Substance Use and Policy

Research agenda

Researchers in the Department of Health Behavior, Policy, and Administration Sciences (HBPAS) conduct multidisciplinary research in substance use behavior and policy, with a focus on improving health outcomes among people who use substances and a focus on harm reduction/minimization. Our faculty, students, and staff are committed to conducting research that reduces inequity and ameliorates harms at the intersection of substance use, social injustice and racism. Our areas of focus include the following:

  • opioid overdose policy and prevention
  • evaluation of programs to improve health outcomes among people who use drugs
  • tobacco regulatory science
  • sugar science
  • prevention of HIV and other related health outcomes among at-risk groups including people who inject drugs
  • marijuana/cannabis advertising policy
  • risk and protective factors for marijuana/cannabis use among youth

Affiliated faculty

  • Karla Wagner, Ph.D. 
  • Jennifer Pearson, Ph.D. 
  • Eric Crosbie, Ph.D. 
  • Sarah Friedman, Ph.D. 
  • Sung-Yeon Park, Ph.D. 
  • Stephanie Koning, Ph.D.

School of Public Health faculty in the Epidemiology and Health Analytics/Biostatistics departments also conduct substance use-related research independent of and in collaboration with faculty in HBPAS:

  • Kristen Clements-Nolle, Ph.D.
  • Wei Yang, Ph.D.
  • Brandon-Lee Koch, Ph.D.
  • Minggen Lu, Ph.D.

Student and staff researchers

Student researchers work with faculty on collaborative and independent research projects in a variety of capacities, including primary data collection, data analysis, and communication of findings to lay and scientific audiences. We collaborate with student researchers at the undergraduate and graduate level. Current student and staff researchers include:

  • Krysti Smith, MPM – Project Coordinator
  • Robert Harding – Project Coordinator
  • Olufemi Ajumobi – Ph.D. student
  • Cara Drake – Ph.D. student
  • Patrick Reuther – Ph.D. student
  • Samantha Hoeper – Ph.D. student
  • Madalyn Larson – MPH student 
  • Alexis Hogan – MPH student
  • Felicia Miller – B.S. student
  • Sarah Hartzell – Ph.D. student 
  • Mia Rae Kirk – Ph.D student
  • Olufemi Erinoso – Ph.D. student
  • Donald Kue – MPH student 
  • Dotun Sangoleye – MPH student 
  • Margarita Otero Alvarez – MPH student

Journal Club

The SUP Journal Club is an opportunity to read current literature in the field, generate new research ideas, and present preliminary analyses or paper ideas.


We work with a variety of collaborators both inside and outside of academia. Learn more about our collaborators.


View our current research projects as well as selected completed projects.