Current Research Support

The Impact of Community Infrastructure Reinvestment Programs on Opioid Misuse and Opioid Overdose

R01 DA059371. NIH/NIDA.  Role: PI

In Philadelphia, government and community partnerships have resulted in structural interventions to remediate vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and dilapidated homes to improve neighborhood disorder; these interventions have shown significant positive impacts on neighborhood crime and mental health. This study will examine the impact of these highly-innovative interventions on opioid misuse and fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose. Findings will provide support for expanding neighborhood disorder remediation projects in Philadelphia and promote similar public health-based policy and community-level health interventions for opioid overdose prevention in other cities.

Neighborhoods, Mental Health, & Prevention of Opioid Overdose: A Mixed Methods Approach

K01 DA049900. NIH/NIDA.  Role: PI

The broad objective of this study is to investigate modifiable neighborhood factors which impact mental health and which may contribute to opioid overdose risk. The study will use mixed quantitative/qualitative approaches with fatal overdose data from three major U.S. cities and original in-depth interviews with people who use drugs to achieve the following aims: (1) investigate the associations between modifiable physical and social neighborhood factors and opioid OD; (2) examine key mental health indicators as mediators of the relationship between modifiable neighborhood factors and opioid OD; (3) comparatively investigate the associations between modifiable neighborhood factors, mental health indicators, and opioid OD, comparing the locations where opioid users lived versus the locations where they overdosed. 

Addressing Gender and Racial/Ethnic Barriers to Engagement with Harm Reduction Services for Opioid Overdose Prevention: A Pilot Project

Penn Injury Science Center Pilot Grant Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1R49CE003083). Role: PI

The broad objective of this study is to investigate disparities in harm reduction utilization by women and non-Hispanic Black people who use drugs to improve engagement with harm reduction services and reduce overdose risk. 

Completed Research Support

Development of a Systematic Social Observation Tool for Monitoring Use of Harm Reduction Supplies

Penn Injury Science Center Pilot Grant Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1R49CE003083). Role: MPI

The most common ways to monitor bystander naloxone use is when those who have received take-home naloxone (THN) return to a distribution point for a subsequent dose or when outreach teams who distribute naloxone ask individuals about recent ODs they have witnessed. However, reporting of witnessed ODs may be incomplete, and naloxone distribution programs often have difficulty tracking naloxone use. Consequently, harm reduction service providers need inexpensive, easy-to-use, evidence-based tools to assess community uptake of harm reduction supplies. The broad objective of this study is to develop a valid and reliable, standardized inventory of harm reduction supplies that can be used by community harm reduction organizations to monitor use of harm reduction supplies.

Epidemiology of Substance Use Disorders Training Program at Columbia University

T32 DA031099. NIH/NIDA. Role: Post-doctoral research fellow

This program trains the next generation of substance use disorder epidemiologists with a cells-to-society perspective, focusing on risk factors across populations and new research directions.

Alcohol and Pedestrian Injury: Inquiry into Built and Social Environment Factors

F31 AA023716. NIH/NIAAA. Role: PI/Trainee

The fellowship consisted of two complimentary components: (1) A research project examining the relationship between alcohol outlet density and pedestrian injury in Baltimore City, with an emphasis on the impact of both the built and social environment on pedestrian injury in areas of greater alcohol outlet density; (2) A comprehensive training plan composed of advanced coursework; mentorship in the content areas of alcohol epidemiology, systematic social observational, spatial analysis, and health disparities research; and dissemination of results through manuscripts and scientific presentations.