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Drug Dependence Epidemiology Funded Training (DDET) Program

Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH is Co-Director of the NIDA Epidemiology Training Program and an Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health. Her research addresses the health of adolescents and emerging adults, with a focus on substance use and violence. Much of this work involves marginalized populations including people of color, LGBT youth, trauma-exposed youth, immigrants, and youth in low-income, urban areas. Her current work examines marijuana use among adolescents and emerging adults.

Brion Maher, PhD, is Co-Director of the NIDA Epidemiology Training Program and a Professor of Mental Health and Psychiatry. He has expertise is in genetic epidemiology and the genetics and epigenetics of substance use and psychiatric disorders. He is P.I. of 2 ongoing R01 genetic or epigenetic projects including a study of epigenetic changes associated with injection drug use among ALIVE cohort participants and a study of gene-environment interactions in the development of substance use disorders in the PRC cohort. He is a member of the NIDA Genetics Consortium, the Steering Committee of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders Working Group, and a frequent reviewer for NIDA IRGs.

Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Mental Health and Psychiatry. He is a practicing psychiatrist and a behavioral services researcher whose work focuses on barriers to behavioral care, patterns of care for substance and mental disorders in usual care settings and pharmacoepidemiology of psychiatric drugs. He is currently supported by grants from NIDA for projects assessing the impact of state parity legislation and Medicaid expansion initiatives, as well as ACA related initiatives on behavioral health service use. His funded research also examines generalizability of the result from substance use treatment randomized controlled trials, and a study examining the impact of clean indoor air policies and cigarette taxes on smoking cessation treatments.

Susan Sherman, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. She also co-directs the Addiction and Overdose Working Group of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative here at Hopkins. Her work focuses on improving the health of marginalized populations, particularly that of drug users and sex workers. Her research among drug users has largely focused on harm reduction, HIV prevention, economic development, and overdose prevention and response. She uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in exploring and intervening upon the socio-behavioral and economic risk environment among marginalized populations. She is currently the PI of two R01s focused on illicit drug using sex workers in Baltimore.

Margaret Ensminger, PhD, is a Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society. Her research focuses on individual, family and neighborhood antecedents to both healthy and unhealthy outcomes of children and adolescents, including drug taking behavior. She has published with multiple Training Program fellows on the Woodlawn Study, a landmark study of risk and protective factors associated with developmental outcomes of inner-city African American children followed into adulthood.

Nicholas Ialongo, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention and Early Intervention. Dr. Ialongo is a child and family clinical psychologist. He has served as the PI on multiple prevention intervention trials, notably the 20-year follow-up of the 2nd generation Johns Hopkins Preventive Intervention Research Center and a novel cohort of >5,000 schoolchildren in Baltimore City Public Schools.

Greg Kirk, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Vice Chair of Clinical and Translational Research in the Department of Medicine in the JH School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include epidemiology, hepatitis, HIV, AIDS and infectious diseases. Dr. Kirk, along with Dr. Mehta, is the PI of the ALIVE cohort, a longitudinal study of PWIDs. His research focuses on understanding and preventing the long-term consequences of chronic HIV infection, particularly the malignant complications of HIV and viral hepatitis.

Rashelle Musci, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health, specializing in child and adolescent development, developmental psychopathology, genetics, and biostatistics including advanced latent variable modeling. She has utilized the PRC Cohorts to explore questions related to substance use among adolescents, in particular understanding the antecedents and consequences of problem substance use and the effectiveness of a classroom-based universal prevention program.

Brendan Saloner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. His research focuses on the intersection between health and social policy, particularly on the role of health insurance in promoting access to care, financial protection, and wellness. Dr. Saloner has extensive research focused on the financing, organization, and delivery of mental health and substance use treatment among children, adolescents, and young adults. He is interested in the transformation of public sector behavioral health and primary care health systems under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Saloner is also interested in applied ethical issues related to equitable health care financing and the design of health insurance.

Eric Strain, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director, of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in the JH School of Medicine. Dr Strain’s research focuses on medications development, abuse liability testing, and behavioral interventions.

Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness. He is a practicing general internist and pharmacoepidemiologist and is internationally recognized for his research examining prescription drug utilization, safety and effectiveness. In addition to expertise conducting survey-based investigations, Dr. Alexander also has extensive experience with the analysis of secondary data sources including administrative and pharmacy claims and large national surveys.

Shruti Mehta, PhD, is a Professor and Deputy Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Mehta is PI, with Dr. Kirk, of the ALIVE Cohort. She has published extensively on issues related to barriers to care and optimal treatment in this population including factors associated with virologic and immunologic response, treatment interruptions and time to initiation in this population.