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Adolescent Tobacco Research Network Leadership
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Suzanne M. Colby, PhD

Suzanne M. Colby is a Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies at Brown University. She earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Rhode Island.  Her research is primarily focused on testing the efficacy of brief interventions such as motivational interviewing for adolescent smokers, and on using laboratory-based studies to evaluate processes associated with the maintenance of adolescent smoking over time.

Robin Mermelstein, PhD

Robin Mermelstein is a Professor of Psychology and Distinguished Professor of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is the Director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also has a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and in the School of Public Health. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of Oregon. Her research has focused on understanding the etiology and progression of tobacco use in adolescents and young adults, in developing interventions to reduce tobacco use and increase cessation in both adolescents and in young adults, and in translating research into practice and policy. She is a former President of the SRNT. 

Loukas2_jpg.jpgAlexandra Loukas, PhD

Alexandra Loukas is a Professor and Program Director of Health Behavior and Health Education in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as Principal Investigator of Project 2 on the Texas Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults. Her current program of research aims to understand changes in use of alternative tobacco products and exposure to tobacco marketing among 18-29 year old 2- and 4-year college students. She is also involved in various State-funded community-based projects focused on tobacco prevention and control.

Laura MacPherson, PhD

Laura MacPherson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park and Associate Director of the affiliated Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research. She earned her Ph.D. from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. MacPherson’s program of research includes a developmentally informed, multi-method examination of the progression and cessation of risk-taking and addictive behaviors among adolescents and young adults to improve youth-tailored interventions, as well as developing behavioral treatments for older adolescent and adult tobacco smokers with co-occurring psychopathology.

Yvonne Hunt, PhD 

Yvonne Hunt is a Program Director in the Tobacco Control Research Branch within the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Hunt's research interests lie broadly in the prevention and treatment of tobacco use, with an emphasis on understanding the change processes associated with movement along the continuum of use, from initiation, to dependence, to cessation. Much of her current research focuses on the population-level dissemination of tobacco cessation interventions via internet and mobile platforms; in particular, she is interested in how digital technologies can improve the reach and efficacy of cessation interventions within youth and young adult populations. She currently serves as the co-lead for NCI’s Smokefree Teen initiative.

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her research is focused on developing a bio-behavioral understanding of substance use behaviors in adult and adolescent substance users, with the goal of developing optimal prevention and cessation interventions. In the area of adolescent tobacco use, she has conducted qualitative research including focus groups and surveys to understand patterns and perceptions of use of tobacco products (including e-cigarettes), clinical trials to develop and test the use of novel behavioral and pharmacological cessation and prevention interventions, and experimental evaluations of behavioral and neural predictors of use and cessation behaviors. Dr. Krishnan-Sarin is the Co-PI on the Yale Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science which is using a multidisciplinary approach to understand the role of flavors in tobacco and nicotine addiction.  

Maria Cooper, PhD

Maria  Cooper is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus. She completed her PhD in Epidemiology from the same institution. She works in the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults which is conducting rapid response surveillance systems examining tobacco use and tobacco marketing exposure in Texas middle schools, high schools and colleges. Her current research focuses on young populations' risk perceptions and patterns of use of new and emerging tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.

Grace Kong, PhD

Grace Kong is Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University and completed a NIDA T32 post-doctoral fellowship at Yale School of Medicine. Her research is focused on developing innovative smoking cessation interventions for vulnerable youth populations using technology such as mobile phones. She also conducts tobacco regulatory science research using qualitative and quantitative methods to examine youth perceptions, attitudes, and use patterns of tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and cigars.

Amanda Quisenberry, PhD

Amanda Quisenberry is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Public Health at the Ohio State University working in Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science. She received her PhD in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University after being trained in Experimental Psychology at Western Illinois University. Her research interests include impulsivity and drug initiation in adolescents and young adults, specifically from a behavioral economic perspective. 


Julia Cen Chen, MPP CHES

Julia is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health. She holds an M.P.P. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research is primarily focused on flavored tobacco products use among youth and young adults, and specifically on how flavored e-cigarette use reinforces and substitutes cigarette smoking among young adults over time.





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