About Us


The Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA) at Florida International University was established in 2003 in order to address the escalating twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS affecting Latino communities throughout South Florida. This pioneering, nationally and internationally recognized Center currently houses grant awards from several of the prestigious institutes within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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CRUSADA currently houses:

  • A National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) P20 Exploratory Center of Excellence grant titled The Center for Substance Use and HIV/AIDS Research on Latinos in the United States (C-SALUD; P20MD002288; PI: De La Rosa)
  • A National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) R01 grant titled The Intergenerational Transmission of Alcohol Use Among Latino Mothers and Daughters (R01NR012150; PI: De La Rosa)
  • A National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) R21 grant, collaboratively administered and investigated with Dr. Eduardo Romano, Pacific Institute For Research and Evaluation (PIRE). The grant is titled Drinking and Driving Among Recent Latino Immigrants (R21AA022202; PIs: De La Rosa, Romano)

CRUSADA Administrative Staff execute the following Specific Aims:

  • Manage the administration of grants and budgets;
  • Provide scientific and administrative leadership, overseeing activities of each grant
  • Coordinate and integrate CRUSADA personnel, FIU colleges, schools, and departments, community-based agencies, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and personnel from colleges, schools, and departments outside of FIU; and facilitate collaboration in research projects;
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Center’s activities in achieving its goals and objectives in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Enhance the visibility and reach of the Center at the local, state, and national levels; and
  • Ensure the long term sustainability and expansion of the Center and its community partners in their pursuit towards reducing and/or eliminating HIV/AIDS and substance abuse health disparities in Latino populations and Latina women in Miami-Dade County in particular.