DEVELOPMENTAL ALCOHOL RESEARCH
TRAINING PROGRAM

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry


PROGRAM DIRECTORS
Gale A. Richardson, PhD
Brooke S.G. Molina, PhD

DEVELOPMENTAL ALCOHOL RESEARCH
TRAINING PROGRAM

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH


PROGRAM DIRECTORS
Gale A. Richardson, PhD
Brooke S.G. Molina, PhD

Program Directors

Gale A. Richardson, PhD, Program Director, Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology. Dr. Richardson is trained as a Life-Span Developmental Psychologist. She is a senior investigator in the Maternal Health Practices and Child Development (MHPCD) Project, where she is the PI of a study of the long-term effects of cocaine use during pregnancy. She is also a Co-Investigator on studies of prenatal alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco exposures. Dr. Richardson teaches two semester-long courses, Pediatric Epidemiology and Psychiatric Epidemiology, which are part of the curriculum available to DART trainees.

Brooke S.G. Molina, PhD, Program Director, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics. Dr. Molina researches the etiology, course, and treatment of alcohol, drug abuse, and ADHD. She began the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study and was PI of the Pittsburgh site for the longitudinal follow-up of the multi-site Multimodal Treatment of ADHD study. Her work is multimodal (including neuroimaging protocols) and longitudinal, with data spanning childhood to mid-adulthood.  Dr. Molina has prevention-oriented research projects in primary care that are developing and testing clinical practice strategies for the prevention of stimulant and opioid misuse and diversion; these include adolescent, young adult, parent, and primary care provider report data longitudinally. Other projects may be seen on http://yfrp.pitt.edu/. Dr. Molina previously co-directed the Career and Research Development Seminar.

 

Faculty

 The combined faculties of the Schools of the Health Sciences and of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pittsburgh are unique in the breadth and quality of opportunities for training. From this group, faculty members were selected for the DART Program who: (1) have the requisite experience as researchers and/or as teachers to serve as mentors; (2) are involved in research on or related to alcohol use and abuse; (3) complement one another in their training; and (4) provide role models to the fellows for research both within their specialty areas and across disciplines. Some faculty members serve as primary mentors and provide expertise for classroom and seminar presentations. Other faculty are available for consultation and secondary mentoring of fellows who need their specific expertise in research projects.

 

Lisa Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., Professor of Epidemiology; Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; and Psychiatry. Dr. Bodnar is a nutritional and perinatal epidemiologist in the field of reproductive health. She is interested in discovering the nutritional and behavioral practices that optimize the health of pregnant women and their children. Her research aims to understand the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis of poor birth outcomes and to inform interventions to improve maternal and child nutrition and health. Dr. Bodnar can advise students on nutritional aspects of alcohol use and abuse.

 

Debra Bogen, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics; Psychiatry; and Clinical and Translational Science (CTS). Dr. Bogen is a maternal and child health researcher and clinician. Her research focus is on perinatal mood and substance use disorders, breastfeeding medicine, early childhood nutrition, and behavioral health screening. She has conducted research, including intervention research, with and treated infants who were prenatally exposed to licit and illicit opioid use. She oversees the CTSI Newborn Research Support Program, which supports research in the UPMC Magee mother-baby unit. She has mentored many students and young scientists across the developmental spectrum in research and was recently awarded a national mentoring award (Miller-Sarkin Mentoring Award from the Academic Pediatrics Association, 2019).

 

Yu Cheng, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics. Dr. Cheng has been intensively involved with collaborative work on applications in psychiatry, ranging from eating disorder and weight loss studies, sleep, and lupus to smoking cessation, depression, bipolar disorder, and behavioral intervention. Dr. Cheng has also been involved with developing statistical methods to address challenges that are encountered in practice and has published papers in dynamic treatments and adaptive design, disease classification, association and regression analyses, biomarker evaluation, and discriminant analysis.

 

Duncan Clark, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Clark has conducted multidisciplinary research on the etiology, course, treatment, and consequences of adolescent substance use disorders for 30 years. Dr. Clark currently leads the Pittsburgh sites for NCANDA and ABCD, two large multisite studies on alcohol and other substance effects on adolescent brain development.

 

Robert W.S. Coulter, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences; and Pediatrics. Dr. Coulter’s research mission is to eliminate substance use and violence inequities for sexual and gender minority youth and young adults (e.g., young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer). His research focuses on: (1) examining the complex social mechanisms producing sexual and gender minority health inequities, especially for alcohol use; and (2) designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions aimed at reducing violence and substance use inequities for sexual and minority young people. Dr. Coulter can mentor trainees in quantitative, qualitative, human-centered design, systems science, and/or stakeholder-engaged research focused on vulnerable youth populations.

 

Natacha De Genna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology. Dr. De Genna’s research focuses on developmental patterns of substance use and the effects of maternal substance use on offspring. Her work focuses on the use, misuse, and co-use of the three most commonly used substances – alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Current projects investigate the correlates of substance use in younger women including binge drinking and marijuana and tobacco use before, during, and after pregnancy in a mixed-methods longitudinal study of prenatal substance use and the effects on 6-month-old offspring. Dr. De Genna also teaches Psychosocial Factors in Disease, which is part of the curriculum available to DART fellows.

 

John E. Donovan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology is a national expert on problem behavior in adolescence, including problem drinking, illicit drug use, delinquency, and sexual behavior. His current research is on the development of risk factors for the initiation and escalation of drinking from middle childhood into young adulthood (Tween to Teen). He also collected data on 8 large-scale population samples of adolescents and young adults; 4 of which are longitudinal and 2 are national samples. These databases include alcohol data and are available for use by DART trainees.

 

Antoine Douaihy, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine is the Senior Academic Director of Addiction Medicine Services and Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. Dr. Douaihy has focused his career on patient care, education, advocacy, and research in the fields of addiction, psychology of behavior change, and HIV. He has substantial experience in training and disseminating evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders. His involvement in clinical services, teaching, and research allows him to serve as a bridge between training, research, and clinical practice for trainees to understand issues such as therapeutic alliance, recovery, and family involvement and engagement.

 

Erika E. Forbes, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry; Pediatrics; Psychology; and CTS. Dr. Forbes’ research focuses on the role of neural reward circuitry in the development of depression and substance use and on studies of mental health and addiction. She uses techniques ranging from neuroimaging to ecological momentary assessment to address the developmental and affective neuroscience of reward-related psychopathology. She has mentored trainees from undergraduates to junior faculty, with an especially strong record with trainees from under-represented backgrounds.

 

Catherine Haggerty, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Epidemiology. Dr. Haggerty is a reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiologist. Her current projects are focused on the identification of novel, difficult-to-culture bacteria that cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. These studies include large samples of adolescent women at increased risk of sexually transmitted infection, and they examine a range of behavioral predictors including alcohol and drug use. Dr. Haggerty can advise fellows on the biological aspects of pregnancy and early development.

 

Brant P. Hasler, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Psychology; and CTS. Dr. Hasler’s research focuses on the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in regulating affect and motivation, particularly as relevant to affective disorders and substance use. His research program employs a variety of methods including fMRI, objective sleep/circadian measures, and ecological momentary assessment, as well as experimental manipulations of sleep and circadian rhythms. He is PI on NIAAA and NIDA-funded studies examining the role of circadian misalignment in adolescent substance use and is Co-PI (with Dr. Sarah Pedersen) on a NIAAA-funded grant examining mechanisms linking sleep/circadian factors to alcohol response. He is also a Co-I on the NIAAA NCANDA grant that is investigating the longitudinal relationships between alcohol use and adolescent brain development, with a sub study focusing on the role of sleep.

 

Alison Hipwell, Ph.D., Clin.Psy.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Hipwell is the PI of the Pittsburgh Girls Study, which focuses on the examination of the prevalence, temporal relationships, and risk factors that predict the development of problem behaviors including alcohol and substance use, conduct disorder, and sexual-risk-taking in girls from childhood through adolescence. She is also interested in mechanisms of risk and protection for emerging female-specific problems across multiple domains within family, peer, and community.

 

Kevin Kraemer, M.D., M.Sc., Professor of Medicine and CTS. Dr. Kraemer’s research interests are in the delivery and implementation of patient-centered strategies for the detection and early intervention of unhealthy alcohol and drug use, provider-targeted electronic health record interventions to prevent drug use, and the impact of alcohol and drug use on HIV outcomes. He is PI of a national VA study on the comparative effectiveness of alcohol and drug treatment on HIV outcomes in Veterans and PI of a multi-site pragmatic clinical trial of provider-targeted interventions to prevent unsafe opioid prescribing. Dr. Kraemer can advise fellows who are interested in health services research and barriers to alcohol treatment.

 

Michele D. Levine, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Psychology; and Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Levine’s research focuses on women’s health behaviors during the perinatal period, with an interest in smoking, weight, and disordered eating behaviors during and after pregnancy. Recent NIH-funded work has focused on preventing postpartum relapse to cigarette smoking, examining loss-of-control eating during pregnancy, understanding excessive gestational weight gain, and testing lifestyle interventions to address weight and wellness across the perinatal period.

 

Beatriz Luna, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry; Pediatrics; and Psychology. Dr. Luna’s research focuses on characterizing the neural basis of cognitive development during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Her research has brought unique insights regarding the shape of normative development through the adolescent stage when there are vulnerabilities to risk-taking and the emergence of psychopathology. She has also studied these processes in atypical development, more recently looking at adolescent cannabis and alcohol use, as well as psychosis. Dr. Luna can provide valuable mentoring in the use of imaging techniques and the interpretation of imaging data.

 

Christina Mair, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Dr. Mair’s research focuses on the social ecology of substance use, model-based approaches to the study of drinking behaviors, and population-based analyses of alcohol-related problems such as violence. She is the PI of a NIAAA grant that uses small scale multi-methods approaches, including local survey and archival data, to assess specific social mechanisms that may link over-concentrations of off-premise alcohol outlets in neighborhood areas to alcohol-related problems (e.g., violence and heavy drinking). She also leads a NIH project to generate behavioral risk models in an agent-based framework to better understand and intervene to reduce alcohol-related problems in community contexts. She is an expert in spatial analysis methods and has analyzed changes in alcohol use among adolescents, associations with changing neighborhood conditions, and contexts of sexual assault victimization on college campuses.

 

Christopher Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Martin’s research focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and clinical course of adolescent-onset alcohol and substance use disorders. He was the PI of a longitudinal study of teens with alcohol problems followed through age 30. He is currently examining consumption-based screening in youth, using five data sets, all of which are available to trainees.

 

Elizabeth Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics; Behavioral and Community Health Sciences; and CTS. Dr. Miller’s research focuses on interpersonal violence prevention among adolescents and on reducing risk for HIV/STI and unintended pregnancy. She is the PI of a NIAAA-funded 28+ college campus health center randomized controlled trial (RCT) focused on alcohol misuse and sexual violence. Her research expertise is well-suited for this training grant, with experience in mixed methods, intervention development and testing, cluster RCTs, and translating research for policy and practice. She has expertise in adolescent health and development and can provide input on core adolescent and young adult development and clinical topics.

 

Sarah L. Pedersen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology has expertise in the study of individual factors that increase the likelihood for experiencing alcohol problems. Her research focuses on risk for heavy alcohol use and alcohol problems in under-studied or at-risk populations. Dr. Pedersen has extensive training in health disparities research. Her expertise in conducting alcohol administration studies, utilizing lab-based mood manipulations, and ecological momentary assessment methods in under-studied populations (Black drinkers) and clinical populations (ADHD, borderline personality disorder) brings new approaches to the DART Program.

 

Michael Sayette, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Sayette studies cognitive, affective, and social factors that affect addictive behaviors. These factors, drawn primarily from the experimental psychological literature, cut across both behavioral and biological domains. His major research interests are the relationship between alcohol and emotions (including stress), and the role of cigarette craving in relapse. His current research examines the impact of olfactory cues on cigarette craving, social factors in cigarette craving and smoking, and the effects of alcohol on emotion and social functioning. Dr. Sayette also teaches Addictive Disorders: Alcohol Use and Abuse.

 

Daniel S. Shaw, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Dr. Shaw’s expertise is in the development and prevention of problem behaviors, including early childhood predictors of adolescent and young adult substance use. He is also the developer of family-based interventions to prevent early-starting conduct problems and later substance use disorders. He has several longitudinal studies of at-risk cohorts of low-income children and their families to uncover genetic, environmental, and GxE risk related to adolescent and early adult problem behavior, including substance use. His work incorporates ecological, developmental, and prevention science perspectives, and includes data on child, family, and community risk factors, and functional, social, and academic outcomes using experimental and/or genetically-informed research designs.

 

Stephanie Stepp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Stepp’s research focuses on emotional reactivity as a developmental precursor to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and suicide, and on emotional reactivity as a mechanism in co-occurring BPD and alcohol problems. She has conducted several longitudinal, multi-modal studies in children, adolescents, and adults, which have resulted in evidence that a combination of emotional and interpersonal vulnerabilities in the context of deleterious family environments underlie the development and maintenance of BPD and co-occurring alcohol and substance use problems over time.

 

Brian Suffoletto, M.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Suffoletto studies brief interventions aimed at reducing hazardous alcohol use among adolescents and young adults. He focuses specifically on designing and testing computerized mobile health (mHealth) platforms using varied research designs such as focus groups, pilot studies, and large randomized controlled trials. He recruits participants primarily in the emergency department (ED). Dr. Suffoletto is an excellent resource for the study of young adult alcohol use, recruitment of participants from the ED, and the testing of mHealth platforms on drinking and alcohol-related consequences.

 

Ralph Tarter, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences was the PI of the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research (CEDAR), a longitudinal family-based study aimed at determining the etiological mechanisms and pathways to a drug use disorder with or without alcohol use disorder. His research focuses on neurobehavioral risk factors associated with risk for alcohol and other substance dependence. He is developing gender, ethnicity, and age-appropriate algorithms for quantifying risk for substance use disorders within a developmental framework.

 

Mary Torregrossa, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Center for Neuroscience (CNUP). Dr. Torregrossa has expertise in the neurobiology of alcohol and substance use disorders and she conducts research on the effects of adolescent exposure to stress and drugs of abuse, including alcohol, on adult cognitive function and risk for use disorders in animal models. Dr. Torregrossa is particularly interested in investigating the underlying neural mechanisms associated with the risk for alcohol use disorders, sex differences in alcohol use, and in developing treatments to prevent relapse.

 

Michael Vanyukov, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Psychiatry; and Human Genetics. Dr. Vanyukov’s research focuses on measurement and mechanisms of liability to addictions, its genetics, and phenogenetics. He has examined candidate genes and contributed to whole genome analyses of addictions and related traits. Recently, his research has been focused on the resistance aspect of addiction liability, reversing the risk/disease perspective that is common in biomedical studies. His expertise can provide trainees with resources in genetic approaches to variations in liability to addiction.

 

Meredith Lotz Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Statistics; and Biostatistics. Dr. Wallace is a biostatistician with a primary research emphasis on developing and applying cutting-edge clustering and machine learning approaches to examine how multidimensional and multi-modal data predict health outcomes. She developed and applied new clustering methods to reveal phenotypes based on high-dimensional multi-modal sleep and mood data in cross-diagnostic samples. She is currently developing a large, harmonized database including multiple sleep cohorts of older adults to apply machine learning and her novel multivariable clustering approaches to study the association between multidimensional sleep health and mortality in older adults. Dr. Wallace has also been integral in demonstrating and applying statistical methods for optimal combined moderators in randomized trials. Her methods utilize machine learning to characterize subgroups of individuals for whom one treatment or experimental condition may have a desirable or undesirable effect relative to the other. Dr. Wallace is an active statistical co-investigator with several investigators utilizing ecological momentary assessment data to study health outcomes, including alcohol and substance use.