• Psychiatry
    Head of the Neuroimaging Research Program, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
    Head of the Neuroimaging Research Program, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
    Dr. Elliot Hong is a Professor of Psychiatry and is the Head of the Neuroimaging Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. He directs the First Episode Clinic for psychosis, and also the Director of the University of Maryland Center for Brain Imaging Research. His brain imaging research focuses on understanding the functional brain circuits that influence severe nicotine addiction, especially in smokers with mental illnesses. He has written or contributed to over one hundred peer-reviewed research papers. He has conducted clinical trials on nicotinic compounds in smokers with severe mental illnesses. He is actively pursuing research and clinical trial strategies using neurophysiological and imaging biomarkers to optimize mechanism-based interventions through nicotinic receptor and other novel mechanisms. Developing valid, translational brain imaging and electrophysiological biomarkers may support genetics and etiological pathway research for severe mental illnesses and nicotine addiction. His recent research emphasis is on neuroinflammation and nicotinic, GABA and NMDA receptor mechanisms.
    • Critical Care Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Pulmonary Disease
    Physician Scientist at UCSD and the VA San Diego Healthcare System
    Physician Scientist at UCSD and the VA San Diego Healthcare System
    • Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of California San Diego
    Laura E. Crotty Alexander, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Staff Physician and Researcher at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, is a Pulmonary Critical Care specialist with clinical and research-based interests in e-cigarettes. She studies the effects of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor on bacterial virulence, as well as the effects of e-cigarettes on airway inflammation and innate immune function. Dr. Crotty Alexander is active in the American Thoracic Society (ATS), serving on the Board of Directors, Vice-Chair of the Training Committee, and as a member of the Allergy, Immunology and Inflammation Assembly Junior Professionals and Program Committees. She was recently a finalist in the ATS BEAR Cage Competition for her work on e-cigarettes. Dr. Crotty Alexander is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, completed residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship Program, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Host Defense and Bacterial Virulence at UCSD.
    • Pediatrics
    • Public Health and General Preventive Medicine
    • Health Policy Evidence Based Public Health
    • Preventive Medicine
    • Public Health
    Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Pediatrics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Geffen School of Medicine
    Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Pediatrics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Geffen...
    • Professor of Health Policy and Management at University of California Los Angeles
    Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. has served over 40 years in public health service, education and research. He has recently retired after 16 years as the LA County Public Health Director and County Health Officer. In these roles, Dr. Fielding emphasized the importance of the social and physical environments on health and health disparities. From 1975-79 he served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, where he established the first state tobacco control program. Since 1979 Dr. Fielding has been a professor at the UCLA Schools of Public Health and Medicine, including co-directing the UCLA Center for Health Enhancement Education and Research from 1979 through 1984. He chaired the HHS Secretary’s expert advisory group on the 2020 Healthy People Project, and chairs the U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force, which has performed many systematic meta-analyses of tobacco control policies and programs. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of the Truth Initiative, a national non-profit, which has reduced tobacco use in youth and young adults. Dr. Fielding also is the long-serving Editor of the Annual Review of Public Health. His current research interests are modeling the health effects of evidence validated policies and programs in other sectors, such as transportation, education and housing. He received his M.D., Masters in Public Health and Masters in History of Science from Harvard University and an MBA from Wharton School of Business. He has published over 300 original articles, commentaries, editorials and book chapters on disease prevention and health promotion. Dr Fielding has been honored with many national and other awards for public health achievements, including the UCLA medal, the highest award given by that University, and the national Fries prize for contributions to the health of Americans. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
    • Director of Research, Faculty & Development and Senior Investigator at Group Health Research Institute
    Jennifer McClure, PhD is Director of Research, Faculty & Development and Senior Investigator at Group Health Research Institute; Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health; Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and a clinical psychologist. She serves as Associate Editor for Nicotine & Tobacco Research and is on the Advisory Board for the Treatment Network of the Society for Nicotine & Tobacco Treatment. Dr. McClure is also a Fellow in the Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and serves on SBM’s Digital Health Council. For more than 20 years, Dr. McClure has studied nicotine and tobacco treatment, with an emphasis on the development and evaluation of novel treatment programs and population-based interventions. Her research in this area has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Group Health Cooperative. Dr. McClure received her doctorate from Louisiana State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Director of the USC Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory
    Director of the USC Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory
    • Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
    Adam Leventhal, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, is an addiction psychologist with expertise in the epidemiology and pharmacology of tobacco use and other addictive behaviors. He is Director of the USC Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory, a research group that studies contextual factors that modify the addictiveness of drugs, with the goal of explaining and reducing health disparities in addiction among women, racial/ethnic minorities, individuals of low socioeconomic status, youth, and people with mental illness. He has been awarded more than $8M in funding as PI and authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications in this area. Dr. Leventhal is a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and American Psychological Association and has received awards for distinguished early career scientific contributions from six professional organizations. He serves as associate editor for Nicotine & Tobacco Research and Behavioral Medicine peer-reviewed journals and is a member of the NIH Addiction Risk and Mechanisms study section. Dr. Leventhal is a graduate of the clinical psychology doctoral program at University of Houston and completed addiction and cancer prevention research fellowships at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Brown Medical School.
    • Pediatrics
    Medical Director for Preventive Care, Group Health Physicians
    Medical Director for Preventive Care, Group Health Physicians
    • Senior Investigator at Group Health Research Institute
    Paula Lozano, MD MPH, is Medical Director for Preventive Care and a practicing pediatrician at Group Health. As medical director, she develops innovations and strategies for performance improvement in prevention including programs in the areas of tobacco, alcohol and weight management, as well as Group Health’s online health risk assessment. Dr. Lozano is a Senior Investigator at the Group Health Research Institute. Her research interests include childhood obesity, pediatric chronic conditions and health behavior change counseling in primary care. Her work has focused on improving health care quality through changing the delivery system, supporting clinical decision-making by providers, and supporting patients and parents in health behavior change. She also serves as investigator for several U.S Preventive Services Task Force systematic evidence reviews, as a member of the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-Based Practice Center. Dr. Lozano graduated from Harvard Medical School, completed her residency at the University of Washington, and earned her Master's in Public Health at UW as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. Prior to joining Group Health in 2011, she was on faculty at the University of Washington where she taught residents and medical students in outpatient and inpatient pediatric settings at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital.
  • Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, Truth Initiative
    Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, Truth Initiative
    • Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Dr. David Abrams is Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative, Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Oncology (adjunct), Georgetown University Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He holds a Doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from Rutgers University. He was founding Director of Brown University Alpert Medical School’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. As the former Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), he spearheaded an NIH-wide strategic plan for the systems integration of bio-behavioral, socio-cultural and public health disciplines to improve the nation’s health. He was President of the Society for Behavioral Medicine and a recipient of their Distinguished Scientist, Research Mentorship and Service Awards. He has published over 250 peer reviewed scholarly articles and been a Principal Investigator on numerous NIH grants and contracts. Dr. Abrams served at the Institute of Medicine; on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and in other expert roles for NIH. Dr. Abrams received the Joseph Cullen Memorial Award of the American Society for Preventive Oncology for lifetime contributions to tobacco control; the Research Laureate Award from the American Academy of Health Behavior; and a distinguished Alumnus Award from Rutgers University. Dr. Abrams is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in Behavioral Medicine and treatment of addictions. He is lead author of The Tobacco Dependence Treatment Handbook: A Guide to Best Practices that received a book of the year award. His general interest is in fostering transdisciplinary team science and systems integration of bio‐medical, socio‐behavioral and ecological‐public health disciplines to reduce tobacco use, lifestyle behaviors and chronic disease at the population level. Dr. Abrams current focus is in tobacco control translational research from basic science to practice to policy and in strengthening the emerging field of tobacco regulatory science. He is investigating: digital technologies for efficient intervention delivery; the strategic role research must play in informing the regulatory policies of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products; and exploring the impact on the population of emerging tobacco products and alternative nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes) and their potential for harm minimization. The goal is to speed the elimination of preventable deaths and disease burdens caused overwhelmingly by youth uptake and adult continued use of the inhalation of the lethal smoke from combusting tobacco, primarily cigarettes, that is predicted to prematurely kill over 1 billion smokers globally in the 21st century.
    • Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford Prevention Research Center
    Judith (Jodi) Prochaska, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University with the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, SRITA (Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising), and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Dr. Prochaska's research centers on the study and treatment of tobacco addiction in diverse and vulnerable groups. She developed, evaluated, and is disseminating tobacco treatment curricula as part Rx for Change ( She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles and is on the editorial boards of JAMA Internal Medicine and Tobacco Regulatory Science. Dr. Prochaska received the 2007 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Jarvik-Russell Young Investigator Award, NIDA’s 2010 Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award, and the 2011 Bay Area Clinical Research Mentor of the Year Award. She is SRNT Member Delegate-North America and co-chairs the FDA’s PhenX Tobacco Regulatory Research Panel.
    • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine
    Dr. Lessov-Schlaggar’s research focuses on the etiology of tobacco use and dependence. She draws from expertise in psychiatric genetics, cognitive neuroscience, and functional neuroimaging to understand pathways to addiction. She is particularly interested in identifying cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms of risk and in understanding how such mechanisms interact with tobacco exposure, either environmental smoke exposure or exposure due to personal experience with tobacco, to support different levels of use and dependence.
    • Professor, Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine and Department of Psychology at University of Nevada
    Dr. Chen was trained in genomics, genomic technology and molecular genetics. The central focus of his research is on the understanding of genetic mechanism of psychiatric disorders and how to use genetic information to prevent and to treat these disorders more effectively. Each individual is genetically unique. People with different genetic makeup present different personality and predisposition that can lead to different susceptibility to diseases and cancers. Genetic predisposition also influences treatment efficacy and side effect. We use genetic association, genomic, bioinformatic and statistical analyses to identify genes involved in behavioral traits and psychiatric disorders. Currently, we focus on the study of smoking addiction and schizophrenia. In these studies, we correlate genetic variations (genotypes) of research subjects with their observed behaviors/psychiatric symptoms or diagnoses (phenotypes). Over the years, Dr. Chen and his team have identified multiple genes involved in nicotine dependence and schizophrenia, including EPAC1, OPRM1, CNR1, CHRNA5, ACSL6, IL3, MEGF10, GULP1 and CMYA5. Once a candidate gene is identified, we will use cellular and molecular methods to study the functions of the gene, these include DNA cloning and transformation, gene expression assay, DNA sequencing, mutation characterization and functional genomics analyses. With the knowledge of the gene’s functions and its mutations, we can design prevention and treatment strategies based on individual’s genetic background so that the therapy and medicine can match individual’s need and be more effective. Dr. Chen's research is supported by grants from National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, National Alliance on Research for Schizophrenia and Major Depression, and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.
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