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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 offers a two-year NIDA T32 postdoctoral research training program in substance abuse prevention. A call for applications will be posted here in early fall 2023 and the information below (Scientific Projects) will be modified for the upcoming recruitment cycle.

The program emphasizes five research training aims: 1) to understand substance use 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 use 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.

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. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled. Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from women, members of minority groups, persons with disabilities and protected veterans. As per NIH/NIDA, trainees must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. A notarized statement verifying possession of a permanent residency documentation must be provided.

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.

Krysten Bold, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Her program of research focuses on understanding cigarette and e-cigarette use among youth and adults to inform tobacco prevention, intervention, and policy. Her research involves use of multiple methods including qualitative interviews, community focus groups, longitudinal surveys, randomized controlled trials, and EMA studies and includes a focus on understanding tobacco use and health outcomes among minoritized racial/ethnic groups. Ongoing projects include 1) a recently funded R01 study using a randomized clinical trial design to investigate the impact of flavors in cigarettes and e-cigarettes among Black and non-Black adults who smoke to inform tobacco regulatory policies, 2) mixed method studies using community focus groups and surveys to assess tobacco use and the potential impact of tobacco policies on Black and Latinx community members, 3) ongoing analysis of collected data from national and regional surveys and a recently completed clinical trial investigating the use of mobile technology and wearable biosensors for real-time assessment and intervention. T32 fellows would have access to these projects and existing datasets and would have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers studying tobacco regulatory science to inform tobacco policies and benefit public health.

Joan Cook, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry. She has peer-reviewed publications in the areas of traumatic stress, geriatric mental health, and implementation science fields. She has served as the principal investigator on seven federal grants, was a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) Guideline Development Panel for the Treatment of PTSD and the 2016 President of APA’s Division of Trauma Psychology. She is currently the PI on a large comparative effectiveness trial examining two online peer-led interventions to encourage sexual and gender minorities male sexual abuse survivors to enroll in formal mental health treatment and reduce trauma-related emotional distress (posttraumatic stress disorder, substance misuse, depression, anxiety). Fellows have access to data from to conduct secondary data analysis projects.

E. Jennifer Edelman, MD, MHS, is an Associate Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) and Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences). Certified as an Internist, HIV specialist, and in Addiction Medicine, she serves as the physician consultation in the Addiction Medicine Treatment Program at the Yale New Haven Hospital Nathan Smith HIV Clinic and routinely treats substance use disorders among individuals with HIV. She is Director of the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS Clinical and Health Services Research Core, co-Director of Education of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, and Associate Director of the Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars Program. Her NIH-funded research focuses on understanding and addressing harms of substance use among individuals with and at substantial risk for HIV in community and clinical settings with interdisciplinary teams. Potential opportunities for fellows may include leading: 1) qualitative data collection in the context of ongoing clinical trials to understand factors impacting intervention implementation; 2) secondary data analyses to understand the impact of substance use and its treatment on health outcomes among individuals with and without HIV; and 3) systematic reviews focused on understanding current literature and associated gaps in addressing HIV and substance use, particularly among historically marginalized populations.

Lisa Fucito, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Tobacco Treatment Service Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Her program of research focuses on understanding and treating tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use in young adult and adult populations. She is particularly interested in co-use of these substances and their co-occurrence with other risky health behaviors (e.g., deficient sleep and physical inactivity), multiple health behavior change, and technology for characterizing risk profiles and delivering interventions. Dr. Fucito utilizes various research designs and methods including clinical trials, qualitative studies, laboratory-analogue models, daily experience sampling/biosensors, and implementation science. Recently completed studies include an RCT of a multimodal mobile sleep intervention for heavy-drinking young adults, a pilot RCT of oral nicotine pouches for cigarette substitution in adults, and tobacco treatment implementation for patients with cancer. Current studies include a pilot RCT of a mobile sleep/wellness program for heavy-drinking young adults, a pilot e-cigarette cessation RCT in adults, and two tobacco treatment RCTs for patients with or high-risk for cancer. A pending new study will focus on applying smartphone-based digital phenotyping to characterize alcohol use disorder risk over time in young adults.

Derrick Gordon, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Child Study Center, and Public Health. Dr. Gordon is the Director of the Program on Male Development in the Division of Prevention and Community Research of the Department of Psychiatry, and a Core scientist in the Community Research Core of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). He has considerable experience in intervention and prevention development having served as an investigator on several federal, NIH, CDC and state-funded projects and studies focused on substance use and mental health correlates to men’s healthy involvement in family and community life. Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on men’s use of preventive health care services, factors that either facilitate or inhibit their access to preventive health services, men and young men’s reproductive health needs, and factors that support men’s community reentry following incarceration. In his mentorship role, pre- and postdoctoral fellows may explore with Dr. Gordon how issues like adolescent fatherhood, low-income fatherhood status, transitioning from prison to the community, and how men’s access and use of health care services impact their efforts to be healthy community members. Overall, Dr. Gordon in his research seeks to identify those factors that enhance the access and use of preventive and indicated health care services by men on the “fringes.”

Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and of 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 including health disparities, discrimination, and stigma. Dr. Grilo’s current grant-funded efforts focus on controlled treatment studies testing behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and pharmacotherapy interventions for eating/weight disorders and for obesity 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,” “food craving,” and “emotional/stress-related overeating.” 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 postdocs and faculty investigators evaluating eating/weight disorder and behavioral food 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.

Joy S. Kaufman, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Deputy Director for The Consultation Center, and Director of Evaluation Research in the Division of Prevention and Community Research. Trained as a Clinical and Community Psychologist, Dr. Kaufman conducts large-scale, multi-level evaluations of health service delivery systems, provides consultation to governmental and community organizations regarding these evaluations, and carries out related research. These evaluations take place in under-resourced communities; involve close partnerships with state and municipal governments, community organizations, and other public stakeholders; and generate data that informs program and policy development. A unique feature of her work is the training of public stakeholders to evaluate the services they receive or to utilize data so that they can provide rigorous and systematic feedback to improve services and participate in decision-making about their community. Dr. Kaufman's research interests include the identification of contextual factors that impact outcomes for individuals with emotional and behavioral difficulties. The fellow would have the opportunity to join one or more of the following projects: 1) an evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of statewide systems of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral issues (e.g., youth substance use, exposure to traumatic events, parental stress, social and emotional difficulties); or 2) examination of data (including criminal justice, law enforcement, qualitative interviews with law enforcement, service providers and victims longitudinal victim interviews), collected as part of a national multi-site study to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of model programs to reduce the rate of homicide resulting from domestic violence.

Trace Kershaw, PhD, is Department Chair and Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences). Dr. Kershaw focuses on the social and structural determinants of health (e.g., sexual health, substance use, mental health, reproductive health) among adolescents and emerging adults. His current focus is using innovative technologic methods to understand how social (e.g., how one’s friends, partners, and family) and geographic context (e.g., how the places one goes and lives) influences their behaviors and health. Further, he is an expert in developing interventions aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents and emerging adults.

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Chair of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Krishnan-Sarin leads many tobacco-related initiatives at Yale including an FDA/NIH funded center focused on tobacco regulatory science research, and an American Heart Association initiative focused on developing interventions for e-cigarette use among youth. 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. The fellow could be involved in qualitative and quantitative research related to developing and dissemination e-cigarette cessation interventions, and analyzing evidence from local surveys with middle and high school adolescents, or from national datasets like the Populations Assessment of Tobacco and Health, to understand use rates and perceptions and attitudes towards tobacco products.

Sarah Lowe, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences), with secondary appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Yale School of Nursing. She is the Director of the Trauma and Mental Health Lab and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her research program focuses on the long-term mental health consequences of range of potentially traumatic events, and the interplay between post-trauma psychological functioning and other domains of well-being, including social relationships and physical health. Her work sees to 1) elucidate varied patterns of well-being in the aftermath of trauma; 2) identify factors along the pathway from trauma exposure to long-term mental health symptoms; and 3) examine the independent and joint effects of factors at multiple socio-ecological levels on post-trauma functioning. T32 fellows would have the opportunity to join a supportive lab community that includes undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees. Current projects include a longitudinal study of low-income mothers from New Orleans who experienced Hurricane Katrina; survey studies of healthcare workers and persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic; an investigation of intergenerational trauma after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and Rwanda; and the relationship between climate change anxiety and mental health symptoms. In addition to secondary data analyses, fellows would also receive support in pursuing independent research projects.

Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, is the Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women's Health Research and Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology; Director, Women's Health Research at Yale. Dr. Mazure’s contributions in women's health began with her own internationally recognized research in depression. Focusing on the gender differences in this disorder, she was the first to demonstrate how stress is a more potent pathway to depression in women than men and use these findings to inform treatment interventions. Understanding the value of uncovering gender differences in depression, combined with recognizing that such data are sorely lacking in other fields, she created Women’s Health Research at Yale. Since its inception in 1998, the center has been recognized as a national model for launching research on the influence of sex and gender on human health, translating findings into practice, and providing mentored training.

Sherry McKee, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, and Clinical Director of the Forensic Drug Diversion Clinic. Her research is focused on improving treatment for those with addiction. Using a transdisciplinary perspective, she uses human laboratory paradigms, clinical trials, 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 adults who are re-entering their communities following incarceration.

Jaimie P. Meyer, MD, MS, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health. She is an infectious disease physician who is also board certified in Addiction Medicine. Her research focuses on HIV prevention and treatment for women with substance use disorders, including several ongoing and recently completed projects that address social determinants of health: 1) a clinical trial of a PrEP decision aid for women in drug treatment; 2) adaptation of the PrEP decision aid for women in domestic violence service settings; 3) implementation of an integrated housing and substance use treatment intervention for people who are justice-involved and homeless; and 4) a micro-longitudinal study of HIV care outcomes among women living with HIV who are IPV-exposed.

Stephanie S. O'Malley, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Deputy Chair, Clinical Research. Her research uses assessment, human laboratory and clinical trial methods to investigate alcohol and tobacco use and the prevention of long-term problems, including research to inform tobacco regulations. She is Co-Director of the Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism (CTNA) and Co-PI of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Research (TCORS). Fellows have access to several large data sets for secondary analyses as well as the opportunity to develop new studies and to apply for pilot funds through the CTNA and TCORS.

Marc N. Potenza, PhD, MD, is an Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study, and of Neuroscience; Director, Division of Addiction Research at Yale; 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 (including pornography use), shopping or eating. He and his group utilize multiple approaches including brain imaging (fMRI, sMRI, DTI and PET), genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, cognitive, survey, qualitative 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 and large data sets like ABCD. 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. His group has also been investigating the neural correlates of spirituality and how spirituality and recovery capital may operate in people with addictions.

Rajita Sinha, PhD, is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Deputy Chair of Psychiatry for Psychology and Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry. Her research is focused on understanding the biobehavioral processes by which stress, trauma and adversity are associated with both risk for addiction and in relapse and treatment failure in addictive disorders and other chronic mental and physical illness risk. Her research also elucidates stress resilience mechanisms and processes and ways in which those mechanisms are affected by stress and trauma to increase intergenerational vulnerability to addiction and other mental and physical illnesses. Her program also develops and tests novel addiction prevention and treatment strategies that target stress pathophysiology in addictive disorder patients and stress regulation in individuals at-risk for addiction problems. She utilizes a number of different approaches to address these objectives, including human experimental studies, neuroimaging, neurocognitive approaches, pharmacological approaches, sociobehavioral and clinical treatment outcome studies. These objectives are accomplished through various NIH funded research projects available for fellow involvement.

Tami P. Sullivan, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Co-Director of the Division of Prevention and Community Research, Co-Director of the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Use Prevention Research, and Director of Family Violence Research and Programs. Her program of research is centered on individual- and system-level factors that affect the wellbeing of victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), with specific attention to daily processes and micro-longitudinal designs (e.g., real-time assessment). At the individual level, Dr. Sullivan's work aims to advance understanding of the relationships among IPV and its highly prevalent negative outcomes such as posttraumatic stress, substance use, and sexual risk in an effort to develop preventive interventions that promote safety and resilience. At the systems-level, she conducts IPV research and evaluation within the criminal justice and other service systems (e.g., Health Care system, HIV service system). She studies the impact of the system’s response on victims’ wellbeing including the ways in which it promotes or impedes victims’ safety, recovery and resilience. Dr. Sullivan is a licensed psychologist with extensive clinical experience with victims and offenders of IPV, providing services in a range of settings from community programs, dual diagnosis programs, inpatient settings, and outpatient clinics to domestic violence shelters, transitional living programs, and community programs. Current projects include but are not limited to a focus on the role of firearm threat in the lives of women experiencing IPV, the ways in which IPV impacts the daily functioning of women living with HIV, a peer-led IPV support group intervention, and a national multi-site study focused on IPV homicide prevention. Pending projects include a pilot test of a smoking cessation intervention among American Indian women living with IPV and, a single-session, technology-facilitated hope-based intervention for women who have experienced IPV.

Jacob K. Tebes, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Child Study Center, and Public Health, Yale University; Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research & The Consultation Center; Chief Psychologist, Connecticut Mental Health Center and T32 Training Director. Dr. Tebes uses participatory research methods to examine the promotion of resilience in at-risk populations coping with stress, trauma, or crises. Currently he is implementing and evaluating a community-based initiative known as COMPASS (Compassionate Allies Serving our Streets) to create a system of sustainable supports for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. This project, conducted in partnership with various community stakeholders, involves: (1) implementation of a crisis response team to complement and support the work of first responders (police, fire, emergency medical), (2) enhancement of the crisis response service system, (3) sustainment of a Community Advisory Board to ensure COMPASS reflects community needs and values, and (4) implementation of a multi-level, mixed methods evaluation to assess continuous quality improvement of crisis team operations and the effectiveness of COMPASS for individuals served, the service system, and the community. Opportunities are available for a fellow to join this work to conduct participatory research focused on one or more of these project goals.