The Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) is an internationally renowned research center in alcohol research. The mission is twofold: to conduct collaborative research that will lead to more effective treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, and to create a nationwide program in substance abuse, education and training for psychologists, physicians, medical students, and health care professionals.

Through its affiliation with the Medical School and the School of Public Health, CAAS occupies a unique position within Brown University. The Center was established by Brown University in 1982 as part of the Division of Biology and Medicine, under the directorship of David Lewis, M.D. The Center is one of 20 centers at Brown established by the President of the University to encourage interdisciplinary scholarly work that cuts across traditional department lines. The Center’s research endeavors are continually reinforced by both the National Institutes of Health as well as by peer review journals at a pace that defies both the “leveling off” of the NIH budget and any cap on academic productivity.

Center Leadership

Peter M. Monti, Ph.D., Center Director

Suzanne Colby, Ph.D., Associate Director
Jeffrey Griffin, Associate Director, Finance and Administration
Christopher Kahler, Ph.D.Associate Director, Chair of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Damaris Rohsenow, Ph.D., Associate Director
Robert Swift, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Director

Contacting CAAS

The Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies is located at 121 South Main St., Providence, RI.

Center News

Rachel Cassidy gave a presentation entitled “Effects of Nicotine Dose in Cigarettes on Perceived Health Risk and Subjective Response in Adolescent Smokers” at the Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research Annual Conference in Florence, Italy.

As co-chair of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT)'s Adolescent Network, Suzanne Colby chaired the network's inaugural pre-conference workshop at the annual meeting in Florence, Italy. The workshop was entitled "Tobacco and Marijuana Co-use in Adolescents and Young Adults." Presentations covered: recent epidemiological data showing trends and patterns of use, and characteristics of co-users; qualitative findings related to emerging modes of co-use; impact and correlates of co-use; potential underlying mechanisms; the role of digital media in promoting co-use; and implications for clinical intervention with co-using adolescents. Dr. Colby also hosted the annual adolescent network member meeting at SRNT.

Christopher Kahler presented the talk "A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial of oral naltrexone for heavy drinking smokers seeking smoking cessation treatment" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting, Florence, Italy.

Christopher Kahler chaired the symposium on "Understanding and intervening on alcohol use in smokers who drink heavily" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting, Florence, Italy.

Damaris Rohsenow was invited by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to give a presentation titled “Strong Treatment Combinations Are Especially Important for Smokers with Alcohol Dependence: Evidence from Four Controlled Clinical Trials” at the meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, San Diego, May 23, 2017.

Damaris Rohsenow was invited to give a presentation titled “Clinical Investigations of Hangover: Methods and Symptoms” to a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, April 4, 2017.

Jennifer Tidey co-chaired a symposium at the SRNT conference in Florence, Italy on 3/10/17, entitled "Examining links between menthol use and smoking persistence in vulnerable populations". Her talk focused on mechanisms that might underlie the link between menthol use and smoking persistence in people with psychiatric illness.

Jennifer Tidey gave a presentation at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Austin, TX on 3/24/17, entitled "Nicotine Reduction in Smokers with Psychiatric Disorders", as part of a symposium that focused on the potential effectiveness of a national policy that would reduce the nicotine content of cigarettes sold in the US.

Jennifer Tidey chaired a symposium at the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction meeting in Albuquerque NM on 3/25/17, entitled "A Behavioral Economic Perspective on Persistent Tobacco Use in People with Psychopathology". She was joined by CAAS T32 alumni Adam Leventhal, who also presented a talk, and Jim Murphy, who served as symposium Discussant.

Jennifer Tidey, a member of the Board of Directors for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), traveled to Washington DC on 3/28/17 to advocate for NIDA funding on Capital Hill along with other members of the CPDD Board. She met with congressional staffers in Senator Reed's, Senator Whitehouse's and Representative Cicillini's offices, and had the opportunity to speak with Senator Reed himself about the importance of maintaining NIDA funding to support drug abuse research and treatment.

In December,2016, Dr. Richard Longabaugh received the James Tharp Award from the Tharp Foundation. He was nominated for this award by the Research Society on Alcoholism for his contributions to alcohol treatment research, resulting in his receipt of the RSA 2016 Distinguished Researcher Award. The Tharp award, for $25,000, was gifted to Brown University

On March 6, 2017, Dr. Mollie Magill presented at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, NYC: While there is an emerging picture of how Motivational Interviewing (MI) affects behavior change, this literature has advanced rapidly in recent years. In the present meta-analysis, we test the full MI theoretical model to examine which pathways have support, under what conditions, and which, if any, require theoretical revision. Meta-analytic results will additionally serve as a springboard for discussion of MI mechanisms of change, key recommendations for trainers and providers, as well as the state of science in MI process research.

Posted March 2017

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Researcher Spotlight

Patricia A. Cioe is an Assistant Professor (Research) in the department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The objectives of her research are to develop a program that integrates behavioral and biomedical approaches to the study of smoking/nicotine dependence, and its co-occurrence with HIV infection and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Her goal is to develop and implement evidence-based interventions to improve CVD risk perception and the adoption of heart-healthy behaviors in HIV clinical settings, with a focus on healthy diet, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation. After completing her doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester in 2012, she completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at CAAS. She is currently funded by a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is a member of the CAAS faculty, serves as Co-Chair of the CAAS Rounds Committee, and is a member of the CAAS Postdoctoral training committee. She has a broad background in nursing in urban centers serving the underserved, and has been a board-certified nurse practitioner for more than 20 years. She was the founding President of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Rhode Island Chapter, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.