Division of Prevention and Community Research and The Consultation Center

Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine invites applications for a two-year NIDA T32 postdoctoral research training program in substance abuse prevention. Applications are now being accepted for an earliest start date of July 2015 for up to four fellows. Awarding of fellowships is contingent on final approval from NIDA of our renewal application.

The program emphasizes five research training aims: 1) to understand substance use/abuse and related behaviors within an ecological framework that emphasizes relevant developmental, family, social, cultural, and neurobiological contexts; 2) to enhance knowledge development and application in preintervention, implementation, and dissemination research; 3) to learn state-of-the-art data analytic methods that incorporate rigorous field and laboratory research methods, including mixed method designs when appropriate; 4) to gain experience in interdisciplinary research through collaborations with scientists in other departments, centers, and programs; and 5) to increase knowledge about the translation of research into real-world contexts so as to impact prevention practice and policy, and ultimately, public health.

Postdoctoral fellows participate in core seminars on Research and Data Analytic Methods, Grant Development, and Professional Development as well as in seminars and colloquia that cover related topics, such as the ethical conduct of research and current topics in substance abuse prevention. Fellows also receive mentor-based training on at least two scientific projects while working concurrently with two core faculty who serve as their scientific advisors. Faculty available to serve as mentors are located in several research divisions in the Department of Psychiatry, such as the Division of Prevention and Community Research, the Division on Addictions, the Yale Stress Center, and Women’s Health Research at Yale, as well as in other Yale settings, such as the Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health.

Competitive candidates should have: 1) a Ph.D. in community, clinical, developmental, counseling, or health psychology, or a doctoral degree in public health or family studies; 2) a strong research background; and 3) interest in pursuing an academic career. Applicants should send a CV, representative reprints, a statement of interests and future goals, identification of up to three faculty members with whom they wish to work listed in order of priority (available below), and three letters of recommendation to: jacob.tebes@yale.edu, or to: Jacob K. Tebes, Ph.D., Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, 389 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority group members are encouraged to apply.

Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member Available July 2015

All fellows work with two faculty scientific advisors, and as part of their application, are asked to identify up to three faculty with whom they wish to work, listed in order of priority. Once matched with two faculty scientific advisors, fellows join research teams based on their interests and experience.

Cindy A. Crusto, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director, Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center. Dr. Crusto’s program of research examines the impact of psychological trauma (e.g., family and community violence) on children, and ecological influences on child and family well-being. Dr. Crusto also studies social processes and influences on the health and development of young children, including parent experiences of racism and neighborhood context, and substance use. Opportunities are available to join: (a) an NIH-funded study on the influence of child factors, and broader social determinants and processes on young children’s health; (b) an NIH-funded study that evaluates the impact of (GXE) genetic and psychological environmental factors (discrimination, depression, and parenting behaviors, substance use) on the health of African American (AA) children aged 3 to 5 years and their maternal caregivers; and (c) a team headed by Dr. Lynn Fiellin (Medicine), that is developing and evaluating: (1) an interactive videogame designed to avoid and reduce high-risk behaviors (substance use, sexual behavior) in young ethnic minority adolescents; 2) a mobile social game for HIV prevention in young black women aged 18-24 years; and (3) a videogame prototype targeting cigarette smoking prevention amount adolescents aged 11-14 years.

Derrick M. Gordon, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director, of Research, Policy and Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center. His program of research seeks to identify factors that impact men and boys’ healthy family and community functioning. In this work attention is paid to factors such as community violence, poverty, incarceration, substance use, school truancy, parenting, social supports, masculinity, educational outcomes, intimate partner violence, and their impact on the functioning of men and boys. Dr. Gordon is also interested in understanding how young men use preventive health care services and identifying factors that either facilitate or inhibit access. This research seeks to understand the resources needed to support men and boys to successfully attain the skills needed to assume productive roles in their family and community systems.

Joy S. Kaufman, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) at The Consultation Center. Her research program examines contextual factors, such as exposure to violence, substance use and familial stress that impact outcomes for populations at risk. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods including community-based participatory research, Dr. Kaufman and her team also evaluate the implementation of evidenced-based practices within community-based networks of care and the impact of system functioning on service recipient outcomes. The fellow would be involved in analyzing data from community-based behavioral health networks of care that have served children under the age of 6 with social and emotional difficulties (parental substance use, parental stress, child outcomes) and a state-wide system of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral issues (youth substance use, parental stress, youth outcomes). Opportunities also will be available to examine facilitators and barriers to implementing evidenced-based practices within community-based networks of care.

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Vice-Chair of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale School of Medicine, and Co-PI on a P50 center focused on tobacco regulatory research. Her research is focused on developing a bio-behavioral understanding of the underpinnings of alcohol, tobacco (nicotine) and marijuana use, in adolescent and adult populations, and developing new pharmacological and behavioral interventions to reduce and prevent use of these substances. She is also conducting qualitative and quantitative tobacco regulatory research in adolescents. The fellow would be involved in analyzing evidence from an ongoing study that is conducting surveys with middle and high school adolescents and college-aged young adults to assess use rates, perceptions and attitudes towards modified risk tobacco products, as well as analyzing evidence from an ongoing high school-based smoking cessation trial.

Sherry McKee, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory. Her research is focused on improving treatment for those with nicotine and alcohol use disorders. Using a transdisciplinary perspective, she uses human laboratory paradigms, survey research, epidemiological research, and policy research to uncover the mechanisms underlying poor outcomes and translate these findings into improved interventions. Currently, Dr. McKee is leading a large interdisciplinary research effort to develop smoking cessation interventions that are sensitive to gender differences in smoking behavior. Researchers spanning diverse areas of expertise (e.g., molecular biology, neuroimaging, pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, health economics, policy) are collaborating to develop effective interventions for female and male smokers.

Linda Mayes, M.D., is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and is Special Advisor to the Dean of the School of Medicine. Helena Rutherford, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist and Course Tutor for the UCL-Yale Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MSc Course. Drs. Mayes and Rutherford use multi-modal imaging methods to study the impact of addiction on mothers’ neural response to infant cries and faces and its association with caregiving behaviors, with an emerging focus on women during pregnancy in their transition to motherhood, as well as fathers. The Fellow would have access to the collection and analysis of behavioral, EEG/ERP and fMRI data in substance-using parent populations.

Stephanie O’Malley, PhD, is Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine. Her research uses human laboratory methods and clinical trials methods to investigate alcohol and tobacco use behaviors and the prevention of long-term problems. She is co-PI of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Research and has expertise in tobacco use including emerging products. Of particular focus, her research examines young adults at risk for alcohol or tobacco dependence by virtue of family history and secondary prevention studies for preventing progression of heavy drinking patterns in young adults. Fellows have access to several large data sets for secondary analyses as well as the opportunity to develop new studies.

Marc Potenza, M.D, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study, and Neurobiology; Director, Yale Center of Excellence in Gambling Research; and Director of the Women and Addictions Core of Women’s Health Research at Yale. His research is focused on the substance and non-substance (behavioral) addictions, with the latter including excessive or problematic engagement in gambling, gaming, internet use, sex, shopping or eating. He and his group utilize multiple approaches including brain imaging (fMRI, sMRI, DTI and PET), genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, cognitive, survey, and other assessments. Data from completed and ongoing studies that are available include those from or involving youth (particularly adolescents) and adults at-risk or with addictions, including longitudinal data. Data from multiple modalities (e.g., relating brain imaging measures to clinical outcomes in the treatment of addictions) are available from completed and ongoing studies. Similarly, data from completed and ongoing studies of mother/child interactions that include maternal neural responses to infant stimuli in substance-using and non-substance-using mothers are available for study.

Megan Smith, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, in the Child Study Center & in the School of Public Health, Division of Chronic Disease Epidemiology. Dr. Smith's work is focused on community-partnered or community-based participatory research and the co-creation of interventions to address depressive anxiety and addictive disorders among low-income, racial and ethnic minority women and their children. Dr. Smith's current projects include: (1) a mobile health technology intervention to prevent relapse to smoking in the postpartum period for low-income women; (2) a study to examine the acceptability and feasibility of collecting biomarkers in community settings to assess toxic stress among mothers and young children, and (3) a longitudinal, randomized neighborhood study focused on the delivery of interventions to address maternal mental health and economic stability for families in novel community settings such as supermarkets and public housing complexes.

Jacob K. Tebes, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Child Study, and Public Health; Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research & The Consultation Center; and, Chief Psychologist, Connecticut Mental Health Center. His research examines resilience and well-being in vulnerable populations, including youth at risk and adults in recovery from addiction or mental illness, and the impact of multi-level interventions on individual and community-level health outcomes. He also conducts rigorous evaluations to examine the impact of collaborative, interdisciplinary team science. Two existing datasets of interdisciplinary team science are available for fellow involvement: 1) a study of an interdisciplinary research consortium that examines the processes, outcomes, and impact of interdisciplinary team science in the study of stress, self-control, and addiction, and 2) a study by an interdisciplinary community partnership that examines the impact of participatory mural making on neighborhood revitalization and recovery among adults with addiction and mental health challenges.

Nadia L. Ward, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director of Urban Education & Policy Research, and Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), at The Consultation Center. Drs. Ward and Strambler’s research focuses on the prevention of problem behaviors such as substance abuse and other negative social, behavioral, and academic outcomes among adolescents. Currently, Dr. Ward is the PI for two seven-year longitudinal studies of a comprehensive urban school reform initiative that is designed to support the social-emotional, academic, and health outcomes among 3,000 urban middle and high school students. Fellows are invited to examine questions of interest with the datasets from these studies and they have opportunities to participate in the implementation of innovative school-based intervention approaches. A second project examines the influence of stress and coping on primary- and mental health outcomes among mother-adolescent dyads and the buffering effect coping has outcomes of interest for both mothers and teens. This study uses a mixed methods approach to understand the phenomenological experience of low-income, single mothers and their teenage children as relates to stress and coping.