The Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine invites applications for a one-year NIDA T32 postdoctoral research training program in substance abuse prevention. (A second year is possible given a successful renewal application of the program.) Applications are now being accepted for three fellows, with start dates beginning June or July 2019.
The program emphasizes five research training aims: 1) to understand substance use/abuse and related behaviors using an ecological framework that emphasizes relevant developmental, family, social, cultural, and neurobiological contexts; 2) to enhance knowledge development and application in pre-intervention, 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 that 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 School of Public Health, the Yale Stress Center, the Yale Child Study Center, and Women’s Health Research at Yale.
Competitive candidates should have: 1) a PhD in community, clinical, developmental, counseling, or health psychology, or a doctoral degree in public health, family studies, social work, or social welfare; 2) a strong research background; and 3) interest in pursuing an academic career. Applicants should email 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 (see Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member below) and three letters of recommendation to the Training Director, Jacob Tebes, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and continue until 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
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.
Carlos M. Grilo, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology; Director of Clinical Training in Psychology; and Director of the Yale Program for Obesity, Weight, and Eating Research (POWER). Dr. Grilo’s primary research focus is on disordered eating, obesity, and eating disorders; he has broad research interests and his secondary foci span psychopathology, addictions, personality disorders, and the sociocultural contexts of functioning. Dr. Grilo’s current grant-funded efforts focus on controlled treatment studies testing behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and pharmacotherapy interventions for eating/weight disorders in diverse patient groups/settings; his current RCTs include adaptive “SMART” stepped-care designs. Central to this T32, Dr. Grilo is performing numerous studies of “behavioral addictions” including “food addiction”; previously he served as Senior Scientist for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. His current collaborative work is interdisciplinary, integrating laboratory and neurobiological methods, extends across diverse settings and patient groups, and includes epidemiological and longitudinal outcome studies, with an increasing emphasis on health disparities and stigma. T32 fellows would have the opportunity to join a vibrant collaborative team of peer investigators evaluating eating/weight and behavioral addiction issues, have access to numerous datasets for secondary analyses, and be supported in initiating independent studies to produce pilot data to support their viable NIH mentored career award applications.
Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry, Chair of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale School of Medicine, and Co-PI on a FDA and NIH funded center focused on tobacco regulatory science 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 could be involved in analyzing evidence from an ongoing study that is conducting local surveys with middle and high school adolescents and college-aged young adults to assess use rates and perceptions and attitudes towards tobacco products, or evidence collected from national datasets like the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health.
Linda C. Mayes, MD , the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Child Study Center, is Chair of the Child Study Center, Special Advisor to the Dean of the Yale School of Medicine; and Chief, Department of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Helena J. V. Rutherford, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, and Course Tutor for the UCL-Yale Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MRes 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.
Sherry McKee, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory; and Clinical Director, Forensic Drug Diversion Clinic. 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. In particular, Dr. McKee is interested in improving treatment outcomes for women and those with criminal justice involvement. Dr. McKee leads an interdisciplinary research effort to develop gender-informed interventions for alcohol use disorders. 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 drinkers. Dr. McKee also leads a SAMSHA-funded partnership between Yale and the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections and Department of Addiction and Mental Health Services to improve addiction outcomes in offenders who are re-entering their communities following incarceration.
Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study, and of Neuroscience; Director, Center of Excellence in Gambling Research; Director, Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders; Director, Women and Addictive Disorders, 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.
Nancy Suchman, PhD , is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and in the Child Study Center. Dr. Suchman’s research integrates perspectives from attachment theory, neuroscience of addiction and developmental psychopathology. Funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1995, her research has focused on developing and evaluating attachment-based parenting interventions for mothers with substance use and psychiatric disorders. In 2015, she completed the second randomized clinical efficacy trial testing the efficacy of Mothering from the Inside Out (MIO), a mentalization based psychotherapy that aims to promote maternal reflective functioning -- the capacity to make sense of and manage emotional distress in difficult parenting situations and to make sense of young children's emotional needs in order to promote secure attachments. Two randomized clinical trials have now demonstrated the efficacy of MIO. In a third ongoing randomized trial, addiction counselors are being trained to deliver MIO with sustained fidelity to determine if treatment efficacy holds in a community-based setting.