Faculty Profile: Brandon Marshall, PhD

Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall, PhD
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Work: +1 401-863-6427
Dr. Marshall's research interests focus on substance use epidemiology and the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health of urban populations. In particular, his work seeks to inform public health and policy interventions that improve the health of drug users. He is also interested in applying complex systems methods to examine factors that perpetuate HIV transmission, and to identify interventions that reduce infectious disease spread in drug-using populations.


Brandon Marshall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. He received his PhD in epidemiology from the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. During his Master's and Doctoral training, he worked as a Research Coordinator at the Urban Health Research Initiative within the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, Canada. In 2011, he completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Research Description

Dr. Marshall's research focuses on three primary areas of interest: investigating the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health among vulnerable and drug-using populations; substance use epidemiology; and the evaluation of novel approaches and interventions to improve urban health. For a complete publication list, please click here.

His research seeks to identify the multi-level determinants of health inequities (including HIV risks) experienced by drug-using populations. He is involved in a number of large observational cohort studies, including the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS) and the At Risk Youth Study (ARYS), operated by the Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. The objectives of these studies are to understand the many factors that affect the health of urban drug users and to identify interventions that mitigate the health and social harms associated with substance use.

As an example of this research, in 2011, Dr. Marshall led a study demonstrating a 35% reduction in community overdose mortality following the opening of Insite, North America's first supervised injecting facility. This article was published in The Lancet, and the findings received wide national and international media attention.

More recently, Dr. Marshall has undertaken work that applies complex systems dynamics methods to understand how interacting micro-, meso-, and macro-level factors influence HIV vulnerability in drug-using populations. The objective is this work is to inform more effective HIV prevention and drug policy interventions that reduce health disparities in urban under-served communities. This work was originally funded by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is now funded by a Developmental Grant (P30AI042853) from the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research. The project is a collaboration between researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Community Vulnerability and Responses to Drug-User-Related HIV/AIDS Study at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

Dr. Marshall has published more than 50 scientific publications, including articles in JAMA, BMJ, and The Lancet. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Canadian Association for HIV Research New Investigator Award (epidemiology) in 2008 and the American College of Epidemiology student prize in 2010. His work has been featured in Science, Psychiatric News, Scientific American, The Globe and Mail, and CTV News.

Grants and Awards

Brown University Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award (2013-2014)

Brown University Sheridan Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship (2012-2103)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship (2011)

IAS/NIDA Fellowship Encouraging HIV and Drug Use Research (2011)

Mailman School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology Student Prize (2011)

CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health Travel Award (2010)

American College of Epidemiology 2010 Student Prize (2010)

CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (2008-2010)

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior Trainee Award (2008-2010)

BC Mental Health & Addictions Research Network Scholarship (2008-2009)

Richard A. Robertson Memorial Service Award in Medicine (2008)

7th International Conference on Urban Health Student Prize (2008)

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development Travel Award (2008)

XVII International AIDS Conference Scholarship (2008)

Canadian Association for HIV Research New Investigator Award (2008)

University of British Columbia Murray Stratton Memorial Scholarship (2007)

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Junior Trainee Award (2007-2008)

CIHR Master's Canada Graduate Scholarship (2006)


International AIDS Society (2008 - present)
Society for Epidemiologic Research (2011 - present)
American Public Health Association (2013 - present)

Funded Research

NIH/NIDA R01-DA01336 (S. Friedman, PI)
Community Vulnerability and Responses to Drug-User-Related HIV/AIDS
Sept 1, 2013 - Aug 30, 2014
Role: Co-Investigator

Rhode Island Foundation (L. Taylor, PI)
Rhode Island Defeats Hep C
June 1, 2013 - May 30, 2016
Role: Co-Investigator

Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research (P30AI042853) Developmental Grant (Marshall, PI)
Complex systems approaches to examine combination HIV prevention programs for drug-using populations
June 2012 - September 2013
Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NIDA R01-DA034538 (M. Tolou-Shams, PI)
Drug Use and HIV/STI Risk Trajectories in Court-Involved, Non-Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders
July 2013 - June 2018
Role: Co-Investigator

NIH/NIAA U24-AA022000 (D. Operario, PI)
Sexual Minority Populations Core
November 2012 - August 2016
Role: Co-Investigator

NIH/NIDA R01-DA033147 (T. Kerr and K. Shannon, PIs)
HIV Risk Environments among FSW and DU: A longitudinal ethno-epidemiology approach
February 2012 - January 2017
Role: Consultant

CIHR 244939 (M. Krajden and J. Grebely, PIs)
Hepatitis C Virus Transmission Dynamics and Injection Drug Users
October, 2011 - September, 2014
Role: Collaborator

CIHR 251559 (K. Shannon and T. Kerr, PIs)
Team Grant on Social and Structural Violence and HIV among Vulnerable Populations
September 2011 - August 2016
Role: Collaborator

CIHR MOP-111039 (T. Kerr, PI)
The Vancouver Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Supervised Drug Consumption Research
January, 2011 - March, 2016
Role: Collaborator

NIH/NIDA R01-DA028532 (E. Wood, PI)
Initiation of Injection Drug Use and HIV Risks among Street-Involved Youth
April, 2010 - February, 20155
Role: Consultant

CIHR MOP-102742 (E. Wood, PI)
Investigating and Addressing Injection Drug Use and other Harms among Street-Involved Youth
April, 2010 - March, 2015
Role: Collaborator

Selected Publications

  • Marshall BDL, Galea S, Wood E, Kerr T. Longitudinal associations between types of childhood trauma and suicidal behavior: A cohort study. American Journal of Public Health. 2013: e1-37. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301257 (2013)
  • Marshall BDL, Paczkowski MM, Seemann L, Tempalski B, Pouget ER, Galea S, Friedman SR. A complex systems approach to evaluate HIV prevention in metropolitan areas: Preliminary implications for combination intervention strategies. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e44833. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0044833 (2012)
  • Marshall BDL, Milloy MJ, Wood E, Montaner JSG, Kerr T. Reduction in overdose mortality after the opening of North America's first medically supervised safer injecting facility. Lancet. 2011;377(9775):1429-1437. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62353-7 (2011)
  • Marshall BDL, Werb D. Health outcomes associated with methamphetamine use among young people: A systematic review. Addiction. 2010;105(6):991-1002. DOI:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.02932.x (2010)
  • Marshall BDL, Milloy MJ, Kerr T, Zhang R, Montaner JSG, Wood E. No evidence of increased sexual risk behaviour after initiating antiretroviral therapy among people who inject drugs. AIDS. 2010;24(14):2271-2278. DOI:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32833dd101 (2010)
  • Wood E, Kerr T, Marshall BDL, Li K, Zhang R, Hogg RS, Harrigan PR, Montaner JSG. Longitudinal community plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and incidence of HIV-1 among injection drug users: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2009;338:b1649. DOI:10.1136/bmj.b1649 (2009)
  • Wood E, Hogg RS, Dias Lima V, Kerr T, Yip B, Marshall BDL, Montaner JSG. Highly active antiretroviral therapy and survival in HIV-infected injection drug users. JAMA. 2008;300(5):550-554. DOI:10.1001/jama.300.5.550 (2008)