Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Division of Prevention and Community Research and The Consultation Center

Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Division of Prevention and Community Research and The Consultation Center
Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine invites applications for a two-year NIDA T32 postdoctoral research training program in substance abuse prevention. Applications are now being accepted for an immediate start date for one fellow and a July 2017 start date for two fellows.
The program emphasizes five research training aims: 1) to understand substance use/abuse and related behaviors within an ecological framework that emphasizes relevant developmental, family, social, cultural, and neurobiological contexts; 2) to enhance knowledge development and application in pre-intervention, implementation, and dissemination research; 3) to learn state-of-the-art data analytic methods that incorporate rigorous field and laboratory research methods, including mixed method designs when appropriate; 4) to gain experience in interdisciplinary research through collaborations with scientists in other departments, centers, and programs; and 5) to increase knowledge about the translation of research into real-world contexts that impact prevention practice and policy, and ultimately, public health.

Postdoctoral fellows participate in core seminars on Research and Data Analytic Methods, Grant Development, and Professional Development as well as in seminars and colloquia that cover related topics, such as the ethical conduct of research and current topics in substance abuse prevention. Fellows also receive mentor-based training on at least two scientific projects while working concurrently with two core faculty who serve as their scientific advisors. Faculty available to serve as mentors are located in several research divisions in the Department of Psychiatry, such as the Division of Prevention and Community Research, the Division on Addictions, the School of Public Health, the Yale Stress Center, the Yale Child Study Center, and Women’s Health Research at Yale.

Competitive candidates should have: 1) a Ph.D. in community, clinical, developmental, counseling, or health psychology, or a doctoral degree in public health, family studies, social work, or social welfare; 2) a strong research background; and 3) interest in pursuing an academic career. Applicants should email a CV, representative reprints, a statement of interests and future goals, identification of up to three faculty members with whom they wish to work listed in order of priority (see Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member below) and three letters of recommendation to the Training Co-Director, Tami P. Sullivan at: tami.sullivan@yale.edu. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled. Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority group members are encouraged to apply.

Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member

All fellows work with two faculty scientific advisors, and as part of their application, are asked to identify up to three faculty with whom they wish to work, listed in order of priority. Once matched with two faculty scientific advisors, fellows join research teams based on their interests and experience.

 Cindy A. Crusto, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director, Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center.  Dr. Crusto’s program of research examines the impact of psychological trauma (e.g., family and community violence) on children, and ecological influences on child and family well-being.  Dr. Crusto also studies social processes and influences on the health and development of young children, including parent experiences of racism, neighborhood context, and substance use. Opportunities are available to join: (a) an NIH-funded study on the influence of child factors, and broader social determinants and processes on young children’s health; (b) an NIH-funded study that evaluates the impact of (GXE) genetic and psychological environmental factors (discrimination, depression, parenting behaviors, substance use) on the health of African American children aged 3 to 5 years and their mothers; and (c) a foundation-funded evaluation of mobile phone text messaging (Short Message Service, SMS) support groups to provide peer and professional support for adolescents living with HIV in South Africa.
Derrick M. Gordon, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director, of Research, Policy and Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center.  His program of research seeks to identify factors that impact men and boys’ healthy family and community functioning. In this work attention is paid to factors such as community violence, poverty, incarceration, substance use, school truancy, parenting, social supports, masculinity, educational outcomes, intimate partner violence, and their impact on the functioning of men and boys. Dr. Gordon is also interested in understanding how young men use preventive health care services and identifying factors that either facilitate or inhibit access. This research seeks to understand the resources needed to support men and boys to successfully attain the skills needed to assume productive roles in their family and community systems.
Joy S. Kaufman, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Deputy Director for Operations at The Consultation Center and Director of Evaluation Research within the Division of Prevention and Community Research.  Her research program examines contextual factors, such as exposure to violence, substance use and familial stress that impact outcomes for populations at risk. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods including community-based participatory research, Dr. Kaufman and her team evaluate the implementation of evidenced-based practices within community-based networks of care and the impact of system functioning on service recipient outcomes. The fellow would have the opportunity to: (a) join a team evaluating the implementation and outcomes of statewide system of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral issues (youth substance use, exposure to traumatic events, parental stress, youth outcomes); and/or (b) join a team evaluating the implementation and outcomes of a multi-site national evaluation of model programs to reduce the rate of homicide resulting from domestic violence.
Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Vice-Chair of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale School of Medicine, and Co-PI on a P50 center focused on tobacco regulatory research.   Her research is focused on developing a bio-behavioral understanding of the underpinnings of alcohol, tobacco (nicotine) and marijuana use, in adolescent and adult populations, and developing new pharmacological and behavioral interventions to reduce and prevent use of these substances. She is also conducting qualitative and quantitative tobacco regulatory research in adolescents. The fellow would be involved in analyzing evidence from an ongoing study that is conducting surveys with middle and high school adolescents and college-aged young adults to assess use rates and perceptions and attitudes towards modified risk tobacco products, as well as analyzing evidence from an ongoing high school-based smoking cessation trial.
Linda C. Mayes, M.D., the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Child Study Center, is Chair of the Child Study Center, Special Advisor to the Dean of the Yale School of Medicine; and Chief, Department of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital.  Helena J. V. Rutherford, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, and Course Tutor for the UCL-Yale Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MRes Course. Drs. Mayes and Rutherford use multi-modal imaging methods to study the impact of addiction on mothers’ neural response to infant cries and faces and its association with caregiving behaviors, with an emerging focus on women during pregnancy in their transition to motherhood, as well as fathers. The Fellow would have access to the collection and analysis of behavioral, EEG/ERP and fMRI data in substance-using parent populations.   
Sherry McKee, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory; and Clinical Director, Forensic Drug Diversion Clinic. Her research is focused on improving treatment for those with nicotine and alcohol use disorders. Using a transdisciplinary perspective, she uses human laboratory paradigms, survey research, epidemiological research, and policy research to uncover the mechanisms underlying poor outcomes and translate these findings into improved interventions. In particular, Dr. McKee is interested in improving treatment outcomes for women and those with criminal justice involvement. Dr. McKee leads a large interdisciplinary research effort to develop smoking cessation interventions that are sensitive to gender differences in smoking behavior. Researchers spanning diverse areas of expertise (e.g., molecular biology, neuroimaging, pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, health economics, policy) are collaborating to develop effective interventions for female and male smokers. Dr. McKee also leads a SAMSHA-funded partnership between Yale and the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections and Department of Addiction and Mental Health Services to improve addiction outcomes in offenders who are re-entering their communities following incarceration.
Stephanie S. O’Malley, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Division of Substance Abuse Research in Psychiatry, and Deputy Chair, Clinical Research. Her research uses human laboratory methods and clinical trials methods to investigate alcohol and tobacco use behaviors and the prevention of long-term problems.  She is co-PI of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Research and has expertise in tobacco use including emerging products. Of particular focus, her research examines young adults at risk for alcohol or tobacco dependence by virtue of family history and secondary prevention studies for preventing progression of heavy drinking patterns in young adults.  Fellows have access to several large data sets for secondary analyses as well as the opportunity to develop new studies.
Marc N. Potenza, Ph.D., M.D, is Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study, and of Neuroscience; Director, Center of Excellence in Gambling Research; Director, Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders; Director, Women and Addictive Disorders, Women’s Health Research at Yale. His research is focused on the substance and non-substance (behavioral) addictions, with the latter including excessive or problematic engagement in gambling, gaming, Internet use, sex, shopping or eating.   He and his group utilize multiple approaches including brain imaging (fMRI, sMRI, DTI and PET), genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, cognitive, survey, and other assessments.  Data from completed and ongoing studies that are available include those from or involving youth (particularly adolescents) and adults at-risk or with addictions, including longitudinal data.  Data from multiple modalities (e.g., relating brain imaging measures to clinical outcomes in the treatment of addictions) are available from completed and ongoing studies.  Similarly, data from completed and ongoing studies of mother/child interactions that include maternal neural responses to infant stimuli in substance-using and non-substance-using mothers are available for study.
Carolyn E. Sartor, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Her program of research is aimed at refining etiological models of substance use disorders in adolescents and young adults by integrating a developmental psychopathology perspective with genetically-informative designs. The identification of differences by gender and race/ethnicity in the contribution of various risk and protective factors to substance use behaviors is central to this pursuit. Dr. Sartor studies the progression through stages of substance use (e.g., initiation, onset of symptoms) and the timing of stage transitions in relation to the onset of psychiatric disorders and trauma exposure, with a particular focus on the influence of childhood sexual abuse on the course of alcohol and drug use in women. Fellows have access to data from multiple large-scale longitudinal studies of substance use and trauma for secondary data analysis as well as opportunities to develop new data collection projects.
Rajita Sinha, Ph.D., is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study and of Neuroscience; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry; and Co-Director of Education, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.  Her research is focused on the mechanisms linking stress to addiction and seeks to: (a) elucidate sex-specific neurobiological mechanisms underlying stress in humans; (b) examine neurobiological alterations in stress and reward circuits associated with addictive disorders; and (c) develop effective addiction prevention and treatment strategies that target stress and emotion regulation in individuals both at-risk for and those with addiction problems. These objectives are accomplished through various NIH funded research projects available for fellow involvement.
Megan V. Smith, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); and Director, New Haven Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership.  Dr. Smith's work is focused on community-partnered or community-based participatory research and the co-creation of interventions to address depressive anxiety and addictive disorders among low-income, racial and ethnic minority women and their children.  Dr. Smith's current projects include: (1) a mobile health technology intervention to prevent relapse to smoking in the postpartum period for low-income women; (2) a study to examine the acceptability and feasibility of collecting biomarkers in community settings to assess toxic stress among mothers and young children, and (3) a longitudinal, randomized neighborhood study focused on the delivery of interventions to address maternal mental health and economic stability for families in novel community settings such as supermarkets and public housing complexes.
Tami P. Sullivan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology); Co-Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research; and Director, Family Violence Research and Programs. Her program of research centers on individual- and system-level factors that affect the wellbeing of women victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). At the individual level, she conducts risk and protective factor research and is particularly interested in applying micro-longitudinal designs such as experience sampling methods and conducting research that informs the development of interventions to be implemented in community settings. Specifically, Dr. Sullivan focuses on advancing knowledge of IPV, posttraumatic stress, substance use, and HIV/sexual risk – as well as other co-occurring problems. At the system-level, she focuses on understanding the capacity of systems (e.g., criminal justice system) to meet the unique needs of IPV-exposed women.
Nadia L. Ward, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director of Urban Education & Policy Research, and Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), at The Consultation Center. Drs. Ward and Strambler’s research focuses on the prevention of problem behaviors such as substance abuse and other negative social, behavioral, and academic outcomes among adolescents. Currently, Dr. Ward is the PI for two seven-year longitudinal studies of a comprehensive urban school reform initiative that is designed to support the social-emotional, academic, and health outcomes among 3,000 urban middle and high school students. Fellows are invited to examine questions of interest with the datasets from these studies and they have opportunities to participate in the implementation of innovative school-based intervention approaches. A second project examines the influence of stress and coping on primary- and mental health outcomes among mother-adolescent dyads and the buffering effect coping has outcomes of interest for both mothers and teens. This study uses a mixed methods approach to understand the phenomenological experience of low-income, single mothers and their teenage children as relates to stress and coping.