Michelle Acosta, Administrative Director

Michelle Acosta, PhD Administrative Director of CTH

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Dr. Michelle Acosta is Administrative Director and Principal Investigator for the Center for Technology and Health. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Delaware, and completed a predoctoral internship in Pediatric Psychology at the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children and a postdoctoral fellowship in Addiction Psychology at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Acosta’s research activities have focused on novel adaptations of evidence-based substance abuse interventions in non-traditional settings (e.g., psychiatric, medical, remote/telephone, web-based, mobile) that may improve the reach and acceptability of these treatments for vulnerable populations. She has served as Project Manager, Co-Investigator, and Principal Investigator on several federally-funded projects. She has conducted research focused on developing and evaluating substance abuse interventions for medically ill patients (i.e., patients with chronic pain, patients requiring organ transplant) and youth, including adolescent and young adult smokers and teens with substance use disorders. Currently, Dr. Acosta serves on several projects examining the impact of web-based behavior therapy for methadone maintenance clients, adolescents with substance use disorders, OEF/OIF/OND Veterans, and patients with chronic pain. She is Principal Investigator on a study designed to develop and evaluate a mobile intervention for clients in methadone maintenance treatment.

Bradley R. Anders, PhD - Principal Investigator

Bradley R. Anders, PhD Principal Investigator

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Brad Anders is a Principal Investigator in the Institute for Biobehavioral Research. He is a doctoral graduate of Walden University's Human Services program with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Dr. Anders holds an AA from State Fair Community College with an emphasis in criminal justice, a BS in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Central Missouri State University, and a master’s degree from Boston University, also in criminal justice. His law enforcement career began in Sedalia, MO where he worked as a patrolman, field training officer, and K9 handler. Currently, Dr. Anders is a detective with the Lee’s Summit, Missouri Police Department's Special Investigations Unit in the Kansas City Metro Area. As a sworn officer for approximately 14 years, Dr. Anders has been highly decorated with 9 lifesaving awards, multiple police commendations, and was named officer of the year for both the Sedalia Police Department and the Lee’s Summit Police Department. Dr. Anders also created the Lee’s Summit Police Department’s Crime Reduction Team, implementing a combination of hot‐spot and problem oriented policing designs in Section 8 housing complexes. Dr. Anders' research interests include police behavior, community policing, and police/minority relations.

Yesenia Aponte-Melendez, Assistant Project Director

Yesenia Aponte-Melendez, AbD Assistant Project Director

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Yesenia Aponte-Meléndez, M.A., A.B.D., is Assistant Project Director for the Center for Technology and Health, conducting a study that evaluates an interactive mobile phone intervention for methadone program enrollees. She is a sociologist and Ph.D. Candidate at The New School for Social Research. Her research experience includes the use of qualitative research methods such as participant observation and in-depth interviews to study substance misuse. Her academic research has examined perceptions of and experiences with harm reduction services among Puerto Rico-born injection drug users living in New York City (NYC). Specifically, she qualitatively assessed the influence of the ampler access to syringe exchange programs in NYC over experienced changes in HIV prevention knowledge and HIV risk behaviors in this migrant population.

As a Ph.D. Candidate, her dissertation explores the relationship between nonmedical prescription drug use, socioeconomic status and gender. The focus of this qualitative study is to explore women's prescription drug use experiences, and the meanings they attach to their drug use, as influenced by socioeconomic status. In addition, she is also the Co-founder and Board Vice-President of a mobile syringe exchange program targeting rural injectors in Puerto Rico.

Ian Aronson, PhD

Ian Aronson, PhD Principal Investigator

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Dr. Ian Aronson is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Technology and Health. His work examines how methodologies and evidence-based findings from the learning sciences can be applied to technology-based health interventions. His recent research, funded by NIDA, examines how the content of educational video segments, delivered on affordable handheld computers, can be optimized for greatest effectiveness. As part of this research, Dr. Aronson is creating a set of original videos about HIV testing and prevention based on differing theories of education and multimedia learning. He will also create an application to integrate delivery of the videos with pre- and post-intervention data collection instruments, and then implement a clinical trial to determine which videos produce the best results. The trial will be conducted in an exceptionally high volume, urban emergency department that serves a diverse population of patients, including many who are at high risk.

Dr. Aronson earned a PhD in Educational Communication and Technology from New York University, and an MA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. He was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research at Public Health Solutions/NDRI. Before starting his doctorate, he was Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Ramapo College.

Roberta Berry, Research Associate

Roberta Berry, MFA Research Associate

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Ms. Roberta (Robbie) Berry received her MFA at the University of Virginia and graduated from the Interpreter Education Program at LaGuardia Community College in NY. Ms. Berry is a 2016 Peabody Award Winner for her work on the serialized podcast The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel. She is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and has worked with the Deaf community for over 25 years. Ms. Berry participates on the translation team for Deaf Projects and assists in the ASL translation and video production. Ms. Berry has served as the ASL interpreter for focus groups and has transcribed videoed ASL in-depth interviews.

Through NDRI affiliate Social Sciences Innovations Corporation (SSIC) Ms. Berry is currently a Research Associate on a NIMH funded SBIR for the development of a computer-based HIV/STI curriculum for deaf adolescents. Ms. Berry also worked as a Research Associate for a NCATS funded SBIR research grant to develop a Depression Screener for deaf individuals which is accessed via the web. Ms. Berry was a Senior Research Assistant on a NIMH grant to develop and implement a computerized self-administered HIV/AIDS knowledge survey in ASL for use with deaf adults as well as for an NIDCD funded grant to develop and implement an HIV knowledge survey for use with deaf high school students.

Alex Bennett, Principal Investigator

Alex Bennett, PhD Deputy Director of CCHD

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Dr. Alex S. Bennett is a Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of NDRI’s Center for Community and Health Disparities Research.  Dr. Bennett’s current work focuses on overdose prevention and response and his current projects include a study of Opioid Use/Misuse and Overdose Risk among veterans (R01DA036754) that will help determine ecological, structural, and psychosocial aspects of opioid use and overdose risk. Dr. Bennett is also conducting a stakeholder analysis to better understand perspectives on naloxone use among a range of populations. Dr. Bennett serves as Program Director of NDRI’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program (OOPP) which enables researchers and participants to be trained in overdose prevention and response and to obtain the opioid antagonist medication, naloxone.  A consistent goal in his work has been to conduct interdisciplinary mixed-methods research into substance use and related health disparities, disseminate findings to the broader community, and work with vulnerable populations and the many agencies that serve them in a variety of settings to improve their lives, the health of their communities, and promote positive policy change. Dr. Bennett earned a PhD in Applied History and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MPA in Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Bennett is an affiliated investigator with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. He also completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Ellen Benoit, Principal/Co-Investigator

Ellen Benoit, PhD Director of CCHD

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Dr. Ellen Benoit is a Principal Investigator and Director of the Center for Community and Health Disparities Research and is affiliated with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. She is currently Principal Investigator with Dr. Liliane C. Windsor of the University of Illinois on a study funded by NIMHD that employs community-based participatory research methods to test an intervention aimed at reducing substance use among men returning to Newark, NJ communities after incarceration. With Dr. Martin J. Downing, Jr., of Public Health Solutions, Dr. Benoit is a PI on an NICHD-funded study investigating the impact of childhood abuse on risk behavior among Black and Latino gay and bisexual men. Dr. Benoit is also a PI with Dr. Eric Schrimshaw of Columbia University on an NIMHD-funded examination of sexual scripts and socialization in a diverse sample of young gay and bisexual men. Dr. Benoit's previous independent work focused on HIV risk among substance-using Black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) but do not identify as gay or homosexual and do not disclose their same-sex activity to their female partners.

Before joining the staff of NDRI, Dr. Benoit taught sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research at PHS/NDRI from 2001 to 2003.

Michael Chaple,  Director of CIRP

Michael Chaple, PhD Investigator

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Michael Chaple, Ph.D, a criminologist, is the Director of the Center for the Integration of Research and Practice (CIRP) at NDRI, Inc., where he worked for the past 18 years. The mission of CIRP is to integrate science and service in the treatment of substance abuse, HIV and related disorders, especially psychological disorders and criminal behavior. CIRP seeks to advance the knowledge dissemination and technology transfer efforts of NDRI and to promote the use of "best practices" in the service field. Dr. Chaple’s line of work reflects the growing need to "bridge the gap" between research and practice by developing research studies relevant to emerging issues in the field and by translating research findings into practical guidelines for immediate clinical application. As Director of CIRP, Dr. Chaple has been the Project Director on numerous NIDA-funded multi-site clinical trials.

Currently, CIRP is participating in a study funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA; R01-DA038146), through a subcontract with RTI International (Garner, PI), which is a a multisite randomized trial (conducted as part of a type II effectiveness-implementation trial) testing the effectiveness of a motivational interviewing-based brief intervention for substance use as an adjunct to usual care in AIDS service organizations (ASOs). Prior to that Dr. Chaple was the PD on a NIDA-funded study, “Computerized Psychosocial Treatment for Offenders with Substance Use Disorders” (RC2-DA002-8967), a randomized controlled trial in 10 prisons across 4 states that evaluated the effectiveness of a computer-based substance use treatment program (the Therapeutic Education System) for incarcerated offenders, examining its impact on recidivism, relapse to drug use, and HIV drug- and sex-related risk behaviors. A third project, “Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS)” (1U01DA16200), established a nationwide research system designed to evaluate and test interventions in multi-site studies that address systems-level interventions and issues related to integrating public health and public safety approaches for drug-using offenders. A fourth project, “Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies 2 (CJ-DATS2)”, (2U01DA016200-06A1), tested implementation strategies that could result in sustained delivery of SUD treatment services in three distinct domains: (1) medication-assisted treatment for offenders transitioning to the community; (2) HIV continuum of care (i.e., screening and counseling, risk reduction interventions, ARV treatment adherence from prison or jail into the community); and (3) screening/assessment processes to identify offenders with drug use and related health problems and to inform their treatment planning and re-entry process.

Dr. Chaple received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and is an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University.

Michael Clatts,  Director of YAR

Michael Clatts, PhD Director of YAR

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Michael Clatts, Ph.D. is the Director of the Institute for Research on Global Health and Youth at Risk at NDRI and Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico. A Medical Anthropologist by training, Dr. Clatts was one of the first social scientists involved in HIV research, beginning in 1981. His principal area of interest is in community-based epidemiology and community level HIV interventions, including sexual health promotion and health services approaches to HIV prevention and treatment. Over the last twenty-five years, he has conducted a number of major epidemiological studies related to HIV risk in which he has combined traditional methods from Anthropological ethnography and behavioral epidemiology in research on HIV risk. These studies include several major NIH funded studies of out-of-treatment populations at high risk for HIV infection, including injection drug users, commercial sex workers, homeless youth, migrants, and MSM. In addition to research in the U.S., (principally New York City and Puerto Rico), Dr. Clatts has conducted HIV research among vulnerable youth and young adult populations in multiple international settings, including Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Ireland.

Patrice Creamer, Project Director

Patrice Creamer, MSW Project Director (SSIC)

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Martin Downing, Principal Investigator

Martin Downing, PhD Principal Investigator

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Dr. Martin Downing’s research focuses on understanding psychosocial and contextual factors of health and well being, particularly at the intersection of sexual orientation, behavior, and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As an environmental psychologist, this research centers on interactions between individuals and their settings, and how those interactions may influence perceptions, behavior, and health.

Eloise Dunlap,  Director of ISPR

Eloise Dunlap, PhD Director of ISPR

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At the present time, Dr. Eloise Dunlap is Director of the Institute for Special Population Research (ISPR) and Principal Investigator. Especially pertinent to her work is her interest in understanding the underlying dynamics and context of social and cultural determinates of behavior which commonly occurs among inner-city low income residents.  Much of her current work focuses upon various aspects of the illicit drug market, impact of disasters on drug use and sales, treatment, HIV risks and health services and impact of drugs on family and households. In addition, Dunlap has a long history of mentoring NIDA-funded junior researchers including three new minority investigators under the NIH-funded Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. Dr. Dunlap has also actively fostered 11 high school and 4 undergraduate students under Summer Research with NIDA for Underrepresented Students.

Recent NIH-funded studies consist of: Disruption and Reformulation of Illicit Drug Markets among New Orleans Evacuees, Stages of Drug Market Disruption and Reformulation in Disaster Cities, Video Games' Role in Developing Substance Use, Multiple Sexual Partnering & HIV Risks Among Low Income Heterosexual Black Men, and Heterosexual Black Females: Socialization and HIV Risks in Scripts and Practices.

Elizabeth Eckhardt,  Director of Deaf Projects

Elizabeth Eckhardt, PhD Director of Deaf Projects (SSIC)

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Dr. Elizabeth Eckhardt received her PhD from New York University School of Social Work where her dissertation analyzed in-depth interviews with deaf adults conducted in American Sign Language (ASL) to study the ways that Deaf culture influences HIV-related health behaviors. Her extensive research experience includes the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods to develop and implement culturally and linguistically accurate computer-based surveys in ASL to study substance use, tobacco use, mental health, and HIV. Through NDRI affiliate Social Sciences Innovations Corporation (SSIC) she is currently working to develop a computer-based HIV Curriculum for use with Deaf High School Students and a self-administered, computer-based, Depression Screener in ASL. Dr. Eckhardt has several years of clinical experience with Deaf individuals and has developed comprehensive county wide service programs for Deaf individuals and their families.

Brian Edlin, Senior Principal Investigator

Brian Edlin, MD Senior Principal Investigator

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Dr. Brian Edlin has been engaged in research on emerging issues in infectious diseases for 25 years, including 20 years conducting community-based research with people who inject illicit drugs (PWIDs). The goals of this work are to develop a multidimensional understanding of the factors associated with health and illness in these populations, and to develop and evaluate policies and interventions to improve their health. This research examines social, structural, behavioral, and biological factors associated with health conditions among PWIDs — including HIV, hepatitis B and C, other viral infections, tuberculosis, abscesses, heroin overdose, and other causes of morbidity and mortality in substance-using populations. Dr. Edlin’s research team has developed or evaluated pioneering interventions including needle exchange, street-based hepatitis B vaccination, street-based abscess care, and naloxone distribution to prevent fatal heroin overdose.

Two community-based studies currently underway in New York focus on how and why the hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to spread among people who inject illicit drugs despite access to needle exchange, and on overcoming the barriers to access to hepatitis C treatment in people currently injecting illicit drugs. The Swan Project is a study of the clinical, behavioral, virologic, and immunologic characteristics of acute HCV infection among high-risk young persons who inject illicit drugs. The Collaborative Hepatitis Outreach and Integrated Care Evaluation Study (CHOICES) is a randomized trial of a novel multidisciplinary, integrated care program carried out in collaboration with a community-based needle exchange program in Harlem that provides antiviral therapy for hepatitis C to persons who inject illicit drugs.

In the policy arena, Dr. Edlin has been at the forefront of efforts to win access to hepatitis C treatment for illicit drug users. He was the first to publicly and prominently challenge the NIH recommendation to withhold hepatitis C treatment from active illicit drug users. The following year, the NIH invited him to address its Consensus Development Conference as an expert speaker on hepatitis C in injection drug users. The Consensus Panel adopted his recommendations, rescinding its recommendation against treating drug users for hepatitis C and recommending hepatitis C prevention, testing, and treatment programs for injection drug users and incarcerated persons.

Dr. Edlin has also had 20 years’ experience as a research mentor, providing guidance in clinical and epidemiologic research study conceptualization, design, implementation and management, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript development and submission, and grant writing, resulting in more than 25 publications in peer-reviewed journals first-authored by trainees.

Luther Elliott, Principal Investigator

Luther Elliott, PhD Principal Investigator

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Luther Elliott is a Principal Investigator and cultural and medical anthropologist who focuses on pathways to substance use and behavioral addictions. Elliott’s interests in vulnerable subcultures and populations led him to the Institute for Special Populations Research (ISPR) at NDRI following his Ph.D. work (New York University, 2006) with emergent subcultures of psychedelic drug use. Since then, he has collaborated with senior researchers, Bruce Johnson, Eloise Dunlap, and Andrew Golub on studies of marijuana use (R01DA013690), Hurricane Katrina's evacuees (R01DA021783), and veterans’ health (R01AA020178). Dr. Elliott recently served as principal investigator on a 3-year study of developmental relationships between video game and substance use (R01DA027761) and is now serving as project director and co-investigator on a study of military veterans’ overdose risks and prevention efforts (R01DA036754).

Chunki Fong, Project Director

Chunki Fong, MS Project Director

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With his a background in Statistics and Computer Science, Chunki Fong provides technical support and conducts statistical analyses and data management for various research projects at NDRI.  Mr. Fong has extensive experience as a SAS statistics programmer and also works with a variety of other statistical and data management programs such as SPSS, R, Mplus, QDS, LISREL, and Teleform. Further, he has considerable experience conducting statistical analyses with data from prevalence studies and clinical trials. He is well-versed in a number of statistical quantitative analytic techniques including random regression, general estimating equation, power analysis, structural equation modeling, and latent class analysis. These statistical skills have been applied to a diverse number of research domains including peer mentoring for high risk youth with HIV parents, drug abusing inmates receiving buprenorphine treatment, juvenile drug abusing offenders in the criminal justice system, and dually-diagnosed persons receiving dual-focus mutual aid. Currently, he is the Project Director/lead statistician on a large national project which assesses opioid use among patients enrolling in methadone treatment programs.  He previously served as the Data Manager/Analyst for NDRI’s Institute for Treatment and Services Research and was the Senior Methodologist for NDRI’s Center for Therapeutic Community Research.

Sam Friedman, Sr. Research Fellow

Sam Friedman, PhD Sr. Research Fellow

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Sam Friedman is Director of the Institute for Infectious Disease Research at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. and the Associate Director & Senior Theoretician in the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York City. (He is also a prior Director of the Research Methods Core in the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research.)  He also is associated with the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, and with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Friedman is an author of about 450 publications on HIV, STI, and drug use epidemiology and prevention, including pieces in NatureScienceScientific American, the New England Journal of MedicineJAMA, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Recent research projects have included a review paper (AIDS, 2006) on the social research needs of the AIDS field; a study of social factors, social networks and HIV, STI and other blood-borne viruses among youth and drug injectors in a high-risk community; research on the impact of economic and political crises on HIV risk in Buenos Aires; a study of how some long-term drug injectors remain uninfected with HIV and HCV (i.e., how they Stay Safe); a study of socioeconomic and policy predictors of the extent of injection drug use, of HIV epidemics, and of HIV prevention efforts in US metropolitan areas; a longitudinal study of how the HIV epidemics and related programs among people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, and heterosexuals in US metropolitan areas are associated with each other (with Hannah Cooper (Contact PI) and Ron Stall); the development of novel measures to understand how structural interventions or Big Events/Complex Emergencies affect variables related to HIV risk networks and behaviors; research on why women injectors who have sex with women are at enhanced risk for HIV and other infections; and research on preventing transmission of HIV by the recently infected. He has engaged in many international collaborative projects with the WHO MultiCentre Study of Drugs and HIV and with researchers in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine and other countries. 

He has also written on international HIV topics such as war and HIV; sociopolitical transitions and HIV; and drug users’ organizations (user groups) as actors globally against HIV. He has been Associate Editor for Social Science of the International Journal of Drug Policy and is or has been on the editorial boards of AIDS, JAIDS, AIDScience, a Web venture for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AIDS Education and Prevention, The Drug and Alcohol Professional, and Harm Reduction Journal. Honors include the International Rolleston Award of the International Harm Reduction Association (2009), the first Sociology AIDS Network Award for Career Contributions to the Sociology of HIV/AIDS (2007), a Lifetime Contribution Award, Association of Black Sociologists (2005) and a NIDA Avant Garde Award for research on Preventing HIV Transmission by Recently-Infected Drug Users. He has published many poems in a variety of publications. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks (Murders most foul: Poems against war by a World Trade Center survivor. Central Jersey Coalition against Endless War. 2005 andNeedles, drugs, and defiance:  Poems to organize by.  North American Syringe Exchange Network.  1999) and a book of poetry (Seeking to make the world anew: Poems of the Living Dialectic. 2008. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books).

Camila Gelpí-Acosta, Principal Investigator

Camila Gelpí-Acosta, PhD Principal Investigator

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Camila Gelpí-Acosta received her Ph.D. from the New School University in 2013. Since 2008, she has been engaged in drug use and HIV research in New York City (NYC) and in Puerto Rico. As the Project Director for the CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) study in NYC from 2008 to 2011, she conducted multiple ethnographies with people at high risk for HIV, including migrant Puerto Rican people who inject drugs (PWID). From 2013-2014, she was a postdoc at the Behavioral Scientist Training program (NIDA T32 DA007233), where she received comprehensive support and mentorship for research proposal development. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of a pilot study seeking to identify the cultural norms behind sustained injection risks of migrant Puerto Ricans in NYC, and to ultimately develop a culturally appropriate risk reduction intervention for this population (R03 DA04189201A1). She is a native Puerto Rican who co-founded a syringe exchange program in Puerto Rico (El Punto en la Montaña, Inc.), and is a consultant of a NIDA R01 study (PI Dombrowski, RO1DA037117) in rural Puerto Rico. In September 2014, she was appointed as Assistant Professor at LaGuardia/CUNY, Criminal Justice Program.

Marjorie Goldstein, Principal Investigator

Marjorie Goldstein, PhD Principal Investigator

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Marjorie Goldstein is a Principal Investigator in The Institute for Infectious Disease Research at NDRI. She received her MPH in Public Health Education from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Her research for and about deaf individuals has involved computer based surveys in American Sign Language on drug abuse, mental health and HIV. She has also conducted intervention studies of street-recruited drug users including those who are HIV positive, aimed at improving their use of health and medical services. Dr. Goldstein who maintains a public health focus in her research, has published on these and related topics.

Andrew Golub, Principal Investigator

Andrew Golub, PhD Principal Investigator

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Andrew Golub is a Senior Principal Investigator in The Institute for Special Populations Research. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on understanding social problems in context with an aim towards developing appropriate public policy responses. His studies have examined trends in drug use, the larger context of use, causes and consequences of use, and the efficacy of policies and programs as well as associated issues related to violence, crime, policing, poverty, and families. In the course of his work, Dr. Golub has developed a descriptive model for the dynamics of drug epidemics. Epidemics like other diffusion phenomena tend to progress from incubation within a limited social context through a period of rapid expansion to a plateau of widespread use and finally into an extended decline phase. Dr. Golub has used this framework to analyze the Heroin Injection Epidemic which peaked in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Crack Epidemic with peaked in the mid to late 1980s, the Marijuana/Blunts Epidemic which emerged in the 1990s, the Methamphetamine Epidemic that may be starting to draw to a close in the 2010s, and the currently prevailing epidemic in prescription opioid and heroin use. Dr. Golub has also examined the gateway phenomenon and identified ways in which drug use pathways vary with cultural trends over time and across individual circumstances.

Honoria Guarino, Principal Investigator

Honoria Guarino, PhD Principal Investigator

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Honoria Guarino is a Principal Investigator in The Center for Technology and Health, who specializes in qualitative, ethnographic and mixed-methods research on the social aspects of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. She is currently Principal Investigator of a NIDA-funded study examining the social contexts of drug use and HIV/HCV risk among young, opioid-using immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Co-Investigator/Ethnographer for a 5-year, NIDA-funded study of nonmedical prescription opioid use and associated patterns of HIV/HCV/STI risk among young adults in New York City. She is also Principal Investigator of a pilot study, awarded by the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College, to develop and implement an innovative method for evaluating opioid-maintained chronic pain patients’ engagement in a web-based, self-management intervention. Dr. Guarino received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Christopher Keith Haddock, Deputy Director

Christopher Keith Haddock, PhD, NSCA-CPT, FTOS Deputy Director of IBHR

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Christopher Keith Haddock, PhD, PStat®, is Senior Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of the Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research at NDRI. He completed the Statistics and Research Design and Behavioral Medicine doctoral programs at the University of Memphis. He also completed postdoctoral fellowships in Health Psychology with the US Air Force (USAF) and in Cardiovascular Disease with the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum. Dr. Haddock is a military veteran, having served both on activity duty and active reserve of the USAF. He has published over 160 scientific papers, addressing tobacco control, obesity, fitness and work capacity, and cardiovascular disease and has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DoD, Department of Homeland Security, American Heart Association, and American Legacy Foundation as a Principal or Co-Investigator.

Dr. Haddock's recent work as Principal Investigator included two NIH sponsored studies of tobacco control among veterans and activity duty military personnel In addition, he serves as the biostatistician for several epidemiological studies and randomized clinical trials. His professional affiliations include the American Statistical Association (Accredited Professional Statistician), the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Association of Military Surgeons in the U.S., and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. He was awarded Fellow status in the Obesity Society for his research on nutrition and weight control. Dr. Haddock has been honored in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care, and Who's Who Among America's Teachers. In his leisure time he earned a blackbelt in Busihidokan Karate and has studied Wado-Ryu, American Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai and is a certified CrossFit trainer.

Sara A. Jahnke, Principal Investigator

Sara A. Jahnke, PhD Principal Investigator

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Sara Jahnke a Principal Investigator in The Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research and Director of the Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Research at NDRI. She completed her doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a Health Emphasis at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and the American Heart Associations’ Fellowship on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Jahnke served as the Principal Investigator of two large-scale studies of the health and readiness of the U.S. Fire Service and has published research on health behaviors of military personnel.  She currently serves as the Principal Investigator of a study focused on the health of women firefighters funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Jahnke has published both qualitative and quantitative articles in the areas of obesity, tobacco, and health behaviors. She has served as a the principal investigator or co-investigator for a number of studies funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association. She is an active member of the Safety, Health and Survival section of IAFC and is called on regularly to be a consultant on health related topics for that committee. She was invited to author a white paper for the 3rd Life Safety Summit of the Everyone Goes Home program from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, chaired the health and wellness section of the 2nd National Fire Service Research Agenda Setting Symposium, as well as authored a book chapter on health and wellness among firefighters for the Everyone Goes Home text book.

Nattinee Jitnarin, Project Director

Nattinee Jitnarin, PhD Project Director

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Nattinee Jitnarin, Ph.D. is a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., based in New York, NY. She completed the Health Psychology doctoral program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the NIH-funded Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research at Public Health Solutions/National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI), NY. Dr. Jitnarin is involved in the conduct and analysis of a number of large cohort studies and randomized controlled trials focusing on firefighters and military personnel. Her research area currently focuses on both health and addictive behaviors research, particularly smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Dr. Jitnarin currently serves as the Principal Investigator of a study focused on smokeless tobacco cessation in the US Fire Service funded by the American Cancer Society.

Christopher Kaipust, Postdoctoral Fellow

Christopher Kaipust, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow

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Christopher Kaipust is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research at NDRI. He received his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Texas School of Public Health, with a focus on nutritional and chronic disease epidemiology. He then completed his Ph.D. in Epidemiology and was a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Doctoral Occupational Epidemiology Trainee at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at University of Texas School of Public Health. His research focuses on Total Worker Health and Health Disparities in the occupational setting. Dr. Kaipust has been involved in the design, conduct, and analysis of several large studies on firefighter and military health and safety including: The Impact of Nutrition Environment in the Fire Service on Health and Safety (EMW-2009-FP-01971), Impact of Adenovirus-36 and Obesity in the Fire Service on Health and Safety (EMW-2010-FP-01812), Enhancing Civilian Support for Military Tobacco Control (R01DA036509), Barriers to Effective Tobacco Control Policy Implementation in the US Military (R01DA036507), The First Twenty for Volunteer Firefighters (EMW-2013-FP-00983), Health and Wellness of Women Firefighters (EMW-2015-FP-00848), Bullying, Harassment & Resilience in the Fire Service (EMW-2016-FP-00806), and Targeted Strategies to Accelerate EBP Implementation in Military Settings (W81XWH-17-C-0236).

Hannah Kelley, Research Coordinator

Hannah Kelley Research Coordinator

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Hannah Kelley is a Research Coordinator at the Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research and its two centers -- the Center for Fire, Rescue, and EMS Health Research and the Center for Military and Veteran’s Health Research. She currently coordinates three studies: 1) The Stress First Aid Intervention study, funded by FEMA, which focuses on testing an intervention aimed at improving the mental health and reducing the impacts of repeated traumatic exposures among career firefighters; 2) The Clinic-Based TF20 study, funded by NHLBI, which is pilot testing a health and wellness intervention program for volunteer firefighters; and 3) the Health and Wellness of Women Firefighters study, a longitudinal cohort study examining maternal and child occupational health risks, cardiovascular disease, reproductive cancers, behavioral health risks, injury, and morale and perception of department support. IN addition, this study also assesses brominated fire retardant concentration and toxicity of breast milk collected from a subsample lactating firefighters. Hannah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Studies from the University of Central Missouri and also is a Certified Nurse Assistant.

Alexandre Laudet, Director

Alexandre Laudet, PhD Director of CSTAR

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Alexandre Laudet is an internationally recognized expert in addiction recovery. Her federally funded research in the past 15 years has focused on elucidating what helps people with drugs and/or alcohol problems quit drinking or getting high and how they stay in recovery. A social psychologist, her main goals are to build the science of recovery and to help translate findings into services and policy that create opportunities for long-term recovery and improved quality of life for people with substance problems. She leads the Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery and provides training and consultancy to government and community-based agencies on promoting opportunities for sustained recovery. She regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific publications.

Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Deputy Director of IIDR

Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, PhD Deputy Director of IIDR

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Pedro Mateu-Gelabert is a sociologist with over fifteen years of research experience in New York City and internationally, spanning the epidemiology of drug use, urban studies, crime, immigration, social networks and HIV/HCV prevention.

At the Vera Institute, Dr. Mateu-Gelabert was lead researcher of a National Institute of Justice grant that focused on adolescent violence, gangs, and immigration. At NDRI at the Institute for Infectious Disease Research, he has led multiple projects including, as Principal Investigator, Staying Safe, an intervention funded by NIDA, which trained injection drug users in strategies and practices to avoid HIV and HCV infections. Dr. Mateu-Gelabert is currently leading a five-year (2013-2018) NIDA- funded study: HIV, HCV, and STI Risk Associated with Nonmedical Use of Prescription Opioids. This mixed-methods study aims to assess the drug and sex-related HIV/HCV and STI risk associated with nonmedical prescription opioid use among young adults. He is also collaborating with several interdisciplinary teams on various projects related to HIV/HCV prevention and drug use epidemiology, including work with New York City Department of Health, New York University and Universidad de CES (Medellín, Colombia).

Dr. Mateu-Gelabert has over fifty peer-reviewed publications and has given numerous scientific presentations throughout the world. He was visiting professor at Hunter College School of Public Health and has provided seminars at several universities. In addition to his research and teaching experience, he is also a founding member of the Social Art Collective, a group that merges artistic and professional expertise using art as a conduit to generate social change.

Harlan Matusow, Project Director/Co-Investigator

Harlan Matusow, PhD Project Director/Co-Investigator

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Harlan Matusow, PhD, a Project Director and Co-investigator with NDRI’s Institute for Treatment and Services Research, is currently the Project Director of Challenges to Opioid Treatment Programs after Hurricane Sandy: Preparedness, Planning, and Recovery Efforts, a study funded by the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Other current research includes examining prescription drug diversion through The Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, an independent, nonprofit operation of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC), a division of Denver Health.

Previously, Dr. Matusow served as the Project Director on a nationwide survey of US Drug Courts on barriers, attitudes, and availability of medication assisted treatment in drug courts. The results of this survey are cited in the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Best Practice Standards of 2013 as a rationale for a policy statement that Drug Courts learn about medication assisted treatment and obtain expert consultation from addiction physicians. As chair of the symposium entitled Drug Court Perspectives: Adopting Operational and Evidence Based Practices at the 2012 Addiction Health Services Research conference in New York City, Dr. Matusow moderated the discussion of evidence-based practices in Drug Courts with colleagues from the field and conducted a Webinar on MAT for the Center for Court Innovation, on which he serves on the Advisory Committee. Other research interests include dual focus mutual aid for those with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. 

In Dr. Matusow’s capacity as both clinician and researcher, he has a special interest in implementation science – research to practice – and the challenges associated with bringing evidence-based practices into therapeutic settings.

Larry Nuttbrock, Principal Investigator

Larry Nuttbrock, PhD Principal Investigator

Larry Nuttbrock earned a PhD in sociology from Case Western Reserve University, specializing in medical sociology, and completed three years of post-doctoral training in psychiatric epidemiology from Columbia University. At NDRI since 1996, he has been Project Director on two large studies of substance abuse and HIV/STD infection in street-based populations. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a large cohort study of HIV/STD infection among male-to-female transgender persons in the New York Metropolitan Area. His research interests include applications of social psychological identity theory, the inter-relationships among homelessness, substance use and psychiatric symptomatology, and HIV/STD infection in high-risk groups.

Diana Padilla, Director of IBHR

Diana Padilla Program Manager of NDRI-USA

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Diana Padilla is a Program Manager for the Training Institute of NDRI-USA, with over 20 years of public health experience. Additionally, Ms. Padilla is a senior staff trainer and curriculum developer for the Northeast & Caribbean Addiction Technology Transfer Center, (NeC ATTC) and participates in qualitative and quantitative research with a focus on behavioral health and the criminal justice system. She managed the national, ‘Cultural Proficiency for Drug Court Practitioners,’ training program, (African American and Latino centric versions), for over a decade and instructed drug court professionals and treatment providers from across the country on how to integrate culturally informed strategies that align with adult drug court best practices. She also managed the ‘Cultural Competency Linkage to Care,’ program focused on building organizational capacity to link HIV+ LGBTQ and women of color to health care. Ms. Padilla specializes in Hispanic and Latino culture and substance abuse treatment and has expertise on an array of other topic areas regarding behavioral health and related issues including the impact of trauma & trauma informed care, culturally informed skills with Spanish language LGBT, technology for behavioral health settings, adolescent development and behavior characteristics, and hepatitis C knowledge for behavioral health and medical providers.

Walker S. Carlos Poston, Director of IBHR

Walker S. Carlos Poston, PhD, MPH Director of IBHR

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Walker S. Carlos Poston is Senior Principal Investigator and Director of the Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research at NDRI. He has graduate degrees in the behavioral sciences (University of California, Santa Barbara) and in community health and epidemiology (University of Texas Houston Health Science Center, School of Public Health). Dr. Poston completed postdoctoral fellowships in Behavioral Health Psychology (Wilford Hall Medical Center) and in Cardiovascular Health (American Hospital Association Health Forum). His research focuses primarily in the areas of obesity, tobacco control, and cardiovascular disease prevention with an emphasis on minority populations and military and first-responder health. He has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on grants from the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Legacy Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Digestive Disorders and Kidney Diseases, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Department of Defense US Army Medical Research and Material Command, and the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. He also has been the recipient of a Minority Scientist Development award from AHA.

Dr. Poston has served as a charter member on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Community Level Health Promotion Study Section and as an ad hoc member on a number of other NIH study section and special emphasis panels. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, the American Heart Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and The Obesity Society: the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. He was a Cardiovascular Health Fellow with the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum (2001-2002). Dr. Poston has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has presented at numerous national and international conferences and meetings on the etiology, assessment, and management of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and tobacco use.

Enrique Rodriguez Pouget, Principal Investigator

Enrique Rodriguez Pouget, PhD Principal Investigator

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Enrique Rodriguez Pouget is an epidemiologist whose work is focused on social determinants of health and racial/ethnic health disparities. His research includes studies of mental disorders, substance use, and transmission of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, through social networks and populations. He is an experienced methodologist and quantitative analyst, with expertise in clinical assessment, scale development, clinical trials, survival analysis, mixed effects modeling, meta analysis and agent-based modeling. Dr. Pouget is currently funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a Principal Investigator of a study to develop new measures of the pathways between social structural changes and HIV epidemics, and as a Co-Investigator of a study to assess change over time in risks of opioid misuse and overdose among recent US military veterans.

Megan Reid, Project Director

Megan Reid, PhD Project Director

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Megan Reid is a Project Director in the Institute for Special Population Research. She is currently working on a project that examines co-parenting among cohabiting low-income black couples with children who live in high poverty areas in New York City (R01HD064723, PI: Andrew Golub, PhD). The study seeks to examine how the family formation paradigm of transient domesticity influences parenting decisions, parental responsibilities, and child development. It employs the mixed-methods approach of a longitudinal panel study and an embedded ethnography over a five year period. Dr. Reid received her PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on social inequalities, family, and social policy. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Family Issues and Sociology Compass.

Andrew Rosenblum, Executive Director

Andrew Rosenblum, PhD Executive Director

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Andrew Rosenblum is NDRI’s Executive Director as well as the Director of NDRI’s Institute for Treatment and Services Research at NDRI.  His research addiction-related interests include development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions, eLearning and eTherapy applications, and prevalence studies.  Most of his research activities have been funded by the NIH.  Recent and current projects include a survey and a clinical trial of agonist medications in the criminal justice system , a clinical trial on the use of buprenorphine to treat chronic pain, a randomized clinical trial of self-help groups designed for consumers with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders (Double Trouble in Recovery; DTR); a nationwide prevalence study of prescription opioid abuse, and web-based self-management interventions for chronic pain patients and PTSD symptomatic substance-misusing veterans   Dr. Rosenblum is also PI on a Health and Human Services grant designed to develop policy recommendations for emergency preparedness and response for opioid treatment programs and, is a Co-investigator (Dr. Alexander Bennett is PI) on a prospective longitudinal study that is examining factors contributing to overdose among young veterans.

Janie Simmons, Principal Investigator

Janie Simmons, EdD Principal Investigator

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Janie Simmons, is an ethnographer and Principal Investigator who specializes in HIV and overdose prevention. She has worked extensively with people who use drugs (heroin, opioid analgesics, cocaine) including Puerto Ricans residing in Hartford CT and NYC, and been involved in research in the following topic areas: women, poverty and AIDS; drug-using couples; drug use initiation; barriers to drug treatment; overdose prevention; trauma and secondary trauma; intimate partner violence; and, field-based research ethics. Dr. Simmons is co-editor and co-author (with Drs. Paul Farmer and Margaret Connors) of Women, Poverty and AIDS: Sex, Drugs and Structural Violence (1996; 2011) which received the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize for outstanding scholarship in gender and health from the Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association. She has worked on a variety of NIDA-funded prevention studies in Hartford, Connecticut (Hispanic Health Council) and New York City (NDRI). 

Since 2008, Dr. Simmons has been the Principal Investigator on several NIH grants, including an HIV prevention study on the interpersonal and structural dynamics which shape HIV risk and drug treatment among injecting, drug using couples in Harlem and the South Bronx. She has also expanded her advocacy and training interests. She has developed two computer-based, overdose-prevention training modules with funding from NIDA: one for potential bystanders (family, friends, anyone who may witness an overdose); and one for police officers, firefighters and EMTs. Dissemination of these online training modules is well underway on Dr. Simmons was recently awarded funding from the CDC. This new study, Evaluation of an Experimental Educational Module on Opioid-related Occupational Safety to Minimize Barriers to Overdose Response among Police Officers ( R01CE003056 ) will provide a knowledge base regarding key obstacles and facilitators of the willingness and preparedness of police to administer naloxone and related risk reduction practices and evaluate the efficacy of a web-based opioid-related occupational safety and risk reduction curriculum. Findings from this study will be applied to the development and implementation of effective interventions for police officers aimed at harmonizing law enforcement practices with public health goals. Dr. Simmons is also working with Dr. James McMahon (University of Rochester) on the first PrEP demonstration project for serodiscordant heterosexual couples funded by NIH as well as a new study on PrEP and African American and Latina women, R01MD013553. Dr. Simmons is an affiliated researcher with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research at New York University and an Advisory Board and faculty member at the Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Institute.

Barbara Tempalski, Principal/Co-Investigator

Barbara Tempalski, PhD, MPH Principal/Co-Investigator

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Barbara Tempalski is a Principal/Co-Investigator in the Institute for Infectious Disease Research. She broadly identifies as a health and social geographer. Her research interests include infectious disease, women's health, political ecology of health and disease, disease surveillance, health policy and global health. Her research expertise lies in studying the distribution of HIV and identifying the sociopolitical and structural responses to these distributions.

Her current research investigates injection drug use-related HIV, and measuring the need for service provision and availability of services to this highly stigmatized and largely hidden population. This research focuses on the nexus of health, social, and political geography in measuring the geographic distribution of services, response and prevention of HIV among injection drug users.

Dr. Tempalski served as a consultant for USAID evaluating the utility of GPS and GIS as a tool for integrating schistosomiasis control in Egypt. She also worked for UNICEF examining the utility of a GIS in evaluating Dracunculiasis eradication policies in West Africa. She has conducted reproductive health research in Nepal focusing on use of condoms and HIV knowledge among Nepalese women, and how physical landscape bears on this knowledge.

Dr. Tempalski earned a Ph.D. in Geography in 2005 from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. She earned an M.A. in Geography at Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1992, and an M.P.H in Community Health Education at the same institution in 1997. She completed a B.A. degree in Geology from Northeastern University, Boston, Mass in 1984.

She has a growing list of publications in journals like Journal of Urban Health, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of International Drug Policy.

June Townes, Project Director

June Townes, MA Project Director

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June E. Townes is a Project Director in the Institute of Special Populations Research (ISPR). She is currently the project director of NIDA funded project examining the integration of bath salts and other synthetic drugs into the illicit drug markets in New York, NY, New Orleans, LA, Houston and Galveston, TX (Bath Salts & the Illicit Drug Market: Use, Violence & Health Consequences.) June previously served as Project Director of NIDA funded project Stages of Drug Market Disruption and Reformulation in Disaster Cities which also took place in Houston, Texas and New Orleans, LA and NICHD funded project Heterosexual Black Females: Socialization and HIV Risks in Scripts and Practices. In the 10 years prior to taking this position she served as a research assistant and ethnographer on several major NIDA funded studies such as the Behavioral Science Training In Drug Abuse Program and the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM).

Leslie Williams, Principal Research Associate

Leslie Williams, PhD Principal Research Associate

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  • About NDRI
          Since 1967, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI), a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has conducted substance use and other bio-behavioral research nationwide and throughout the world.

          Drawing on the expertise of our interdisciplinary professional staff and our partners such as medical centers, treatment and prevention programs, universities, CBOs, industry and government NDRI has advanced public health across diverse populations including high-risk and underserved persons, uniformed services, youth and veterans.

          In addition to its focus on addiction, NDRI, organized under specialized institutes, has generated scientific discoveries associated with infectious diseases (particularly HIV and Hepatitis C), overdose, chronic pain, prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, tobacco control and criminal justice.

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