Research Working Groups

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In early 2020, the Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction (CSUA) placed a call for proposals to establish faculty-initiated, interdisciplinary research working groups around any theme related to addressing substance misuse. The goal of this program is to help establish interdisciplinary groups of Penn State researchers who wish to focus on a common aspect of substance use research. Groups that include members from more than one college and/or campus were prioritized for funding. The following seven research working groups were awarded funding:


Developmental Recovery Stage Model 
The goal of this group is to further an emerging concept, the Development Recovery Stage Model, to use among different populations of people in recovery from addiction as a way to identify appropriate recovery goals as people progress through the stages of recovery. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Deirdre O’sullivanEducational Psychology and Counseling, University Park campus 
Dr. H. Harrington (Bo) ClevelandHuman Development and Family Studies, University Park campus



Interdisciplinary Pain Clinic 
The mission of developing an innovative, interdisciplinary clinic is to provide care and maximize treatment outcomes among adults with refractory chronic non-cancer paid treated with long-term opioids.

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. David GiampetroPain Medicine, Hershey Medical Center 
Dr. Vitaly GordinPain Medicine, Hershey Medical Center 
Dr. Aleksandra ZgierskaAddiction Medicine and Family Practice, Hershey Medical Center 



NISS/PSU Working Group on Statistical Issues of the Opioid Epidemic 
This working group plans to study the emerging statistical issues of the opioid epidemic and explore the roles that statisticians and data scientists can bring to the study of this issue. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Lingzhou XueDepartment of Statistics, University Park campus 
Dr James RosenbergerDepartment of Statistics, University Park campus 




Opioid Use Disorder Among Immigrants in PA 
The overarching goal of this project is to inform practice and policy through research, specifically mental health therapists, psychiatrists, prescribers, law enforcement personnel, and law makers. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Abigail AkandeRehabilitation and Human Services, Abington campus 
Dr. Christiana Oji-MmuoNeonatal-Preinatal Medicine, Hershey Medical Center 




Penn State Commonwealth Working Group to Explore Community-based Efforts to Address Substance Abuse 
The goal of this working group, made of faculty working across various disciplines and campuses, is to develop a better understanding of the far reaching efforts of substance abuse, particularly opioid misuse, in several high need areas of PA. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Maureen IttigHuman Development and Family Studies, Fayette campus 
Dr. Kate McLeanAdministration of Justice, Greater Allegheny campus 



PA Pregnancy Cohort to Study Intergenerational Effects 
This project will support a new networking group of Penn State researchers and health care partners/clinical care providers with the goal of recruiting and retaining pregnant women who are substance using or at risk for substance use disorder to further understand the intergenerational effects of substance use. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Danielle DownsHealth and Human Development, University Park campus 
Dr. Rina EidenPsychology, University Park campus 
Dr. Jenae NeiderhiserPsychology, Human Development and Family Studies, University Park campus 



The CCSA Substance Use Stigma Reduction Collaborative
The theme of this research working group is community engagement and coalition building to build and develop a stigma reduction in PA to organize and connect three stakeholders; 1. Researchers, 2. Practitioners and community leaders, and 3. People in recovery from substance use disorder. 

Working Group Co-Chairs: 
Dr. Glenn SternerCriminal Justice, Abington campus 
Dr. Jennifer MurphyCriminal Justice, Berks campus