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Department of Mental Health

Postdoctoral Fellows


photo of Masoumeh Aminesmaeili

Year entered: 2018

Previous degrees:
MPH, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran-Iran, 2008
Board certified Psychiatrist, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science. Tehran-Iran, 2004
MD, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran, 1997

Advisor: Ramin Mojtabai, MD

Research interests: Mental Health, and substance use disorders service research.


Selected Publications:

  1. Amin-Esmaeili M, Susukida R, Johnson RM, Farokhnia M, Crum RM, Thrul J, & Mojtabai R. Patterns of reduced use and abstinence in multi-site randomized controlled trials of pharmacotherapies for cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2021; 226, 108904. doi:
  2. Rahimi-Movaghar A, Gholami J, Amato L, Hoseinie L, Yousefi-Nooraie R, Amin-Esmaeili M. Pharmacological therapies for management of opium withdrawal. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018; 6: Cd007522. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007522.pub2. Review.
  3. Amin-Esmaeili M, Rahimi-Movaghar A, Haghdoost A. & Mohraz M. Evidence of HIV epidemics among non-injecting drug users in Iran: A systematic review. Addiction 2012; 107: 1929-1938. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03926.x [doi]
  4. Amin-Esmaeili M, Rahimi-Movaghar A, Sharifi V, Hajebi A, Radgoodarzi R, Mojtabai R, et al. Epidemiology of illicit drug use disorders in Iran: Prevalence, correlates, comorbidity and service utilization results from the Iranian mental health survey. Addiction 2016; 111: 1836-1847. doi: 10.1111/add.13453
  5. Amin-Esmaeili M, Hefazi M, Radgoodarzi R, Motevalian A, Sharifi V, Hajebi A, et al. Out-of-pocket cost of drug abuse consequences: results from Iranian national mental health survey. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal 2017; 23:150-160.

joseph kush

photo of Joseph Kush

Year entered: 2021

Previous degrees:
PhD, Educational Psychology – Research, Statistics and Evaluation, University of Virginia, 2021
BS, Psychology – Minors in Applied Statistics, Philosophy, Syracuse University, 2016

Advisor: Elizabeth A. Stuart, PhD and Rashelle J. Musci, PhD

Research interests: I am primarily interested in improving statistical methods and research designs for the social sciences. Often utilizing Monte Carlo simulation studies, this has included work on multilevel measurement models, propensity score methods for causal-inference in intervention implementation, and research design considerations such as statistical power for clustered randomized trials.


Selected Publications:

  1. Bradshaw, C.P., Pas, E. T., Musci, R. J., Kush, J. M., & Ryoo, J. H. (2021). Leveraging policy to improve behavioral and academic outcomes through School-wide Positive Behavioral        Interventions and Supports. Prevention Science.     01257-0
  2. Kush, J. M., Konold, T. R., & Bradshaw, C.P. (2021). The sampling ratio in multilevel    structural equation models: Considerations to inform study design. Educational and     Psychological Measurement.
  3. Kush, J. M., Konold, T. K., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2021). Statistical power for randomized controlled trials with clusters of varying size. The Journal of Experimental Education.   
  4. Larson, K., Pas, E. T., Bottiani, J., Kush, J. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2020). A multidimensional   and multilevel examination of student engagement and teachers’ use of classroom        management practices. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.
  5. Bradshaw, C. P., & Kush, J. M. (2019). Teacher observation of classroom adaptation-checklist: Measuring Children’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Functioning. Children &      Schools, cdz022.

rose schrott

photo of Rose Schrott

Year entered: 2021

Previous degrees:
PhD, Environment, Duke University, 2021
ScM, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016
BA, Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 2014

Advisors: Christine Ladd-Acosta, PhD and Heather Volk, PhD

Research interests: I am motivated by understanding the role that epigenetic modifications and environmental exposures play in contributing to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders


Selected Publications:

  1. Schrott R, Murphy SK, Modliszewski J, King DE, Hill B, Itchon-Ramos N, Raburn D, Price T, Levin ED, Vandrey R, Corcoran DL, Kollins SK, Mitchell JT. Refraining from use diminishes cannabis-associated epigenetic changes in human sperm, Environmental Epigenetics, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2021, dvab009,
  2. Keyhan S, Burke E, Schrott R, Huang Z, Grenier C, Price T, Raburn D, Corcoran DL, Soubry A, Hoyo C, Murphy SK. Male obesity impacts DNA methylation reprogramming in sperm. Clinical Epigenetics. 2021 Jan 25;13(1):17. Doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-00997-0
  3. Schrott R, Rajavel M, Acharya KS, Huang Z, Acharya C, Hawkey A, Pippen E, Lyerly HK, Levin ED, Murphy SK. Sperm DNA methylation altered by THC and nicotine: vulnerability of neurodevelopmental genes with bivalent chromatin. Scientific Reports. 2020 Sep 23;10(1):16022. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71783-0
  4. Schrott R, Acharya KS, Itchon-Ramos N, Hawkey AB, Pippen E, Mitchell JT, Kollins SH, Levin ED, Murphy SK. Cannabis use is associated with potentially heritable widespread changes in autism candidate gene DLGAP2 DNA methylation in sperm. Epigenetics. 2020 Jan-Feb;15(1-2):161-173. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2019.1656158 
  5. Murphy SK, Itchon-Ramos N, Visco Z, Huang Z, Grenier C, Schrott R, Acharya KS, Boudreau HM, Price TM, Raburn DJ, Corcoran DL, Lucas JE, Mitchell JT, McClernon FJ, Cauley M, Hall BJ, Levin ED, Kollins SH. Cannabinoid exposure and altered DNA methylation in rat and human sperm. Epigenetics. 2018;13(12):1208-1221. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2018.1554521

david sosnowski

Year entered: 2019

photo of David Sosnowski

Previous degrees:
PhD, Psychology (Developmental); Virginia Commonwealth University; 2019
BS, Psychology; Pennsylvania State University; 2013

Advisor: Brion Maher

Research interests: My research centers on understanding the complex biological and social mechanisms linking childhood adversity to health and behavior throughout life. I also am interested in identifying modifiable factors that promote resilience in the context of adversity.


Selected Publications:

  1. Shu, C., Sosnowski, D.W., Tao, R., Deep-Soboslay, A., Kleinman, J. E., Hyde, T. M., Jaffe, A. E., Sabunciyan, S., & Maher, B. S. (2021). Epigenome-wide analysis of brain DNA methylation following acute opioid intoxication. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 221, 108658.   
  2. Sosnowski, D.W., Kliewer, W., Valrie, C. R., Winter, M. A., Serpell, Z., & Amstadter, A. B. (2021). The association between adverse childhood experiences and child telomere length: Examining self-regulation as a behavioral mediator. Child Development, 92, 746-759.  
  3. Sosnowski, D. W., Kliewer, W., York, T. P., Amstadter, A., Jackson-Cook, C., & Winter, M. A. (2019). Familial support following childhood sexual abuse is associated with longer telomere length in female adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 45, 911-923.
  4. Sosnowski, D. W., Booth, C., York, T. P., Amstadter, A. B., & Kliewer, W. (2018). Maternal prenatal stress and infant DNA methylation: A systematic review. Developmental Psychobiology, 60, 127-139.

catherine tomko

photo of Catherine Tomko

Year entered: 2021

Previous degrees:
PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of Health, Behavior, and Society,  2021
MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of Health, Behavior, and Society, 2016
BA, psychology, George Washington University, 2011

Advisor: Susan Sherman

Research interests: Mental health and overdose risk; structural influences on mental health (and mental healthcare); frequency and type of substance use, and subsequent overdose risk; policy and programming to broaden access to mental health services.


Selected publications:

  1. Tomko, C., Glick, J. L., Nestadt, D. F., White, R. H., Allen, S. T., Park, J. N., ... & Sherman, S. G. (2021). Characterizing Health Care Access among Cisgender Female Sex Workers with Substance Use Histories in Baltimore, Maryland. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved32(3), 1584-1603.
  2. Tomko, C., Nestadt, D. F., Rouhani, S., Silberzahn, B. E., Haney, K., Park, J. N., ... & Sherman, S. G. (2021). Confirmatory factor analysis and construct validity of the internalized sex work stigma scale among a cohort of cisgender female sex workers in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The Journal of Sex Research58(6), 713-723.
  3. Tomko, C., Park, J. N., Allen, S. T., Glick, J., Galai, N., Decker, M. R., ... & Sherman, S. G. (2019). Awareness and interest in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among street-based female sex workers: results from a US context. AIDS patient care and STDs33(2), 49-57.
  4. Sherman, S. G., Tomko, C., White, R. H., Nestadt, D. F., Silberzahn, B. E., Clouse, E., ... & Galai, N. (2021). Structural and Environmental Influences Increase the Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infection in a Sample of Female Sex Workers. Sexually transmitted diseases48(9), 648.
  5. Schneider, K. E., Tomko, C., Nestadt, D. F., Silberzahn, B. E., White, R. H., & Sherman, S. G. (2021). Conceptualizing overdose trauma: The relationships between experiencing and witnessing overdoses with PTSD symptoms among street-recruited female sex workers in Baltimore, Maryland. International Journal of Drug Policy92, 102859.

lindsey Webb

photo of Lindsey Webb

Year entered: 2020

Previous degrees:
PhD, Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2020
MHS, Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016
MS, Counseling Psychology, Loyola University Maryland, 2012
BS, Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2009

Advisor: Tamar Mendelson, PhD

Research interests:  My research explores disparities in mental health and substance use, and examines the impact of mindfulness-based prevention programming for adolescents. Through my research I aim to (1) better detect risk of developing psychological symptoms and substance use among adolescents, (2) mitigate disparities in adolescent mental health and substance use, and (3) improve prevention programming through community engagement and novel statistical methods.


Selected Publications:

  1. Webb, L., Musci, R., & Mendelson, T. (2021). Co-occurring mental health symptoms in urban adolescents: Comorbidity profiles and correlates. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.
  2. Webb, L., Clary, L., Johnson, R., & Mendelson, T. (2020). Electronic and school bullying victimization by race/ethnicity and sexual minority status in a nationally representative adolescent sample. Journal of Adolescent Health.
  3. Webb, L., Perry-Parrish, C., Ellen, J., & Sibinga, E. (2018). Mindfulness instruction for HIV-infected youth: A randomized controlled trial. AIDS Care, 30(6), 688-695.
  4. Webb, L., Stegall, S., Mirabile, S., Zeman, J., Shields, A., & Perry-Parrish, C. (2016). The management and expression of pride: Age and gender effects across adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 52, 1-11.
  5. Sibinga, E., Webb, L., Ghazarian, S., & Ellen, J.  (2016). School-based mindfulness instruction: An RCT. Pediatrics, 137(1), 1-8.