Dr. Dilara Kadriye Üsküp is a National Institutes of Health (NIH), T-32 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS). She is also a member of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative. Her research investigates the ways religious and political institutions, attitudes, and ideology interact and shape health behavior to inform public policy. Presently, Dr. Üsküp is a co-principal investigator of an NIH funded grant (5T32MH109205-03) increasing the use of technology to deploy pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention. Her burgeoning research portfolio include the areas of politics and theology, cannabis and social equity, and health policy.
Dr. Üsküp is a joint doctoral graduate of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and the Divinity School. Her forthcoming manuscript, Sex in God’s City, examines theology as a mode of political persuasion. Her research interests include: race, politics, religion, gender/ sexuality, and health at the intersection of public opinion and policy.
Dr. Üsküp is a native of Izmir, Turkey, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Born to a Turkish father and an African-American mother, she identifies as a double hyphenated citizen of the world: being proudly Turkish and proudly African-American. Her upbringing in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-national household cultivated her conception of self. Dr. Üsküp's extensive traveling shaped her research trajectory. Her time as an adolescent scholar, producing science fair projects and searching for library books during her mother’s graduate study, were formative in her development. Dr. Üsküp is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
A graduate of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, her undergraduate education ignited her passion for research in the social sciences. Dr. Üsküp believes her vocation is to be a scholar-activist. As a Political Scientist and Theologian, who embodies the trifecta of being a scholar, researcher, and educator, she hopes to expand the contours of the academic study of religion and its impact on our polity. Professor Üsküp previously taught courses at Scripps College including: introduction to political science, introduction to public policy, religion and politics, and Black politics.
Dr. Üskup is ordained but identifies as a Mystic. Embodying the @TrapSpirituality aesthetic she exchanges her "formal title" as Reverend for the #YoungTheologian. Trap Spirituality seeks to liberate the consciousness from orthodoxy.