Department of Health Behavior, Policy, and Administration Sciences

Research agenda

Researchers in the SBH/HAP division 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. – Associate Professor, SBH
  • Jennifer Pearson, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, HAP
  • Eric Crosbie, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, HAP
  • Sarah Friedman, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, HAP
  • Sung-Yeon Park, Ph.D. –Professor, SBH/HAP

Faculty in the SCHS Division of Epi/Biostats also conduct substance use-related research independent of and in collaboration with faculty in SBH/HAP:

  • 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
  • Ashley Dawkins – Data collector/interviewer
  • Laura Johnson – SBH Ph.D. student
  • Olufemi Ajumobi – SBH Ph.D. student
  • Cara Drake – SBH Ph.D. student
  • Patrick Reuther – Epi Ph.D. student
  • Brittany Rhed – SBH MPH student
  • Samantha Hoeper – SBH Ph.D. student
  • Celeste Nessier, Universidad de Santa Fe, Argentina, Nutrition PhD student
  • Lindsey Godoy – HAP MPH student
  • Matt Ho – HAP MPH student
  • Alejandra Pachón, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, Nutrition MPH student
  • Fernanda Alvarez – CHS undergraduate student
  • Johnny Hartman – CHS undergraduate student
  • Nina Machin – CHS undergraduate student
  • Mickey Nanthaseang – CHS undergraduate student
  • Hanna Grisell – CHS undergraduate 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.