006. PMID: 16736116

  27. Comfort M, Grinstead O, McCartney K, Bourgois P, Knight K. "You cannot do nothing in this damn place": sex and intimacy among couples with an incarcerated male partner. Volume 42 of Issue 1. 2005. PMID: 15795799

  28. Knight KR, Purcell D, Dawson-Rose C, Halkitis PN, Gomez CA. Sexual risk taking among HIV-positive injection drug users: contexts, characteristics, and implications for prevention. Volume 17 of Issue 1 Suppl A. 2005. PMID: 15843119

  29. Dawson Rose, C.S., Shade, S.B., Lum, P.J., Knight, K.R., Purcell, D.P., & Parsons, J.. The Health Care Experience of HIV Positive Injection Drug Users. Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health, 11(1): 23-30 2005. PMID:

  30. Mizuno Y, Purcell D, Borkowski TM, Knight K. The life priorities of HIV-seropositive injection drug users: findings from a community-based sample. Volume 7 of Issue 4. 2003. PMID: 14707536

  31. Downing M, Knight K, Reiss TH, Vernon K, Mulia N, Ferreboeuf M, Carroll A, Vu C. Drug users talk about HIV testing: motivating and deterring factors. Volume 13 of Issue 5. 2001. PMID: 11571004

  32. Vernon KA, Mulia N, Downing M, Knight K, Riess T. "I don't know when it might pop up": understanding repeat HIV testing and perceptions of HIV among drug users. Volume 13 of Issue 1-2. 2001. PMID: 11547621

  33. Downing M, Mulia N, Vernon K, Knight K, Ferreboeuf M, Carroll A. Voices from the field: providers discuss HIV counseling and testing programs for drug users. Volume 15 of Issue 2. 2000. PMID: 11519367

  34. Downing M, Knight KR, Vernon KA, Seigel S, Ajaniku I, Acosta PS, Thomas L, Porter S. This is my story: a descriptive analysis of a peer education HIV/STD risk reduction program for women living in housing developments. Volume 11 of Issue 3. 1999. PMID: 10407458

  35. van der Straten A, Vernon KA, Knight KR, Gómez CA, Padian NS. Managing HIV among serodiscordant heterosexual couples: serostatus, stigma and sex. Volume 10 of Issue 5. 1998. PMID: 9828951

  36. Knight, K.R.; Rosenbaum, M.; Irwin, J.; Kelley, M.S.; Wenger, L.; Washburn, A.. Involuntary verses voluntary detoxification from methadone maintenance treatment: the importance of choice. Addiction Research 3(4): 351-362 1996. PMID:

  37. Rosenbaum, M.; Washburn, A.; Knight, K.R.; Kelley, M.S.; Irwin, J. Methadone maintenance: treatment as harm reduction, defunding as harm maximization. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 28(3) 1996. PMID: