Research Placement Faculty - Adult Track

Adult Track Faculty offering Research Placements


Ana Abrantes: Dr. Abrantes' research is focused on the development and testing of novel interventions for decreasing relapse risk among individuals with alcohol and other drug use disorders, including nicotine dependence. Her current projects include the use of text messaging, the development of smartphone apps, neurostimulation (e.g., tDCS), and EMA/EMI approaches.  In addition, Dr. Abrantes also conducts research in the area of physical activity promotion for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. This research includes the testing of Fitbit-supported lifestyle physical activity, physical activity apps, and peer-facilitated approaches.

Leslie Brick & Jessica Peters: This research placement involves applying advanced quantitative approaches to intensive longitudinal data in the study of affect regulation, suicide and self-harming behaviors, substance use, and/or other psychopathology symptoms in adolescents and adults. Quantitative approaches include but are not limited to: intensive longitudinal methods (i.e., multilevel, growth curve, time varying effects, and dynamic structural equation modeling), network analysis, and experience sampling methods (i.e., EMA, daily diary, ambulatory assessment, etc.); trainees with at least some experience in advanced methods as well as interest in learning new methods are encouraged to apply. Potential projects may also model biomarkers (genetic/epigenetic), menstrual cycle effects, and/or minority stressors, depending on trainee interest and available data.

Brandon Gaudiano: Dr. Gaudiano works as a psychologist at Butler Hospital and the Providence VA Medical Center. He also is Primary Faculty in Brown’s Mindfulness Center. Dr. Gaudiano’s research includes psychosocial treatment development, testing, and dissemination/implementation work for patients with severe psychiatric disorders (psychosis, mood disorders, comorbid substance use, and suicidality). His interventions frequently focus on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and mobile technologies. Projects for the upcoming year include the development of a novel ecological momentary intervention for patients with psychosis, suicide prevention programs (video- and telephone-based) for patients with leaving the psychiatric hospital, and a transitions of care program for patients with comorbid bipolar disorder and substance use disorders. 

Kirsten Langdon: Dr. Langdon's research is centered on two overlapping areas: 1) elucidating the interplay of mood/anxiety-based processes and co-occurring substance use disorders through experimental paradigms, and 2) developing specialized intervention programs designed to target these malleable risk factors to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring mood/anxiety and substance use disorders, particularly through digital health platforms. Recent projects involve utilizing EMA methodologies to examine cognitive-affective risk factors associated with poor smoking cessation outcomes; development of a combined computer- and text message-delivered intervention to support stabilization in buprenorphine treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD); application of a text message-based program to encourage continued engagement in medications for OUD following release from jail/prison; and use of qualitative methods to evaluate patient and provider perspectives on combined long-acting injectable treatment for HIV and OUD.

John McGeary: Dr. McGeary’s research focuses on the intersection of clinical psychology, neuroscience, and genetics to inform questions of etiology and treatment.  He directs a molecular lab located at the Providence VA Medical Center where he is also a staff psychologist treating Veterans with substance use disorders.  He actively collaborates on 65+ research projects with investigators at Brown, affiliated hospitals, consortia (e.g., Million Veteran Program), and collaborating institutions around the country.  Dr. McGeary’s research interests include: 1) genetic and epigenetic variation associated with psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes (and recently with phenotypes of interest to researchers in Dermatology, Surgery, Infectious Disease, Neuroscience, Computer science, Gerontology, and Public Health); 2) the role of sleep in suicide, addiction, and other psychopathology; and 3) the use of neurostimulation for treatment of addiction. Particular strengths in his research portfolio include studies of addiction, depression, nonpsychiatric behavioral phenotypes (e.g., sleep, exercise, & obesity) and pharmacogenetics (the use of genetic profiles to predict medication efficacy and side-effects). 

Jane Metrik & Rachel Gunn: This placement has several available areas of research focus. The overall aim of this research placement is to provide training opportunities in the area of alcohol and cannabis co-use and related risk behaviors. Our NIH-funded program of research utilizes several levels of data collection including laboratory and field-based methods. Opportunities to collaborate on the following current and recently completed studies are as follows: 1) a human laboratory study examining acute effects of cannabis on alcohol craving and consumption; 2) an ecological momentary assessment study focused on assessing effects of cannabis on driving-related impairment; 3) an ambulatory assessment study of the impact of simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use on alcohol consumption and consequences using alcohol biosensors to measure alcohol use in the field; 4) a mixed-methods (laboratory and ecological momentary assessment) study of simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use, including examination of the impact of multiple cannabinoids (THC versus CBD) on drinking behaviors; and 5) a longitudinal study examining cannabis use and comorbidity with heavy drinking and affective disorders in returning Veterans. Opportunities for learning applied aspects of the human laboratory studies involving cannabis and alcohol administration are a major part of this placement, as well as integration of data from multiple levels (e.g., person- and event-level). Multiple other opportunities are available for collaboration on various projects including data analysis, manuscript preparation, and development of grant proposals.

Robert Miranda & Hayley Treloar Padovano: The chief goal of our research program is to advance treatment options for adults and adolescents who struggle with alcohol and other substance misuse. Accomplishing this goal involves leveraging human laboratory paradigms and mobile technologies (e.g., ecological momentary assessment [EMA] methods), establishing developmentally sensitive tools for screening medications, and learning how to best translate findings from clinical research to practice. Integrating theories and methods from psychology and cognitive-affective neuroscience, our laboratory uses a translational approach to investigate addictive behaviors, including alcohol and other drug misuse and other health-risk behaviors. Much of our research focuses on elucidating factors that confer liability for addictive behaviors during adolescence and how interventions can leverage these factors to improve treatment initiatives. Clinical residents are afforded the opportunity to learn about and develop new, innovative approaches to studying addiction processes and mechanisms of treatment effects, author manuscripts from existing datasets, and collaborate on new projects. Current funded projects include medication trials for alcohol use disorder, a longitudinal study that pairs human laboratory paradigms with EMA to examine how changes in adolescents’ alcohol cue reactivity and subjective responses to alcohol predict AUD pathology, and a project that leverages EMA methods to elucidate associations between stress, nicotine craving, and use among adolescents who are sexual minorities.

Lindsay Orchowski: Sexual assault prevention, including the development and evaluation of approaches for young adult, college, and military populations; The intersections between sexual violence, substance use and other health risk behaviors; Perpetrator characteristics; Mental health consequences of sexual violence.

Lisa Uebelacker: Study of physical activity, yoga, and integrated primary care interventions for depression and/or chronic pain. Specifically, ongoing studies include: a) a study of which components of a yoga intervention help to increase yoga practice in people with opioid use disorder and chronic pain; and b) development of yoga for depressed adolescents. Projects which are currently in a follow-up and data analysis phase include: a) a comparison programs to help people with depression increase physical activity; b) study of an integrated behavioral health program for people with HIV, chronic pain, and depression symptoms.