M-Health Research Group

M-health approaches in research include ecological momentary assessment, mobile phone delivered interventions, text messaging for assessment or intervention, telemedicine, wearable sensors, geospatial mapping, virtual reality, smartphone app development.

Ethan M. Balk, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice

Dr. Balk’s research focuses on systematic review, evidence- based medicine, meta-analysis, study quality assessment, and evaluation of literature. He has led numerous comparative effectiveness reviews, evidence reports, technologies, and other systematic reviews for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-base Practice Center program, for other federal and international agencies, and professional organizations.

Research Profile

Nancy P. Barnett, PhD

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Barnett’s primary areas of interest are 1) developing and testing brief interventions for substance use among adolescents and young adults, 2) the influence of social networks on alcohol use, and 3) the use of wearable technologies for the assessment and treatment of alcohol use and associated problems. Her recent publications have focused on peer influences within social networks, behavior change following alcohol-related experiences, the efficacy of Contingency Management for reducing alcohol use, and the utility of alcohol biosensors for research and clinical applications.

Research Profile

Sara J. Becker, PhD

Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Dr. Becker is a clinical researcher and licensed clinical psychologist dedicated to improving the quality and utilization of behavioral treatments for individuals with substance use disorders. Dr. Becker studies both dissemination and implementation strategies to increase the utilization of evidence-based treatment models. She is also the PI of a 3-year NIDA-funded study testing a technology-assisted intervention for parents of adolescents in residential treatment.

Research Profile

Katie B. Biello, PhD

Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Biello’s research interests are in identifying and understanding the underlying risk factors for social inequities in HIV/STIs and developing behavioral interventions to reduce risk among racial, sexual and gender minorities and those in resource limited settings, both domestically and globally.

Research Profile

Kate B. Carey, PhD

Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Carey’s research interests include screening and brief interventions for at-risk drinking, enhancing motivation to change, and the co-occurrence of alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. Her research has investigated mediators (e.g., normative perceptions, attitudes) and moderators (gender, self-regulation, social comparison) of intervention response, as well as methods designed to enhance maintenance of change.

Research Profile

Akilah Dulin, PhD Manning Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences IV, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Dulin has two primary research foci that include examining (1) risk factors and resilience resources related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk (e.g., diet, physical activity, obesity) and (2) HIV outcomes among children and racial/ethnic minorities.

Research Profile

Ani Eloyan, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

Dr. Eloyan's research interests include semi-parametric likelihood-based methods for matrix decompositions, statistical analyses of brain images, and integration of various types of complex data structures for analyzing health care data.

Research Profile

Ilana F. Gareen, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Gareen is an epidemiologist with over a decade of experience in the collaborative design and conduct of studies of diagnostic imaging technologies. Her research focuses on patient outcomes associated with diagnostic imaging technologies, including the impact of imaging on patient health, patient quality of life, and medical care utilization.

Research Profile

Kristina M. Jackson, PhD

Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Jackson's substantive research area is in the developmental course of alcohol involvement throughout late adolescence and young adulthood. She also has research interests in examining behaviors comorbid with alcohol use/alcohol use disorders, especially tobacco use and in the analysis of fine-grained process and daily diary data.

Research Profile

Christopher W. Kahler, PhD

Chair of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Kahler’s research focuses on (a) the development of novel smoking cessation treatments, (b) the treatment of combined heavy drinking and smoking, and (c) the role of alcohol and brief alcohol interventions in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection.

Research Profile

Simin Liu, MD, ScD

Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Surgery, Professor of Medicine

Dr. Liu is an epidemiologist whose work unites molecular genetics, nutrition, clinical medicine, and public health. His research is concerned with the etiology of chronic diseases and their prevention and control strategies.

Research Profile

Stephen T. McGarvey, PhD, MPH

Professor of Epidemiology, Director of International Health Institute

Dr. McGarvey is concerned with issues of human population biology and international health, specifically modernization-related induced socio-economic and behavioral changes, genetic and environmental influences on obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factor, and child nutritional status.

Research Profile

Jennifer E. Merrill, PhD

Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Merrill has primarily focused on investigating the etiology and consequences of alcohol misuse among young adults, with a particular interest in the subjective evaluation of alcohol-related consequences. She has current interests in qualitative methods, ecological momentary assessment, advanced data analysis, and intervention development.

Research Profile

Matthew J. Mimiaga, ScD, MPH

Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Dr. Mimiaga’s research program focuses on interventions to decrease sexual risk in HIV primary and secondary prevention; biobehavioral interventions to enhance antiretroviral medication uptake and adherence; psychosocial treatment interventions for stimulant use disorder and concurrent HIV risk; infectious disease and psychiatric epidemiology; and global health research

Research Profile

Amy S. Nunn, ScD, MS

Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Nunn conducts applied research on how to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in HIV infection, treatment and care, and is known for her innovative community partnerships to address disparities, including engaging clergy and community leaders in HIV testing, treatment and social marketing campaigns.

Research Profile

Don Operario, PhD Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Operario is committed to research that addresses health inequities in the United States and in international settings. His current research involves developing and testing psychosocial and community-based health interventions for reducing HIV transmission, as well as other mixed methods research aiming to understand the determinants of psychological and behavioral health in racial/ethnic minority populations and sexual and gender minority populations.

Research Profile

Rochelle K. Rosen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Rosen’s primary research interest is designing culturally relevant behavioral health interventions. Her grant funded research experience includes HIV-prevention for women via vaginal microbicide acceptability and other forms of multipurpose prevention technology; preventive health care issues in the South Pacific island of American Samoa; and mhealth (mobile health) delivered health promotion.

Research Profile

Ian J. Saldanha, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Ian Saldanha is an epidemiologist and evidence-based healthcare researcher with a background in medicine. His research focuses on the use of outcomes in comparative effectiveness research (clinical trials, systematic reviews, and other studies), methods for research synthesis, and methods for research prioritization. Clinically, Ian's work has addressed ophthalmology, HIV/AIDS, gestational diabetes, among other areas.

Research Profile

Christopher H. Schmid, PhD

Professor of Biostatistics, Chair of Biostatistics

Dr. Schmid’s research focuses on 1) methods and applications for meta-analysis, particularly Bayesian methods and software and 2) on predictive models derived from combining data from different sources. He has published extensively on meta-regression and multivariate methods, including network meta-analysis and combining N-of-1 studies.

Research Profile

Jon A. Steingrimsson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

Dr. Steingrimsson’s research can broadly be divided into two main components. The first is making available resources better by improving study designs, developing more efficient estimation procedures, or combining information from multiple data sources. The second component deals primarily with developing machine learning algorithms for censored data.

Research Profile

Jacob J. van den Berg, PhD, MS

Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. van den Berg's research focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based behavioral and biomedical health interventions for underserved and marginalized groups. He is particularly interested in advancing the integration of health informatics (eHealth/mHealth) and biobehavioral strategies for preventing HIV/STIs and substance use among racial/ethnic and sexual and gender minority populations.

Research Profile

Ira B. Wilson, MD, MSc

Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Professor of Medicine, Chair of Health Services, Policy and Practice

Dr. Wilson’s main research interests are in how structural features of healthcare systems affect the interactions between physicians and patients, and how those interactions in turn affect patients' health outcomes. In recent years, his research has focused on understanding and improving the quality of medication prescribing and medication management, the development and testing of interventions to improve adherence, and aspects of HIV and aging.

Research Profile

Tyler B. Wray, PhD

Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Wray's work explores ways technology can be used to improve prevention and care for addictions and HIV/STIs. His ongoing research uses sensors, smartphones, web-based, and virtual reality tools to help understand and change risk behaviors (e.g., HIV and substance use), help patients maintain changes in behavior, and improve their experience with care (e.g., HIV/STI testing).

Research Profile

A Mobile Intervention to Improve Uptake of PrEP for Southern Black MSM

Principal Investigator: Dr. Don Operario
Funding: Rhode Island Hospital
Years: 2017-2020

Mobile health platform for providing real-time follow-up after home-based HIV self-testing for high-risk men who have sex with men

Principal Investigators: Dr. Tyler Wray and Dr. Philip Chan
Funding: NIH, National Institute of Mental Health
Years: 2017-2022

Correcting Exaggerated Drinking Norms with a Mobile Message Delivery System

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kate B. Carey
Funding: NIH, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Years: 2017-2019

Mobile Application to Improve Care Coordination among HIV Clinic and Substance Use Treatment Providers - 2018

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kasey Claborn
Site Principal Investigator: Dr. Sara Becker
Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
Years: 2016-2019

Mobile Adaptation and Testing of a Uniquely Targeted HIV Intervention for Young Transgender Women

Principal Investigator: Dr. Matthew J. Mimiaga
Funding: National Institute of Mental Health
Years: 2018-2019

Development of a novel mobile health tool for age-specific dehydration assessment and management in patients with diarrheal disease

Principal Investigator: Dr. Adam Levine;
Co-investigator: Dr. Christopher Schmid
Funding: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH
Years: 2018-2023

Using Single Subject (N-of-1) Designs to Answer Patient-Identified Research Questions

Principal Investigator: Dr. Heather Kaplan;
Principal Investigator on subcontract: Dr. Christopher Schmid
Funding: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Years: 2017-2019

Balk, E. M., Chung, M., Chen, M. L., Chang, L. K. W., & Trikalinos, T. A. (2013). Data extraction from machine-translated versus original language randomized trial reports: a comparative study. Systematic Reviews, 2, 97. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-4053-2-97

Barr, C., Marois, M., Sim, I., Schmid, C. H., Wilsey, B., Ward, D., … Kravitz, R. L. (2015). The PREEMPT study - evaluating smartphone-assisted n-of-1 trials in patients with chronic pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16, 67. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-015-0590-8

Becker, S. J., Hernandez, L., Spirito, A., & Conrad, S. (2017). Technology-assisted intervention for parents of adolescents in residential substance use treatment: protocol of an open trial and pilot randomized trial. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 12(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-016-0067-4

Bernstein, M. H., Stein, L. a. R., Neighbors, C., Suffoletto, B., Carey, K. B., Ferszt, G., … Wood, M. D. (2018). A text message intervention to reduce 21st birthday alcohol consumption: Evaluation of a two-group randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, 32(2), 149–161. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000342

Biello K.B., Marrow E, Mimiaga, M.J., Sullivan P, Hightow Weidman L, Mayer K.H. Mobile-Based Application to Increase Uptake of HIV Testing and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis by Young Men who have Sex with Men: Study Protocol to Refine and Pilot Test MyChoices (ATN 141). JMIR Res Protoc. (in press).

Bock, B., Rosen, R.K., Thind, H., Barnett, N.P., Walaska, K., & Cobb, V. (2014). Building an Evidence Base Using Qualitative Data for mHealth Development. Proceedings of the ... Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2014, 2655–2664. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2014.335

Bock, B. C., Rosen, R. K., Barnett, N. P., Thind, H., Walaska, K., Foster, R., … Traficante, R. (2015). Translating Behavioral Interventions Onto mHealth Platforms: Developing Text Message Interventions for Smoking and Alcohol. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 3(1), e22. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.3779

Bock, B. C., Lantini, R., Thind, H., Walaska, K., Rosen, R. K., Fava, J. L., … Scott-Sheldon, L. A. (2016). The Mobile Phone Affinity Scale: Enhancement and Refinement. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 4(4), e134. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.6705

Borsari, B., Short, E. E., Mastroleo, N. R., Hustad, J. T. P., Tevyaw, T. O., Barnett, N. P., … Monti, P. M. (2014). Phone-delivered brief motivational interventions for mandated college students delivered during the summer months. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(5), 592–596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2014.01.001

Brigham, J., Schooley, B., Rosen, R.K. & B. Bock. Introduction to Evidence-Based Mobile and Web Health Design and Analysis Minitrack (2015). Proceedings of the 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE &Computer Society Press: 2777. http://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS/2015.335

Celio, M. A., Mastroleo, N. R., DiGuiseppi, G., Barnett, N. P., Colby, S. M., Kahler, C. W., … Monti, P. M. (2017). Using Video Conferencing to Deliver a Brief Motivational Intervention for Alcohol and Sex Risk to Emergency Department Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Pilot Study. Addiction Research & Theory, 25(4), 318–325. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2016.1276902

Claborn, K., Becker, S.J., Ramsey, S., Rich, J., & Friedmann, P. D. (2017). Mobile technology intervention to improve care coordination between HIV and substance use treatment providers: development, training, and evaluation protocol. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 12(1), 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-017-0073-1

Claborn, K. R., Fernandez, A., Wray, T.B., & Ramsey, S. (2015). Computer-based HIV adherence promotion interventions: a systematic review: Translation Behavioral Medicine. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 5(3), 294–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13142-015-0317-0

Collins, S. E., Kirouac, M., Lewis, M. A., Witkiewitz, K., & Carey, K. B. (2014). Randomized Controlled Trial of Web-Based Decisional Balance Feedback and Personalized Normative Feedback for College Drinkers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(6), 982–992. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2014.75.982

Elliott, J. C., Carey, K. B., & Bolles, J. R. (2008). Computer-based interventions for college drinking: a qualitative review. Addictive Behaviors, 33(8), 994–1005. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.03.006

Elliott, J. C., Carey, K. B., & Vanable, P. A. (2014). A preliminary evaluation of a web-based intervention for college marijuana use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, 28(1), 288–293. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034995

Haberer, J. E., Kiwanuka, J., Nansera, D., Wilson, I. B., & Bangsberg, D. R. (2010). Challenges in using mobile phones for collection of antiretroviral therapy adherence data in a resource-limited setting. AIDS and Behavior, 14(6), 1294–1301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-010-9720-1

Hustad, J. T. P., Barnett, N. P., Borsari, B., & Jackson, K. M. (2010). Web-based alcohol prevention for incoming college students: a randomized controlled trial. Addictive Behaviors, 35(3), 183–189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.10.012

Kravitz, R. L., Schmid, C. H., Marois, M., Wilsey, B., Ward, D., Hays, R. D., … Sim, I. (2018). Effect of Mobile Device–Supported Single-Patient Multi-crossover Trials on Treatment of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(10), 1368–1377. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.3981

Krentzman, A. R., Mannella, K. A., Hassett, A. L., Barnett, N. P., Cranford, J. A., Brower, K. J., … Meyer, P. S. (2015). Feasibility, Acceptability, and Impact of a Web-based Gratitude Exercise among Individuals in Outpatient Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(6), 477–488. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2015.1015158

Merrill, J. E., Boyle, H. K., Barnett, N. P., & Carey, K. B. (2018). Delivering normative feedback to heavy drinking college students via text messaging: A pilot feasibility study. Addictive Behaviors, 83, 175–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.10.003

Mimiaga, M. J., Thomas, B., Biello, K.B., Johnson, B. E., Swaminathan, S., Navakodi, P., … Safren, S. A. (2017). A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of an Integrated In-person and Mobile Phone Delivered Counseling and Text Messaging Intervention to Reduce HIV Transmission Risk among Male Sex Workers in Chennai, India. AIDS and Behavior, 21(11), 3172–3181. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1884-5

Rana, A. I., van den Berg, J. J., Lamy, E., & Beckwith, C. G. (2016). Using a Mobile Health Intervention to Support HIV Treatment Adherence and Retention Among Patients at Risk for Disengaging with Care. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 30(4), 178–184. https://doi.org/10.1089/apc.2016.0025

Suffoletto, B., Merrill, J. E., Chung, T., Kristan, J., Vanek, M., & Clark, D. B. (2016). A text message program as a booster to in-person brief interventions for mandated college students to prevent weekend binge drinking. Journal of American College Health: J of ACH, 64(6), 481–489. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2016.1185107

Thomas, B., Closson, E. F., Biello, K.B., Menon, S., Navakodi, P., Dhanalakshmi, A., … Mimiaga, M. J. (2017). Development and Open Pilot Trial of an HIV-Prevention Intervention Integrating Mobile-Phone Technology for Male Sex Workers in Chennai, India. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(4), 1035–1046. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0665-3

Van den Berg, J. J., Silverman, T., Fernandez, M. I., Henny, K. D., Gaul, Z. J., Sutton, M. Y., & Operario, D. (2018). Using eHealth to Reach Black and Hispanic Men Who Have Sex With Men Regarding Treatment as Prevention and Preexposure Prophylaxis: Protocol for a Small Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 7(7), e11047. https://doi.org/10.2196/11047


Wallace, B. C., Laws, M. B., Small, K., Wilson, I. B., & Trikalinos, T. A. (2014). Automatically annotating topics in transcripts of patient-provider interactions via machine learning. Medical Decision Making: An International Journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making, 34(4), 503–512. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272989X13514777

Whiteley, L., Brown, L., Lally, M., Heck, N., & van den Berg, J. J. (2018). A Mobile Gaming Intervention to Increase Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment for Youth Living With HIV: Development Guided by the Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills Model. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 6(4), e96. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.8155

Whitney, R. L., Ward, D. H., Marois, M. T., Schmid, C. H., Sim, I., & Kravitz, R. L. (2018). Patient Perceptions of Their Own Data in mHealth Technology-Enabled N-of-1 Trials for Chronic Pain: Qualitative Study. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 6(10), e10291. https://doi.org/10.2196/10291

Wray, T.B., Chan, P. A., Simpanen, E., & Operario, D. (2017). eTEST: Developing a Smart Home HIV Testing Kit that Enables Active, Real-Time Follow-Up and Referral After Testing. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 5(5), e62. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.6491

Masters in Public Health

Bilal, Saadiyah, "Evaluation of standard and mobile health (mHealth)-supported clinical diagnostic tools for assessing dehydration in patients with diarrhea in rural Bangladesh" (2018). Public Health Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:792703/